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American

Petroleum Motor Oil Guide


Institute
Which oil is right for you? Diesel Engines
The current and previous API Service Categories are listed below. Vehicle Category Status Service
owners should refer to their owner's manuals before consulting these
Introduced September 5, 2002. For high-
charts. Oils may have more than one performance level.
speed, four-stroke engines designed to meet
For automotive gasoline engines, the latest engine oil service category 2004 exhaust emission standards
includes the performance properties of each earlier category. If an implemented in 2002. CI-4 oils are
automotive owner's manual calls for an API SJ or SL oil, an API SM oil formulated to sustain engine durability
CI-4 Current where exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is
will provide full protection. For diesel engines, the latest category usually -
but not always - includes the performance properties of an earlier category. used and are intended for use with diesel
fuels ranging in sulfur content up to 0.5%
weight. Can be used in place of CD, CE,
Gasoline Engines CF-4, CG-4, and CH-4 oils.
Introduced in 1998. For high-speed, four-
Category Status Service stroke engines designed to meet 1998
For all automotive engines presently in use. exhaust emission standards. CH-4 oils are
Introduced November 30, 2004. SM oils are CH-4 Current specifically compounded for use with diesel
designed to provide improved oxidation fuels ranging in sulfur content up to 0.5%
resistence, improved deposit protection, weight. Can be used in place of CD, CE,
SM Current better wear protection, and better low- CF-4, and CG-4 oils.
temperature performance over the life of the Introduced in 1995. For severe duty, high
oil. Some SM oils may also meet the latest speed, four-stroke engines using fuel with
ILSAC specification and/or qualify as Energy less than 0.5% weight sulfur. CG-4 oils are
Conserving. CG-4 Current required for engines meeting 1994 emission
SL Current For 2004 and older automotive engines. standards. Can be used in place of CD, CE,
and CF-4 oils.
SJ Current For 2001 and older automotive engines.
Introduced in 1990. For high-speed, four-
For 1996 and older engines. Valid when stroke, naturally aspirated and turbocharged
SH Obsolete preceded by current C categories. CF-4 Current engines. Can be used in place of CD and
SG Obsolete For 1993 and older engines. CE oils.
SF Obsolete For 1988 and older engines. Introduced in 1994. For severe duty, two-
CF-2 Current stroke cycle engines. Can be used in place
CAUTION - Not suitable for use in gasoline- of CD-II oils.
SE Obsolete powered automobile engines build after
1979. Introduced in 1994. For off-road, indirect
injected and other diesel engines including
CAUTION - Not suitable for use in gasoline- CF Current those using fuel with over 0.5% weight
powered automobile engines build after sulfur. Can be used in place of CD oils.
SD Obsolete 1971. Use in more modern engines may
cause unsatisfactory performance or Introduced in 1987. For high-speed, four-
equipment harm. stroke, naturally aspirated and turbocharged
CE Obsolete engines. Can be used in place of CC and
CAUTION - Not suitable for use in gasoline- CD oils.
powered automobile engines build after
SC Obsolete 1967. Use in more modern engines may Introduced in 1987. For two-stroke-cycle
CD-II Obsolete engines.
cause unsatisfactory performance or
equipment harm. Introduced in 1955. For certain naturally
CD Obsolete aspirated and turbocharged engines.
CAUTION - Not suitable for use in gasoline-
powered automobile engines build after CC Obsolete For engines introduced in 1961.
SB Obsolete 1963. Use in more modern engines may
cause unsatisfactory performance or For moderate duty engines from 1949 to
CB Obsolete 1960.
equipment harm.
CAUTION - Not suitable for use in gasoline- CA Obsolete For light duty engines (1940's and 1950's).
powered automobile engines build after Copyright 2004 - American Petroleum Institute. All rights reserved. API, the API
SA Obsolete 1930. Use in more modern engines may logo, the API Service Symbol (Donut), the API Service Symbol with CI-4 PLUS
cause unsatisfactory performance or logo and the API Certification Mark (Starburst) are either trademarks or registered
trademarks of the American Petroleum Institute in the United States and / or other
equipment harm. countries. Printed in U.S.A.
Note: API intentionally omitted SI and SK from the sequence of categories. For
more information about API's Engine Oil Program, visit our web site at
www.api.org/eolcs.