ilsac gf-6

ILSAC GF-6 – Understanding the New Specifications

Understanding ILSAC GF-6


The next ILSAC GF-6 standard for passenger car engine oils, driven by the push for greater fuel economy and resulting engine downsizing that has grown the use of Turbocharged Gasoline Direct Injection (TGDI) engines.


  • Protection against low-speed pre-ignition in TGDI vehicles
  • Protection against timing chain wear in TGDI vehicles
  • Lower viscosity for enhanced fuel economy: 0W-16 added (GF-6b)
  • 7 NEW engine tests for proof of GF-6 performance

shell gf-6


ILSAC Oil Specifications

ILSAC, International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee, is formed in 1992 by AAMA (American Automobile Manufacturers Association, representatives of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation) and JAMA (Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association) to define the need, parameters, licensing and administration of lubricant specifications. Together with the Tripartite system (API, SAE and ASTM) the formed EOLCS, the Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System. ILSAC oils often carry the API Service Symbol (Donut) including the Energy Conserving designation and/or API Certification Mark (Starburst).

The ILSAC GF-1 standard indicates the oil meets both API SH and the Energy Conserving II (EC-II) requirements. It was created in 1990 and upgraded in 1992 and became the minimum requirement for oil used in American and Japanese automobiles.
ILSAC GF-2 replaced GF-1 in 1996. The oil must meet both API SJ and EC-II requirements. The GF-2 standards requires 0W-30, 0W-40, 5W-20, 5W-30, 5W-40, 5W-50, 10W-30, 10W-40 and 10W-50 motor oils to meet stringent requirements for phosphorus content, low temperature operation, high temperature deposits and foam control.
An ILSAC GF-3 an oil must meet both API SL and the EC-II requirements. The GF-3 standard has more stringent parameters regarding long-term effects of the oil on the vehicle emission system, improved fuel economy and improved volatility, deposit control and viscosity performance. The standard also requires less additive degradation and reduced oil consumption rates over the service life of the oil.
ILSAC GF-4 is similar to the API SM service category, but it requires an additional sequence VIB Fuel Economy Test (ASTM D6837).
Introduced in October 2010 for 2011 and older vehicles, designed to provide improved high temperature deposit protection for pistons and turbochargers, more stringent sludge control, improved fuel economy, enhanced emission control system compatibility, seal compatibility, and protection of engines operating on ethanol-containing fuels up to E85.
The ILSAC GF-6 specification is currently in development and will probably be divided into two sub-specifications. ILSAC GF-6A will be fully backward compatible with ILSAC GF-5 but would offer better fuel economy, better engine protection and improved performance while maintaining durability. ILSAC GF-6B would deliver similar performance as ILSAC GF-5A but will allow lower viscosity oils like xW-16, taking advantage of the fuel economy benefits offered by the new SAE 16 viscosity grade.
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