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2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 oil selection #5216637 09/19/19 12:20 AM
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Zahndkile Offline OP
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So i have a 2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 v8 with 255000 miles and i am trying to decide what to use for my next oil change.
Here is some history. I used M1 0w-40 European spec with a M1-206a oil filter with the thought that a thicker oil may quiet my noisy gm lifters(not my idea). So not only did it not help but it was the loudest it has ever been during my ownership. Also the oil consumption was terrible. In 5488 miles it consumed over 5 qt of oil.
So i went back to my standard M1 5w-30 (i believe it was extended performance) with an M1-206a filter and the lifters were much quieter but also the oil consumption dropped to 3 qt in 4968 miles and was about the same for the next oil change. Which was 5215 miles on the same M1 5w-30 extended performance and M1-206a.
During that last oci i read on here that the gm small block lifters do not like restrictive oil filters or thick oil so this time i used M1 5w-30 high mileage with the larger ac delco oil filter i cant remember the number at the moment but they seem to be free flowing and my lifters are the quietest they have been since i have owned it.

So i have been trying to decide if i should try M1 5w-20 this oci or stay with 5w-30?
Also what filter should i use? Should i go with 5w-20 with a better filter or stick with my ac delco filters?
My goal is to drive this rig until a million miles or i wreck it.
Also i am interested in other oil recommendations although i am pretty stuck on M1 if you have another brand and/or grade recommendation i would appreciate reasoning based on facts and theory not experience.
Cost is not a big factor in my decision i would eaven be open to trying something like redline. I just want to hear everyone's ideas and logic before i decide.

Re: 2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 oil selection [Re: Zahndkile] #5216664 09/19/19 02:26 AM
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tahoe_hybrid Offline
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Originally Posted by Zahndkile
So i have a 2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 v8 with 255000 miles and i am trying to decide what to use for my next oil change.
Here is some history. I used M1 0w-40 European spec with a M1-206a oil filter with the thought that a thicker oil may quiet my noisy gm lifters(not my idea). So not only did it not help but it was the loudest it has ever been during my ownership. Also the oil consumption was terrible. In 5488 miles it consumed over 5 qt of oil.
So i went back to my standard M1 5w-30 (i believe it was extended performance) with an M1-206a filter and the lifters were much quieter but also the oil consumption dropped to 3 qt in 4968 miles and was about the same for the next oil change. Which was 5215 miles on the same M1 5w-30 extended performance and M1-206a.
During that last oci i read on here that the gm small block lifters do not like restrictive oil filters or thick oil so this time i used M1 5w-30 high mileage with the larger ac delco oil filter i cant remember the number at the moment but they seem to be free flowing and my lifters are the quietest they have been since i have owned it.

So i have been trying to decide if i should try M1 5w-20 this oci or stay with 5w-30?
Also what filter should i use? Should i go with 5w-20 with a better filter or stick with my ac delco filters?
My goal is to drive this rig until a million miles or i wreck it.
Also i am interested in other oil recommendations although i am pretty stuck on M1 if you have another brand and/or grade recommendation i would appreciate reasoning based on facts and theory not experience.
Cost is not a big factor in my decision i would eaven be open to trying something like redline. I just want to hear everyone's ideas and logic before i decide.

just use the normal mobil1 5w30 oil 4k OCI is recommended ,by me don't ever use 0w40 damages the engine I suggest if you can crack it open and clean out the push rods they are dirty and clogged.. your not getting enough oil to the lifters i also since it's older and all ready burning oil add some motorkote


my v8 is pushing 92,000 miles (92,200) on the clock ... i have been using M1 since got it at 84k

she burns no oil and has no sludge inside of her

No carbon STDs smirk2

she has seen 200,000 AUTO start/stop cycles so far in the 92k miles


AutoStop Start/Stop is at lest 5x as hard on the engine vs normal engines



also each auto stop cycle is like 1 miles of wear and tear so it's like having 300,000 miles on the engine!..
(on the crankshaft)

Last edited by tahoe_hybrid; 09/19/19 02:39 AM.
Re: 2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 oil selection [Re: Zahndkile] #5216666 09/19/19 02:34 AM
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Gasbuggy Offline
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Pennzoil Yellow Bottle or the High Mileage, Pennzoil just seems to be a better silencer. If you don't mind spending some money, Joe Gibbs LS30 5w30 is the ultimate oil to quiet an LS engine.


Cadillac CTS-V 6.2L 10w30PP
Volvo P1800 Euro L
76 Mercedes 300D Rotella T4
Series III Land Rover VWB
02 Yukon 10w30 PP
01 P71 M1 EP-HM 0W20
95 Accord - 386k. Mobil 2 RIP
Re: 2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 oil selection [Re: Zahndkile] #5216707 09/19/19 05:45 AM
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I have a 2003 Suburban with 5.3 and around 275K miles. I acquired it around 25k miles ago and have decreased the ticking by about half, but mainly with aggresive cleaning and HDEO. I think i will try Kreen next.. here is a thread about it and here is a snippet "Denali had a lifter tick for years that disappeared within minutes of putting the Kreen in and has stayed quiet ever since,he claims it has not run this good since the day he got it new"

https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1940735

As for your filter question i think the Fram XG is the best option, excellent flow and excellent filtration. For your oil i would go with 5w30 ProDS, its got a solid reputation and lots of reports of being 'quiet'. I have a box in waiting for my next oil change.

Re: 2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 oil selection [Re: Zahndkile] #5216715 09/19/19 06:01 AM
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SubieRubyRoo Offline
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OP, please don't listen to things like this; it is full of misinformation, fear mongering, and pipe dreams:

Originally Posted by tahoe_hybrid
don't ever use 0w40 damages the engine I suggest if you can crack it open and clean out the push rods they are dirty and clogged.. your not getting enough oil to the lifters i also since it's older and all ready burning oil add some motorkote

also each auto stop cycle is like 1 miles of wear and tear so it's like having 300,000 miles on the engine!..
(on the crankshaft)


0W40 will not damage your engine. I also don't recommend using motorkote, as it contains chlorinated additives which can cause and/or accelerate corrosion, which can damage bearings and camshaft surfaces (spalling). Even your "normal" consumption is concerning, and krismoriah has decent suggestions too- Kreen or Valvoline Premium Blue Restore to help quiet the lifters and help free the rings if they are "frozen". I like the Fram XGs as well due to sturdy construction, synthetic media, and high efficiency. You can swap them every OCI if you want, or you can use it for 20k miles.

Re: 2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 oil selection [Re: Zahndkile] #5216717 09/19/19 06:11 AM
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SteveSRT8 Offline
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Kreen is a great product if you need thorough cleaning.

Around here we have had many a Silverado and one thing I can assure you is the old 5.3 is a great motor. You may have a "slapper" as many folks confuse lifter tick with piston slap.

I have had a 6.0 with piston slap last 500k miles with no engine work at all. Just make sure of the diagnosis before you treat this patient!

Regarding oil, we run whatever synthetic is on sale at WM and a Fram filter. These engines are not fussy about oil IMO. My personal Silverado was an 05 and it was one of the quietest engines I have ever owned...


"In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith."
J. William Fulbright
Best ET-12.79 @ 111 mph
4340 pounds, Street tires
Just like we go to Publix
Re: 2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 oil selection [Re: Zahndkile] #5216739 09/19/19 06:39 AM
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ka9mnx Offline
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M1 HM 10w-30 and AC Delco filter.


2005 Ranger 3.0 - SuperTech Syn 5w-30/Motorcraft
2000 4Runner 3.4 - SuperTech Syn 5w-30/Toyota
1997 B2500 Van 3.9 - M1 HM 10w-30/Mopar
1993 F150 4.9 - SuperTech Syn 5w-30/Motorcraft
Re: 2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 oil selection [Re: Zahndkile] #5216744 09/19/19 06:47 AM
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Posts: 10,453
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If the weather is not too cold … my older 5.3L’s ran great on Delvac 15w40 … or Delo would do just as well.
Many folks have run HDEO in older generations of this motor.

Certainly inexpensive ($12/gallon) to give it a try … and the newer versions have improved the Noack

Re: 2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 oil selection [Re: SteveSRT8] #5216752 09/19/19 06:53 AM
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Good post … my family and me owned them as far back as when they hit the lots … and many of them had the piston noise but went for hundreds of 1000’s of miles. They never cared if on 30s or 40s … fancy or basic oil.
In fact, my new (L83) 5.3L’s on 0w20 are the first to be very quiet … perhaps the piston oil jets help, not sure.

Re: 2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 oil selection [Re: Zahndkile] #5216801 09/19/19 07:51 AM
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ATex7239 Offline
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I’d run the cheapest, name brand 5w30 conventional available and an ACDelco filter. Considering its going through that many quarts I wouldn’t waste too much money on it.

Also, it’s a 15+yr old vehicle with almost 1/4 million miles, if cost isn’t a consideration, then buy a newer vehicle. IMHO, driving older, high mileage vehicles is all about cost... My wife is driving a 7yr old SUV with 170K+ miles because we don’t want to spend the money a newer one.


'12 Buick Enclave 173K
Valvoline ML SynBlend 5w30
ACDelco PF63E

'17 Ford Fusion (Company Vehicle) 90K
Oil - Don't know
Filter - Don't care
Re: 2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 oil selection [Re: SteveSRT8] #5216838 09/19/19 08:29 AM
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Zahndkile Offline OP
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Originally Posted by SteveSRT8
Kreen is a great product if you need thorough cleaning.

Around here we have had many a Silverado and one thing I can assure you is the old 5.3 is a great motor. You may have a "slapper" as many folks confuse lifter tick with piston slap.

I have had a 6.0 with piston slap last 500k miles with no engine work at all. Just make sure of the diagnosis before you treat this patient!

Regarding oil, we run whatever synthetic is on sale at WM and a Fram filter. These engines are not fussy about oil IMO. My personal Silverado was an 05 and it was one of the quietest engines I have ever owned...

That is a good point about the piston slap. I may misunderstand the noise but it makes 2 different noises the one noise sounds like a gentle old sewing machine noise coming from the top end you can hear it best with the hood up it is louder on startup with some oils especially. That is the noise is what i assume to be lifters. It usually settles down after a few seconds and i just associate it with a normal chevy.
The other noise is a much harsher loud clicking on cold start in the winter that is loud with the hood down. I associate that with piston slap. It quiets down after 1 minute or so.

Is there any good reason not to try 5w-20 oil in this motor?

Re: 2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 oil selection [Re: SubieRubyRoo] #5216893 09/19/19 09:26 AM
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Zahndkile Offline OP
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Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo
OP, please don't listen to things like this; it is full of misinformation, fear mongering, and pipe dreams:

Originally Posted by tahoe_hybrid
don't ever use 0w40 damages the engine I suggest if you can crack it open and clean out the push rods they are dirty and clogged.. your not getting enough oil to the lifters i also since it's older and all ready burning oil add some motorkote

also each auto stop cycle is like 1 miles of wear and tear so it's like having 300,000 miles on the engine!..
(on the crankshaft)


0W40 will not damage your engine. I also don't recommend using motorkote, as it contains chlorinated additives which can cause and/or accelerate corrosion, which can damage bearings and camshaft surfaces (spalling). Even your "normal" consumption is concerning, and krismoriah has decent suggestions too- Kreen or Valvoline Premium Blue Restore to help quiet the lifters and help free the rings if they are "frozen". I like the Fram XGs as well due to sturdy construction, synthetic media, and high efficiency. You can swap them every OCI if you want, or you can use it for 20k miles.

So far my lifters have been quiet all summer I think I may still have some lifter noise in the winter on cold startup. I have also thought about using a 0w-20 for the winter to get the oil flowing as fast as possible because that seems to make my engine quiet although quiet is not the biggest thing on my list of importance. The one thing that makes me not want to try 0w-20 is the fact that they tend to have a little more viscosity improvers and my theory is the viscosity improvers are the reason that the 0w-40 motor oil made my engine consume more by causing ring stick. I know this is just not the world's quietest motor by nature and some noise does not bother me.
Someday I would like to build myself a 5.3 motor exactly how I want it and see if I can get a million miles out of it. If I ever get around to doing that, one thing I will definitely do is put a Frantz or other brand TP oil filter.

Re: 2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 oil selection [Re: Zahndkile] #5216901 09/19/19 09:42 AM
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Zahndkile Offline OP
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So the biggest question here is would it be a terrible idea to try 0w-20 or would i be fine. I tend to be a thinney but i also tend to lean toward following manufacturers specs.
The other consideration is that if i can save a bit on gas it would help tremendously. I drive at least 700 miles a week for work and i average 15.7mpg so if a 0w-20 or 5w-20 would help i am game to try.

Re: 2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 oil selection [Re: Zahndkile] #5216905 09/19/19 09:45 AM
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Pour seafoam down the throttle body faster and faster until it chokes itself out. Let it sit for an hour. Start it up and drive it hard. Change the oil. M1 5W30 or even try 10W30.

Its carbon on the pistons. This has been going on since the 4.8/5.3/6.0 has been out for the most part. I rarely get any noise from my 4.8 but when I do I go drive it hard on the highway and fog throttle body cleaner down it.

If its an early 5.3 you have to be a bit more aggressive in cleaning. Thats why I said to use seafoam.


2010 Silverado 4.8 4x4 Mobil 1 5W30 Fram XG10060
2002 Mustang GT 4.6 Mobil 1 5W30 Fram XG2
1966 Cessna 150 Phillips 20W50
2013 Mercury 30hp Mystic 25W40
Re: 2002 chevy tahoe 5.3 oil selection [Re: Zahndkile] #5217056 09/19/19 12:36 PM
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I have a 12 suburban, 5.3L with 173K miles on it. It has the 4 cylinder mode. When i bought it, it had a small bit of engine ticking with Valvoline 5w30. The trans fluid and all the diffs were very dirty so i suspected the truck was not overly maintained. Being it was mid summer, i changed the oil to Delo 15w40 CJ. This helped the ticking quite a bit. The next oil change i put in dino 10w40 i had laying around. The tick came back. Next oil change i put in mag1 10w40 semi syn and there was no real change in the ticking. This summer i changed it back to Delo 15w40 CJ and the ticking is now much better again. Not sure what is going on but its more than just viscosity. My truck does have the higher flow oil pump so im not sure i would run this somewhere very cold without being careful. Just my experience. I would actually like to go back to a xw30 but dont like the sound of the engine. Maybe someday i will experiment around and find one that has lower viscosity and dont tick so bad. I have been thinking about rotella 10w30 or something like that.

Anyway, just my experience. I dont think having a grade up is going to hurt anything but just be careful if its cold.

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