Getting my Chevy 4.3 to 300k

Messages
16
Location
North Texas
Hey y'all, I have a 2001 Chevy S10 with the 4.3 V6 that just hit 200k miles. I love this truck. And it's a manual! My goal is to reach 300k miles without any major repairs, and I'd like advice on engine oil. A bit of background- I do keep on top of maintenance, but I also use it like a truck. I haul around welders and riding mowers, drive on dirt roads, and occasionally I end up towing over 6,000 pounds. What I've been using is Valvoline Maxlife 10W30 semi-synthetic with a WIX filter, changed every 5,000-6,000 miles. I don't know if I should stick with this or try something fancier. What are good options? I'm just trying to do the best for my engine, so all input is appreciated. Some of the options I considered- Sticking with 10W30 Maxlife Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 10W30 Schaeffers SynShield 10W30 or 15W40 diesel oil Rotella T5 10W30 or 15W40 diesel oil Is thicker oil a bad idea? Is diesel oil a good thing in a 4.3? Should I be leery of stretching my OCI? As a side note, I do have a few small leaks and a tiny bit a of blow-by, which the Maxlife helps with. If I go with a non high-mileage oil and it starts to leak more I'll add some STP stop-leak to it, which has worked great for me in the past.
 
Messages
234
Location
South
If you've accrued 200k then you are doing everything right. 4.3 V6 is a tough engine but watch for intake leaking coolant into the engine. If you start to see milky residue around the oil cap it's too late. Main brgs don't like coolant in the oil. You might want to pull the intake and replace the gaskets as a precaution. Carry on.
 

CharlotteB

Thread starter
Messages
16
Location
North Texas
Thanks for the quick replies! I do change the coolant more frequently than called for. Don't want to risk anything with it. I recently changed the clutch fluid, brake fluid, PS fluid, and MTF too. Is 5,000 miles a good OCI for Maxlife in my application? It sounds like Maxlife meets with approval around here.
 
Messages
9,275
Location
Virginia
Yeah Maxlife is good to go.... I'm at 298,500 miles.. .. And my car runs very good still.... I'd drive it on a long trip even now.
 
Messages
13,019
Location
Indiana
Have you had to do the lower intake manifold gaskets yet? Aside from that and the transfer case vacuum switch allowing fluid to get sucked from the t case and into the intake, my blazer has been a good little truck. Bought it with 124k 3 years ago and it just passed 170k today. I've also dressed it up with BFG K02 tires and Bilstein shocks. It's more like a pig with lipstick. Lol. I've been giving my truck just about anything I get cheap. I did have a nasty oil leak from the pan, but I was able to slow it down with some Bars stop leak. I plan on continuing using the stuff for the time being.
 

CharlotteB

Thread starter
Messages
16
Location
North Texas
I haven't touched the manifold gaskets. Mine's 2wd so no transfer case. How do you like those Bistein shocks? I've been considering some myself. I'm not exactly sure where my leaks are coming from, but the Maxlife keeps it down to about three or four drips a week. I'm afraid to pressure wash it and see because of electronics. Last time I washed off the engine compartment with just a garden hose, the starter wouldn't work until I hit it with a hammer laugh
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,855
Location
Iowegia - USA
Originally Posted by CharlotteB
Hey y'all, I have a 2001 Chevy S10 with the 4.3 V6 that just hit 200k miles. I love this truck. And it's a manual! My goal is to reach 300k miles without any major repairs, and I'd like advice on engine oil. A bit of background- I do keep on top of maintenance, but I also use it like a truck. I haul around welders and riding mowers, drive on dirt roads, and occasionally I end up towing over 6,000 pounds. What I've been using is Valvoline Maxlife 10W30 semi-synthetic with a WIX filter, changed every 5,000-6,000 miles. I don't know if I should stick with this or try something fancier. What are good options? I'm just trying to do the best for my engine, so all input is appreciated. Some of the options I considered- Sticking with 10W30 Maxlife Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 10W30 Schaeffers SynShield 10W30 or 15W40 diesel oil Rotella T5 10W30 or 15W40 diesel oil Is thicker oil a bad idea? Is diesel oil a good thing in a 4.3? Should I be leery of stretching my OCI? As a side note, I do have a few small leaks and a tiny bit a of blow-by, which the Maxlife helps with. If I go with a non high-mileage oil and it starts to leak more I'll add some STP stop-leak to it, which has worked great for me in the past.
I have a little over 210,00 miles on 1999 S-10 with the same V6 and use synthetic 10W30 and a PF 52E filter with no oil consumption whatsover. The transmission is automatic and still shifting great.
 
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Messages
22,318
Location
Apple Valley, California
We had a shop truck that was a 96 Blazer. Sold it with 280K on it. The engine ran fine. The rest of the truck was falling apart. When ATF started filling up the ash tray we didn't want to deal with it any more. I saw it in the scrap yard a couple years later. It was wrecked and had 313K on it. It got the cheapest 10w30 or 10w40 oil that was on sale and changed every 5-6k.
 
Messages
25,690
Location
Upstate NY
Originally Posted by CharlotteB
Hey y'all, I have a 2001 Chevy S10 with the 4.3 V6 that just hit 200k miles. I love this truck. And it's a manual! My goal is to reach 300k miles without any major repairs, and I'd like advice on engine oil. A bit of background- I do keep on top of maintenance, but I also use it like a truck. I haul around welders and riding mowers, drive on dirt roads, and occasionally I end up towing over 6,000 pounds. What I've been using is Valvoline Maxlife 10W30 semi-synthetic with a WIX filter, changed every 5,000-6,000 miles. I don't know if I should stick with this or try something fancier. What are good options? I'm just trying to do the best for my engine, so all input is appreciated. Some of the options I considered- Sticking with 10W30 Maxlife Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 10W30 Schaeffers SynShield 10W30 or 15W40 diesel oil Rotella T5 10W30 or 15W40 diesel oil Is thicker oil a bad idea? Is diesel oil a good thing in a 4.3? Should I be leery of stretching my OCI? As a side note, I do have a few small leaks and a tiny bit a of blow-by, which the Maxlife helps with. If I go with a non high-mileage oil and it starts to leak more I'll add some STP stop-leak to it, which has worked great for me in the past.
You could tow it the last 100K to get it to 300K
 
Messages
9,275
Location
Virginia
Originally Posted by CharlotteB
I haven't touched the manifold gaskets. Mine's 2wd so no transfer case. How do you like those Bistein shocks? I've been considering some myself. I'm not exactly sure where my leaks are coming from, but the Maxlife keeps it down to about three or four drips a week. I'm afraid to pressure wash it and see because of electronics. Last time I washed off the engine compartment with just a garden hose, the starter wouldn't work until I hit it with a hammer laugh
Yeahhhh.... I would not wash a engine bay. Use a degreaser and paper towels or clothes and wipe down.
 
Messages
5,530
Location
NJ
I don't think the brand of oil will make any difference. Keep up the maintenance and perform periodic inspections looking for problems. Finding and addressing a small problem prevents a big problem.
 
Messages
3,660
Location
St. Charles County, Missouri
Just for grins, I spent about ten minutes this morning looking at customer responses for Quaker State Advanced Durability. All responses were good, four and five stars and most drivers ('cause of the blue collar marketing of QS) had large displacement engines (many in trucks) who were at 200,000 miles and went with QS because Daddy told 'em to do so when they were twelve. I'm sure Pennzoil and Valvoline have the same kind of guys. Fact is, you're doing right and you have an engine that will out live the rest of the vehicle, something that until a decade ago with GDI and turbos, we always took for granted.
 
Messages
1,623
Location
MN
If you want to keep it for the long haul, and the intake has never been off, then you should seriously consider replacing the lower intake gaskets and replacing the fuel injection with the MPFI version. You'll have the peace of mind knowing you have new gaskets, and the benefit of brand new (and much improved) fuel injectors.
 
Messages
626
Location
Cleveland, OH
Aint that the truth! I owned a 2003 Blazer for 11 years, the thing nickle and dimed me the entire time. Although living in the Rustbelt doesn't help either. The 4.3 was solid though the previous owner drove 28k on a oil change, the engine didn't cause me any problems other than a head gasket. I used Vavoline Max life full syn, Vavoline Max Life simi-syn, VWB, PP, Mobil1. My friend who is a mechanic drives it now he's approaching 200k.
 
Messages
13,019
Location
Indiana
Originally Posted by Chris142
We had a shop truck that was a 96 Blazer. Sold it with 280K on it. The engine ran fine. The rest of the truck was falling apart. When ATF started filling up the ash tray we didn't want to deal with it any more. I saw it in the scrap yard a couple years later. It was wrecked and had 313K on it. It got the cheapest 10w30 or 10w40 oil that was on sale and changed every 5-6k.
That's the t cast switch I mentioned above. GM now has a revised version. $40 I think. Not a bad job, but not fun either. Thankfully mine never came to that, but the actuator under the battery was starting to fill up. I also bought all new hvac actually for under the dash since it's all vacuum driven. I ran all new vacuum lines under the truck too. There's a junkyard just south of me that has a Blazer with a manual "Jeep style" t case. Very very tempting.
 
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