API certification: What it is, what it means and why you should look for it

API certification: What it is, what it means and why you should look for it

The mission of the American Petroleum Institute (API) is: “To promote safety across the industry globally and to influence public policy in support of a strong, viable U.S. oil and natural gas industry.”

What does that mean to you? According to Jeff Harmening, API manager of the Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System (EOLCS), API exists to protect consumers with rigorous standards for market products. 

“When an oil marketer licenses a product, they have to disclose to API each and every formulation used to supply the product, provide specific proprietary information on how it is made and provide test results so API can verify that it meets the specifications claimed before a license to use the API Certification Marks can be awarded,” he said. “The licensing program is voluntary, but being part of that program requires that the marketer participate in our aftermarket audit program and adhere to the API standards.”

Click here to read more Fuel & Oil columns.

API runs its aftermarket audit program by purchasing API-licensed engine oil samples and testing them against specifications or claims that they make on the models, based on the market they’re using and based on other claims on the labels.

“We test samples and compare the test results from those audits to the formulations that are on file with API,” Harmening said. “In most cases, those results are passing. In the case where we find an issue, we will work with the marketers to resolve those issues through whatever corrective action they may take, whether it’s manufacturing changes, formulation changes, etc. So we do a rigorous amount of testing of products in the marketplace. It’s a nonstop process.”

Currently, API lists more than 680 licensed companies and more than 19,000 licensed products on the EOLCS Directory where it keeps all of its information up to date. API field testing also helps suss out counterfeit oils or products using the API mark without a license. They add unauthorized products they find to the API website so that consumers know which ones to avoid. 

“We’re vigorously updating that to provide the most recent information for the gasoline engine categories,” Harmening said.

You May Also Like

Panelite releases new guards, deflectors, sunvisors for Peterbilt 589

Coming to market after a year of development, Panelite says the components fit the Peterbilt
589, and match its style.


Stainless steel accessory manufacturer Panelite has released several new products designed specifically for the new Peterbilt 589. Over the past year, Panelite says its engineers worked to design and develop fender guards, bug deflectors, sunvisors, cab and sleeper panels along with air cleaner light bars for the Peterbilt 589.

"Panelite products are designed to withstand North America's weather and the challenging conditions drivers encounter from coast to coast," said Colin Thur, national sales manager, truck OEM for High Bar Brands, Panelite's parent company.

Commercial tire market cautiously recovering from 2023 challenges

To better understand commercial tire expectations for the remainder of the year, we spolke with Pierluigi Cumo, VP of B2B products at Michelin North America.

Phillips takes two awards at Penske Supplier Conference

Phillips Industries was awarded both the 2023 Best Performing Supplier – Components Award, and the 2023 Best Innovation Supplier Award.

SAF-Holland to build specialty fifth wheel manufacturing plant

After nearly 50 years and 3 million fifth wheels produced, SAF-HOLLAND will move production from Wylie, TX to the new facility, once complete.

Dayton Parts offers new aftermarket products for Freightliner, Mack, Cummins and Hino applications

A new DPF differential pressure sensor, engine oil dipsticks and fuel injector wiring harnesses designed to match OEM spec.


Other Posts

From the Show Floor: Combustion engines in the future, funding sustainable trucks

A new HD brand, an autonomous truck, a timeline for ICE technology, resources to help fleets decarbonize and more from ACT Expo.

Volvo answers questions about its new autonomous truck

Volvo gives additional details on its newly announced autonomous truck, and the technology behind it.

From the Show Floor: Electric truck technology, enforcing CARB regulations

How will CARB regulations be enforced? What is the state of current and future EV trucking technology? We ask experts to get answers for you.

From the Show Floor: Timely decisions on trucking decarbonization

ACT Expo is back, and we’re covering it for you. Let’s kick things off with new technologies and new regulations.