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2009 Sierra 5.3 Low Oil Pressure symtoms but actually OK

2009 oil pressure 5.3

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#1 ggodwin

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 04:10 PM

I have a 2009 Sierra 5.3L. The oil has been changed every 5K miles. A couple changes I may have exceeded that limit and gone past to 8K. But, it has been changed about 15-17 times since I owned it.

This morning I was on a steep grassy incline and suddenly the low oil pressure indicators came on.The oil pressure gauge would fluctuate around 40 based on the RPM then suddenly drop down around 0. Prior to that occurrence, the vehicle was facing front down on a driveway which rarely happens. (not steep at all) Normally, the front is elevated. When I started the engine it had the momentarily engine clicking which it has done in cold weather. However, that noise was momentarily. I drove approximately 2 miles to the steep grassy incline when the problem first occurred.

After the first indicator I moved the vehicle to level ground and evaluated the condition. The engine was indeed low on oil. I added 1 Qt and re-evaluated. The issue seemed to go away. However, after driving back the 2 miles the problem recurred. Through out all of this the ENGINE NEVER made a ticking noise as if it were low on oil.

DEALER REPLACED THE OIL PRESSURE SENSOR $368

Next Issue

Yesterday I took my Sierra into the dealer and he ran the codes.

Some of these codes are NOT related. However, just for the total picture I will post them also.

P0 Code - Dealers comments
P0521 - Oil PSI Sensor
P0555 -
P0449 - Vent Solenoid
P0442 - Smell (have no idea what smell means)
P0446 - PSI Sensor
P0335 - Crank Sensor

The check engine light was already on because of the fuel tank leak/Fuel cap leaking etc..

I did not have the money to have him repair every issue. I believe I can save a lot of money doing some of these myself.

I did have them fix the issues related to the Oil System. (No chances taken).

They repaired the Oil Pressure sensor.
Approximately 75 miles down the road the problem recurred. As I was pulling off the interstate and the RPM's dropped I noticed the Oil Pressure gauge drop down to around 15 psi. just as I was stopping the warning's came on again to "Stop the Engine" because there was NO oil pressure.

I can tell when the engine is low on oil as the lifters/valves etc.. start ticking/rattling. There was NO sign the engine was in any danger. As I drove the next 150 miles getting home the oil pressure would fluctuate. When the sensors would indicate a pressure drop the the alarms would sound and the lights start flashing. I could get a temporary relief from the issue by turning the engine off and restarting. Today the issue has occurred just one time. However, I have noticed that the Oil pressure is dropping down around the 15 psi mark. Also, moment ago i heard two sounds that sounded like a "back fire" up into a Carburetor. (Air popping noise) on the 2nd pop the Traction Control error came on the truck felt like it was in 4 cylinder mode. This lasted for maybe 1 mile when the truck starting driving normal again.

Any ideas on this issue?
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#2 BlackZ71Silverado

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 04:52 PM

Did you notice any oil consumption before this happened? What kind of oil and filter have you been using?
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#3 dewfpo

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:17 PM

That's quite an array of things going on. I wonder if you have a bad ground somewhere.

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#4 TJay74

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:33 PM

I wonder if the pick up came off in the sump. Some of the same symptoms my dads 1996 yukon exhibited and that was his issues.

#5 ggodwin

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 11:48 PM

This was the last weekend of deer season and my dad needed to get his stand down.(I dont off road or anything...this was not rough terrain) Because my truck is 4x4, I drove up a very steep logging road and this issue triggered at the top. On the way to this location I was parked in the driveway 2 miles away and when I started the engine it made a lifter ticking noise. (Which it does this from time to time)

When we came down I found the first level spot and shut it down and checkecd the oil. It was low so I put a Qt in. (I dont know why but there was one in my Hunting gear trunk) After this the level was fine and I continued. Initially it was fine, but a short bit later it started again. Now we are at home and we checked the oil level again and it took another Qt at that time. This was very little driving in between the Qts.

For now lets forget all the other codes. My check engine light always came on. I assumed it was a gas cap and never had it checked.

Based on that I would say yes, it did consume some oil. I get it changed at Valvoline Instant. I think I use the 5W30 Durablend oil. I have no idea what filter they use.
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#6 govtech4

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:13 AM

is your 5 yr warranty up or what ?????
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#7 ggodwin

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:22 AM

I don't think I had a 5 year warranty. The vehicle has 90,000 miles on it. I have a 1000,000 mile power train warranty. But, electronic sensors are not considered power train.
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#8 jro909

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:58 AM

no but engine oil consumption is...
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#9 doug_scott

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:19 AM

i would think it would be in the manufacturers best interest to ensure that the oil pressure warning system is working correctly. It could just as easily show 45psi when in fact there is none.

#10 ChevyTech77

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:30 AM

Time to take it in and have them run it with a mechanical gauge attached. Probably has some plugged up screens in the AFM manifold or the pickup tube seal is leaking.None of it is any matter to you though because all engine mechanical is covered 5/100. Take it in.

Edited by ChevyTech77, 21 December 2011 - 09:31 AM.

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#11 ggodwin

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 01:56 PM

While I'm waiting on the service mgr to call me back. What exactly is an AFM filter.

Thanks
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#12 ChevyTech77

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 01:58 PM

A screen that is in the AFM manifold oil passage right in front of the oil pressure sending unit. They are known to get plugged causing low oil pressure readings.

Edited by ChevyTech77, 21 December 2011 - 01:58 PM.

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#13 RCP

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 06:13 PM

I'm really curious to hear what this is, I had almost an identical situation to yours and I had the oil changed and it hasn't happened again. I still get the lifter noise on start-up and I've been noticing that I am about a quart of oil low every few weeks. My truck is also a 2009 5.3 with about 54k on it.

#14 ggodwin

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 08:21 PM

Mine has always had the lifter noise. However, i did notice that it was really loud when I started it on the time this problem occured.

I got a call from the dealer that did the work on Monday. As it turns out, the service manager is a friend of mine from High School. He told me that there is a problem with these engines that require oil to be shot/squirted into the bottom of the cylinders etc...etc... yada yada yada.
Anyway, there is a service bulletin for these engines that have fluctuating oil pressure that requires a kit be installed. In some cases the kit is not enough and new pistons and rings are required. It sounds like GM did not do their home work with their reliability testing. I am sure we can find the service bulletin on the net some where. The Service Manager said that they would refund all the work that was done replacing the oil sending unit.
After talking to him, I took my truck by the local GMC dealer and explained the long list and details of the failure mode. We made an appointment for the tomorrow to bring the truck in. As I was driving there the truck started running really rough. However, it was a "good" rough. If that makes sense. It never came close to stalling, it was just rough. The skid control lights came on again. The service guy told me that when something goes wrong, many times the vehicle will switch into a "safe mode". It shuts down many of the "systems" and allows the driver to reach safety and not get stalled. The skid control system was simply turned off therefore the indicators gave a warning. The check engine light was blinking at this point. He told me that a blinking check engine light is bad and we should not drive it. As I pulled out to go home the condition came back so I turned around and went back. He gave me a loaner and they will look at it tomorrow.

Update you tomorrow.
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#15 hhathe

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 08:36 PM

I had the same symptons on my 2009 Sierra, but they did not come and go, they just went. The truck would hardly run and all the alarms were going off and lights flashing. The truck had no power. I finally crawled into the nearest GM dealship. It was a Chevolet Dealer in a town about 55 miles from where I live. They had no idea what the problem was and could not repair that day. Rented a car and went home. Dealer called next day and had truck repaired. Two or three sensor had shorted out giving the computer bad readings. I would have to find the bill to let you know what sensors were bad. He said he had to replace all at one time for the problem to go away





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