ACEA 2021 Oil Sequences

Read time: 2 min
Published: 22 October 2021

April 2021 Update Explained 

Previous ACEA Oil Sequence was released in 2016. With few adjustments 2016 standards were in force till last April 2021 when a new update for light duty engine oils was issued. Here are the main changes explained: 

  • The elimination of ACEA A3/B3 and ACEA C1 
  • The introduction of new ACEA A7/B7 and ACEA C6 
  • Introduction of new tests for all categories 

Elimination of ACEA A3/B3 and ACEA C1 

ACEA A3/B3 is suggested only for old-generation gasoline and diesel engine oils. This specification doesn't guarantee the minimum performance requests established by the latest OEMs' recommendations.The difference between ACEA A3/B3 and A3/B4 lies in the technology of Diesel engines. A3/B3 is for pre-chamber diesel engines and A3/B4 for diesel direct injection engines. ACEA suggests to use ACEA A3/B4 in all the applications where the obsolete A3/B3 was required before. 

A different approach was taken for ACEA C1. This specification was actually advised only by a single one OEM so ACEA decided to eliminate C1 and to renew the category. The guiding principle was the fact that all ACEA categories should reflect the common needs of OEMs altogether and not the specific needs of one of them.  

Introduction of ACEA A7/B7 and ACEA C6 

New ACEA A7/B7 requires a Full Saps chemistry and it is meant to update ACEA A5/B5. Main new features consist in: 1) the protection from the LSPI (Low Speed Pre-Ignition) phenomenon; 2) a better wear protection of the distribution chain for gasoline engines with direct injection and 3) a better turbocharger cleaning.  

New ACEA C6 instead requires a Low Saps chemistry. Starting from ACEA C5 standards, same A7/B7 levels are requested, with the addiction of a Fuel Economy test. 

New Tests for all ACEA Specifications 

All ACEA Specifications (new, renewed or confirmed) will be subject to a new tests: 

  • VW TDI3 test on piston deposits 
  • Daimler M271 EVO performance level on engine oil sludge connected to soot 
  • VH Sequence performance level on sludge at low temperature 
  • IVB wear test of the valve train 

This last test is a brand new test in ACEA history. The idea to adopt API SP thresholds was considered but the solution was discarded because API SP thresholds would have excluded the 50% of lubricants in the market that already had scored a good performance record in ACEA field tests. So, the final decision was to have IVB Sequence thresholds applied just to new ACEA categories, while previous specs limits were less severe and more appropriate for the European products within that categories. 

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