Under the Hood
New GF-6 standard motor oil will be introduced in 2020
The American Petroleum Institute (API) and International Lubricant Specification Advisory Committee (ILSAC) have worked together to develop the next generation of motor oil, designated GF-6. The current generation of motor oil is designated GF-5.
The new oil standard took seven years to develop. To get to the final formulation standard, API's team work with ILSAC and the oil companies to test and evaluate the proposed formulations in a variety of engines, including ones from General Motors and Ford.
The GF-6 oil designation was developed in response to the evolving needs of modern powertrains, specifically turbocharged engines. Original equipment manufacturers are more frequently using turbochargers in their lineups as regulations regarding fuel economy stiffen. GF-6 standard oils are also designed to reduce low-speed pre-ignition and timing chain wear.
API has specified that the GF-6 oils will be split into two subcategories - GF-6A and GF-6B. The GF-6A standard is backward-compatible for SAE 0W-20, SAE 5W-20, SAE 0W-30, SAE 5W-30, and SAE 10W-30. The GF-6B standard is for modern engines that use SAE 0W-16.
Petroleum manufacturers and regulators have set May 1, 2020 as the official start date for the sale of licensed GF-6 motor oil.
To find out what oil viscosity your car takes, check the owner's manual.
For ease while shopping at the store, GF-6 oils that have been certified by API can be recognized by a starburst symbol designating their official license status.