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5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E #4718079 04/06/18 07:33 AM
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roygage Offline OP
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5.3/6.0 GM V8s plugging up oil filters, oil pressure dropping to near zero. Why doesn't the oil filter bypass valve open preventing the drop in oil pressure?

Hello, Roy Gage from Estherville Iowa where I run a small automotive repair shop. I will tell you what I know, what I think I know, what I think I do not know and then hopefully someone here can enlighten me.

Couple months ago we had a 6.0 ¾ ton GM pickup in with about 195K on the odo. Ran nice, engine sounded solid. Complaint, low and at times no oil pressure. Oil pressure gauge in the dash was slow to come up and at times would drop to near zero. We replaced the oil sender, located behind the intake, and the small screen under it. No difference. We had previously swept test the oil gauge and knew it was working well.

Replaced the customers PF48e AC Delco filter with a wix 57060, changed oil to 5/30 Dexos and all is well. Twenty plus lbs. hot idle, 40 plus lbs. down the road hot.

Pulled the old oil filter apart. On one end of the pleats some sludge back about a ¼ inch back up from the end. The rest of the filter appeared good but when dragging a finger nail down between the pleats you could feel some carbon grit. To my mind this filter was not plugged to the point of restricting oil flow. I do now believe that it was.

The customer had replaced the filter a month before then went on a two week vacation leaving the truck at home. Point is there were not that many miles on the oil and filter. If it was plugged it was simply because there was enough grit floating around in the motor to get swept up and into the filter. Customer told us he has used the oil life monitor for his change intervals since he purchased truck new.

I contacted our AC Delco vendor whose manager told me another shop in town had trouble with the PF48E doing the same thing. He also reported he had trouble with them plugging up twice on his own truck. Sending a couple in to Delco he got back a report that there was no problem with the filters although I believe they must have told him they were plugged up as when the manager told him the Wix resolved the problem the Delco fellow said, rather sarcastically, to be sure to give him a call when his Wix plugged up.

Found a lot of reports of others having the issue. Getting 2 or 3K on a change and then the oil pressure getting soft. At the time I blamed the Delco filters assuming they had a bypass valve that simply was not opening up. I also blamed, and still do that GM simply did not put a large enough filter on these motors to run extended oil changes and also that the extended oil changes were causing a carbon buildup in the motors.

Victim number two. 2009 GM pickup with a 0 code 5.3. 160K on the odo. 7000 miles on a dexos oil change. Runs and sounds solid. Pretty much zero oil pressure at all times. Put on a sender and the screen below it, oil pressure slow to come up on start up but then OK. Took for test drive and pressure dropped to near zero after several blocks. Dropped oil and filter. Should note this one was equipped with a WIX 57060. everything is fine. Hot idle, 32 lbs. Down the road hot, 42lbs. In passing gear hot, 52 lbs.

Cut the Wix apart. No sludge on the end as the Delco had, same light grit in the pleats. Again although this filter was dropping the oil pressure to near zero had someone asked me if it was plugged enough to drop the pressure before I ran into this problem I would have told them no. I have read some posts here about people reporting what their filters look like inside after 10 or 15 k and basically saying they look great. I will point out that after looking at these two filters, I would not be so sure about that.

My burning question, which Wix's hotline was unable to answer and the technical hotline I use was unable to answer is simply, how could the filter's bypass valve not open? With forty lbs. plus on one side of the filter media and next to zero on the other how could a bypass valve Wix says is set at 12 lbs. not open and balance the pressure?

Had you asked me before these two trucks I would have told you with the greatest of authority that upon the oil filter plugging the bypass valve would open and the event would be so seamless that you by watching the gauge would not be aware of it happening. Now I simply scratch my head.

Yesterday I went to an evening clinic. Lots of techs there, most had ran into the problem. None had an idea of why the relief valve was not working as I thought it should.

There is a SI bulletin from GM, #PIP5276D which tells you if you run into this problem, it will also set a code P0521,to upgrade to a UPF48R filter. I would be interested in what the difference is between the this number and the PF 48E.

Now you know what I do and don't know, enlighten me. Thank you in advance for any insights. If I missed a pertinent discussion on the subject in the archives I apologize for the rehash.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718106 04/06/18 07:53 AM
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4WD Offline
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That’s interesting … on/off the fence myself on this subject …
This morning I was advising my wife to take it slow a few blocks in the Tahoe as I prefer using the XG10575 while I followed along with “pings” coming in. I have 6 PF63e’s and 7 XG10575’s ... one M1 and one Wix and none are the “ideal” filter …

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718129 04/06/18 08:04 AM
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Trav Offline
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IIRC there were also issues with an O ring for the Pickup tube. Not exactly sure what its all about but worth looking into.


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Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: Trav] #4718194 04/06/18 08:44 AM
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roygage Offline OP
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Trav. Yes,they have trouble with the pickup tube 0--ring. I have not ran into one yet, or perhaps just have not recognized one. A fellow tech gave me a good tip on how to determine if the o-ring is letting air draw in. Add three quarts of oil, if the issue goes away it is because three quarts raises the level enough to cover the o-ring and the air can no longer be drawn in. Should note this is only for testing purposes.

The same tech, he works at a GM dealer, told me there is a pressure relief valve in the oil pan which limits oil pressure to 55 lbs.

Both of the trucks we had trouble with are doing well after changing the filters, have had a couple people tell me thy have had the problem on much lower mileage units.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718196 04/06/18 08:45 AM
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Snagglefoot Offline
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I’m thinking if it’s not the screen giving you a bogus oil pressure then it’s a real oil pressure problem, caused by the brittle O ring at the pickup tube. You would have to drop the pan. If you do, please let us know if that corrected it. I’m thinking other issues are seperate. Have to admit, I’m puzzled by the grit, unless something happed to the pickup tube and somehow it’s picking up fluid from the bottom of the pan.


If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718203 04/06/18 08:52 AM
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Snagglefoot Offline
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For what it’s worth, I have a similar hot oil idle pressure on a 2008 6 liter with 40 psi at hot highway speed with a Fram Ultra.



Last edited by Snagglefoot; 04/06/18 08:53 AM.

If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: Snagglefoot] #4718213 04/06/18 08:59 AM
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roygage Offline OP
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Snagglefoot. It is the filters. Replacing them resolves the issue. Yes, there can be other sources of oil pressure trouble on these motors.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718227 04/06/18 10:09 AM
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We have a 200k mile 6.0 in a 3500 savanna that runs 44 psi highway and about 20 idle when hot. Super quiet and smooth.

Just about every other one here and those I can remember run about the same at idle but 50-60 on the highway. I remember one that ran 80 when cold!

The only oil pressure related failure we have ever had in our fleet was caused by the pressure relief check valve sticking in the bore in the pump.

Note that the low oil pressure spec for these used to be 6 psi IIRC...

Last edited by SteveSRT8; 04/06/18 10:10 AM.

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Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718247 04/06/18 10:27 AM
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Snagglefoot Offline
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Originally Posted By: roygage
Snagglefoot. It is the filters. Replacing them resolves the issue. Yes, there can be other sources of oil pressure trouble on these motors.


OK, but keep in mind you are changing two parameters at a time, the filter and the oil. I’m OK with your filter conclusion, but the low vis fresh oil is also helping. Where the grit is coming from, who knows, but some of grit may be stored in the oil passages.


If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718293 04/06/18 10:54 AM
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LeakySeals Offline
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My 6.0 lq9 does not like the Fram Ultra. The "piston slap" and lifter ticks have almost entirely disappeared switching to a less efficient filter. So there is some truth.


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Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718316 04/06/18 11:14 AM
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Normally I wouldn't pay much attention to stuff like this but had a interesting experience with an AC Delco filter this week actually.

Friday evening changed the oil on my dad's F150 5.0 using an AC Delco PF63E. Previously had only used Wix/Napa Gold or Fram XG but I think Walmart was out the day I went to pick up a Fram and the PF63 cross references. He called me Wednesday saying he was getting low oil pressure warning and asked what kind of oil I put in it. I told him try a different filter and he picked up a Wix from the local auto parts store. Hasn't had an issue since.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: Snagglefoot] #4718325 04/06/18 11:31 AM
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demarpaint Offline
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Originally Posted By: Snagglefoot
For what it’s worth, I have a similar hot oil idle pressure on a 2008 6 liter with 40 psi at hot highway speed with a Fram Ultra.




If that's hot idle oil pressure what's the problem? If the gauge is working properly that's fine. I would get a reading from a mechanical gauge if you have any concerns. 20 psi or over at a hot idle is good. 40 psi hot on the highway should be good too, but I'd double check that with shop manual.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718338 04/06/18 11:45 AM
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CKN Offline
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It is also a known fact that these motors don't need the oil pressure of "big blocks" of the past.

20ish psi at idle is normal-40ish at speed is as well.

Last edited by CKN; 04/06/18 11:46 AM.
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: demarpaint] #4718339 04/06/18 11:46 AM
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SteveSRT8 Offline
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Originally Posted By: demarpaint
If that's hot idle oil pressure what's the problem? If the gauge is working properly that's fine. I would get a reading from a mechanical gauge if you have any concerns. 20 psi or over at a hot idle is good. 40 psi hot on the highway should be good too, but I'd double check that with shop manual.


Both readings are far above the specified minimums in my manual IIRC


"In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith."
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Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718340 04/06/18 11:47 AM
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cmlind Offline
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There is no logical reason since the bypass should open and the pump should pump a positive volume of oil.

But I had the same thing happen on my work truck. I changed the PF48E to a Wix 57060 and fresh oil and all has been well for around 4000 miles. '10 5.3 with 127k. Still watching it to see if it is the o-ring. Not sure how a filter can do that, but in my case it does appear to be the filter also. I have changed the oil with around 30% left most times (5-7k) but switched from semisyn to Dexos 2 years and 30k ago and did go to 0% a couple times - 10k miles.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718343 04/06/18 11:55 AM
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goodtimes Offline
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If a filter is full, even with an open bypass valve it may not be flowing enough to keep the relief valve in the oil pump from opening, if the relief is defective and opening too soon. Combine that with 195K and maybe some bearing clearance, the oil pressure goes down. A test of the 48e would have been to put a new 48e on instead of a different make. Fram makes racing filters and one feature is a high flow bypass valve.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: SteveSRT8] #4718344 04/06/18 11:57 AM
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demarpaint Offline
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Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8
Originally Posted By: demarpaint
If that's hot idle oil pressure what's the problem? If the gauge is working properly that's fine. I would get a reading from a mechanical gauge if you have any concerns. 20 psi or over at a hot idle is good. 40 psi hot on the highway should be good too, but I'd double check that with shop manual.


Both readings are far above the specified minimums in my manual IIRC


That's what I thought, no problems with those pressures.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718348 04/06/18 12:02 PM
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After cutting the problem filter apart, did you examine the bypass valve to see whether it was defective somehow? I don't see any other explanation.

Where can so much "grit" be coming from? I never find much visible in filters except a few tiny carbon particles, and only occasionally a shiny speck.


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Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718350 04/06/18 12:06 PM
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No issues here to report but the 4.8L Silverado I drive for work most days with 180k miles and 7300 hours runs about 50-60psi on the highway and 30psi at idle. Never anything funny with the oil pressure. Longest it goes on an oil change is probably 5k though. Last oil change I converted it to synthetic though.


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Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: caprice_2nv] #4718357 04/06/18 12:18 PM
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roygage Offline OP
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CR94, I did not see anything out of sorts with the by-pass valves on either trucks. As far as where all the carbon grit came from. I need to make the point that the filter was not loaded with it. Had someone brought the element to me and asked if I thought it was plugged I would have replied, no, it was not.

The carbon grit was small particles which I could pickup running my finger down the pleat after I had opened it up. My best guess is it is from carbon buildup/coking on the inner block which broke loose and got into the oil. Sometime you see a older motor get a bunch of fuel into it due to leaking carb. or fuel pump and the fuel in the oil will break loose carbon from the inside of the engine. I saw no sign of fuel in the oil on these two trucks.

Again I point out, visually, the filter media did not look like it was plugged. I also point out that although these are the first two I have seen or been aware of the more I poke around on other sites and google it is not at all uncommon.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718371 04/06/18 12:35 PM
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BigJakeChevy Offline
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I had a similar oil pressure issue with my 07 classic 5.3. Cured it with a new oring on the oil pickup tube. Oil pressue is its a new engine and im at 445k kms original engine.


Last edited by BigJakeChevy; 04/06/18 12:43 PM.

2007 Silverado Classic 1500 Crewcab 5.3L 4754,000KM
Engine oil Mobil 1 0w40fs
Oil Filter Fram Ultra 10575
Trans Oil Amsoil Torque Drive
Front Diff Amsoil SG75w90
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Rear Diff Amsoil SG75w110
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: cmlind] #4718372 04/06/18 12:35 PM
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roygage Offline OP
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[quote=cmlind]There is no logical reason since the bypass should open and the pump should pump a positive volume of oil.

But I had the same thing happen on my work truck.

Exactly, makes no sense, but it happens. Driven me nuts.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: BigJakeChevy] #4718385 04/06/18 12:49 PM
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roygage Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: BigJakeChevy
I had a similar oil pressure issue with my 07 classic 5.3. Cured it with a new oring on the oil pickup tube. Oil pressue is its a new engine and im at 445k kms original engine.


Big Jake. As I earlier stated another tech mentioned a good way to determine if the 0ring was an issue was to overfill the oil by three quarts to cover the o-ring thereby sealing the air leak.

Now what if? What if on both trucks I worked on the problem was really the 0-ring leaking. And what if when i changed the oil the solution was not the new filter but getting enough oil back into it that the 0-ring was covered back up? What if on both trucks the oil was simply down a little?

My understanding is the 0-ring is not covered with oil when the oil is at the full mark but needs to be overfilled, by three quarts, to cover it up. But, the solution fits the circumstances so well it does makes you wonder.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718417 04/06/18 01:15 PM
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I remember reading about this problem a few months ago.

1. The oil filter filling up with sludge is not a filter problem. It is a symptom of a bigger problem. If there is sludge in the filter, then there is sludge elsewhere in the engine. Using a filter with greater capacity is a step in the right direction, but this may not fix the issue.

2. Low oil pressure can be the result of:
a) false readings from a bad or intermittent oil pressure sensor.
b) false readings from a plugged screen under the oil pressure sensor.
c) stuck or intermittently sticking oil pump pressure regulator.
d) leaking O-Ring on the oil pickup tube.
e) stuck or intermittently sticking AFM pressure regulator valve.
f) stuck or intermittently sticking oil pump pressure regulator valve.
g) worn oil pump.

3. I have captured some relevant liking relating to fixes:
a) Oil pickup tube O-ring and stuck oil pump pressure regulator.
Stuck oil pump regulator valve or pickup tube O-ring
b) False oil pressure readings
False oil pressure readings due to bad oil pressure sensor or screen below it
c) TSB to address oil consumption
AFM oil shield TSB

4. Since you have seen sludge in the filter, there is a likelihood cylinder #1 or #7 has excess blow by and the oil filter does not have enough capacity to go the full OCI per the basic OLM used in 2009. The TSB should address this for certain engines.

5. Pulling a valve cover would confirm the presence of sludge and help you make a cleanup strategy.

Good luck.


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Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718424 04/06/18 01:20 PM
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Same issue happened to a friend's '13 Avalanche with 58K miles. We pulled the screen under the sender (was clean), installed mechanical gauge and went for a drive. Oil pressure would start off around 40 and would gradually drop after a few minutes until we had none. Changed the WIX 57060 for a new one and replaced the M1 5W30 (6K miles) with fresh M1 5W30. Further testing with mechanical and stock gauges now show a rock solid 42 psi.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: 4WD] #4718535 04/06/18 03:05 PM
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irv Offline
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Originally Posted By: 4WD
That’s interesting … on/off the fence myself on this subject …
This morning I was advising my wife to take it slow a few blocks in the Tahoe as I prefer using the XG10575 while I followed along with “pings” coming in. I have 6 PF63e’s and 7 XG10575’s ... one M1 and one Wix and none are the “ideal” filter …


That the same exact filter my wife's 3.6 V6 Chev Impala takes. Seems odd, to me, anyways, that it is also the recommended filter for a 5.3 V8?


Last edited by irv; 04/06/18 03:05 PM.

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Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: BigJakeChevy] #4718553 04/06/18 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted By: BigJakeChevy
I had a similar oil pressure issue with my 07 classic 5.3. Cured it with a new oring on the oil pickup tube. Oil pressue is its a new engine and im at 445k kms original engine.

That's a pretty stupid design! Wonder why they ever got away from the old flange/gasket setup on the oil pump & pickup? Having an oring like that is a certain failure, which could theoretically lead to spun rod bearings and block "ventilation"!


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Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718582 04/06/18 03:55 PM
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That is a very interesting way to try and diagnose that issue. This is the first time i had hear that one. My engines symptoms matched a tsb i had found to a t so i just got to working changing it and luckily it worked.


2007 Silverado Classic 1500 Crewcab 5.3L 4754,000KM
Engine oil Mobil 1 0w40fs
Oil Filter Fram Ultra 10575
Trans Oil Amsoil Torque Drive
Front Diff Amsoil SG75w90
T-Case Autotrak II
Rear Diff Amsoil SG75w110
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718583 04/06/18 03:55 PM
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Incidentally, is GM still using real oil pressure gauges, or have they switched to dummies? It's been a lot of years for me with a new GM....


Plain, simple Garak.

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Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: Garak] #4718637 04/06/18 04:38 PM
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Mine has to be all digital as even this display is LED:


Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: irv] #4718642 04/06/18 04:42 PM
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Yep … was running them on our 3.5L ecoboost as well …

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: 4WD] #4718722 04/06/18 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted By: 4WD
Mine has to be all digital as even this display is LED:

I haven't even sat in a new GM lately, others yes. Is it tracking actual oil pressure, though? The late 1990s GMs definitely were, while Ford wasn't.


Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, Wix 57356
1984 F-150 4.9L - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718732 04/06/18 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted By: roygage
Originally Posted By: BigJakeChevy
I had a similar oil pressure issue with my 07 classic 5.3. Cured it with a new oring on the oil pickup tube. Oil pressue is its a new engine and im at 445k kms original engine.


Big Jake. As I earlier stated another tech mentioned a good way to determine if the 0ring was an issue was to overfill the oil by three quarts to cover the o-ring thereby sealing the air leak.

Now what if? What if on both trucks I worked on the problem was really the 0-ring leaking. And what if when i changed the oil the solution was not the new filter but getting enough oil back into it that the 0-ring was covered back up? What if on both trucks the oil was simply down a little?

My understanding is the 0-ring is not covered with oil when the oil is at the full mark but needs to be overfilled, by three quarts, to cover it up. But, the solution fits the circumstances so well it does makes you wonder.


The Pick-Up O-ring is well above the Windage Tray.....Correct oil level is always below the windage tray.




Last edited by clinebarger; 04/06/18 05:37 PM.

2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/U341E
2000 Toyota Avalon 1MZ-FE/A541E
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: Garak] #4718736 04/06/18 05:40 PM
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4WD Offline
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It’s a digital gauge transformed into analog “graphics” … oil pressure, fuel, temperature, charging
The tach and speedo have real needles …

My 2015 Explorer Sport was a mix of these as well …
On the GM you scroll on the steering wheel and can see Oil life graphics, individual tire pressure … all kind of trip stuff … I use one screen to go as fast as I can on 4 cylinders …

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: clinebarger] #4718739 04/06/18 05:42 PM
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Never mind that pickup … tell us about the old one with the hood up. wink

Last edited by 4WD; 04/06/18 05:43 PM.
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718746 04/06/18 05:45 PM
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The UPF48R/12626224 is a Mobil 1 clone. I use them exclusively where a PF48/PF48E is called for. Summit sells them for $7.66.


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/U341E
2000 Toyota Avalon 1MZ-FE/A541E
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4718758 04/06/18 05:48 PM
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Do not use the oil life monitor or your GM engine may get gunked-up over time, if you do.


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04' Chevy Colorado Castrol 0W40 & Wix



Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: 4WD] #4718763 04/06/18 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted By: 4WD
Never mind that pickup … tell us about the old one with the hood up. wink


1950 Chevy Panel that used to be a Singer Sewing Machine service truck. The body is left the way it was when it was pulled out of a pasture.

LQ4 6.0L backed by a 4L65E out of a 2006 Yukon Denali.
Mustang II front suspension.
Ford 8.8" diff with 3.73's.
Front & rear A/C


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/U341E
2000 Toyota Avalon 1MZ-FE/A541E
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: clinebarger] #4718765 04/06/18 05:55 PM
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4WD Offline
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Nice … your project?

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: Garak] #4718818 04/06/18 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted By: Garak
Incidentally, is GM still using real oil pressure gauges, or have they switched to dummies? It's been a lot of years for me with a new GM....


My Corvette uses a real gauge, as it will tell you the exact pressure in a digital readout (along with all Corvettes since 1997 for sure, and possibly earlier)


2018 Corvette, 18k, M1 ESP Formula 5w30 & NAPA Gold
2006 Civic EX Coupe, 154k, PUP 5w20 & Fram Ultra
2010 BMW 328i X-Drive,126k, GC 0w40 & Fram Ultra

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: 4WD] #4718825 04/06/18 06:47 PM
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Garak Offline
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Originally Posted By: 4WD
It’s a digital gauge transformed into analog “graphics” … oil pressure, fuel, temperature, charging
The tach and speedo have real needles …

At least we're getting something out of the new displays!

Patman: Yes, back in the day, they definitely had real gauges, in real time.


Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, Wix 57356
1984 F-150 4.9L - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: 4WD] #4718851 04/06/18 07:15 PM
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clinebarger Offline
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Originally Posted By: 4WD
Nice … your project?


Not mine, Built it for a customer.....He's scared to death of it, So it might be for sale in the Austin area.

He only had it built because he thought Rat-Rods are cool, He can't modulate the gas or brake pedal, It makes him so nervous he starts shaking.

I had a blast building it & it turned out perfect! The delivery process & trying to teach him to drive it will go down as one of the worst experiences of my career. He even threatened litigation on the premise it would drive like a brand new 2014 car.


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/U341E
2000 Toyota Avalon 1MZ-FE/A541E
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: clinebarger] #4718875 04/06/18 07:43 PM
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Good grief … he must be from Austin wink

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: Garak] #4719236 04/07/18 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted By: Garak
Incidentally, is GM still using real oil pressure gauges, or have they switched to dummies? It's been a lot of years for me with a new GM....


We routinely test our oil pressure with a real hand held gauge on our fleet trucks. The factory gauges have been accurate as far back as I remember. 2 new trucks on order so we'll see soon if the new ones are accurate.


"In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith."
J. William Fulbright
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Just like we go to Publix
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: 4WD] #4719273 04/07/18 08:04 AM
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irv Offline
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Originally Posted By: clinebarger
Originally Posted By: 4WD
Nice … your project?


Not mine, Built it for a customer.....He's scared to death of it, So it might be for sale in the Austin area.

He only had it built because he thought Rat-Rods are cool, He can't modulate the gas or brake pedal, It makes him so nervous he starts shaking.

I had a blast building it & it turned out perfect! The delivery process & trying to teach him to drive it will go down as one of the worst experiences of my career. He even threatened litigation on the premise it would drive like a brand new 2014 car.



Originally Posted By: 4WD
Good grief … he must be from Austin wink


Good grief is right! Customer asks for it to be built this way but then threatens with litigation because it scares him. crazy
It's a crazy world we live in!


2017 Chevy Impala 3.6 L.
2013 Ram 5.7 L Hemi Bighorn QC 4x4
2008 Chevy Malibu 2.4 L Ecotec
Pennzoil Platinum and/or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum in all 3.
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4719545 04/07/18 01:12 PM
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BlueOvalFitter Online Happy
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Is that a '64 Impala next to the engine?


2007 F150, 4.2 V6
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"One Box, One OCI!"
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: BlueOvalFitter] #4720763 04/08/18 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted By: BlueOvalFitter
Is that a '64 Impala next to the engine?


Close.....It's a '63


2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/U341E
2000 Toyota Avalon 1MZ-FE/A541E
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4721345 04/09/18 08:33 AM
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OK. Still no firm resolution on just what is going on here. I am going to quote from GMs SI #PIP5276D. For your information an S.I. is not a service bulletin but rather an internal document to dealers from GMs engineering. I am always surprised by how little of a problem Gm will delve into with their techs. More like the problem is on a need to know basis and you do not need to know.

Condition, "A concern of a P0521 setting after an oil change and or low oil pressure indicated on the instrument panel."

Recommendations, instructions. "If you are working on a Gen4 V8 that is setting a P0521 or and low oil pressure indicated on the instrument panel in cold or hot weather and the engine is currently equipped with a PF48E oil filter, replace with a UPF48R if one is available."

"Note: Only use the UPF48R if if the Gen.4 V8 is setting a DTCP0521." And I will note this line is in red on the S.I.

Will someone please tell me, why would you only go with the improved filter if you had a problem? If the filter is the problem why no just supersede it to a improved version? Just seems nonsensical. And just what is the core problem here? Is the problem with the filters inability to flow oil or the filters bypass valve? Or, is the problem with the engines oiling system?

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4721439 04/09/18 09:50 AM
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One more log on the fire. I was reading in another forum that once the P0 521 for low oil pressure sets the gauge defaults to 0. If this is the case it would be a game changer. Would explain for why these trucks do not suffer any damage while running with 0 oil pressure, why the lifters do not rattle. Guess you are not going to know until you do some actual pressure testing on the vehicle.

The oil port on the back of the motor is difficult to get at, there is a adapter available to test the pressure by installing said adapter in place of the oil filter. Do not have one but will be getting one.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4721507 04/09/18 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted By: roygage
Recommendations, instructions. "If you are working on a Gen4 V8 that is setting a P0521 or and low oil pressure indicated on the instrument panel in cold or hot weather and the engine is currently equipped with a PF48E oil filter, replace with a UPF48R if one is available."

"Note: Only use the UPF48R if if the Gen.4 V8 is setting a DTCP0521." And I will note this line is in red on the S.I.

Will someone please tell me, why would you only go with the improved filter if you had a problem? If the filter is the problem why no just supersede it to a improved version? Just seems nonsensical. And just what is the core problem here? Is the problem with the filters inability to flow oil or the filters bypass valve? Or, is the problem with the engines oiling system?


The "R" in UPF48R usually denotes a "racing" filter and probably has a higher bypass valve setting. It probably also flows better, as I believe their UPF filters are synthetic media (they use to be anyway).

It's pretty hard to imagine it's a filter problem. But you do mention in your original post that this engine sounds pretty dirty and is plugging up filters rather quickly. If the filter's bypass valve is under sized it could cause oil flow restriction if the filter gets really plugged up, even when the bypass valve is opened. Simply putting on a new filter and seeing if the oil pressure comes back to normal would say that the old (clogged?) filter is at fault. If a new filter doesn't restore oil pressure then the problem is not the filter.

As you mentioned above, definately use an accurate mechanical pressure gauge to verify the oil pump is heathy.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4721579 04/09/18 11:27 AM
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An interesting link with some good information.

http://sandyblogs.com/techlink/?p=5000

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4721908 04/09/18 03:55 PM
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Well some more real world info on this problem. I was driving out of town this morning and noticed the oil pressure was dipping below 10 psi. I put it in neutral and gave it some revs and it popped up to around 30 for a second so the gauge seemed to be doing something. Then it started dipping lower until the warning came on. I pulled over and left it running and the engine sounded fine even with the gauge at 0. I turned it on and off a few times and it came back up to around 35. I decided to continue to my destination since I was halfway there. The gauge settled on about 10 psi for the rest of the trip(about 40 more miles).

After my meeting pressure came up to 40 idle cold and stayed at its normal 38 psi at 1750 rpm on the highway for the way home. I am not thinking it is the filter anymore and likely some gunk plugging the screen at the sensor or at least I hope. Our shop mechanic things that is the case - he said if it were the o-ring and it was pumping air at 0 psi the lifters would have been clattering something terrible.

This is with a Wix 57060 and 5w30 dexos with about 4000 miles on it.

2010 5.3 chevy

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4721955 04/09/18 05:02 PM
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Double Post

Last edited by cmlind; 04/09/18 05:12 PM.
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: cmlind] #4722056 04/09/18 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted By: cmlind
Well some more real world info on this problem. I was driving out of town this morning and noticed the oil pressure was dipping below 10 psi. I put it in neutral and gave it some revs and it popped up to around 30 for a second so the gauge seemed to be doing something. Then it started dipping lower until the warning came on. I pulled over and left it running and the engine sounded fine even with the gauge at 0. I turned it on and off a few times and it came back up to around 35. I decided to continue to my destination since I was halfway there. The gauge settled on about 10 psi for the rest of the trip(about 40 more miles).

After my meeting pressure came up to 40 idle cold and stayed at its normal 38 psi at 1750 rpm on the highway for the way home. I am not thinking it is the filter anymore and likely some gunk plugging the screen at the sensor or at least I hope. Our shop mechanic things that is the case - he said if it were the o-ring and it was pumping air at 0 psi the lifters would have been clattering something terrible.

This is with a Wix 57060 and 5w30 dexos with about 4000 miles on it.

2010 5.3 chevy

I am curious what your driving conditions and habits are? Also OCI and FCI habits?

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4722119 04/09/18 07:30 PM
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I have changed the oil with around 30% left most times (5-7k) but switched from semisyn to Dexos 2 years and 30k ago and did go to 0% a couple times - 10k miles.

Most of my driving is at least 10 mile trips with a fair amount of highway miles. I do have some idling and 4000 lb trailer hauling. It is a work truck but mostly just moving me to jobs sites with the occasional hauling.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: WellOiled] #4722141 04/09/18 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted By: WellOiled
Originally Posted By: cmlind
Well some more real world info on this problem. I was driving out of town this morning and noticed the oil pressure was dipping below 10 psi. I put it in neutral and gave it some revs and it popped up to around 30 for a second so the gauge seemed to be doing something. Then it started dipping lower until the warning came on. I pulled over and left it running and the engine sounded fine even with the gauge at 0. I turned it on and off a few times and it came back up to around 35. I decided to continue to my destination since I was halfway there. The gauge settled on about 10 psi for the rest of the trip(about 40 more miles).

After my meeting pressure came up to 40 idle cold and stayed at its normal 38 psi at 1750 rpm on the highway for the way home. I am not thinking it is the filter anymore and likely some gunk plugging the screen at the sensor or at least I hope. Our shop mechanic things that is the case - he said if it were the o-ring and it was pumping air at 0 psi the lifters would have been clattering something terrible.

This is with a Wix 57060 and 5w30 dexos with about 4000 miles on it.

2010 5.3 chevy

I am curious what your driving conditions and habits are? Also OCI and FCI habits?


I’d vote change the oil and filter or if you are convinced it’s just the filter, change it first to be scientific. Check it, then change the oil and check it.


If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4722191 04/09/18 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted By: roygage
One more log on the fire. I was reading in another forum that once the P0 521 for low oil pressure sets the gauge defaults to 0. If this is the case it would be a game changer. Would explain for why these trucks do not suffer any damage while running with 0 oil pressure, why the lifters do not rattle. Guess you are not going to know until you do some actual pressure testing on the vehicle.

The oil port on the back of the motor is difficult to get at, there is a adapter available to test the pressure by installing said adapter in place of the oil filter. Do not have one but will be getting one.


The times I have ran across a P0521, The gauge follows whatever voltage the PCM receives from the EOP sensor.

You can make your own testing adapter from a Gen III oil cooler bypass plate as it has a bung/boss unlike the Gen IV bypass plate, This will give you pressure right after the filter. Just drill out the bung & tap it to 1/8" NPT.



2001 Chevy Camaro L92/4L80E
2006 Chevy 2500HD LBZ/Allison 1000
2010 Toyota Corolla 2ZR-FE/U341E
2000 Toyota Avalon 1MZ-FE/A541E
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: cmlind] #4722298 04/09/18 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted By: WellOiled
Originally Posted By: cmlind
But I had the same thing happen on my work truck. I changed the PF48E to a Wix 57060 and fresh oil and all has been well for around 4000 miles. '10 5.3 with 127k. Still watching it to see if it is the o-ring. Not sure how a filter can do that, but in my case it does appear to be the filter also. I have changed the oil with around 30% left most times (5-7k) but switched from semisyn to Dexos 2 years and 30k ago and did go to 0% a couple times - 10k miles.


Originally Posted By: cmlind
Well some more real world info on this problem. I was driving out of town this morning and noticed the oil pressure was dipping below 10 psi. I put it in neutral and gave it some revs and it popped up to around 30 for a second so the gauge seemed to be doing something. Then it started dipping lower until the warning came on. I pulled over and left it running and the engine sounded fine even with the gauge at 0. I turned it on and off a few times and it came back up to around 35. I decided to continue to my destination since I was halfway there. The gauge settled on about 10 psi for the rest of the trip(about 40 more miles).

After my meeting pressure came up to 40 idle cold and stayed at its normal 38 psi at 1750 rpm on the highway for the way home. I am not thinking it is the filter anymore and likely some gunk plugging the screen at the sensor or at least I hope. Our shop mechanic things that is the case - he said if it were the o-ring and it was pumping air at 0 psi the lifters would have been clattering something terrible.

This is with a Wix 57060 and 5w30 dexos with about 4000 miles on it.

2010 5.3 chevy

It appears you have had this happen at least twice and the “cure” was an oil and filter change at 4000 miles when the symptoms manifest.

I suspect the filters are full and on the edge of bypass when this happens. A full synthetic filter would provide more capacity in the same physical size and may give you a better margin before this happens again.

I think the oil pressure sensor screen may have to be replaced. If you go that far, it might make sense to change the oil pressure sensor at the same time in case it is intermittent.

The OLM appears to be very basic and not conservative enough for your conditions. I would lean toward the short OCI / FCI you have done.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4722438 04/10/18 06:33 AM
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That was the theory. Then why has it resolved itself this time without a change? I likely will change the oil soon, but am not sure if that really solved the problem or if it is intermittent on it's own.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: cmlind] #4722644 04/10/18 10:25 AM
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Problem #1. Somehow the passage leading to the oil pressure sensor is not a stay clean design. It needs help through mechanical cleaning. Changing the oil and filter may not clean this area sufficiently by itself.

Problem #2. The oil pressure sensor may be intermittent. Moisture can enter the gauge from the electrical connections. This moisture can degrade the bridge in the sensor. The sensor can be irratic depending on the amount of moisture.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: WellOiled] #4725139 04/12/18 07:49 PM
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I would tend to believe problem #1, but not #2.
I personally observed the pressure readings from the factory sensor port using the original sensor and a mechanical gauge. Both methods showed the same behavior with the pressure starting out high, gradually falling off and going to zero. The sensor is also in a pretty well protected area behind/under the cowl and the connector appeared to be of the weatherproof type.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4728503 04/16/18 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted By: roygage
One more log on the fire. I was reading in another forum that once the P0 521 for low oil pressure sets the gauge defaults to 0. If this is the case it would be a game changer. Would explain for why these trucks do not suffer any damage while running with 0 oil pressure, why the lifters do not rattle. Guess you are not going to know until you do some actual pressure testing on the vehicle.

The oil port on the back of the motor is difficult to get at, there is a adapter available to test the pressure by installing said adapter in place of the oil filter. Do not have one but will be getting one.


Any info on who sells the adapter? Thanks.


If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: Snagglefoot] #4730115 04/17/18 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted By: Snagglefoot
Originally Posted By: roygage
One more log on the fire. I was reading in another forum that once the P0 521 for low oil pressure sets the gauge defaults to 0. If this is the case it would be a game changer. Would explain for why these trucks do not suffer any damage while running with 0 oil pressure, why the lifters do not rattle. Guess you are not going to know until you do some actual pressure testing on the vehicle.

The oil port on the back of the motor is difficult to get at, there is a adapter available to test the pressure by installing said adapter in place of the oil filter. Do not have one but will be getting one.


Any info on who sells the adapter? Thanks.


I get confused as to the different generations but they have them all listed here. http://www.freedomracing.com/j-42907-oil...AyABEgIAh_D_BwE

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4739576 04/26/18 11:14 AM
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roygage Offline OP
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Ran a second ad in our local shopper to follow up on the oil filters plugging up. Will paste it here.

A follow up on the problem with GM pickups plugging the oil filter and losing oil pressure. When last we spoke I threw AC Delco under the bus blaming their PF48E filter for the problem. Since then I have heard from other shops reporting they too have seen the problem, and not just with the PF 48E but with Wix and other brands.

Lo and behold a couple weeks ago we had a 2009 5.3 Silverado with 168K on the odometer in with low oil pressure. Would go up rather slow then after a couple of blocks drop to zero. Motor sounded great. A look at the oil change sticker showed 7000 miles on a change with Dexos full synthetic oil, and, a Wix filter.

Changing the oil and filter resolved the problem, pulling the filter apart I found the same light carbon particles in the folds of the filter media. Hmmmm.

Doing some research turned up GM bulletin #PIP5276D. Now GM bulletins are infamous, for what they do not tell you.

Under condition/concern. “A concern of a PO521 setting after an oil change and or low oil pressure indicated on the instrument panel.

Now a note from me, Code P0521 indicates the trucks computer saw a oil pressure reading it does not expect, or like. I looked up the parameters which are used to set this code only to find they were nonsensical, or more accurately, obviously wrong. I am quite sure though that when your trucks computer sees a reading it does not like it sends a signal to the instrument cluster telling the gauge to show zero. This is to get your attention. When you shut the truck off and restart it the process repeats with the gauge telling the true reading until the code again sets dropping the gauge back to zero.

Recommendations/Instructions: “ If you are working on a Gen 4 V8 that is setting a DTC P0521 and or low oil pressure indicated on the instrument panel in cold or hot weather and the engine is currently equipped with a PF48E oil filter, replace with UPF48R oil filter if one is available.”

“NOTE: Only use the UPF48R oil filter if the Gen4 V8 is setting a DTC P0521”

And that is it. No explanation of why the PF48E is problematic, no mention of a root problem. And why in the world would you use the PF48E after reading the bulletin regardless if your truck has lost oil pressure or not?


I found the UPF48R filter is a premium filter which uses a synthetic filter media and a different relief setting on the internal bypass valve. I see no good reason to use the older PF48E on any GM V8.

As for the carbon particles caught in the filter media pleats? Seems this engine cokes up internally a situation made worse with extended oil changes.

In summary, these motors are equipped with a small filter which is prone to plugging up, of the filters used the Delco PF 48 E due to its construction, filter media used and higher bypass pressure is the most likely to give a problem. Extended oil changes compound the issue by coking/sludging the engine We recommend not extending the oil changes, using the premium oil filter along with a Dexos approved full synthetic motor oil.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: roygage] #4739629 04/26/18 12:04 PM
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ZeeOSix Offline
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Originally Posted By: roygage
In summary, these motors are equipped with a small filter which is prone to plugging up, of the filters used the Delco PF 48 E due to its construction, filter media used and higher bypass pressure is the most likely to give a problem. Extended oil changes compound the issue by coking/sludging the engine We recommend not extending the oil changes, using the premium oil filter along with a Dexos approved full synthetic motor oil.


What's stange is GM is recommending the UPF48R filter which might have an even higher bypass valve pressure setting. Seems that would cut back oil pressure even more as the filter loaded up before the bypass valve started to open. Guess it depends if the oil pump hits pressure relief before the filter hits bypass.

Also, I'm wondering if the bypass valve in these filters is large enough to maintain good oil flow when it opens.

Re: 5.3& 6.0 GM trucks losing oil pressure PF48E [Re: ZeeOSix] #4739682 04/26/18 12:58 PM
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Still in tow on this … own two gens of 5.3L’s ... for now on the older I’ll run an XG10575 7k to 10k …
On the new gen … going to change the 63E about half way (4K) in my M1 EP 0w20 run and C&P …
Got a half dozen of each anyway and easy to reach them on 4WD vehicles … (literally wink

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