Engine oil: marking, description, classification. What does marking motor oils mean?


Lubricating oils are used by a person 3,500years. Even the simplest machines need them. Before the appearance of oil and its products, vegetable and animal fats were used. For example, in the operation of steam engines, rapeseed oil was used. This material adheres well to metal surfaces and is not washed off with water and steam.

In 1859, oil processing products appeared,which served as the basis for the creation of mineral oils. With the advent of polymeric viscosity modifiers, the transition from summer and winter to all-season compositions became possible.

Types of motor oils

The product is a composition of materials. It consists of two parts: a base oil and an additive complex. The latter provide a variety of product properties. Depending on the method of production of base oil, it is divided into three types.

1. Mineral, derived from oil (mineral).

2. Synthetic, obtained as a result of complex petrochemical synthesis. The marking of synthetic engine oil is fully synthetic. The most high-quality and expensive.

synthetic engine oil marking

3. Semisynthetic, manufactured on a mineral basis with the addition of highly effective synthetic components (semi-synthetic). A reasonable compromise in the price / quality ratio.

Synthetic oils have a number of advantages in relation to mineral oils.


The main purpose of lubrication is educationthin and at the same time strong film on the surface of rubbing parts to prevent direct contact of their microroughnesses. Thus, wear is reduced to a minimum.

Purpose of motor oils:universal, for gasoline and diesel engines. A separate group is for two-stroke power units. This is indicated by the corresponding marking of motor oils: the meaning of "diesel", "2T" or "2 tact". Its absence indicates universal application.


How to choose engine oil? The marking contains many indicators, but the consumer is interested in two of them:

- the level of quality (whether it is suitable for a specific car);

- viscosity (suitable for a certain season and climate).

A special approach requires new, modern machines.

engine oil marking

The answers to the two main questions are given by the marking of engine oil. Its interpretation is in the generally accepted indexing system.

There are several. Most often use three - SAE, API and ACEA. Sometimes ILSAC is added to them.

SAE Standard

The classification is based on the viscosity characteristics. They are the main ones in this system.

SAE (Association of Automotive Engineers of America) establishes to which range of viscosity values ​​the engine oil refers.

The marking uses this indicator, measured in conventional units. The higher it is, the higher the viscosity.

The standard sets three groups of oils: summer, winter and all-season. The latter are the most common.

From the names of different species it becomes clear thatAccording to this marking, based on the SAE standard, one can learn only one thing: is the oil suitable for use in a particular season under certain climatic conditions or not. Just this.

The standard establishes three groups of oils. They differ seasonal application.

1. 0W, 5W, 10W, 15W, 20W, 25W - winter oils. There are six of them. Parameter with index W (winter) - "winter". The smaller, the more effective the "cold" use. The minimum value is 0.

2. 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 - summer oils. There are five. Parameter without sign W - "summer". It shows the retention of viscosity with increasing temperature. The higher this parameter, the more effective the use of oil in the heat. The maximum value is 60.

3. 5W-30, 5W-40, 10W-50, etc. - all-season. Number of them is 23.

marking of engine oil decoding

For example, the marking of engine oil 5W30 means that it is an all-season application. It is recommended for use in the air temperature range from -30 to +20 degrees.

marking of engine oil 5W30

So, what kind of information characterizing motor oil, SAE marking gives the consumer?

This is information about the temperature characteristics of the environment, in which the following is provided:

1. Scrolling the crankshaft with a standard electric starter at a cold start.

2. The mode of oil pumping through the motor mains. At a cold start, it must provide a pressure at which dry friction in the matings is eliminated.

3. Reliable lubrication in summer in conditions of continuous operation in a hard mode.

API classification

Developer - American Instituteoil products. API allows you to choose the oil for the car, depending on the year of its manufacture. After all, the process of improving machines, consisting in the release of more fast, light and perfect engines, is continuous.

The classification is focused on cars produced in America.

The lettering of engine oil is accepted.The interpretation is as follows. S (Service) - gasoline, C (Commercial) - diesel. Operational qualities indicate the second letter of the marking, in order from A and then on as the quality improves. For example, the class SJ was introduced quite recently. At the same time he pressed SH. The classification of SJ is assigned to expensive and high quality synthetic oils. They are designed for the most modern machines.

Cheaper SHs are inferior to SJ by some parameters, they are ideal for cars manufactured in 1994-1989 and earlier. Class SF is oriented to older slow-moving and simple motors.

Universal motor oil: double marking, for example: SF / CC, CD / SF, etc. SF / CC - "rather gasoline", CD / SF- "more diesel". An example is in a photo.

which means the marking of motor oils

In connection with the dynamic development of dieselengines there is their complication: equipment with a turbo-supercharging, etc. For such power plants special solutions are required. Therefore, leading manufacturers include in the range of oils for diesel engines. These compositions receive a special labeling "Diesel".

In a separate group, oils for petrol power units with energy-saving function are allocated. They have an additional EU designation (Energy Conserving).

Classification of the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA)

Characterized by more stringent requirements for the quality of oils. This is due to the fact that in Europe specific conditions for the operation of cars and a few other engine designs.

The ACEA classification characterizes the operation of engine oil in high-temperature conditions.

ACEA distinguishes four classes marked A, B, C, E. Designed for gasoline, diesel engines, as well as power plants equipped with neutralizers.

Classification in a separate group highlightsenergy saving oils. They have some features. With their use, fuel economy is achieved by reducing the thickness of the oil film at high operating temperatures. Some, mostly Japanese, engines are designed specifically for such brands. Energy-saving oils are only used when recommended by the car manufacturer. So, BMW and Mercedes-Benz advise them not to use at all on machines of these brands.

What does ACEA marking of motor oils mean?Classes A and B are labeled in the same way as energy saving. What does it mean? Classes A1, A5, B1 and B5 are energy-saving. The rest are standard oils. These are A2, A3, B2, B3 and B4. Energy-saving oils are not used in old cars. They require more reliable protection.

Double marking, like A3 / B4, is used to refer to universal oils (gasoline or diesel).

A significant part of American and some European automakers recommend for their cars compositions corresponding to ACEA A3 / B4, Japanese concerns are ACEA A1 / B2 or A5 / B5.

engine oil marking value

ILSAC classification

The brainchild of two Automobile Manufacturers' Associations - Japan and America. It has three classes of oils that provide energy saving and are designed for passenger gasoline vehicles. Marking: GF-1, GF-2 and GF-3.

These oils are optimal for cars from the Land of the Rising Sun. For American cars, the brands selected by ILSAC are equivalent to the API.

Recommendations and standards of automakers

API and ACEA classifications are setperformance indicators of oils. And their values ​​are minimal. Despite the fact that manufacturers of oils and additives agree on their requirements with car manufacturers, they do not always satisfy the latter. Tests using standard methods can not fully take into account the operation features of new modern engines. Therefore, car manufacturers reserve the right to formulate their own specifications, which put forward special requirements.

By testing the oils on their engines, theyor select them, guided by one of the generally accepted classifications, or develop their own standards specifying the brands that are most suitable and permissible for use.

Specifications of automakers are mandatory on the packaging next to the labeling of the class of performance properties. This requirement is carried out rigorously.

A uniform marking of engine oil is adopted all over the world. Deciphering it gives an unambiguous answer to the question about the scope of the product.

Consider the example. So, marking engine oil 5W40.

engine oil marking 5W40

This is a synthetic composition for all-season operation at an air temperature of -30 to +35 degrees.

According to API CJ-4 classification, oilIt is used for cars manufactured after 2006 and equipped with high-speed diesel engines, which meet the emission standards of 2007. Used when working on fuel, which contains no more than 0.05% sulfur. Effective for vehicles with diesel particulate filters and an exhaust gas recirculation system. When working on high-quality, containing no more than 0.0015% sulfur fuel, provides increased mileage before replacement.

Thus, the marking of engine oil 5W40, indicated on the package, contains a sufficient amount of information to determine its suitability for operation on specific vehicle models.

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