New lifter tick in my GM 5.3L... could it be my oil?

Messages
20
Location
Maryland
Hello all,

I have a 2007 Chevy Tahoe - 5.3L FlexFuel engine with 170k miles on the clock. About 3k miles ago I switched from M1 5w30 High Mileage to LiquiMoly Molygen 5w30. For the past 1-2k miles I've noticed a lifter tick when cold - it does go away once warmed up. I am assuming this is a sticky lifter. In the past 10k miles I have run Kreen through the system twice, so I am questioning if any more additives will help. My plan is to switch back to M1 HM 5w30 and run AutoRX (figured I might as well). I've seen a few YouTube videos on spraying Berryman B12 onto the stuck lifters to free them...

Does anyone have any experience with this?
 

cfmistry

Thread starter
Messages
20
Location
Maryland
I listened pretty closely and I am 99% sure it is the lifter.

So is this nothing to worry about in the GM 5.3L? It goes away once the engine is warmed up, but that can take a few minutes. Am I not causing damage for those few minutes its warming up?
 
Last edited:
Messages
1,144
Location
Pacific Northwest
I once had a Grand Cherokee that had a ticking noise at startup. I tried all kinds of things to free up that lifter, but it turns out that it was a clicking EVAP purge solenoid. It sounded exactly like a bum lifter to me. Maybe try taking a long screw driver and use your ear to pin point the tick.

You're probably right that you've got lifter lifter tick, but that's not usually a big deal and is typical for your mileage and engine type. You can try throwing some snake oil at it if you want, or you can try doing some more frequent oil change intervals to try to help clean any deposits from the lifter, but I wouldn't get too wrapped up about it.
 
Messages
17,020
Location
...
I’m not sure this is lifters. It just happened in the last 1-2000 miles? Give it a good look over. Plugs, heat shield, etc. Check for a broken manifold bolt


If it is doing it while cold then that would be the time to listen and try to trace the sound.


In any case I would doubt the oil is at fault here.
 
Messages
104
Location
MO USA
My 2003 Durango with the 4.7 litre engine did the same thing.....low lifter when cold. Coincidently I added Liqui Moly additive to high mileage Mobil 1 10w30. https://www.mobil.com/en/lubricants...cts/products/mobil-super-high-mileage-10w-30/

I drove around town, and that fixed it. I don't know much about the LiquiMoly brand oils, but additive works great IMHO. Also, some people on BITOG say that the synthetic blend oils are better for the old engines due to the clearances they were made with vs the modern engines. The Chrysler 4.7 litre engines seem to rattle on start up when you use straight synthetics.
 
Messages
1,212
2007 have the DOD? If so, pretty common on the earlier models to have a collapsed lifter. And yes, I have seen many GM’s with noisy lifters when cold. Also seen many with exhaust manifold bolts that broke, making a similar noise.
 

OVERKILL

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Messages
45,842
Location
Ontario, Canada
My 2003 Durango with the 4.7 litre engine did the same thing.....low lifter when cold. Coincidently I added Liqui Moly additive to high mileage Mobil 1 10w30. https://www.mobil.com/en/lubricants...cts/products/mobil-super-high-mileage-10w-30/

I drove around town, and that fixed it. I don't know much about the LiquiMoly brand oils, but additive works great IMHO. Also, some people on BITOG say that the synthetic blend oils are better for the old engines due to the clearances they were made with vs the modern engines. The Chrysler 4.7 litre engines seem to rattle on start up when you use straight synthetics.

That 4.7L has nothing in common with the OP's pushrod motor save the number of cylinders however. The 4.7L is much more similar to a Ford Modular, being SOHC and having small stationary HLA's, whilst the OP's engine has roller lifters.
 
Messages
692
Location
FL
Only way to know is switch back.
Is the filter the same with both oils.
Im getting ready to put M1 hm in both my 5.3s. 1 has piston slap at start up the other real quiet but leaks oil
 
Messages
17,061
Location
Upper Midwest
Also, some people on BITOG say that the synthetic blend oils are better for the old engines due to the clearances they were made with vs the modern engines. The Chrysler 4.7 litre engines seem to rattle on start up when you use straight synthetics.
I don't understand that. The film thickness is related to clearances and the viscosity of the oil, how could the chemical composition affect the grade outside of the viscosity?

And beyond that, most synthetics are Group III base stocks anyway which is chemically the same as conventional oil.
 
Messages
409
Location
Owego, New York
Hello all,

I have a 2007 Chevy Tahoe - 5.3L FlexFuel engine with 170k miles on the clock. About 3k miles ago I switched from M1 5w30 High Mileage to LiquiMoly Molygen 5w30. For the past 1-2k miles I've noticed a lifter tick when cold - it does go away once warmed up. I am assuming this is a sticky lifter. In the past 10k miles I have run Kreen through the system twice, so I am questioning if any more additives will help. My plan is to switch back to M1 HM 5w30 and run AutoRX (figured I might as well). I've seen a few YouTube videos on spraying Berryman B12 onto the stuck lifters to free them...

Does anyone have any experience with this?
Never had the issue because I don't keep my vehicles very long, buy the quietest oil I ever ran, and continue to run in my vehicles is Castrol Magnatec. I heartily endorse it.
 
Messages
15,061
Location
Canada
I’d try an additive with solids in it - moly disulphide, ceratec, or Rislone NanoPrime. Might cushion it enough to make it go away.
 
Messages
104
Location
MO USA
Understand completely that the 4.7 litre Chrysler and the GM5.3 have nothing in common. I just cited that I had the same thing happen that he is experiencing at about the same mileage. Most synthetics are made from base stocks or natural gas derivatives, but like I said, others have reported noisier engines when they switch to or run total synthetics vs syn blends, or straight dino oil, especially in older worn or low clearance engines. I too have heard good things about the Castrol Magnatec, but I have never used it myself. I will have to try it out at next OCI.

The moral I guess is, find out what works for you; oil brand, derivative, viscosity, filter, additives. Whatever combination makes the noise disappear, document that, and then keep on using it.
 
Messages
4,485
Location
Massachusetts
Also, some people on BITOG say that the synthetic blend oils are better for the old engines due to the clearances they were made with vs the modern engines.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone post that. On the contrary, I've posted engine specs from various designs that indicate bearing clearances have not changed in decades. In fact, the acceptable main bearing clearance on my '59 Willys F-134 could actually be made tighter than the Coyote 5.0L in my truck!
 
Messages
689
My 05 Silverado 4.8 developed cold start piston slap when cold, and a constant lifter tick when I changed the oil and switched to a fram ultra filter. After reading on here some of these engines didn't like the fram ultra I switched to an extra guard and the tick disappeared.

I thought it came back and then realized the second time a couple plugs has loosened off and were leaking compression making a similar ticking sound.

Mine is also missing one bolt on the back of each exhaust manifold but they haven't started leaking yet, but it a possibility as others said above.
 
Messages
2,696
Location
San Rafael, CA
I don't think I've ever seen anyone post that. On the contrary, I've posted engine specs from various designs that indicate bearing clearances have not changed in decades. In fact, the acceptable main bearing clearance on my '59 Willys F-134 could actually be made tighter than the Coyote 5.0L in my truck!
Yeah honestly I don't see how the engine can differentiate between synthetic blend or full synthetic.
 
Messages
4,485
Location
Massachusetts
It can't, but I've read plenty of voodoo on this forum, and experienced it myself, where one oil will sound quieter than others.

A good example is Quaker State or Pennzoil and Mobil 1. PYB conventional was the go to for a quiet engine.
Pretty much anything always sounded better here in a Jeep 2.5/4.0 than Mobil 1, but there are others who have experienced the opposite.

If I was the OP, I would just return to the same oil I always used and skip the AutoRX.
 
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