Nice thread, read most of it on flight to (and from) Vegas...14 hours...picking away at it little by little here and there. Kept the incredibly long flight a little more interesting. I like the passion of trying to achieve a level of vehicle reliability and longevity through maintenance and ppersonal preferred methods, I don't agree with all of it but I appreciate and admire it. The latest post - getting a vehicle to last and perhaps saving money by not having to purchase the "next" vehicle within third or even fourth cycle - is something I've done before and it requires maintenance and good driving habits (all of which are obviously on display here). You really do save a small fortune keeping a vehicle super long term, and maintaining it so it can get to that 250,000-350,000 mark. Along the way you will have to make a rather large investment into maintenance, the key is deciding what is that "point" and where is that "line" to maintain a vehicle for longevity and enjoyment (excellent condition). I probably differ a great deal in that regard to the OP, but I agree to attempt it is fun in some sort of weird way, and an excellent way to save maybe $50k-$70k longterm with today's vehicle costs. So keep up the good work, Grumpy, inspirational thread! Truly a one of a kind trip into vehicle maintenance, modification and data. I will check in fequently. Personally I have taken a vehicle to 287,000 miles before selling it...probably saving myself $50,000 in the process. That allowed me to pay off my house sooner, save for another vehicle etc. I think a real key is selecting the "right" vehicle for the job. And that's tough because you can't go on vehicle reputation always for that task...vehicles can be cyclical in their reputation for reliability...a few years of greatness and then the manufacturer changes the fuel delivery system or transmission specs and manufacturer. It's tough. Hopefully I can get my 2018 Silverado to 300,000 and beyond, not sure yet, there are some things I'm leery of, but that might make it even more of a challenge and interesting.
I'm still using AFM, I don't think there's going to be much difference whether AFM is enabled or not. There is a catch can thread - or maybe two - both are enormous and I believe many people on those threads have disabled their AFM.
I think what I’ll do is this, I’ll try to do a video in a few weeks on two Silverados with similar mileage. Me I had had a catch can since 8,000 miles (or around there) and I’ve run a few cleaners through it since new. I have access to two other Silverados with similar mileage but never a catch can or single treatment...similar commutes (very similar as one of them lives right down the street and the other a little closer to our work). I’ll see if they’ll let me remove the air snorkel and send a scope through their throttle body and into the intake - I don’t think they’ll have a problem with it - but I’ve never sent a camera down one of these engines and I’m not sure how access I’ll have it how much I’ll see, but I’ll give it a shot. I am curious myself because I’d like to know I guess. Like I said I DO have the catch can...easy to install, pretty cheap, drain it every few weeks and it does catch quite a bit of gunk (mixture of oil water). No harm no foul I guess. Honestly my engine, and the ones I’ll look at don’t have a ton of miles so I’m not sure how important a look at it will be (28,000 miles mine, 35,000 the other). Personally I installed the can because I was more concerned with long term, but honestly when my lifters go - if they go - I’ll be able to clean those valves by hand anyway (because the heads have to come off to do the repair). But I always like preventive maintenance.
I think part of your statement is absolutely correct, you mention top tier gas and the detergents that keep your fuel systems clean, agree 100%. That section of the fuel system - and the parts that are sprayed with fuel - will reap the benefits of that CONSTANT flow/treatment of gasoline. The constant exposure. So YES I believe, in fact I know that the additives will clean and do their job. That's the key, the additives in that fuel is a constant consistent application to the components they're designed to come into contact with. And they do their job. The upper end spary treatment that we buy in a can are NOT constant, if they were they would certainly do a good job. Yes. However instead due to direct injection, the spots that are not consistently being sprayed/treated with those additives, will not benefit from a five minute light application every 5,000-10,000 miles. It would have to be constant to prevent the buildup we all are trying to remove/prevent. Now the real question is...how is the design of the upper end of this motor...the PCV system, the blowby, everything? I have heard that there haven't been many complaints of backside valve carbon buildup with these engines. And I have heard the opposite as well. Oil has changed a bit too, it seems like manufacturers have obviously needed oil to do more in terms of low speed detonation prevention and oil cooking and turning into carbon on valves, so perhaps its improved? I don't know. And some people claim that direct injection has come a long way. Probably has. BMW and Audi certainly had their fair share of issues with carbon buildup misfires and check engine lights, but honestly I haven't heard much about those things from other manufacturers of late. Oil consumption and fuel dilution are the buzz words now...shorter drain intervals, leaking high pressure fuel pumps. Who knows, maybe the backside of the valves aren't really a big issue anymore...not sure.
Unfortunately I agree with you 100%, however I do use something every 5-10k miles (and I should know better, I'm a tech). I know exactly how difficult it is to really remove carbon buildup. Even the videos of "proof" in cleaner comparisons in which they send a scope down in there and show before and after "results" isn't really proof (not that any of them show much in terms of results). Run any engine for a few minutes and a number of things/factors will indirectly effect carbon on piston heads or the back of valves (moisture, heat, fuel). You might get a little "clean" spot or section and five minutes later the surface is prepped to add more soot and carbon...then it's covered again. I'm planning on sending a scope down my intake in a few weeks - figure it's been long enough since I've owned the vehicle and installed a catch can - I have 28,000 miles on it...if it's clean then maybe, just maybe I can say the catch can and cleaner solutions I've run did a little something. Truthfully we do this stuff because it makes us feel good, we feel like we're at least trying to help the situation...we believe, we buy the products. It's more mental than anything.
A common characteristic of DI is the high pressure the fuel injectors are spraying into the cylinder (600 plus psi). That I believe is enough to allow some fuel dilution past the rings, however I do think in this case, the high pressure fuel pump diaphragm is leaking. But yes, there does seem to be fuel dilution issues with direct injection engines, among other issues as well. My oil smells like fuel sometimes, sometimes it doesn't. I've had a little bit of oil consumption as well (28,000 miles).
Like everyone else I just run a cleaner through the vacuum line coming from my catch can, usually right before I do an oil change...although I haven't done it the last two times. But I've used 3M, CRC and Seafoam. Not sure any of them have actually done a thing. My plan is to send a boroscope down the intake and take a look at the vales to see just how good/bad they look after 28,000 miles. The problem I have with cleaners is that it's a very quick thing and to really CLEAN carbon off of anything takes time...takes effort. I've never seen a cleaner remove carbon, even if it's soaked over night. It still requires some scrubbing, and obviously you don't get that from spraying something into your intake for five minutes. Someone mentioned to me a water infusion system, I guess some people used to have a can of water that would allow a mist to be introduced into the intake continuesly under certain vacuum/throttle/cruise conditions. But it involved some work...checking the water supply and adding an agent to prevent freezing in the winter. Sounded kind of interesting. A harmless mist of water to clean carbon continuously.
Just a quick one year update. 28,000 miles, knock on wood no problems yet. My "lifetime" gas mileage over those 28,000 miles is 24 mpg right on the dot. I know the truck's computer isn't accurate but it's what I go off of. Honestly if the weather around here hadn't been so damn cold the last three months I would have most likely averaged 25.5/26. One year in...I just changed the front and rear diff fluid, transfer case, and I've already done a couple tranny fluid changes with a mighty vac. I still don't like the way this thing shifts, or how frequently it shifts, it seems to not hold onto gears long enough, drops down, then back up...a few clunks. Drove a friend's truck to compare and it does the same thing, so I guess it's normal. I blame the AFM system for the "confusion" in gear shift/selection, but hey, I'm getting great mileage and as long as the tranny is realible im fine with it. Great truck overall...quiet, good power, handles well, great on the highway, no fit and finish issues, paint has actually held up real well (white). And I do a ton of highway driving, lots of rocks getting thrown at the truck every single day. I did see some rail rust forming on the fenders and lower sections of the doors...simple spray of iron out and some scrubbing took care of that. Only have received a couple paint chips (small). And unfortunate I drove quite a bit last summer on a section of road that was being re-paved...front of the hood collected some tar that showed up on the white paint (white paint has its benefits, but it also can really show other things I'm not used to, as I've always had black or dark blue vehicles). Interior has been flawless - no sign of wear anywhere - and it's had to withstand my 6'2" 240 pound son getting in and out of it constantly from football practice, and from wrestling matches...that's a lot of punishment, believe me. So far so good, great truck. Oil changes every 5,000 miles...uses about 1/2 to 3/4 a quart. I'm ok with that.
Sorry for the late response, I will be dropping the pan at some point and changing the filter but I'm not quite where I want to be mileage wise yet (I'm at 28,000, figure I'll drop the pan at 50,000). I've seen some videos on removi the pan...not something I'm looking forward to...too bad they put the exhaust right under that pan. Dropping pans are pain enough when the fluid is dripping all over the place...even worse when you have to finagle a pan out.
Well I drive my first 4.3 yesterday, not bad, I did think the power difference was somewhat noticeable but in all honesty I found the drivetrain to be smoother than the 5.3 because it dodnt go into V4 mode nearly as much and the transmission wasn't always kind of hunting back and forth. I wish my 5.3 was like that, instead it's always switching into V4 and the tranmssion is always dropping into a lower gear. I mean when I'm really on it the thing drives great but it always wants to go into V4. I really was shocked how infrequently the 4.3 goes into V4 (compared to the 5.3). I can see why people tune the V4 out on the 5.3's; I'm not ready to do that but after driving the V6 I can see a tune in my future.
As soon as you buy these things I think it’s real important to treat the undercarriage with either fluid film, or any of the other wet applications. And keep it going every year. The factory frame wax is a joke, with bare spots right there on the dealer lot. I was shocked to find my brand new 2018 with rust already starting as soon as I got the thing home. Now I fluid film it twice a year and constantly touch up trouble spots with something.
I think you'll need a real good test ride to determine if these trucks are for you, personally I love mine but the transmission is a little "weird". And I have the six speed. I find that it kind of doesn't hold onto a gear very long at low speeds...the rpm's will be at 1,400 and you'd think that would be low enough and then it shifts and drops it even lower. Then it goes up, then down. And it clunks. Some shifts feel a little "hard"...like when I'm not expecting it. Funny thing is when I drive it harder and push it a little bit, it shifts fine, like it's meant to be driven hard. Which I don't. I don't tow, I don't have a heavy foot, etc. An AFM delete - from what I hear will eliminate some of the shifting back and forth. But like I said, I do love the truck and I can certainly live with the quirkiness of this transmission. I have a 2018 5.3 with 28,000 miles on it (already). Also when cold the truck will give me this fish bite sensation under light throttle/low speeds, but I hear that could be a result of the direct injection...once it warms up it's fine. I believe the mechanical issues with the transmissions - if you were to have one - would be a failed torque converter (and pump). I hear more about those than total transmission failures. I also hear there is a TSB for a transmission fluid flush.
Kind of interesting...I always was taught that the valve cover vents were necessary for removal of crank blowby fumes. But it makes sense that during WOT intake manifold drops to the point that you're not pulling through the PCV, yet pressure in the crankcase pushes it out through those valve cover vents. Explains why ive sometimes seen oil tracking into the throttle body, and up through the air snorkel and those vent lines on some cars. Good info. As for a catch can, yeah I run one. I empty it every 2,000 miles or so and it's usually pretty full (mix of oil water). I might send a scope down my intake and take a look at the valves - truck has 27,000 miles now - I've run two cleaners into the manifold since new and installed the catch can at around 12,000 miles. Interested to see how those valves look now.
I read that the AFM activates much more frequently in the 5.3 than the 4.3 - you mentioned since switching to the 0W20 that you've noticed it going into V4 mode much more frequently - I wonder if the oil has something to do with the 5.3 activating more frequently? Kind of doubt it, Imagine that's a factory software demand to keep fuel economy as optimal as possible in the V8
Same oil pump and oil pressure? And the 4.3 has the variable valve timing? How many lifters collapse when AFM activates? 2? I gather what you're saying is, GM is doing this just for CAFE regulations and fuel economy, right? Makes sesne, I just didn't realize the 4.3 is that similar to the 5.3
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