ACEA A3B3-10


ACEA A3/B3 oils are Mainline lubricants. They are designed for general usage use in a wide range of gasoline and light duty diesel engines. ACEA A3/B3 oils are typically used in older vehicles as they do not provide the minimum performance demanded by the latest OEM specifications.

ACEA A3/B3 oils are seen in a wide range of viscosity grades. The most common being:

    * SAE 10W-40 based on a mix of API Group I and Group III.
    * SAE 15W-40 based on API Group I base oils.

The main physical and chemical requirements for ACEA A3/B3 are shown below:

Requirement Method Unit Limit
HTHS viscosity CEC L-36-A-90 cP ≥ 3.5
Sulphated Ash ASTM D874 %wt ≤ 1.5
Phosphorus ASTM D5185 %wt Report
Sulphur ASTM D5185 %wt Report
Evaporation loss (NOACK) CEC L-40-A-93 % ≤ 13
Total Base Number ASTM D2896 mgKOH/g ≥ 8.0

Prior to ACEA 2010, the minimum performance level required by many OEM specifications was above the performance of ACEA A3/B3 as many OEMs require a measure of direct injection diesel engine protection and specified ACEA A3/B4 to achieve this.


ACEA A3/B3 was first introduced into the ACEA Oil Sequences in 2004, however, it is based upon the original ACEA A3 and ACEA B3 sequences that were introduced in 1996.

For ACEA 2010 a number of changes to the requirements for ACEA A3/B3 have been made which fundamentally change the performance required to meet ACEA A3/B3-10. These include the inclusion of the VW TDI engine test, as a replacement for the VW ICTD and the inclusion of the new OM646LA engine test, as a replacement for the OM602A, along with increases in sludge handling.

The changes for ACEA 2010 are summarised below:

Test Change for ACEA 2010
Total Base Number A new limit of ≥ 8.0 mgKOH/g has been added
VW ICTD Removed
VW TDI New test added
OM602A Removed.
OM646LA New test added
M111SL Average engine sludge to requirement to increase from ≥ RL140 to ≥ RL140 +4 standard deviations or ≥ 9.0%

The introduction of a minimum Total Base Number (TBN) of 8.0 mgKOH/g affects the number of ACEA sequences that can be combined with ACEA A3/B3-10. Prior to ACEA 2010, depending upon the performance of the engine oil, it was possible to combine ACEA A3/B3 with a number of other sequences including ACEA C3. However, as engine oils meeting the ACEA C Sequences are formulated to a lower sulphated ash level they tend to deliver a TBN of less than 8.0 mgKOH/g. Therefore, with the introduction of ACEA 2010 it is unlikely that engine oils meeting the ACEA C sequences will also be able to meet ACEA A3/B3.

The inclusion of the VW TDI engine test, which evaluates direct injection diesel piston cleanliness and ring sticking, changes ACEA A3/B3 the most. Previously ACEA A3/B3 oils were only evaluated for diesel piston cleanliness and ring sticking in an indirect injection engine test (VW ICTD). By introducing a requirement to provide a high level of protection for direct injection diesel engines ACEA have significantly raised the diesel piston cleanliness performance demanded from ACEA A3/B3 oils. Some existing ACEA A3/B3 engine oils will be unable to deliver this performance without being reformulated.

The limits for an acceptable level of sludge handling in the M111SL engine test have been raised to the highest level seen within ACEA, with every sequences now required to provide the same level of performance. Some existing ACEA A3/B3 engine oils will be unable to deliver this performance without being reformulated

The inclusion of the new OM646LA engine test raises the diesel wear protection performance demanded from ACEA A3/B3 oils.

Relative Performance

The relative performance diagrams presented below compare Lubrizol's interpretation of the performance of requirements of the existing ACEA 2007 A3/B3-04 oil sequence with the ACEA 2010 version. As shown, ACEA 2010 A3/B3-10 represents an upgrade in piston cleanliness, wear protection and sludge handling.

The relative performance diagrams represent an interpretation made by The Lubrizol Corporation ("Lubrizol") of various rules and specifications. They are not a literal translation of a performance specification and should not be used as a replacement for evaluating engine oil performance in accordance with the relevant vehicle manufacturer's requirements. They are presented to assist the reader in visualizing some of the parameters that need to be considered and balanced when formulating a lubricant. Lubrizol accepts no liability for any losses or damages incurred by the user as a result of them relying on the interpretation made by Lubrizol. Readers are advised to consult the specific rules for greater detail with regard to meeting the requirements as set forth in any specification.