RAVENOL Newsletter – NEW ACEA Motor Oil Specifications 2021

On May 1st 2021, ACEA presented its revised engine oil sequences for the passenger car / light duty vehicle sector. These are valid from now on. The following will provide you with an overview of the most important changes.

With effect from May 1st 2021, all presentations to ACEA may be made according to the new ACEA 2021 sequences. From May 1st 2022 onwards, all new presentations must take place in accordance with ACEA 2021 sequences. Sequences in accordance with the previous versions may still be marketed until May 1st 2023.

General Information Concerning ACEA

ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d'Automobiles) is the association for the European automotive industry and is headquartered in Brussels. It represents the 15 large European vehicle manufacturers, such as BMW, Daimler, Ford (Europe), Renault, Stellantis (Fiat, Opel, PSA), Volvo, and VW.

ACEA Specifications - Guidelines for European Vehicles

The different uses of the engine oils are designated using letters in the European ACEA 2021 sequences:

  • A/B for passenger car petrol & diesel engines (high "SAPS Level")
  • C for catalytic converter passenger car gasoline & diesel engines with particulate filter (low "SAPS Level")
  • E for commercial vehicles with diesel engines (without any change in ACEA 2021)

Changes to the ACEA 2021 Sequences Compared With ACEA 2016

Initially, only the categories for passenger cars and light duty vehicles were updated. The heavy duty vehicles have not yet been adjusted. This change will be made later (exact date still unknown).

The main focus of the new ACEA 2021 engine oil classifications is on optimized performance with regard to the latest engine technologies. Of particular importance was the topic LSPI (Low Speed Pre-Ignition) and wear protection. A total of five new and one follow-up engine tests were included. Two engine tests of the 2016 version were removed.

The following shows the changes in detail:


  • Category ACEA A3/B3 is withdrawn
  • Category ACEA C1 is withdrawn

NEW with protection against LSPI and wear:

  • Category ACEA A7/B7 is newly introduced (increased SAPS values)
  • Category ACEA C6 is newly introduced (reduced SAPS values as for C5 and additional test for fuel economy)

Overview of the New Tests

Explanations of the three most important tests:

  • Turbocharger Deposit Test: evaluation of the influence of engine oils with regard to the tendency to deposit on modern supercharged turbo engines.
  • LSPI (Low Speed Pre-Ignition Test): Evaluation of the influence of engine oils in reducing the number of pre-ignition events. (Currently, many vehicle manufacturers are experiencing field problems with significant engine damage caused by a pre-ignition event (LSPI), especially with modern highly turbocharged direct injection gasoline engines).
  • Chain Wear Test: Evaluation of the influence of engine oils on wear on timing chains, due to problems with engine damage caused by broken timing chains.

The precise wording of the latest ACEA 2021 mineral oil sequences can be found on the official ACEA website.