The importance of specifications is illustrated in this article with a practical comparison of three engine oils with the same viscosity. A Ford Fiesta MK6 1.6 TDCI (2012 and later) serves as an example.
In Ford's user manual (Dutch version), the manufacturer prescribes an engine oil with a viscosity of 5W-30 that meets the requirements of WSS-M2C913-C (Ford specification). In the absence of an oil that meets this specification, it is acceptable to use 5W-30 engine oil with the ACEA A5/B5 specification. But what exactly do these specifications mean?
Three specifications: OEM, ACEA and API
As well as OEM specifications, there are two other important codes to consider when selecting the right engine oil: the ACEA standard and the API specifications.
1. OEM coding
Almost all car manufacturers work with their own lubricant specifications. Ford is no exception. These specifications are regularly updated. The prescribed WSS-M2C913-C engine oil for our example car has now been replaced by the Ford WSS-M2C913-D specification. This means that a 5W-30 oil with WSS-M2C913-D specification must be used for this Ford Fiesta in 2020.
You can consult the Eni Lube Advisor 24/7 to check you are using the right oil.
2. ACEA coding
The ACEA standard is most commonly used in Europe. ACEA stands for 'Association des Constructeurs Europeens d'Automobiles', i.e. the European association of automobile manufacturers.
The A, B and C series apply to cars. Where the ACEA A Series applies to petrol and LPG engines, the ACEA B Series applies to light-duty diesel engines. These two series are usually combined in the engine oil labelling.
For example: ACEA A5/B5. ACEA C is used in modern cars equipped with advanced exhaust aftertreatment systems. This engine oil is suitable for cars with a particulate filter, which is not the case with the A and B series. Finally: the number after the letter describes the difference in the engine oil performance.
3. API coding
ACEA's American counterpart is the American Petroleum Institute (API). This standard is divided into API S (petrol engines) and API C (diesel engines). The type of oil is further specified by adding extra letters. API SN and API CK-4 are the latest specifications.
Car from Europe or the USA?
Let's go back to our example of a Ford Fiesta. The ACEA or API specification is listed in the user manual depending on the continent where the Ford was delivered. For example, if you have a Dutch manual, only an ACEA BA/B5 recommendation will be listed. The American manual will give advice based on API-certified engine oils.
The same viscosity three times, but with big differences
Choosing the right engine oil these days goes far beyond selecting the prescribed viscosity class. The importance of specifications is illustrated by this practical comparison of three engine oils with the same viscosity.
All three are synthetic 5W-30 engine oils; the prescribed viscosity for our Ford Fiesta. Other than the colour of the label, the oils look identical at first sight. In reality, however, there are big differences between the three types of 5W-30.
Eni i-Sint FE 5W-30 (yellow label)
Eni i-Sint FE 5W-30 (yellow label) is a fuel-saving multigrade engine oil for modern cars that provides extra protection for particulate filters. This engine oil meets ACEA C2 requirements, which ensures lower fuel consumption compared to ACEA C3. But: this engine oil can only be used if ACEA C2 is specified in the operating manual! This type also meets the ACEA A5/B5 and Fiat 9.55535 S1 specification.
Eni i-Sint MS 5W-30 (red label)
The second type, Eni i-Sint MS 5W-30, (red label) meets the requirements of ACEA C3. This oil has a different composition, which causes the engine oil to behave differently during operation. Eni i-Sint MS 5W-30 also has MB approval for Mercedes-Benz vehicles and BMW LL-04, a specification for BMW vehicles.
Eni i-Sint Tech F 5W-30 (blue label)
And then there's the third variant: Eni i-Sint Tech F 5W-30 (blue label). This type of oil was specifically developed for some Ford vehicles, including the Ford Fiesta in our example. As you can see, this engine oil meets the Ford WSS-M2C913-D specification (prescribed in the year 2020). Neither of the other 5W-30 variants, Eni i-Sint FE 5W-30 and Eni i-Sint MS 5W-30, are suitable for use in our example Ford.
24/7 online knowledge base: Eni Lube Finder
The above example once again demonstrates that selecting the right engine oil takes more than knowing the viscosity alone. Eni has developed the online Eni Lube Finder to help you find out exactly which engine oil is prescribed for the car in your workshop. It is free of charge and available for advice 24/7. You can find the Eni Lube Finder at eni-ita.lubricantadvisor.com.
Back to top