GF-6: Updating Oil Standards for the Modern Engine

How GF-6 affects you

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Car engine technology is changing, and motor oil technology must change with it. By now, you are probably aware that automakers are trying to meet stricter fuel economy standards and emission goals without compromising engine power and performance. Newer cars pack a lot of power into smaller, lighter engines, leveraging technologies such as gasoline direct injection (GDI) or turbocharging to increase fuel efficiency. As a result, these new engine designs put enormous pressure on the motor oil, calling for higher performance and protection standards.


As we reported in an earlier article, the International Lubricant Specification Advisory Committee (ILSAC) has instituted

a new standard for passenger car motor oils, GF-6. This represents a collaborative effort among lubricant producers and marketers, additive producers, and automotive OEMs to meet the demands of modern engines. The first license date for the new ILSAC GF-6 standards was May 1, 2020, with mandatory, industry-wide implementation over the following 12 months.


ILSAC GF-6 oils are intended to meet the performance demands of modern engine technology, while delivering a higher level of protection against wear and deposits than the previous GF-5 category, which is being phased out. Automakers insisted the new standard was necessary specifically to address the problem of low-speed pre-ignition (LSPI), the abnormal combustion that can occur spontaneously in turbocharged GDI engines and cause severe damage. Oils claiming to be ILSAC GF-6 compliant must undergo an exhaustive battery of testing to ensure they meet this requirement.


Continuing the trend toward thinner, lower viscosity motor oils, ILSAC GF-6 is divided into two subcategories: A and B.

GF-6A oils will cover a wide range of viscosities and be backwards compatible with previous engine technologies. GF-6B covers only one oil grade - 0W-16 - and is intended strictly for newer, turbocharged GDI engines, generally introduced in 2017 and after. GF-6B is not backwards compatible with older engines calling for higher viscosities.


At Chevron, we have worked diligently to upgrade our Havoline® and Supreme motor oil product lines to the next-generation of ILSAC GF-6. Our products have undergone an extensive testing, using new engines that are representative of the latest technology, in order to meet the specifications required to be GF-6 compliant. Check out our ILSAC GF-6 web page for information about our product availability and to learn more about this new specification.


Sean Lantz
Sean Lantz is Chevron’s product technical specialist for North American passenger car motor oils and specialty products. He also provides technical support to Chevron’s ISOCLEAN and after market fuel additives programs. He holds an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Merced and prior to joining Chevron lubricants he worked in automotive powertrain development and as a plant engineer.

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