Coming Soon: A fresh look for an industry that’s always innovating
Skip to main content

Latest Oil Categories

API Introduces Three New Gasoline Engine Oil Standards, ILSAC GF-6A, GF-6B, and API SP

API’s Lubricants Standards Group approved by letter ballot the adoption of two new ILSAC specifications, GF-6A and GF-6B, and a new API Service Category, API SP. The two new ILSAC specifications represent the latest performance requirements for gasoline engine oils set by the International Lubricant Specification Advisory Committee (ILSAC), and API Service SP the newest API gasoline engine oil standard.


As part of the introduction of the ILSAC specifications and API SP, API is also introducing a new API Certification Mark “Shield” that will identify oils meeting the ILSAC GF-6B specification. The specific requirements for this revised Mark are provided in the latest edition of API 1509, which can be downloaded here. Of all the changes approved or under consideration, the most important are the following: Starting May 1, 2020, products meeting ILSAC GF-6A may be licensed to display the API Certification Mark “Starburst,” ILSAC GF-6B the new API Certification Mark “Shield,” and API Service SP for use in the upper portion of the API Service Symbol “Donut.”


Key points:

  • Starting May 1, 2020, ILSAC GF-6A provides a new basis for issuance of a license to use the API Certification Mark “Starburst.” Until April 30, 2021, ILSAC GF-5 also provides a basis for issuance of a license to use the API Certification Mark “Starburst.”
  • Starting May 1, 2020, ILSAC GF-6B provides the only basis for issuance of a license to use the API Certification Mark “Shield.”
  • Effective May 1, 2021, ILSAC GF-6A provides the only basis for issuance of a license to use the API Certification Mark “Starburst.” Oils meeting ILSAC GF-5 will no longer be eligible to display the API Certification Mark “Starburst” and will no longer appear on the online EOLCS Directory after April 30, 2021.
  • Oil marketers may now license oils meeting ILSAC GF-6A as ILSAC GF-5 and API SN, GF-6B as API SN and API SP as API SN.
  • Starting May 1, 2020, API Service SP may be licensed for use in the upper portion of the API Service Symbol “Donut,” and oils meeting SP with Resource Conserving requirements may be licensed to display “Resource Conserving” in the lower portion of the API Service Symbol in conjunction with API Service SP in the upper portion.
  • Marketers are free to identify qualifying oils as meeting ILSAC GF-6A, GF-6B, and API Service SP prior to the May 1 first licensing date but must avoid statements that imply API certification or licensing of the new specifications and service category in advance of that date.
  • Marketers that want to claim their oils are licensed by API as meeting ILSAC GF-6A, GF- 6B, and/or API SP on the first licensing date must apply for licensing of the GF-6A, GF-6B, and API SP oils through the on-line application system at https://engineoil.api.org/AccountManager/WelcomeMarketer .
  • API will accept applications for products meeting the new standards for a period of time prior to May 1, 2020 and will process applications as they are received, but the right to claim API licensing against the new standards will not be allowed until May 1, 2020.
  • Oils licensed against the new standards will not appear in the online EOLCS Directory until May 1, 2020.

The new standards specify more stringent engine oil performance requirements for spark-ignited internal combustion engines. The three include seven new tests, including a chain wear test and a new test for very low-viscosity engine oils. The standards also include a test designed to protect against a phenomenon experienced by some gasoline engines known low speed pre-ignition (LSPI).


Watch to learn more:

How and Why? ILSAC GF-6A, GF-6B and SP

Important Facts about ILSAC GF-6A, GF-6B and SP


                       SHIELD                     SP DONUT