engine rattling at startup

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by tic, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. tic

    tic New Member

    New 08' 1500 extended cab with 6.0L vortec and max trailering package.. On startup I hear rattling (sounds like lifters) for about 2 or 3 sec before the sound goes away.. I realize this may be lack of oil to the valve train and some rattling can be expected until it gets oil pressure but I'm wondering if this is "normal" for this engine? or do I have a problem... Oh, the vehicle has 2,400mi. and was broken in properly, etc. etc.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2008
  2. tic

    tic New Member

    16 views and no opinions?.. Does everyones vortec max do this too?
  3. collinsperformance

    collinsperformance Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    i would say no---not normal. what grade of oil? where are you at? how many miles? did it do this from the 1st day or new?......need details to assist...mike
  4. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Are you somewhere where it has been bitterly cold lately,and is it worse on bitterly cold mornings.
    I noticed on colder days this winter(Maybe 40 degrees-it doesn't get cold in New Orleans) my Suburban(1998 198000 miles) has what I assume is the lifters rattling/ticking for about 20 seconds at first startup in the morning.I've only owned it 7 months-3000 miles-and I haven't had a hydraulic lifter vehicle since 1986(1980 Dodge D-100 318 ),so I'm a bit out of touch lifter wise.
    I'm pretty sure that a new vehicle like yours shouldn't rattle/tick like my ancient hig mile truck.The little valve in the lifters shouldn't let the oil leak out overnight in a very low mile truck.
    Like Collins-said, it doesn't sound normal-not for a new truck.
    I wonder-does it have some sort of fancy cylinder shut down feature that might mean it has some sort of complicated way of intentionally draining or not filling those lifters?I would check out GMs site-see if they have some sort of FAQ section.Try to see if GM describes this as normal for your motor because oif some sort of valve train trickery.
    Heck, if this is "normal" they should say it is in the manual.
    One other possibility-call the dealer service department.See if you can get someone to give you good info-as opposed to party line BS-on why it is normal-if they say it is normal.
    Like Collins says-it doesn't sound normal unless some valve train gimmick is at work.I would want a really convincing explanation-something more than,"it is cold,they all do that."
  5. ChevyTech

    ChevyTech Rockstar

    If it has been cold out typically under 45 degrees you will get a tap noise from your truck. All 5.3 and 6.0 do it at some point.

    with 4.8L, 5.3L or 6.0L Engine (VINs V, T, Z, U -- RPOs LR4, LM7, L59, LQ4)

    This bulletin is being revised to add an additional engine to the models section. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 01-06-01-028 (Section 06-Engine).

    Some of the above vehicles may exhibit an engine knock noise that begins in the first 19,000-24,000 km (12,000-15,000 mi) of use. The knock noise is most often noticed during initial start-up and typically disappears within the first 5-30 seconds (may last longer in extreme cold temperatures). The noise is usually more noticeable on the initial start-up when the temperature is below 10°C (50°F) and may be more pronounced on the first cold start following a long trip.

    This noise may be caused by an interaction between carbon that has formed on the piston, the piston motion and the cylinder wall. GM Powertrain Engineering, and an analysis of engines with this condition, has confirmed that the noise is not detrimental to the performance, reliability or durability of the engine. THIS NOISE DOES NOT HAVE ANY EFFECT ON THE LONGEVITY OF ANY OF THE ENGINE COMPONENTS.

    Using some GM top engine clean will help but only covers it up for awhile. GM isn't pleased with this because they get calls from techs and customers all the time. I have however torn a 6.0 apart that had this condition and didn't find any damage to the cylinders valves lifters or springs. That is not to say it should go unchecked. Hope this Helps.
  6. tic

    tic New Member

    The truck is 2 mo. old and has 2,500mi. on it.. .5-30 wt. oil and that was changed w/ filter after the first 1,500 mi... I've only noticed it on cold mornings, below 32 degrees F.... It's the 6.0 liter vortec Max.... It lasts about 5 sec. tops but it's just annoying on a brand new expensive truck to hear this what sounds to me like oil starved valve train on start up
  7. mobiusdog

    mobiusdog New Member

    My 2007 VMax has the same ticking problem on start-up. It's usually after it's sits for more than 12 hours, and usually in colder temps, although it has happened around 60 F. I'm using Mobil 1 5W-30 with a Mobil 1 filter. I originally thought a bad anti drain back valve on the filter could be the problem, but switching to Delco and Wix filters didn't change a thing.
    Phoebeisis brings up a good point regarding the cylinder deactivation feature, I'm pretty sure the cylinders are deactivated by cutting oil flow to the lifters, but wouldn't that cause the ticking noise to come back whenever the engine goes to 4 cylinder mode?
  8. collinsperformance

    collinsperformance Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    as we (they) make the tollerences tighter and use less thich oils it going to do this and the sounds you hear is your motor getting damage. your options are to install an oil occumalator or a preluber or just let it be. i used a few products like dura lube and motorup and slick 50 and that helped put my mine at ease some but a good pre-luber is the best and easy to install.....mike
  9. blue whale

    blue whale New Member


    My 01 suburban has started this same problem. Only with severe cold and seems to be a single lifter. It stops but still is annoying. If engine is warm no problem. Even on warm 40 degree or more days no problem. I am trying oil change with slightly thinner oil tomorrow and see what happens. good luck
  10. blue whale

    blue whale New Member


    Changed my oil and reset the oil reminderyesterday . Temp outside today at 9 am was 11 degrees. at start-up no tap. Keepin my fingers crossed. Good luck on your issue.

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