Motor Oil Standards Changing

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API SN/GF-5 Press Release
Contact: Lake Speed, Jr (704) 239-4401

API approves GF-5, SN to go into effect in 2010. GM Announces dexos 1 global engine oil specification for 2011 model year vehicles.

API SN – ILSAC GF-5 licensed oil will hit the shelves in October of 2010, and this new oil specification places greater emphasis on protecting catalytic converters than previous oil standards. While this is good news for emissions, improved catalytic converter life has proven to be detrimental to flat-tappet camshaft life.

Both the new API SN and GM dexos oil standards will require the use of a new type of “‘Phosphorus Retention”‘ ZDP. ZDP or Zinc, as it is known, provides protection for engine components by creating a phosphate film. The creation of this phosphate film also results in a reduction of performance in Three Way Catalytic Converters. The new “‘Phosphorus Retention”‘ ZDP is less reactive, so it is less detrimental to catalytic converter performance. It is unknown how this new “‘Phosphorus Retention”‘ ZDP will perform in flat-tappet and high performance engines.

Another change associated with API SN/ILSAC GF-5 oils will be greater fuel economy performance. This improvement in fuel economy will be achieved by increased use of polymers called Viscosity Modifiers. These polymers help a “‘thin”‘ oil act “‘thicker”‘ under low stress conditions. While the liberal use of polymers helps improve fuel economy in modern passenger car engines, older style push-rod and race engines produce greater shear stresses that can “‘tear”‘ these polymers. When these polymers are sheared, oil losses viscosity, and that can lead to increased wear.

More than ever before, hot rodders, engine builders, and racers need to be aware that API rated products are “‘compromised”‘ due to Passenger Car OEM requirements for improved catalytic converter life, fuel economy, and engine cleanliness.

To achieve these goals, oil marketers must reduce the Phosphorus, Sulfur and Zinc levels in their oils, and they must use more polymers and aggressive detergents. While these changes are good for modern low rpm, overhead cam engines, older push rod engines and high RPM race engines need lubricants with higher levels of Phosphorus, Sulfur and Zinc as well as lower levels of polymers and detergents.

Fortunately, Engine Builders, Racers and Hot Rodders have Joe Gibbs Driven oils available to them for Engine Break-In, Racing and Hot Rodding, so you don’t need to worry. Joe Gibbs Driven oils use the “‘old school”‘ ZDP for outstanding flat-tappet camshaft protection. Joe Gibbs Racing uses the Joe Gibbs Driven oils for break-in and racing our flat-tappet engines, and our engines see over 9,000 RPM, make over 850 hp and have to run more than 600 miles per race weekend. Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oils have protected our engines for the last 10 years, and we’ve won 5 NASCAR championships during that time using these oils.

These oils cost a little more per quart than premium passenger car and diesel oils, but they provide greater value and protection. The small investment in the right oil for your flat-tappet cam will same you big money in the long run.