GF-4 Based Oil vs. GF-3 - What is the difference?

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I have been reading that there is a ILSAC GF-4 based oils coming out and wanted to know the difference between this and GF-3? Which is better?
I currently use Mobil 1 5W30 year round in my cars and wanted to know if
this GF-4 is going to make Mobil 1 better or worse.
Thanks
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Starburst). I suspect that no change in the formula was necessary to meet the new standard (but don't know for sure).
Mobil Clean 7500 (synthetic blend) and Mobil Clean 5000 (conventional oil) also meet the new standard.
For some reason, Mobil 1 Extended Performance oil does not meet all of the ILSAC GF-4 standards. Could be that it does not meet the stricter fuel economy tests, or has too much phosphorus which can shorten the life of catalytic converters. It does meet the engine wear tests.
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Mark A wrote:

Basically all one needs for the current starburst standard (now GF-4) is to meet the current API standard along with its corresponding "Energy Conserving" standard.

I think you'll find as oils are relabelled for API SM, they'll nearly all meet the EC standard and thus GF-4. There might be a few exceptions, including some "European Formula" 0W-30 or 5W-30 oils that are designed to be on the heavy side of 30 weight, and won't meet the energy conserving standard. Pennzoil actually markets two different 5W-30 oils in their "Pennzoil Platinum" series.

You've got that one. They have extra "SuperSyn" which is what Mobil calls a "high viscosity index polyalphaolefin". Basically what it does is serve as a base oil that also increases the viscosity index. I've heard using it also eliminates the need for other VI improvers in weights that previously needed it (or they now need less VI improver). So what you end up with is a slightly thicker oil (closer to the max for the viscosity range) at operating temps, which reduces fuel economy.
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ILSAC GF4 is only met by API latest standard energy conserving grades. There is a misapprehension that some European specification oils that meet higher performance standards will somehow meet and [easily exceed] the API standard but somehow fail the 'energy conserving' starburst. In fact it is probable that the only reason that the starburst is not awarded is that the sales volume of these oils would not warrant the accreditation and licensing fees levied. In Europe where these oils are commonplace the starburst and ILSAC standard is not used. Instead the owner is trusted to use appropriate quality and viscosity for his application and to be intelligent enough to know that a thin oil will be more fuel efficient. Effectively any oil with the required API rating and a 'w' rating of 5 or lower and a hot viscosity of 30 or lower would qualify for the starburst if a wad of money changed hands.
Huw
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Huw wrote:

I don't know about the "wad of money" part. According to http://api-ep.api.org/filelibrary/FormCGF4SM0105.pdf the fees are as follows:
"6. Licensee agrees to pay to API an annual minimum royalty fee [eight hundred fifty dollars ($850) for API members; one thousand fifty dollars ($1,050) for non-members] plus $0.0015 per gallon of licensed motor oil after the first million gallons of production. This minimum royalty may be revised annually if deemed necessary by API to cover the costs of administration and enforcement of the program. Licensee agrees to submit the necessary annual volume of sales data and the minimum royalty fee to API within the time frame specified by API. All fees are payable in U.S. dollars."
Seem pretty low to me.
I think you are wrong about the "a 'w' rating of 5 or lower and a hot viscosity of 30 or lower would qualify for the starburst" part. To get the starburst symbol the oil has to show an increase in fuel economy compard to a 5W-30 synthetic reference oil. From http://www.pzlqs.com/Tech/Bulletin//DomesticMarketing/General/pdf/g29a.pdf -
"Oils tested are now compared to an SAE 5W-30 synthetic reference oil instead of the SAE 20W-30 mineral reference oil used under the old program. Engine oils must achieve 1.1% better fuel economy for SAE 5W-30 motor oils and 0.5% better fuel economy for SAE 10W-30 and SAE 10W-40 motor oils."
Regards,
Ed White
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There is some confusion here because neither 10w/30 nor 10w/40 would qualify as 'energy conserving' and the 10w/40 would most certainly not achieve better fuel efficiency than the reference 5w/30 in any conditions.
Huw
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Huw wrote:

Valvoline claims their 10W-30 Synthetic Blend meets the Energy Conserving requirements (http://www.valvoline.com/pages/products/product_detail.asp?product=4&print=true ) -
"SAE 10w30: Is the leading consumer grade. Exceeds all car, light truck, van or sport utility manufacturer's warranty requirements for the protection of gasoline, and turbocharged engines where an API SL, SJ, or CF oil is recommended. Exceeds European ACEA A1 and all requirements of ILSAC GF-3 for API Gasoline Engine Oils and meets Energy Conserving Standards."
Mobil also claims their drive clean 10W-30 meets the Energy COnserving standards (http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lubes/PDS/GLXXENPVLMOMobil_Drive_Clean_Plus.asp ). I am sure there are many other 10W-30 oils that meet this standard. It seems obvious to me it should not be a problem, this fuel efficiency is measured once the oil is at operating temperature, and at this point, 10W-30 and 5W-30 aren't much different. I looked at the API license list, and most 10W-30 oils are "energy conserving (see http://eolcs.api.org/FindBrandByViscosity.asp?Viscosity W-30, the ones with the * can be labeled "energy conserving"). You are right about the 10W-40. I couldn't find anyone advertising an "energy conserving" 10W-40 motor oil and not one in the API list was eligible for the "energy conserving" designation.
I did notice one interesting item in looking throught the lists - Ford of the US sells only API "SL" 5W20 Motor Oil. Ford of Canada sells both API "SM" and "SL" motor oil. What gives? Both are claimed to be ILSAC GF-4.
Regards,
Ed White
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(including 5W-30) do not meet the new GF-4 rating, probably because of the fuel-mileage (they specifically say it does meet the engine wear standards).
The regular Mobil 1 full synthetics, synthetic blends, and conventional oils do meet the new standards.
So it would not surprising that some of the high performance oils, such as required in Mercedes vehicles, may not meet GF-4 rating.
Obviously, this has nothing to do with whether the tests were performed or money changing hands.
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Mark A wrote:

GF-4 also has upper limit caps on the phosphorus content as the automakers believe that phosphorus contamination from burning motor oil leads to catalytic convertor failures, and the EPA has recently increased the required emissions systems warranty period to over 100,000 miles.
Phosphorus is part of the common anti-wear additive ZDDP and I suspect that Mobil felt they could not put sufficient ZDDP into their Extended Life Oils for the long drain intervals and also stay under the maximum limits of GF-4.
John
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Huw wrote:

In my reading, I've heard that the "reference oil" used is a PAO-only base oil. My guess is that it probably doesn't contain much (if any) friction modifiers. I doubt the API sets the requirements such that they can't be met.
It would make sense that the API would change to a synthetic "reference oil" because it would reduce variability compared to the previous mineral reference oils.
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Huw wrote:

Well then, what am I to make of this bottle of Mobi1 10w-30 in my hand that has the "Energy Conserving" starburst on the front of the bottle and in the API circle? Hmmm?
-Philip
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Mark A wrote:

Huw is not "wrong" .... Huw is incorrect on this particular point. ;^) I should also mention that the Mobil1 bottle in my hot little hand is NOT the Extended Performance formula Mobil1.
-Philip
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about everything. But he is wrong about the "labeled" viscosity being the only determination of an energy-saving formula. The proof is in the testing and not the labeling.
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There are official tests but oil blenders self certify and approve their oils while remitting a license fee. The reference oil is just to pull the wool over your eyes because I do not know of any oil that meets appropriate current API rating combined with the appropriate viscosity rating that would not automatically qualify. The combined SAE and API ratings are the key because the latest API standards force the use of better base oils.
Huw
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does not meet the GF-4 rating, in part (or maybe in whole) because it is not an energy conserving formula. All other Mobil oils (synthetic, synthetic blend, and conventional) do meet the energy conserving standards in the 5W-30 (and certain other) viscosity.
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Mark A wrote:

EXACTAMUNDO!! 5w-30 and 10w-30 weights. However, the 0w-40 is not EC.
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Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
John
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Mark A wrote:

Huw is not "wrong." The word "wrong" implies a moral or ethical lapse. Huw had no intention to deceive. He was only incorrect. Stick with the statement instead of condemning the man.
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the following meanings, in order (without explanations):
1. incorrect 2. mistaken 3. not meant. 4. not in normal state 5. not conforming to 6. unsuitable 7. not working 8. reversed or inverted
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