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2011 5.3l Oil Pressure Low?


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#1 rob_rrt

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 08:56 PM

I just traded my 2007 GMT 900 1500 crew cab with a 5.3 engine for a 2011 1500 crew cab with a 5.3L. My new 2011 seems like it carries way less oil pressure than my 2007 did. The oil pressure will drop below 40psi at idle when warm. Oil level is fine. Is this a characteristic of the new Dexos oil? I always ran regular Quaker State 5w30 in my 2007 and I dont think the oil pressure ever dropped below 45 psi at idle. On my new truck the oil pressure gauge looks like a tachometer the way it rises and falls with engine rpm! The engine sounds fine and certainly doesnt rattle or have lifter noise. I guess I just wanted to her from some other folks with the new Dexos oil if their truck runs less oil pressure at idle. Thanks.

#2 Blue2500CC

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 09:04 PM

I have noticed the same thing on my 2010 5.3. During the winter I have seen about 40psi or so, maybe just a little under. Well today it was pretty warm outside, 80*+, and noticed I had about 25psi at idle when we got home this evening.

I run Mobil 5000 for comparison.

Looking forward to hearing replies as well!

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#3 SouthCo

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 09:12 PM

My '10 is always above 40psi regardless of engine rpm or outside temp. I just went over 3100 miles and changed it to synthetic but psi is same as before. Doesn't sound like you guys are normal. My '03 tahoe and my wifes '05 denali are 40psi or better and the tahoe has almost 180k miles.
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#4 Zakman

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 09:42 PM

My 2010 CCSB 4X4 5.3 runs around 38-40 PSI at highway speeds when warm and about 20 PSI when stopped at a light. Oil level is good as I check every fill-up. I think the only time to really worry is if your low oil warning comes on? When its first started its running around 60 PSI...

#5 HighwayStar

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 10:34 PM

My 08 5.3 LY5 has a hot idle of about 30psi. Cold idle is about 50psi. Has done it since day 1 but doesn't use any oil between oil changes. I use Mobile 1. I don't like it but it doesn't appear to be a problem

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#6 Bagger97

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 11:35 PM

Mine is the same 20-40 psi. How much does your volt meter vary. Under 14 to over 14v?
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#7 gmc10

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 04:06 AM

I have a 2010 5.3L and since new it moves with the tach, thought it was strange but the dealer has had tin for service (lifter) and said everything was fine. I guess it is just sensitive.
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#8 dblj1500

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 05:15 AM

My 07 GMT-900 has the 4.8 and idles at around 36-38psi when warm. A guy at work bought a used 06 with the 5.3 and thought his oil pressure was low untill he compared it to mine and found out that we idle about the same when warm.

#9 4wd

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 07:03 AM

08 5.3L, started to drop in the low side since new lifters, cam and pump installed!, to me I see it the right behavior!, I guess GM changed something related to the pump and/or programming....

#10 terzmo

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 07:34 AM

my 5.3/2010 when warm runs at 37..questioned this last year and no one seemed to have a problem with this. Running dealer oil/filter. I would of rather have an idiot light as if I were buying this truck used, I'd stay away from it because of the oil pressure.

as a side note...I'm planning on dealers doing all oil changes so if "somthing" happens, oil maintenance is not an issue.

* I know some will post saying "as long as You do it at proper intervals,use approved oil, log it and save money. I'd rather pay a dealer and leave NO questions about that particular maintenance.

#11 Maverick Z71

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 09:36 AM

Yeah, this worried me greatly at first, too. I'm used to driving old Ford trucks, and on those, it seems like the gages always read the same numbers if it's running, unless something is wrong. The GMT900 gage readings vary with RPM, and even with temperature. My oil pressure gage reads about 45 when the engine is cold, drops to about 20-25 when warm. The voltmeter reads about 15 when it's cold out and about 12 when it's warm out. Coolant temp gage always reads right at 210 when the engine is warm, though. Fuel gage seems to always drop faster than I'd like :seeya:

Edited by Maverick Z71, 11 April 2011 - 09:38 AM.

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#12 rob_rrt

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 08:09 PM

Thanks for all the replys. I guess I will mention the oil pressure to the mechanic next time I am at the dealer. I wonder how low the oil pressure has to be to trigger the warning light? I am not going to let it bother me. My voltmeter gauge definitely is either way above 14 volts or way below but that doesnt bother me because my 07 did that and never gave me any trouble. I guess this truck is just different than my previous truck. Thanks again for all the great replys.

#13 doug_scott

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 09:43 PM

Thanks for all the replys. I guess I will mention the oil pressure to the mechanic next time I am at the dealer. I wonder how low the oil pressure has to be to trigger the warning light? I am not going to let it bother me. My voltmeter gauge definitely is either way above 14 volts or way below but that doesnt bother me because my 07 did that and never gave me any trouble. I guess this truck is just different than my previous truck. Thanks again for all the great replys.


In the old days, 10 to 14 psi would turn the light on (dodge was 14, ford was 10, did not work at GM dealer). General rule of thumb in a racing engine though is 10 pounds per 1000 rpm.

#14 10YukonXL25004x4

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 02:41 AM

I'm used to driving old Ford trucks, and on those, it seems like the gages always read the same numbers if it's running, unless something is wrong.


Ford's gauges (and many other manufacturers) don't move because they don't give you the actual reading. They stay in the middle to make you feel good. It's not until something is way out of line that they then rapidly move one way or another.

GM's gauges on the other hand tend to show a more realistic reading that varies with engine speed and temperature.
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#15 Blue_Silvy_11

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 11:16 AM

My 2011 Silverado does the same thing. Seems to be around 40 when I accelerate and run down the highway but at idle it's below 40. Guess I'll have to mention this to the dealer when I change the oil soon. My 2005 Sierra always stayed around 40 psi all the time.




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