3 Most Common Used Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra V8 Engine Problems—According to a Mechanic

Thinking of a used Chevrolet/GMC Sierra? You’re in luck, the experts at 1A auto have covered the most common problems with V8 engines available in the 2007-2013 Silverado/Sierra. Although both the 5.3-liter and second engines are relatively reliable powerplants—thanks to higher-quality parts like the timing chain rather than the timing belt—there are a few minor issues you’ll want to know about.

Oil pressure sender failure causing measurement inaccuracy

2013 GMC Sierra 1500 | general motors

You may notice your Silverado or Sierra’s pressure gauge bobbing up and down. Or maybe the oil pressure is too low. If you’re lucky, it’s only a problem with the sensor (also called the sender) that reads the oil pressure and sends it to the dipstick. Unfortunately, this sensor is tucked behind the air intake, so your best bet is to remove the air intake, and then check the sensor. One of the problems may be a clogged filter screen at the bottom of the transmitter. The other may be a faulty transmitter unit.

. This one-way valve and tube allow excess gases to exit the crankcase and then be re-gasified into the cylinders. When this valve wears out, engine oil seeps into the inlet and burns along with the gas. Fixing this problem is as easy as removing and replacing the valve cover.

Check engine light for a knock sensor malfunction

A red GMC Sierra pickup truck drives on a dirt road with trees and a mountain bottom line visible in the background.
2009 GMC Sierra 1500 | general motors

An engine “knock sensor” is essentially a vibration sensor that detects erratic detonation in the engine’s misfire. If it detects this problem, it sends a signal to the ECU to set the engine timing. But if that doesn’t work, the check engine light will come on. If you have your check engine light reading and you find that the problem is supposed to be a misfire but you don’t hear your engine, you may want to look at the knock sensor.

On older Chevrolet/GMC trucks, these knock sensors were hidden behind the intakes and were very difficult to replace. But on the 2007-2013 Silverado/Sierra, these sensors are located on the bottom of the engine and are easy to access once the truck is lifted.

Experts have called GM’s V8 engines—both 5.3-liter and 6.0-liter “pretty much bulletproof.” But since every engine has components like sensors and PCV valves that eventually wear out, it’s good to know what to double check on your Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra.

Then, watch the public video or see the 1A engine problems video yourself here:

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