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2000 Gmc Sierra/Chevy Silverado 5.3 cold starts

mikes17mikes17 Member Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in GMC
Just wondering if any one else has had a problem
with a knocking or rapping noise from the 5.3 V8
only for about three seconds on start up,in fact
you may not hear it unless you stand outside the
truck and start it,and only on cold or first
morning starts after sitting all night, once
started the engine runs fine and is quite. this
started on my 2000 GMC Sierra ext cab SLE Z-85(the

about 3300 miles, thinking maybe a plugged or
restricted oil filter causing valve train noise I
changed the oil, 5-30 as the book says and the
pf-59 delco filter, no change, same noise, did a
little checking around and tried a better oil
filter(better check valve for drain back)mobile 1
filter did help a little as does idling the engine
@ 1000 rpm for a few seconds before turning the
engine off,Have spoken to the dealer and they say
it is a wrist pin on one of the pistons and will
cause no damage and will run for 100,000 miles,
ummm I wonder ?? Thanks for any help in this
matter, other than this problem I love the truck


  • anonymousanonymous Member Posts: 314
    i'm no expert on the new chevy's but, i have a
    2000 w/ 5.3 and heard this same noise at the
    bottom end. asked several dealers about and was
    told that some top and/or bottom noise is normal.
    have listened to several different 5.3's
    including guys i hang out with and noise is same.
    mine was worse with mobil #206 filter so i went
    back to PF59. sounds more like rod play rather
    than wrist pin. one service also told me that rod
    clearence is a noticable noise on the new

    hope this helps to take out some of the fear.

  • gmcsierragmcsierra Member Posts: 40
    I hear what you are referring to. Have about 900 miles on mine so far. It is a very slight noise almost like it is trying to pump up the hydraulic lifters. My guess is that they built these motors a little loose so they would rev a little quicker. As a result, you would hear a little ticking type noise on initial cold start-up. Also depending on the type of pistons they are using now, they could have overbored the cylinders a little to allow for piston expansion during warm-up. This would cause a similar noise. Nothing to really worry about on relaibility though.

    On the filter issue, my filter stands straight up so I see no way oil could drain out of the filter while it is parked. Is this why you were trying the different filters?
  • mike38mike38 Member Posts: 15
    yes I have same noise on start up and at about 1500-2000 rpm. Using synthetic mobile and motor has 10K on it so far. The noise has yet to change since new. Do you guys notice any noise at rpm ?
  • cemmer1cemmer1 Member Posts: 1
    i think in that engine they use solid lifters. that would account for rattleing sound you here.
  • dbhulldbhull Member Posts: 150
    The noise only comes from the drivers side. No noise on the passengers side. Still possible to be the lifters?
  • mike38mike38 Member Posts: 15
    YES.. your absolutley correct, the clacking/tapping type sound is on the drivers side, it sounds as if it is towards the rear cylinders on the dr side. Ill keep you posted as too any change. I am going to have it documented on dealer work-order dont want them touching my motor unless its a real problem.
    to post #4 this motor uses hydaulic roller lifters, they are not solid lifters. This motor is basically an LS1, as is in the Camaro and Vette.
  • gmcsierragmcsierra Member Posts: 40
    The clacking/tapping type sound you refer to is actually detonation. I noticed it as it started to warm up from winter. Tried mid grade fuel and it went away. This sound is actually normal to an extent. If you are lugging the motor up a hill in overdrive this will happen to almost any car. Depending on how well they are insulated will dictate whether or not you actually hear it.

    I actually don't hear any noise on an overnight cold startup. Mine occurs after I have driven it to get to full operating temperature and shut the engine off for a few minutes and restart it. The clicking only lasts for about 2 seconds then goes away.

    What are your alls oil pressure guages registering? Mine shows about75-78 while cold idleing and 55-60 while hot idleing.

    Has anyone tried the 10w-30. I think this is the oil viscosity gm says you can use in warmer climates. If so, did it help any?
  • redsilveradoredsilverado Member Posts: 1,000
    picked up my truck today from service, was having
    play in steering wheel shaft adjusted for side
    play. while it was there they checked into my
    engine noise(was concerned about possible
    detination) and they confirmed that the new
    Vortec's are setup with slightly more rod
    clearance than older 350's. that is why as i'm
    told that you sometimes hear a knock sound when
    you first start after engine is warm. we had an
    olds than had these same symptoms and it never
    burned a drop of oil, but it sure ran like an

  • mikes17mikes17 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the responses to my original posting about engine noise on cold starts. I guess it is good to know that I am not the only one hearing these things. in reference to post #2, it doesn't matter where or how your oil filter is mounted to the engine,the oil filter has a drain back valve or what you could call a check vale to prevent the oil that is in the upper lubrication system of the engine from draining back into the oil pan through the oil filter and then causing the oil pump to have to fill the whole system before the oil gets to where it is needed, the drain back valves as they are called are made of different materials on different filters , I guess most are OK and will do the job but I have read that you should stay away from fram filters, in fact most of the filters are made by one company for all the other brand names, So far I have tried the delco PF59 that that came on the truck and I also have tried the Mobile 1 oil filter (#206) which was rated very high,the difference in price (cost of the mobile 1 is like three times as much as the PF59)so far has not made that much difference in the noise. however the the mobile 1 filter did improve the problem somewhat . I am going to try the purolater pureone next oil change also a well rated filter. The other thing I talked about was the Z-85 pkg on my truck, it comes with an oil cooler which means more places to pump oil before it gets to where it is needed, just wondered if anyone with this noise also has the Z-85 or the oil cooler option. I have read that on the old 350's with oil cooler options they had problems.
    In response to post #3 ,in my case with my truck I have not heard the noise at any time other than the first few seconds on a cold start, normally the first start of the day.I did run my engine up and down through the rpm ranges you spoke about,in fact in my case after the first few seconds my engine doesn't sound to bad.
    In response to post #7,yes I did try 10-30 as the book says for warmer weather and it made the problem even worst on cool morning starts so I went back to 5-30 , fastest oil change ever. As for the detonation, this is the first time I have heard of this problem,from what you know do you think this would be only for a few seconds on a cold start and never any other time?in my case I still think it may be mechanical or oil related , my engine only makes this knocking or raping for a few seconds on cold starts the only difference between the first start and the rest of the day is engine temp and the amount of oil up in the engine. at the time I am getting the noise the engine has not changed temp from start up and in just a few seconds the the noise is gone? this leads me back to the oil and keeping it up in the engine over night.back to the detonation you spoke of , are you saying higher octane or lower octane is better I have run 93 or 94 since the first tank. well I hope someone can use this info, I am starting to look at it like I have 5 years or 75k before it really becomes my problem so I am going to keep asking questions and keep my ears open and hope for the best , while trying to to enjoy the truck rather than check out every new noise , I guess it doesn't matter how much you spend these days they all come with problems.
  • gmcsierragmcsierra Member Posts: 40
    Actually the detonation I was speaking of was when driving. I heard a slight pinging/ticking at the dr side rear of the motor when pulling hills at around 1100 rpm. Had a friend ride with me and he heard it on passenger side too. I switched from 87 to 89 octane and this went away. On the other hand it did not affect the start-up noise. I think I misread an earlier post on that part of it. Seems to me like 93 is an over kill for this motor unless your using one of the Hypertech programmers to change the ignition advance curve.

    Like you say, all vehicles have their problems, but I love this truck.
  • jtsulljtsull Member Posts: 5
    I have a 2000 LS 1500 with the 4.8 V8 with 1400 miles on it. I also get detonation if the truck is fully warmed up - shut off - and restarted within 10 minutes or so. The "pinging noise" only seems to be there during the 1 or 2 seconds it takes to start the engine. Should I have the dealer look at it? Love the truck - no problems at all - so far!
  • nrd525nrd525 Member Posts: 109
    Yep,I have it,it's slight,but I could hear it tonight when I left for work.I kind of figured it was going to do it,my friend's Camaro does it,and another friend's 99 Silverado too.It just does ONE "CLACK",and that's it,so far..
  • mgumgu Member Posts: 5
    I must add my name to the list of people experiencing what sounds like lifters for 10-20 seconds during cold start. The dealer reconized the symptom's and stated GM was aware of the problem which was actually carbon build-up on the cylinder walls. The recommended fix was to soak each cylinder with a solvent overnight. This did not work and by the way while they were working on my truck when two more came in with the same problem and experienced the same result. GM has no solution at this time. I have requested a extended warranty until they solve the problem. No response yet. 99 1/2 5.3 24k mi
  • gmcsierragmcsierra Member Posts: 40
    I just changed my oil the other day at 1600 miles give or take a few. That break in oil was really thin!!! Put on a new pf59 filter and topped it off with 5w-30 Mobil 1 (non-synthetic) and that little ticking noise is gone for now. Also clicking off better gas mileage since the change(about 1 mpg) overall.

    It may return later, but for now it's ok.

    gmc sierra
  • fordtough1fordtough1 Member Posts: 14
    The cold knocking is most likely your rod bearings. Several months ago there were alot of post on this. The rod bearings will go out and actually lock the motor up.
  • rrichfrrichf Member Posts: 211
    Usually when a car had a rod getting ready to go, the "seller" would put a heavier grade of oil to hide the noise.
  • gmcsierragmcsierra Member Posts: 40
    Maybe ford could take a que and make their motors knock too, because when I blew the cracked doors off that 5.4 today, he was really ticked. Just a thought!
  • gmcsierragmcsierra Member Posts: 40
    I thought all the posts a few months back were about loose pistons that were making that diesel noise in all the ford motors. Sorry, I just couldn't resist the temptation
  • mgumgu Member Posts: 5
    The dealer used a PF59 filter and 10-30 oil, no change.GM does not know what the problem is. Went for a extended warranty ( no cost) and got it. A little piece of mind until they find the problem
  • mrurlmrurl Member Posts: 116
    The assistant service manager at my Chevy dealership told me the other day that the cold start knock was the result of the pistons being installed 180 degrees out of position. That sounds like an expensive repair.

  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    not trying to be a wise guy...but this suggests that it was installed upside down...
  • gmcsierragmcsierra Member Posts: 40
    I actually got off my rear today and crawled around under mine when I first started it this morning. The only noise I can pinpoint emininates from the catalytic convertors. Almost sounds as if it may be amplifying a combustion noise when it hits the cats? Has anyone noticed a difference by adding headers or using a higher flow catalytic convertor y-pipe?
  • mrurlmrurl Member Posts: 116
    Not 180 deg that way! the part of the piston that is supposed to face the front of the engine faces the back.

    gmcsierra - That could be some unburned fuel detonating in the hot cat.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    just funnin ya. My 5.3 with JBA headers, Gibson catback, Granatelli MAF, Airaid, and HPIII programming for 94 octane exhibits no knocking on startup. Also running Royal Purple 10-30w synthetic with PF 59 filter. However, don't ask about my vibrations... ;)
  • davec1257davec1257 Member Posts: 24
    I've got the '99 Silverado Z71 w/ 4.8L V8. I was getting that tapping sound at cold starts. However, my dealer did the cleaning out the carbon buildup thing and it worked, for now. I'll let you know if it crops up again.
  • rrichfrrichf Member Posts: 211
    Your "upside down pistons" had me LOL.

    For the life of me, I can not imagine how pistons could be installed 180 degrees wrong. Even if GM did something idiotic like put the skirts on the pistons parallel to the wrist pin it still wouldn't make any difference. If the piston skirt wasn't destroyed on the first revolution the engine ever turned, they would never be. I'm sorry but I just can't see noise caused by a piston 180 degrees out!

    That assistant service manager just might try to sell you some new muffler bearings too. ;)

  • meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
    After 30 or more days of inactivity....

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