5.3 engine loud tick/ knock

Asked by Dec 30, 2015 at 10:18 AM about the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2012chevy Silverado 4x4 5.3 flex fuel it just turned over 118,000 miles
The engine has ran fine and has never used any oil at all, and the oil has been changed every 5000 miles since its been new. Now just over 118,000 miles its started to knock/ tick and it sounds like its coming from the rocker arms from cylinder 1 and 3. I pulled off the valve cover and checked the rocker arms and watched them when the engine was running. Everything looks ok, but I did notice that the oil only trickles out the rocker arms as if low oil pressure, and my oil pressure usually ran at 40psi at idle, now its at about 30psi and fluctuates up as high as 50 or 60psi during acceleration. I`m guessing its losing oil pressure someplace, Top end leak? Any ideas or similar problems and fixes? I have read about the oil pump pick up tube O-ring and this sounds like my loss in oil pressure, but would like to know if anyone else has replaced this O-ring and it cured their problem!!
Email me at strayufo@gmail.com
with commits and answers

4 Answers


Yes I have heard about the o-ring ordeal. You took care of that motor, just need to fix a flaw, before adjusting the rocker arms. A little oil flow across the rocker arms is normal. One other thing that has nothing to do with the engines actual oil pressure, Is you may be getting false readings from the gauge. GM had put a fine screen type basket under the oil pressure unit that gets gummed up. The oil pressure sending unit needs to be taken out and that screen fished out and cleaned. Then the gauge will be more accurate.


If you go to the oil pump pick-up I would replace the oil pump with a high volume pump since you are there. Before doing any of this I would check the oil pressure with a mechanical gauge to help in determining the condition of the engine.


After replacing the o ring and it still taps try adding some Lucas Engine Oil Stabilizer to oil. Had a friend that had a tap in his engine added stabilizer and let idle in about 45 minutes the tap was gone. Not saying it is going to work for you but it is worth a try.

I've had a Gen III 5.3 in my old Tahoe (240,000 miles) and now a Gen IV 5.3 in my Suburban (181,000 miles). The tick is apparently pretty common on these as the age. That said, I just experienced the knocking (accompanied by CEL, Stabilitrak and traction control warning) which led to my replacing all the lifters (I kept it stock with AFM still working). I found that the #6 cylinder's intake lifter completely collapsed. That said, the cam was OK so I didn't do an AFM delete kit but I did replace all the lifters. With new lifters, it is silky smooth and quiet. Just the lifters (head gasket kit) and related parts and supplies it is about a $1400 job, minus labor.

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