How low is too low (qty left after oil change) & Is 5.5qt enough?

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by Bowtied, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Bowtied

    Bowtied Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    04 silverado clock is at 16,100mi

    Hi guys, last oil change i put the whole 6 qts in the truck.

    At time of most recent change (1/26) i pulled about 4.75 quarts out of the fluid. (ran the oil MUCH longer than i should've unfortunately) and put 5.5qts back in

    5.5 seemed like enough (i couldnt remember if it was 5.5 or 6) prob gonna put the other .5qt in tomorrow morning.

    but is 4.75qts out something to be concerned with? the truck went about 10,000mi on the last oil change (is any evap to be expected even when running several thousand past change interval?)


    ETA: Another issue im having and i thought it was from waiting too long of an interval to change the oil, but after turning the truck on (completely warm and temped up) there is a jerk or kick coming from the transmission? possibly when the truck is in parked and being turned back on after a brief stop (such as at an ATM or while getting gas) does anyone know what this might indicate?
  2. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Loving the Outdoors Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    What motor do you have? Is there any blue smoke out the exhaust at start up?
  3. TimTom64b

    TimTom64b Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts ROTM Winner

    The oil capacity is designed to allow for low conditions... 1 - 2 quarts for normal driving. You have to think how the engine is designed.... oil is pumped from a pickup placed in the lowest position in the pan. This being said one would think GM has considered and prepared for conditions when the pump could be starved of oil (i.e., uneven surface, hills, under heavy load, etc.) by allowing a little bit of reserve capacity.
  4. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Here's a pic of your oil pan, this came off of an 05' 5.3 basically the same thing. The pickup tube does go down into the deepest part of the pan as timtom said, but there is also a baffle inside the pan that does keep the pump from starving itself.

    I have an 05' 2500HD 6.0, and everytine I change the oil I just put the 5 plus quart jug of oil in and it's right on the money. When I drain the oil it is always less, mine only has 37,000 miles but it's all towing miles so I just assume it's normal. Mine doesn't smoke or nothing.

  5. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    One and a quarter quarts for for 10K would be ok but I'd definitely keep an eye on oil consumption for the next change to ensure nothings going on, if you put 16,100 miles between oil changes then theres no consumption issue to worry about at all.
    Like everyone else stated 5.5 qt's is about the right capacity.
    The issue with the trans kicking is most likely unrelated to the engine oil, they share no lubricants, the engine simply supplies power to the transmission.
  6. Bowtied

    Bowtied Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    thanks alot, you all were correct in that i hve the 5.3l and i appreciate those detailed pictures it really puts my mind at ease knowing that the engine cannot be starved (easily), (now if i could just get myself to trust the gm oil life computer i'd be set, damn thing doesnt seem to want to turn on)
  7. j cat

    j cat Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    the amount you used over 16K mi is not that bad. with synthetic engine oil you should go 12k mi max. I would monitor the oil condition rather than rely on the PCM lights.

    I would replace the oil filter every 5k MI . and top off the oil to full.

    I use the mobil synthetic 5-30 wt go about 8K mi and change filter at 4K mi. I do know of many that go 12K mi with no problems with this engine and synthetic.

    over 8,ooomi I use less than a qt.
  8. steved

    steved Former Member

    Keep in mind the dipstick is only a guide, and may not accurately represent the correct volume of oil.

    If I do the oil and filter on my 6.0L, dump six quarts in, and check after a short run period, the oil will be a touch low on the dipstick, even though the correct volume with a filter is 6.0 quarts.
  9. j cat

    j cat Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I find the oil dipstick accurate with indicating the correct level as the manufacturer recommends.

    what does occur is after the engine has been running you must allow about 1 hr of shutdown then read the dipstick. then the level indicated is accurate.

    so when you change oil/filter you must add 5.5qts then after engine run check the oil again after the wait time .

    I find this does work to get the level just below the full mark by a very small amount.

    if the engine has been running and no wait time it will look 1/2 qt low.

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