Engine Oil Specifications: ILSAC Explained

ILSAC (International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee) was formed in the early 90s by the American Automobile Manufacturers Association in co-operation with Daimler, Ford, GM and the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association to define some aspects of petrol engine oil specifications.


Because the Americans are involved, ILSAC oils often carry an API symbol, this is because of the fact that ILSAC is based on API service categories, but in addition to API, ILSAC requires additional performance like improved fuel economy and restrictions in the viscosity grades that may claim the higher performance levels. These additional requirements allow oil manufacturers to state their products are energy conserving and offer improved fuel efficiency.


ILSAC oils can be identified by the letters “GF” followed by a number that denotes the performance level. These oils will always meet API “S” (Petrol) specifications only as it is designed for use in petrol engines only, but there are some limited cases where diesel engine manufactures require ILSAC oils, for example, Ford and Daimler, as they have additional requirements for improved fuel efficiency.


ILSAC GF-2, GF-3 and GF-4 were all discontinued and ILSAC GF-5 oils should be used as replacement wherever the previous categories are required.

ILSAC GF-5 oils are formulated to improve fuel economy and provide API SL, SM and SN performance levels. These oils are usually blended with API Group II, III and IV base stocks and are produced in low viscosities ranging from 10W-30 to 0W-16. The reason being that low viscosity oils produce less internal friction resulting in reduced energy consumption, but this advantage comes with new challenges for engine and lubricants manufactures as low viscosity is likelier to increase component wear. Luckily this can be overcome with cutting edge engine design and modern oil additives.


ILSAC GF-6 oils have recently been added to the ILSAC line up and are sub-divided into two listings. ILSAC GF-6A represents viscosity grades from 10W-30 to 0W-20, and in addition to GF-5 oils, these oils have added durability to mitigate LSPI (low-speed pre-ignition) for vehicles fitted with engine idle stop/start functions. ILSAC GF-6B is limited to viscosity grade 0W-16 and carries the same performance requirements as GF-6A, but with lower HTHS viscosity, resulting in even better-improved fuel economy without sacrificing wear protection.


OILY SA can offer premium products that are ILSAC GF-5 licensed.

G-Energy Synthetic Far East 5W-30, formulated using proprietary G-Base synthetic technology.

G-ENERGY Synthetic Far East Product Benefits:


Contact us for more information:

Email: info@oily.co.za

Phone: +27 021 410 8720

Written by Henco Booysen


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