Motor oil specifications:

Find out what you need to know about oil specs.

Motor oil specifications: why you should only use oil with the oil specs designated for your vehicle.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) seal is divided into three parts:

  • The top half-circle lists the API standards service rating or performance level.
  • The center of the circle is the oil’s viscosity.
  • The lower half-circle indicates whether the oil has demonstrated certain energy conserving properties.

API oil ratings indicate the oil’s ability to deal with extreme heat, harmful deposits and oil consumption.

Remember that each higher performance rating includes all the capabilities of those made before it. Using obsolete or incorrectly rated oil may damage your engine and void your warranty.

Turn to Advance Auto Parts for the most complete line of vehicle lubrication products that feature a wide range of motor oil specifications -- along with our full selection of quality auto parts.

Why you should use oil with the latest API oil ratings:

Every bottle of motor oil approved for use in the U.S. has an API seal with an API Service Rating. Every vehicle has an API standards service rating requirement. Using oil that does not meet your vehicle’s API motor oil specifications could cause expensive engine damage. Use only motor oil that meets or exceeds the engine oil specs listed for your vehicle.

What you will need for determining your engine oil specs:

  • Your vehicle’s API service rating requirement

Do-it-yourself difficulty guide for determining your engine oil specs:

Estimated time required -- 5 Minutes

How to read the API oil ratings: do it right!

While it’s ok to use oil with the latest API service rating in yesterday’s engines, it’s not ok to use oils bearing older engine oil specs in today’s engines.

  1. The latest API standards service rating for gas engines is "SL." Rating "SJ" is also current, and good for 2001 and older engines.
  2. A "C" rating is for diesel engines. The most current API standards service rating for diesel engines is "CH-4."
  3. Ratings "SA-SH" are considered obsolete ratings. The American Petroleum Institute no longer recommends use of any oils bearing these ratings.
  4. Certain racing and off-road oils are not required to carry an API service rating. They are designed for race use only.
  5. Oils carrying the "Energy Conserving" designation contain frictin modifiers to improve fuel economy.

Find the oil with the correct motor oil specifications for your vehicle -- along with a full selection of quality auto parts -- at Advance Auto Parts.