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Understanding API Classification

Choosing the Right Petrol and Diesel Specification for Your Vehicle


API (American Petroleum Institute) classification plays a crucial role in determining the appropriate petrol and diesel specifications for your vehicle. In this blog post, we will explain the significance of API classifications, guide you on how to choose the correct specification based on your vehicle's year and make, and provide insights into ensuring optimal engine performance.

The Importance of API Classification:

API classification is a standardized system that categorizes petrol and diesel specifications based on performance and quality standards. These classifications ensure compatibility with engine designs and provide guidelines for fuel properties. Understanding API classifications helps in selecting the right fuel for your vehicle, ensuring optimal engine performance and protection.

Choosing the Correct Petrol and Diesel Specification:

To determine the correct petrol and diesel specifications for your vehicle, consult the owner's manual or contact the manufacturer. The manual will typically specify the recommended API classification and any additional requirements. Pay attention to factors such as fuel octane ratings, cetane numbers, and any specific additives or detergents recommended for your vehicle's engine.

Considering the Vehicle's Year and Make:

Different vehicles have different fuel requirements based on their year and make. Newer vehicles may require fuels with specific properties to meet emission standards or to work optimally with advanced engine technologies. Always check the manufacturer's recommendations and adhere to the specified API classification for your vehicle's specific year and make.

Historical API Specifications for Petrol and Diesel:

The API has periodically updated the petrol and diesel specifications to keep up with evolving engine technologies and environmental regulations. The petrol (gasoline) specifications started with API SG in 1989 and progressed through subsequent classifications such as SH, SL, SM, SN, and the most recent SP (as of the time of writing).

For diesel, the API specifications began with API CD in 1955 and have advanced to subsequent classifications such as CE, CF, CG, CH, CI, CJ, CK, and the latest CK-4 and FA-4 (as of the time of writing).

Current Status and Future Developments:

As of the present time, the API SP specification is the latest for petrol (gasoline) engines, offering improved protection and performance. For diesel engines, the API CK-4 and FA-4 specifications are the most recent, providing enhanced lubrication properties and emission control.

It is important to stay updated on any changes or advancements in API specifications as new engine technologies emerge and environmental regulations evolve. Regularly checking the manufacturer's recommendations and staying informed about industry updates will help ensure that you are using the correct petrol and diesel specifications for your vehicle.


Understanding the significance of API classification and selecting the correct petrol and diesel specifications based on your vehicle's year and make are essential for maintaining optimal engine performance and longevity. Adhering to the recommended specifications, as specified by the API and the manufacturer, will help ensure compatibility, protection, and efficiency for your vehicle's engine. Stay informed about the latest API specifications and consult with professionals when needed to make the best fuel choices for your vehicle.

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