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Standards and industrial organizations such as the American Petroleum Institute (API), the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), JASO (Japanese Automotive Standard Organisation) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) establish specific norms to manage lubricant characteristics and performances. Each norm defines technical requirements, physical properties (such as viscosity), engine test results, and other criteria for the formulation of lubricants and oils. Our ELF lubricants comply with and follow all of the major norms, standards and classifications in effect.


The SAE has created a classification for lubricant grades in order to characterize viscosity at high and low temperatures. The grades are made up of two numbers, between which is the letter W (for Winter grade), as follows: xxW-yy.

  • The first number (xx) indicates the oil's viscosity at cold temperatures (oils must remain fluid in cold temperatures to be effective).
  • The second number (yy) indicates the oil's viscosity at high temperatures (measured at 100°C).


The API standard classifies oils according to a range of criteria, including properties (such as detergency, wear resistance, anticorrosion etc.), uses and performance. API norms stipulate that when the oil is destined for a gas engine, the letter 'S' is used, and for a diesel engine, the letter 'C' is used. The more advanced the following letter in the alphabet, the higher the quality of the oil. For example, for a gas engine, among the designations "API SE", "API SF" or "API SH", it is "API SH" that is of the highest quality.


ACEA has developed a standard that takes the form of a code (category/class).
There are three ACEA categories:

  • Two for light vehicles (category A or B for gas or diesel engines / and category C for gas and diesel engines meeting the Euro 4 standard).
  • One for industrial diesel engines more specifically destined for Trucks (category E).


The JASO attributes as JASO label after analysis of the oil. When a lubricant answers successfully to all tests, the Japanese Automotive Standard Organisation awards a certificate and a number of accreditation. This number has to appear on the packaging in the form of a definite logo.


The ISO proposes an international project of specification, three categories being ISO- L-EGB, ISO-L-EGC and ISO-L-EGD in increasing order of requierement.


The International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC) is responsible for creating lubricant specifications for passenger cars. ILSAC's GF-5 specification was introduced in October 2010. It was designed to:

  • improve fuel economies and maintain them over time.
  • ensure protection of new engine technologies.
  • protect post-treatment systems.

This new specification reflects more stringent requirements:

  • Increased fuel economy and fuel economy retention.
  • Engine protection.
  • Protection of post-treatment systems (notably on the pistons) and general wear.


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