By Tom Curtis
President, Lubrizol Additives
API SN Plus, the critical supplement to ILSAC GF-5, saw first license on May 1.
It is already an unprecedented response to a major engine issue facing everyday vehicles—and it’s a positive step. But one additional noteworthy first for this new spec supplement was the American Petroleum Institute’s (API’s) allowance for oil marketers to begin promoting these products prior to the May 1 first license date.
Oil marketers can, and should, take advantage of this opportunity. And as an industry, we should further investigate how and why the LSPI and API SN Plus development process can shed light on new paths forward for the lubricant industry.
We’ve been clear about our desire to see change in the industry model—and LSPI can serve as an example. Consider the chain of events that led us to the current point:
ILSAC GF-6 request is initiated in 2011.
Initial first license date targeted for 2015.
Development of seven brand-new engine tests causes delays; first licensing continually pushed back (presently anticipated in 2020).
New engines continue to expose LSPI as a glaring problem that must be addressed; OEMs initiate emergency request for API SN Plus.
API SN Plus approved, developed and licensed within a year.
Our view: It’s time to get moving on delivering LSPI solutions, and it’s not appropriate to wait for ILSAC GF-6. The relevance of our industry depends on it. OEMs and drivers require these solutions today, not tomorrow.