Why an engine oil with API approval is important?

Article by: Dr Trisonic. Dec 2019.

In early November, I visited several motorcycle workshops in Taiwan. One of the most frequently asked questions was “Is there any industry standard being used to regulate the quality of engine oil today?”.

I shared with these workshop owners what are the current industry standards that every engine oil is required to comply with. One of the most recognized standard globally and particularly in Asia Pacific markets is the API performance standard, which include API SN, API SN Plus, API CK-4/SN, etc. 

For this December article, I would highlight several key points of API approvals.

In 1992 and 1993, API, ASTM, American and Japanese automotive manufacturers introduced improvements in the licensing protocol of engine oils to:

1.  Ensure the quality of products being marketed.

2. Enhance consumer awareness of the recommended lubricants for new vehicles

This improved process is known today as the API Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System (EOLCS).

One of the main objectives of EOLCS is to help consumers identify engine oils recommended by vehicle manufacturers. The API (American Petroleum Institute) only issues a license to an oil marketer after the marketer has confirmed that it’s engine oil meet all the requirements spelled out in API 1509 publication and the EOLCS Online Application (http://engineoil.api.org). The EOCLS is backed by monitoring and enforcement program that ensures the licensees adhere to program requirements. This includes running physical, chemical, and performance tests on licensed engine oils and verifying that the API-registered Marks are properly displayed on containers and convey accurate information to consumers.

While many engine oils found in the market come with API license, there are many more that do not have API license. To ensure that these engine oils are licensed with API, you should check for its brand under https://engineoil.api.org/Directory/EolcsSearch.

In the same website, API also provides information on engine oils in the marketplace that display the API engine oil certification mark but do not have API authorization, which may not deliver the quality and performance required of an approved oil.

It is thus important to choose a trusted engine oil with genuine API approval, like TriSonic™ UltiMach™ PickUp CommonRail 10W-30, to ensure optimal performance and engine longevity.