These documents are: (1) Candidate Data Package (CDP) which details the formulations tested, the engine and bench performance test data, as well as the guidelines defined in the industry Codes of Practice used to support the final formulation.

(2) Formal approval documentation from the relevant OEM, if applicable.

Using products that cannot make formal claims against OEM or Industry Specifications bring many risks. OEMs, oil developers and oil marketers dedicate significant time, money and resources to make sure lubricants, developed and validated according to the specification, not only protect the engine but also maintain fuel economy, emission compliance and engine performance. Using unapproved lubricants may ultimately result in sudden catastrophic engine failure.

Responsible oil marketers are signing up to The European Engine Lubricant Quality Management System (EELQMS), a voluntary quality management system for automotive engine lubricants. It is designed to assist oil marketers in assuring the quality of their lubricants and the performance claims made for them in the marketplace. The EELQMS embraces various European, North American and global quality standards, test methods and procedures, together with industry Codes of Practice and the requirements of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) European Oil Sequences.

Each element of the EELQMS specifies detailed requirements that should be followed in the course of designing, developing, manufacturing or marketing engine lubricants. By incorporating all of these elements, the EELQMS provides comprehensive guidelines for developing high quality lubricants for which a valid ACEA performance claim can be made. Meeting the requirements of each of the constituent elements of EELQMS is the responsibility of the oil marketer.

Additive technology suppliers who don’t follow the

industry rules relating to transparency and testing whilst marketing products claiming to meet the latest industry or OEM specifications, using language like “suitable for use” or “based on technical judgement”, cannot provide actual engine test data in the tests required by the OEMs to demonstrate performance. One is left to ask how they can use “technical judgement” when they do not have technical data in place to refer to. Such additive technology suppliers often combine claims that are mutually exclusive, recommend treat rates that are far below that of formally approved products, and supply the packages without any guidance on basestock or VM choice – two engine oil ingredients that are critical to defining performance capability and compatibility with the additive package.

Ultimately, ACEA claims are self-certified by the oil marketer but to market a lubricant with an ACEA claim the oil marketer is required to sign a Letter of Conformance to the EELQMS. The oil marketer is responsible for all the claims they make on their products. This is important as any issues with the performance of the fluid will be brought to the oil marketer and not to the additive technology supplier that failed to provide the test data. Quality surveys that monitor oil quality are increasing in number as the industry sees more false performance claims and these will expose the unscrupulous suppliers albeit after much of the damage is done to consumers’ engines.

The industry has developed quality standards for lubricant testing and approval processes based on decades of experience addressing real service issues. An average engine oil requires €1 - €1.5M of testing in order to ensure it will meet the demands of the modern engine. If your additive technology supplier cannot provide the data according to the industry Codes of Practice, you need to question what that oil will do in the engine.




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