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Thread: OT Chevrolet Pickup Silverado Engine Failure

  1. #1
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    Question OT Chevrolet Pickup Silverado Engine Failure

    Friend of mine who is not real mechanical takes his 2011 Silverado pickup with 158,000 miles to his "trusted mechanic" who tells him his 5.3 engine is shot. He goes on to tell him those 5.3 GM engines are junk!

    It started with a sound like a belt squealing noise. Mechanic pulls both belts, checks all, finds nothing. Friend takes truck and returns now engine will not turn over. Guy installed new starter, no help. Mechanic tells friend all the above and engine needs replaced? No low oil pressure light or pressure, nothing in all the time friend has been driving. Oil and filter has been changed on schedule 0W-20 oil as specified I assume. My online google searches show only common issues on those years was lifter noise (which he has) and camshaft failures. I have worked on engines, not an expert for sure... but I know my way around main bearings and such. I know $6,500 for a new engine installed is more than I would pay for a 2011 vehicle repair. I have owned Chevy pickups forever and never heard of such a thing, unless the owner ran it out of oil.

    So does anyone have any bad experience with those GM engines?
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  2. #2
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    I have a 2006 with the 5.3. 180k+ miles. No issues with that motor at all. My friends are all race / car guys and rave about this motor.

    Some basic diagnostics will give your friend an idea of whats wrong. See if the motor will turn over by hand. If not fix whatever is causing it to not turn over. (maybe electrical / starter) Check compression / see if you get spark etc. If a motor has good compression / fuel / spark / correct timing. It will run

  3. #3
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    Those are some of the most reliable engines around.

    First, why did he take it to the mechanic? Was it driven in or towed to the shop? If it was driven in and now won't turn over I would be tempted to tow it to another shop to investigate.

    Mike

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeL46 View Post
    Those are some of the most reliable engines around.

    First, why did he take it to the mechanic? Was it driven in or towed to the shop? If it was driven in and now won't turn over I would be tempted to tow it to another shop to investigate.

    Mike
    Well they, wife and friend have already committed to the engine replacement. He is Not mechanical other than changing oil.
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  5. #5
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    Go there, drain the oil and look for metalics,,, pull the oil filter and gut it out with tin snips,,, bring a powerful small magnet,

    non-magnetic silver particulates are aluminum --- magnetic silver are steel or cast iron, and we all know what copper looks like - you really don't want to see much of anything but don't be too alarmed if you see a little - but just a little copper could still be bad news as it's the backing material for allot of rod and main bearings... this would mean he wore through the babbit material and is into the backing - not good...

  6. #6
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    0W-20 oil seems really light. I have a 2003 with the 5.3 and they spec 5W-30

  7. #7
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    'Trusted mechanic' sounds like a hack to me. I'd find a new mechanic.

    In general, if you pull the belts and the squeal goes away the problem is in a accessory being driven by the belt(s) or an idler pulley. It could also be the ac clutch. BTDT

    Did the owner just change the oil before the squeeling started?
    There are a lot of things that can be easily checked before saying a new motor is needed.
    Going to be interesting if it gets a 'new' motor and the squeal is still there.
    Last edited by dave5605; 02-14-2017 at 12:17 PM.

  8. #8

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    Screw the commitment to buy a new engine. Get a second opinion from a different mechanic.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LibbyHillBrewer View Post
    Screw the commitment to buy a new engine. Get a second opinion from a different mechanic.
    With all the electronic stuff and sensors and reliance on multiple check points that all need to be perfect before the engine will get any fuel or spark I find it more than a little odd that it was running OK one day other than a squeal and suddenly he needs a new engine.

    I agree, urge your buddy to get the truck to a proper place. I'm all for supporting the neighborhood shops. But in this case I think it's time to take it in to a proper GM center and get it plugged into the big computer that tells all.

  10. #10
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    I've owned a few different cars with different flavor engines over the years.

    Only time I've had a engine go utterly dead was due to an oil-pan failure.

    I have had mechanics pull this sort of stunt before. It's amazing how I get the car towed home, undo the simple nonsense they've pulled and the car comes back to life.

    The other one I like is the instant diagnosis "hey it's clearly this it'll cost $900 to fix." Then a phone call "Hey I fixed this, and it didn't solve the problem. It's clearly this other thing, $900 to fix."

    I don't do guessing games. Either do a proper diagnosis and get it right or...

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