5.3-liter Chevy Engine Problems: What Should You Look Out For? - VehicleHistory (2023)

Braden Carlson

Apr 12, 2021

Chevy’s 5.3-liter V8 is known for its long-term lifespan and trustworthiness, but no engine is without problems. What should you look out for?

5.3-liter Chevy Engine Problems: What Should You Look Out For? - VehicleHistory (1)

Ask any owner of a Chevy 5.3-liter V8-powered vehicle about its dependability, and they’ll likely tell you about how they’ve never had any major issues with it. The stigma that a Chevy V8 is reliable is rooted in decades worth of history and development.

Over the years, technology’s progression has led us to V8 engines that are trustworthy, reasonable in terms of fuel economy, and put out enough power to go wherever adventure may take us.

In fact, it is not a rare occurrence for a 5.3 Chevy to go above and beyond 200,000 miles.

However, no engine or car is entirely without flaws. If you are in the market for a Chevy 5.3 vehicle, there are some things to look out for.

Before we dive into the issues, let’s take a glance at the history of the Chevy 5.3 and what vehicles you might find them in.

The 5.3-liter displacement has remained the same for over 20 years now. It was first introduced in 1999 as a truck variant of the LS engine found in Chevrolet Corvettes and Camaros.

Though many of the parts from an LS fit and the 5.3 are based on the same platform, the initial 5.3-liter V8 had a cast-iron engine block rather than aluminum like you’d find in the sports car going LS engine. Since then, the 5.3 has gone through three generational changes with a slew of variations between those changes.

Chevy 5.3 Generations and Changes

The initial run of the Chevy 5.3-liter V8 comes in the third generation of Chevy’s small-block V8 engine. For marketing purposes, this engine is known as the Vortec 5300.

As we mentioned before, it first became available in 1999. You’ll find this engine in the Chevy Silverado and Avalanche as well as the GMC Sierra.

Additionally, this engine is under the hood of SUVs like the Chevy Suburban and Tahoe, Cadillac Escalade, and the GMC Yukon. It is also found in work vans like the Chevy Express and GMC Savana. The Generation Three Smallblock V8 ran until 2007.

In 2005, Chevrolet released the fourth generation smallblock V8. The name Vortec 5300 remains the same for this generation. While power did increase, this generation’s biggest advancements are cylinder deactivation technology known as Active Fuel Management.

When driving in conditions that do not require full engine power, the engine will shut off four cylinders to save fuel. This allows gen-four 5.3 equipped trucks to surpass 20 mpg highway. Like the gen-three engines, you’ll find these 5.3 V8s in just about every GM truck, SUV, and van. The gen-four 5.3 is still produced for use in work vans.

Finally, the fifth-generation smallblock brought a name change for the 5.3 to the Ectotec3 5.3. This is the engine you’ll find in GM trucks and SUVs from the model year 2013 and newer. These engines feature both variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation with the addition of direct injection.

Furthermore, all Ecotec3 engines are flex-fuel compatible, meaning you can run them on E85 without any altercations.

Additionally, a hybrid version of the Ecotec3 5.3 is available, increasing the city fuel economy into the 20 mpg range.

5.3-liter Chevy Engine Problems: What Should You Look Out For? - VehicleHistory (2)

Generation-three Vortec 5300 Problems

While the gen-three Vortec 5300 is the least complicated in terms of technology, it still has a few issues to watch out for when shopping.

If you are in the market for a Chevy or GMC truck or SUV from 1999 to 2007, you may be looking at vehicles equipped with this engine. The easiest way to tell if a vehicle you’re looking at is a gen-three or gen-four Vortec 5300 is to see if it has Active Fuel Management or cylinder deactivation.

If it does not, it is a gen-three engine.

As always, before purchasing any vehicle, use our free VIN research tool to get a report on the vehicle’s life, maintenance, and accident history.

A prominent issue you may run into with the gen-three Vortec 5300 is gradual coolant loss due to a cracked cylinder head.

While this issue was not common enough to warrant a recall, GM did issue a technical service bulletin (TSB) about the problem. The issue stems from a manufacturing flaw when the cylinder heads were produced by an outsourced company called Castech.

Not all Castech heads have the issue, and not all Vortec 5300 engines have Castech heads, so determining if a vehicle has or may have this issue can be a bit difficult.

The most straightforward way to see if the vehicle currently has this issue is to see if the vehicle is experiencing any engine coolant loss over time. If not, the vehicle likely does not have the issue.

However, if it does have Castech heads, it may eventually run into this issue. A pre-purchase inspection mechanic can remove the valve covers from the cylinder head and see if the head has the Castech marking stamped into them. If they do, you may eventually run into the issue.

Generation-three Vortec 5300: Additional Problems

Another issue you may run into with gen-three Vortec 5300 engines is the failure of intake manifolds and intake manifold gaskets. Again, there is no official recall for this issue.

However, gaskets are wear items that eventually tend to fail, and many higher mileage 5.3 engines run into this issue. Furthermore, the intake manifolds are made of plastic and may be prone to cracking over time.

Symptoms of faulty intake manifolds or failed gaskets may include rough idling or stuttering and noticeable power loss when driving. In some cases, if the issue is prominent enough, it may cause a check engine light for misfires. This, again, is something a pre-purchase inspection could identify.

Another issue gen-three Vortec 5300 engines commonly experienced is the failure of the fuel pressure regulator. This may cause the vehicle to be difficult to start or may even prevent it from starting entirely.

Additionally, it can cause rough idling and stuttering, poor acceleration, and prematurely fouled spark plugs. Luckily, the fuel pressure regulator is easily accessed and inexpensive. This is a quick and simple job for an experienced mechanic.

So, if a vehicle you’re looking at has this issue and you can spare a day for it to be repaired, it may be a good way to pick up a truck or SUV cheap.

As with any car of this age, other engine-related gaskets may be failing, spark plugs could need replacing, or there could be a buildup of engine sludge if they are not well maintained. No matter how reliable an engine is, neglect can prematurely end its service life. It’s imperative to know a vehicle’s service and repair history before purchasing.

5.3-liter Chevy Engine Problems: What Should You Look Out For? - VehicleHistory (3)

Generation-four Vortec 5300 Problems

With advancement also comes more complex issues. While the fourth-generation Vortec 5300’s Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation system was a major leap forward in the efficiency of V8 engines for GM, it was also ultimately one of the downfalls of this engine.

While this is yet another issue that is not under recall, there is currently an active class-action lawsuit regarding 2010 through 2014 Vortec 5300 engines.

The lawsuit alleges that owners experience excessive oil consumption due to a combination of the Active Fuel Management system and faulty PCV valves, which can draw oil out of the valvetrain and into the intake before it is burned in the combustion chambers.

This lawsuit also claims the piston rings fail to maintain pressure in the crankcase and that a faulty oil pressure relief valve sprays oil directly at the piston skirts, overloading the rings and allowing oil to sneak past into the combustion chamber. Many owners are using a quart of oil every 1,500 to 2,000 miles.

Furthermore, some owners say that their oil life monitoring system does not notify them when the engine is low on oil as it should. The combination of these issues can lead to unknowingly running the engine low on oil.

Running an engine low on oil can cause expensive damage like bearing failures, piston ring failure, bent rods, and more.

Many of these issues can result in a necessary rebuild or entire replacement of the engine.

Overall, when shopping for a GM truck or SUV, it is best to tread lightly for these models and model years:

  • 2010-2014: Chevrolet Silverado
  • 2010-2014: Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2010-2014: Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2010-2014: Chevrolet Avalanche
  • 2010-2014: GMC Sierra
  • 2010-2014: GMC Yukon
  • 2010-2014: GMC Yukon XL

Generation-four Vortec 5300: Additional Problems

Another issue stemming from the same roots as the oil consumption problem is the gen-four Vortec 5300’s tendency to prematurely foul spark plugs. This, again, is an issue that is not under recall.

However, GM acknowledged this problem and released a technical service bulletin outlining steps necessary to repair and prevent this issue, like the gen-three cylinder head issues.

The TSB outlines the fact that the valve cover design on engines built before February 1st, 2011, has a poorly designed PCV pullover that will draw oil out of the valve train and into the intake manifold and combustion chambers, exactly as the oil consumption lawsuit alleges.

Furthermore, the same TSB outlines issues with piston rings incorrectly sealing and allowing oil into the combustion chamber thanks to faults in the Active Fuel Management system, as the lawsuit also alleges.

According to the TSB, these faults are found on engines built before October 1st, 2010. The vehicles specifically listed in the TSB are below:

  • 2007-2011: Cadillac Escalade models
  • 2007-2011: Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado 1500, Suburban, Tahoe
  • 2010-2011: Chevrolet Camaro
  • 2007-2011: GMC Sierra 1500, Sierra Denali, Yukon Models
  • 2008-2009: Pontiac G8 GT

Gen-four Vortec 5300s also face similar issues with intake manifold failures that the gen-three engines experience, as they too are equipped with plastic intake manifolds.

In general, it is advisable to tread lightly when shopping in the range of 2007 to 2014 Vortec 5300 equipped vehicles. The Active Fuel Management system can be disabled.

However, faulty PCV systems and fouling spark plugs are still an issue. If you are looking to buy in this date range, be sure to ask for repair history to see if the TSB repairs have been done to prevent yourself from getting in hot water.

Generation-five Ecotec3 5.3 Problems

The Vortec 5300 namesake was finally replaced with the fifth-gen smallblock family, starting with the model year 2014 trucks and SUVs.

The 5.3 engine is now known as the Ectotec3 5.3-liter V8. The major difference between these engines and the Vortec 5300 engines is the fuel injection system.

While Vortec engines use port injection at the intake manifold, Ecotec3 engines are directly injected. This means the fuel is sprayed directly into the cylinder rather than into the intake manifold.

Most new vehicles use direct injection as it is a more efficient and precise way to control fuel that allows better fuel economy.

However, the direct injection does have one major flaw, and the Ecotec3 engines are not exempt.

Direct-injected engines tend to see carbon buildup on valves and the inside of the intake manifold. This is because there is no high-pressure fuel being sprayed on them to keep them clean, as you’d see in a port injection engine.

While there are cleaners that owners or mechanics can spray into the intake available to prevent excessive buildup, they will not prevent buildup entirely.

Many direct-injected engines need their valves and intakes cleaned via walnut blasting. This is a process that blasts the components with finely ground walnut shells via a high-pressure air system.

Walnuts are used because they are biodegradable and are soft enough not to damage engine components while cleaning them. While this issue isn’t exclusive to the Ecotec3 5.3, it is worth keeping in mind.

Excessive carbon buildup in the intake system can cause rough idling, stuttering, misfires, and decreased power. These symptoms may become more noticeable over time as higher mileage engines accumulate more carbon buildup.

Generation-five Ecotec3 5.3: Additional Problems

Another issue Ecotec3 engine owners may run into is failing fuel injectors. Given the nature of direct injection wherein fuel injectors are spraying directly into the combustion chamber, these injectors are exposed to a lot of heat and pressure.

Eventually, they may wind up failing. This can result in either a case of too much or not enough fuel, as injectors tend to fail open or closed.

In either case, your engine will run incorrectly and may cause misfires and check engine lights. Though injector failure is not a premature issue, it is certainly something to watch out for when looking at higher mileage Etoctec3 equipped vehicles.

As of now, this seems to be the only concern of the Ecotec3 5.3 engine. While it does still use the GM Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation technology that caused a plethora of issues on the gen-four Vortec 5300 engines, it seems that GM has solved the issues related to excessive oil consumption.

5.3-liter Chevy Engine Problems: What Should You Look Out For? - VehicleHistory (4)

Chevrolet 5.3 Engine Issues and Recommendations

If you’re shopping for an older used 5.3 equipped Chevy, your best solution to avoid any major issues is to find a low mileage and well-maintained gen-three Vortec 5300 vehicle. Given that the major issues with oil consumption started in 2007, a 2006 or older model is a safe bet.

If you are searching for something newer with a 5.3, then it is best to look to models from 2014 or newer that are equipped with the Ecotec3 5.3.

They offer the later Vortec 5300 engine benefits like variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation for increased fuel economy without excessive oil consumption or spark plug fouling PCV issues. Do keep in mind that you may eventually have to pay for intake cleaning due to the direct injection system, though.

As with buying any used car, we can’t recommend properly researching the vehicle’s VIN and service history prior to purchasing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what has and hasn’t been done.

Furthermore, many mechanics offer a pre-purchase inspection that can prevent you from buying a car with issues that aren’t immediately obvious. This can wind up saving you thousands in the long run.

Overall, a Chevy 5.3-equipped vehicle will get the job done, whether it be driving to the grocery store or pulling a camper trailer for a weekend getaway. Knowing what to look for before buying is half the battle and ultimately will land you in your perfect vehicle.

Photos: Chevrolet

Frequently Asked Questions

Apr 26, 2022

How long will a 5.3 Chevy engine last?

A Chevrolet 5.3L engine should be able to last 200,000 to 300,000 miles depending on how you care for the engine. These engines were first introduced in 1999 and they were used through the 2009 model year. They have been referred to as the Vortec 5300 when they were used in trucks.

The Chevy 5.3L engine is known to be very reliable because it was not pushed hard by Chevrolet, and they are built very strongly. The main block of the engine is virtually indestructible, you would have to send a piston through the side of it to break the block. This is a key to making an extremely reliable engine.

When you have a Chevrolet 5.3L engine you will need to do the normal services and replace some gaskets as they wear out, but there are very few reports of the engine failing and leaving drivers stranded on the side of the road.

How much HP can a 5.3 Vortec handle?

During the 20 year production run for the Chevrolet 5.3L engine, it produced 270 horsepower to 295 horsepower direct from the factory depending on the vehicle that it was in. Since there are so many 5.3L engines out on the market an aftermarket community has formed around the engine and they are now very modifiable.

The stock internal components for the engine are generally considered to be good to about 450 horsepower. Any more than that and you will want to start getting more reinforced internal parts. If you decide to upgrade the components in the engine then you can get close to 600 horsepower from the 5.3L engine.

Modifying and increasing the power of any engine does result in them becoming less reliable over time. The extra stress on the components can cause them to fail earlier, so it is always a good idea to weigh the pros and cons before you start modifying any engine.

What problems do Chevy 5.3L engines have?

The most commonly reported problem for the Chevrolet 5.3L V8 engine is that there is excessive oil consumption from them. This is caused by the Chevrolet Active Fuel Management system that can cause the vehicle to use 1 quart of oil for every 1,500 miles it drives. There is a known oil monitoring system problem as well so it is a good idea to physically check your oil regularly if you have a 5.3L engine.

Another problem that happens with the Chevrolet 5.3L V8 is the cylinder heads have been known to crack. This is not a common problem, but repairing it is costly. The heads that were made by Castech are the ones that are known to fail, but there are third-party options on the market to replace them that last much longer.

The final problem is that the spark plugs have been known to fail prematurely due to excessive carbon buildup. This is pretty common on the 2007 and newer engines because of the revision to the valve cover design. Overall the Chevrolet 5.3L engine is very reliable, but there are a few problems that pop up.

Owner Reviews

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Master P Chop Shop Come. on March 17, 2023

Faithful GMC Truck Owner.

Guys I love my Sierra so much I have “rather be driving my Sierra “ on my spare tire on my Jeep. Lol. Jeep fans hate me. Anyway my current truck is a 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 super SLT crew cab with the 6’ bed. Before this one I had a 2015 Sierra same model. That truck blew a lifter at 29k and had the terrible “Chevy shake”. Dealership said oh it’s the factory tires. I was so happy to get new tires then straight on the highway 70mph shaking again. Later found out it was bad drive shafts. Before that 2005 Sierra 2500HD. Floor mount 4x4 6 liter beautiful truck wish I still owned it. Before that 991/2 Yukon and 91 Sierra with efi. Lol I still see that truck on the road. Don’t make them like they used too. Back to the 2018. Due yourself a favor get a tuner and delete the v4 c**p. It’s currently got 110k on it. These are the problem: 2 of the factory chrome wheels got small cracks on the inside lip of the rims and leaked. 75k starter went 80k the stupid front grill luvors on the radiator went. Why the hell can you not just swap the motor outGM? You make us pay 300 some dollars for the hole assembly which you have to basically remove the whole front of the truck to install it. Then once I got it In the temp on the dash e center said -30 degrees. I was like oh well. Then I remembered it was summer and -30 reading meant the luvors are shut. It’s like decoding a bomb to reset the thermostat. Thank the lord for google. At and around 105k new alternator, new vacuum pump, new water pump, 3 batteries over the life so far. Every now and then the volume will spike and you can turn it down but it goes right back up. I have to pull over turn it off and let it sit for 10 minutes. Big issue is the tranny. What the hell GM no dip stick or drain plug. Just a top fill on the very top of thr tranny and a over flow port. Then you put crappy fluid In it from the factory?? At least you gave us a reusable gasket to pull the pan off which you have to do every 30k. The. You put the dam cross over pipe under the tranny fluid pan. Then you put a thermostats that only cycles the tranny fluid to cooling system when the temp reaches 170. My tranny would run up to 210 degrees o. The highway in the summer.Get the delete thermostat kit. Make sure you change the tranny fluid with amsoil guild and the filter every 30k. Oh here’s another issue. So when you finish getting the tranny pan on and fill it back up you have to get the transmission to 160 degrees then open the over flow. That’s great when I have the truck on 4 stands and have to take it down to drive it only to put it back in the air level again to pull the over flow port. Other issue the rear window blew out at 9 k another reoccurring issue. Oh and the 4 cad convertors on the same cross over pipe with the 4 o2 sensors. Shame on you. If one acts up and you let the dealer do your work your paying what 1800$ just for the pipe. Then paying install. Be sure nice just to replace one at a time or be able to remove and attempt to clean them out. At least you can find acdelco parts on sale from time to time on Amazon. Don’t ever go cheap guys use the ac delco parts. Do the maintenance, change your oil not at 7k but at 4 or 5k. Still love my truck. d**n sweet looking rides. No mo-poo for me or ford rear sagging junk yard loving trucks for me.

David Mooney on February 20, 2022


I must of picked a good year LOL! 2016 Chevrolet Silverado True North edition (Reside on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada) LT w/tow package - 5.3L83, 6sp. 6L80E trans, 4 × 4. Bought the truck brand new off the lot, had a few small warranty issues as it sat in the rain as a demo model (ODO -164 km). Brand new warranty OEM starter motor, brand new warranty OEM exhaust (waste - gate/flap issue), and the GM dealerships have been 100% - excellent in my experience. Had to have a new OEM warranty injector installed as well; got done at the same time as exhaust. ***MUST HAVES*** RANGE AFM DIABLER - OIL CATCH CAN MOBIL 1 EXTENDED PERFORMANCE OIL USE FUEL SYSTEM CLEANER W/PEA KEEP INTAKE & VALVES CLEAN My truck has 70,000 km/45,000 miles on it and it runs smoother and better than new. My 5.3 RIPS and runs STRONG. The transmission is clunky once in a while but I plan to pan drop & flush with Amsoil full syn. ATF. Smoooooth on the highway, drives like new. The locking back axle makes it sure - footed in the wet slop; I can drive up mountains and play in the snow drifts - Falken Wildpeak A/T3W'S = excellent A/T treads. The ONLY part I've ever had to pay money for in order to replace it was for a burned out tail light bulb 7444. LOL. I bought the truck in Dec. 2016 and have 1 year and 9 months left on the 7 year extended warranty. Love this truck. 5/5 stars

C P on November 2, 2022

2004 GMC Sierra bought in 2006 with 20k miles and now has 160k miles. Best vehicle I have ever owned.

Had to replace 2 water pumps. Had to replace the front axel seal around 90k miles. Replaced a front wheel barring around 100k miles. Replaced a rear axel Seal around 120k miles (think my son's Capri camper cross country with much wind may have caused that). Replaced exhaust manifold gasket on Driver's side at 140k miles (some manifold bolts broke off; common on the 5.3). I replace trans fluid every 50-60k miles. I change oil every 5k (doesn't use any oil). I changed spark plugs around 110k miles (they still worked and looked pretty good). Replaced Breaks at 150k (had original break pads on). I changed rear and front diff fluid around 120k. I replaced Break fluid around120k. It runs very smooth. I just wish I could buy a new one exactly like it that would not rust. (My son drives the 2004 Sierra now mostly. I driver every once in a while to check how it sounds etc. We used to Pull a 30' camper for 12 years. I pushed snow for my driveway for 9 yrs. March 2020 I bought a 2016 ford with 50k miles with 2.7 Eco boost since it is aluminum. Have had to replace the rear pinion seal at 55k miles (dealer warrantee) and now at 70k miles on my own dime]. Like the ford but not sure if will hold up long term. Time will tell. I have never had good luck with Dealer repairs. So glad to be past warrantee.

Mike Henderson on February 4, 2023

2011 Silverado 1500 LT Extended Cab Long Box w/ 5/3L

I owned a 2011. Chevy Silverado 1500 w/ the 5.3L. Hands down the BEST engine & truck I ever had. Owned it up to about 160K. Never used a drop of oil and never had any engine issues what so ever. It had the AFM system, but I bought the Range Tech that plugs into the OBD-II port which shuts its off. No tuning at all, and if I had to bring it to the dealer, I just removed the Range Tech. Had a lifetime powertrain warranty too from the dealer. Never had to file a claim on it. I recently traded it in Aug 2022 for a "competitor's brand" because of the touted 2.7L. Yeah, it has power, but also has engine issues just like their 3.5EB counterpart, on top of other issues like towing, transmission slips, steering issues, etc. Now here in Feb '23, I'm looking to get out of that POS and get back into a Silverado 5.3L. I know they've changed, but its still the basic set up for the most part if something has to be fixed. I only traded my '11 in because the box was starting to rust out due to our private campground using way too much calcium chloride on the dirt roads to keep dust down a couple summers in a row. I really wish I'd never traded that truck in!

edward on February 7, 2023

My truck is a 1999 chevrolet 5.3 2500

This is a great truck. It does not use oil, the exhaust pipe is like bare metal it is so clean. So is the oil it stays clear, but I still have it changed. The truck gets great millage. The previous truck I had was a 1998 chevrolet 1500 ext cab. I had only one problem with a head valve sticking and getting very slightly bent. I spent about 150 dollars getting the heads shaped up and gasket set. Did the engine work myself. The truck is still still quiet and smooth. I gave it to my brother who borrowed it so much I felt I no longer had the truck. It rode and steered like a car and very quiet no rattles, nothing. Oh one fuel pump, I did in the driveway. I had a mini cooper with all the variable valve timing, turbo and a constantly on engine light and notice of reduced power, take to the dealer. I hate to see GM go that way. What good is high tech when it fails you or costs you. My mini used no gas when on the flatbed tow truck, a real gas saver. Thank god for triple a.

Bob White on September 5, 2021

2021 sierra lifter failure

Same as all the rest 8600 easy miles, starts misfiring on the highway, no codes at all, dealer says keep driving bring it in tomorrow, likely a transmission air problem. 20 miles later dash board is a Christmas tree, also says the park brake is locked? Pulled into the dealer, barely still running. GM has no lifter parts and is now shut down. Mine has over 8k miles so I get the shaft, GM will only do partial repair at best. Current new 2021 delivered trks do not have AFM, cost to change out my trk for a non AFM is 13k. Does this fix the problem, who knows. Question is, is GM going to step up and resolve this issue, or are we all going to eat this for years to come, I assume AFM engine equipped trks will have very low value very rapidly without GM action. Already have 50k into it.

James Witt on December 13, 2021

2016 GMC Sierra Engine Code P050D at 37,076 Mileage

2019 December 20, mileage 37,076 E.C.M. Code P 0 5 0 D, pickup in driveway, diagnostic check engine light on solid. Take to G.M. If light does not clear in five days, Onstar said. Veteran reports check engine light is on, advise has CPO, pull codes on truck. Order parts - 1 Pipe 12677002, 1 Pipe 12677004, 2 Gasket 12626354, 2 Injector Kit 12698484, 5.60 Labor hours. Found rough idle while cold. Truck found had rough idle while ran with 5,8 misfire. Injector Balance Test found 5,8 off from other 6 cylinders. Pulled injectors, inspect found heavy carbon build up on all injectors, but 5,8 being the worst of the 8. Replaced 5,8 injectors. Cleaned and rebuilt the remaining injectors before install. Test drove truck. Returned to veteran 2019 Dec 27.

Rick Regnier on October 7, 2022

2021 Chevy Silverado 5.3 engine problems

The service engine light started coming on at about 3000 miles. The dealer said it was a programming issue. That lasted a a couple thousand miles then started come on and flash for a short time then stay on. Back to the dealer several times, they said just a random misfire and it fixed itself. That’s BS. Then at 20,000 it started making a lot of noise and light up like a Christmas tree, they replaced lifters on one side. Over the next 15,000 miles the service engine light has been flashing,then staying on at least 15 times.mi get the same answer from the dealer, random misfire and they can’t find a problem because it’s running fine when I get to 5he dealer. I think they are just trying to stall until it’s out of warranty.

V.P. White on May 24, 2022

New vs old

Had new 2006 Silverado 5.3 for 14 1/2 years 210 thousand miles no major issues traded it in on 2021 Silverado 5.3 8500 miles lifter problem 5 or 6 lights on dash light up take it to gm shop they replaced all lifters on drivers side & 1 push rod. If it have had 6000 or less miles they would have changed all lifters, so how long before the driver side goes. Understand thou we drive like an angle out heaven it will do 112 mph so we demand a lot from our trucks. There is a shop in Texas that sells after market heads,cams ,lifters, and push rods and can get rid of afm/dfm then it voids warranty but we bought a truck not a warranty! I think there there called Texas cams something like that. Floor it‼️

Glenn brown on December 9, 2021

5.3 engine failure

2015 Silverado 100,000 miles. The engine started ticking like it had a miss. I had it towed in to my mechanic and $ 1,800 later I was back on the road but they never found the root cause of the problem. 2 months later same thing ticking in the engine number 7 cylinder dead bent push rod. I had it towed to a Chevy dealership they’ve had it 3 months and finally called yesterday $7,000 for a new engine. Told me it was starved for oil I asked why they didn’t know. But after watching a you tube video I found the answer it’s a bad valve cover not letting it get oil. I’m currently looking for a good attorney to sue GM because they’ve known about this defect but have done nothing about it.

Brian E. on June 25, 2021

Disappointed Silverado Owner

Today while driving home from work in traffic, doing less than 40 miles per hour and slowing down due to a red traffic light, I heard a"pop!" coming from under the hood. I kept slow down and when I came to a complete stop, the truck started shaking and I could hear a loud ticking/popping noise. I managed to drive home doing less than 30 mph. I tried to look around the engine bay and listen to the sound, it is definitely coming from inside the engine. I turned off the truck, turned it back on and it got worse, I barely turned on. The noise is louder now. Now I am online doing my research and see that I am not the only owner with the exact same issue. The engines definitely failed

Eggs Benedict on November 19, 2022

2003 5.3 suburban and a 2001 silverado both 1/2 Tons.

My last truck a 2001 Silverado bought it used with 154,000 for 10 k and put 140,000 on it in 6 years, i abused the heck out of it wood cutting. Broke alot of suspension but it made it to 294,000 until it needed a tranny..wish i never sold that truck. Im now with my first 2003 Suburban and loven it.. Such a reliable Truck.Bought it used last year in 2021 with 207,000. Done $6000 in maintenance and nothing but mobil 1oil and chevron gas...Now has 228,000, running strong, andgets 14.4 avg mpg and actually got 18.2 mpg road tripping from Oregon to Arizona last week...Amazing what proper maintenance and good oil and gas will do for a 20 year old V-8.. Im NOT ever selling this one!

Dayle Crook on May 4, 2022

Burns oil

I bought a 2017 1500 with a 5.3 ecotec from a dealership that was owned by the dealer with 5,000 miles on it. Before it had 20,000 miles with about 3,000 miles since the last oil change my low oil light came on. I stopped at a repair shop and had them put oil in it. It was 2 quarts below the full mark on the dipstick. The mechanic told me the rings were the problem and they were letting oil go by and it was designed that way to achieve the gas mileage that was required by the EPA but I also read that the active fuel management had something to do with it. I now have 40,000 miles and it put a puff of smoke out of the tail pipe the other day when I started it.I’m concerned.

Brad on January 10, 2022

I'm not that lucky

First I'd like to point out most of the negative reviews are not even for this engine. This engines use was stopped in 2009. The vehicles 2010+ are not using the engine they are taking about. Now that that's out of the way. I have a 2007 Chevy Tahoe LTZ over 400K miles on hee.purchased summer of 2018 with 151K and the rest have been mine. Halloween night 2020 I had a lifted collapse and replaced around 350K . This truck still runs amazingly. I average 3-5K a month . Yes there is oil consumption but if there wasn't I'd be more concerned. If it wasn't for the AFM causing lifted collapse I'd give this a 5 star.

Jeff on September 8, 2021

6.2 in a 2015 High Country Silverado

77,000 miles engine starts to shake and barely runs. I limp it into the Chevy dealer in Athens Georgia. It sits there for 3 days and they never get a chance to look at it. They tell me they suspect it’s a bent push rod. $6200 repair job. I have my mechanic come and get the truck. He says bent push rod or rods for sure, they just fixed the bosses that did the same thing. $6200 repair ticket and sold me a plug in module to deactivate the AFM. I’m done with GM, they know there is a problem and even have a service bulletin out for it 15-06-01-002H dated March 2019.

Bayou Country Living on February 21, 2023

They don't make them like they use to.

I have a 2007 Silverado Classic with 5.3. I now have 389k miles on it without any engine problems or rebuilds. It does not smoke and uses very little oil for it age, after last oil change I drove 1700 miles before checking oil and only needed 1/2qt. Some oil loss can be attributed to leaking valve cover gaskets that will soon be replaced. Also like to note that I use (and have since 150k) 5qts Castrol High Mileage 5W/30 with one quart of Lucas High Mileage Oil Stabilizer changed every 5k miles. I drive my truck very hard and aggressive.

Rick on June 19, 2021


Bought a 2021 Silverado RST 1500 on 19Mar21.i work on the road alot so I already have 12000 miles on the truck in June. This morning I drive the truck 5 miles and notice a ticking noise from the engine.sure sounds like either a lifter or a valve failure to me.now I have to tow this new truck to a dealer and have it fixed.i seriously doubt that I will purchase another Chevy anytime soon. Did I mention I traded a 2017 silverado with a bad transmission in for this new truck? SMH.come on GM you can do much better than this

Carl Curtis on March 26, 2022


When I first purchased my GMC 1500 with the 5.3 L engine within the first month I had my truck in for lifter and cylinder 8 not firing. I contacted GMC expressing concerns that my vehicle may be a lemon. Then the dealer service manager offered me a 5 year 100k warranty. They repaired the engine and I took the added warranty. Two weeks ago I had lifter problems and again number 8 cylinder not firing. Terrible clanking. It’s now been repaired but I’m terrible ly concerned that the problems aren’t going to go away.

Jeffrey Key Northern California. on August 20, 2022

586,000 miles

I have a 2000 Silverado 1500 5.3 ls with over 586,000 plus mile sand I am the original owner. Over the 22 years I had replace my transmission only once at 314k miles and the only other issue is my oil pump which went bad over 10 years ago and still have not changed it out yet and yes I do have the replacement parts but not much time to fix the issue. I've done most of the work on the truck myself over the years. I thought that I would share this so people know that the 5.3 is a very good engine if its well maintained.

T J on February 23, 2022

2007 ALVANCHE 1500 5.3


Charles Keller on August 21, 2021


I purchased a 2021 Tahoe with a 5.3L engine back in November 2020. I now have 14,300 miles on it. Last weekend I started to experience the same issues as everyone else on this review. Dealer told me that the lifters have failed. Parts are on back order . Not sure if there is any other serious problems until the tech gets in to the engine. My bet is there are other serious issues. I hope we all get through this nightmare. Oh and my dealer has no loaner cars available for me to use in the meantime

Eddy Bush on June 17, 2021

Unhappy chey owner

Have a 2021 Chevy 1500 Silverado Z71. Texas Edition. It has 5.3L engine. At 11000 miles the engine started knocking. Parking break locked up. How vehicle towed to dealer. They said a lifter had failed when asked if this was a common occurrence I was assured it was not. This week I found out two friends have new trucks with the 5.3L engine. Both have lifter problems one at 6000 miles and one at 11000 miles. Anyone else experiencing this issue with the 5.3?

Kenneth on August 9, 2021

5.3 engine

I bought my truck in November of2020 it’s a 2021 chev z71 . My problems are just like the others, my truck had 6700 miles on it, I was going to my Dr appointment it made a popping sound and started missing. Took to dealership and was told he had 7 on the lot right now with same problems. They didn’t have a truck to loan to me and didn’t know how long it will take to get parts in and fixed!!! Use causing when perching a 2021 with the 5.3 engine.

Rye on February 20, 2022

2016 Sierra

I wonder how much they paid this clown to write this article. Easy to see why he doesn't dare show his face in the blurry pic. 70k and puff! Blown lifter. Thankfully my dealer has been great with a loaner and GM is taking the sting out. Horrible though, especially for those of us that actually use our truck to work for a living but horrible for anybody really. Wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy nevermind a long time customer. Best of luck to everyone

Breck on July 9, 2022

2015 GMC Sierra

My 2015 Sierra had the oil pump go out at 67K. $2810 in repair bills. Now at 68K the lifters failed and had 1 bent rod. $5712 in repair bills. Called GM to see if they would cover some of the repairs due to the low mileage. Just got a call that they will pay $138 for the oil pump. That did not even cover the tax. Still waiting on the lifter issue. But it is looking like they only cover a 1/2 percent of the bill. This will be my last GM product.

Matt S on June 27, 2022

Never again with big three

I’ve owned them all ford, Chrysler,GM so tired of working to pay for repairs on a truck that is suppose to last. Bought a Tundra based on 8 years in a row most reliable, 85% built in USA. Best truck I every owned. Routine maintenance, never been to the dealer or mechanic shop. 170,000 and going strong. Many of my friends switched to Toyota after having the same issues with their GM trucks, they can’t believe they waited so long.

Shawn G. on June 29, 2023

The GM 5.3L V8 engine is a mine field

I bought a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado brand spanking new. Kept it meticulously maintained and at just over a 100k the engine has major issues. I have to now either get rid of it or go down a rabbit hole of expensive exploratory engine work. The 5.3 fuel management feature has a tendency to wear out camshafts and lifters prematurely. Of course you might get lucky and get 250k out of it. I’ll never buy a GM product again.

Tom on February 2, 2022

09 Silverado 5.3

'09 286,000 miles. Awesome engine. Around 200k experienced low oil pressure. Found out it was due to the smaller OEM oil filter. Was told there is a service bulletin recommending a different oil filter on high mileage engines. As I understand there is a bypass pressure difference. I am now running about 20psi vs around 40 with that filter wondering what changed? Going to try an early oil filter swap to diagnose.

jim on March 14, 2022

2004 silverado Z71 5.3

Bought w/50k mi. I'm @ 267,500 ish and still pushing 40psioil press. I have done all the maint. Per owners manual service specs. Other than I change oil every 3k miles. Replaced gaskets when leak. Other than basic R/R of normal wear parts I have no complaints. Best / dependable vehicle I've ever owned. FYI only ran high test fuel thru it and added Lucas fuel treatment after 100k. You get out what you put in !

Ed on August 22, 2021

2021 Yukon SLT

Exiting an off ramp and slowing for a stop light. Engine begins to vibrate and knock. Engine struggled to idle. Dash board lights up like a Christmas Tree. Multiple System failure warnings, engine light flashing, traction control flashing. Limped it to the dealership. Bent lifter for sure and possibly other issues. Waiting on parts from GM. Definitely a major issue with this engine...only 8K miles. :(

Timmysparky on December 9, 2021

Junk for years

It's not just the new trucks boys. My 2013 just collapsed a lifter at 79,000. Shes been run hard but never abused but kept up on meticulously. AFM lifter on cyl.#7. Just sold my 96 5.7L for 100$ because of the intake manifold gasket problem. All of these issues are known by GM but left for us to deal with. F#@ CK YOU GM!!! I HAVE ONE WORD FOR ANY ONE LOOKING AT ANY GM VEHICLE........HEMI

Gabe Fantino on April 5, 2022

2012 Silverdo - bad lifters at 120k miles

Like many, many others,b my 2012 Silverdo actually never gave me any trouble for ten years until the engine starting ticking, code P0300 and misfire on cylinder 8, bad lifters and/or camshaft lobe damage. Something is broken inside. Not sure of repair bill yet but it’s going to be nasty. I’m shocked GM would continue to build engines with this issue year after year.

RM on July 17, 2021

2021 GMC bad lifters at 6600 miles

I was on a return trip from Chicago to Alabama and my new GMC started a knocking and missing noise. Dealer determined that the lifters had collapsed. I had to leave the truck 600 miles from home. I am still waiting for GM to advise me about my options. I have been a loyal GM owner and have purchased four new GM trucks. I am very disappointed with GM's customer service.

Ralph p on December 20, 2021

Failed lifters

2021 silverado trail boss bought new 6300 miles just like others on this page driving and the 5.3 L engine with 6300 miles started misfiring and the dashboard lit up with several lights made it to the dealer on a wing and a prayer they say bad lifters so far unknown on parts back ordered til who knows when other than this the truck was a great

Rob on January 20, 2022

2017 5.3 engine failure

Same as many here, my 2017 had engine ticking noise at 17,000 miles. Engine light came on called dealer who said bring it in right away. Lifter failure, barely made it to shop. Over a month later still waiting for replacement parts and only fixing on side. VERY disappointed in GM , no more for me. Will try trading for a Titan or Tundra

thomas bengtson on February 4, 2022

Very disappointed

I own a 2013 Silverado with only 68000 have put so much money into this truck. And now low oil pressure dealer says needs an oil pump , in all my years I never seen an oil pump just go . Life long gm owner was expecting to put 200000 miles on this being my last truck. So much for that I retire and have get a new truck this sucks!!

Wil on November 3, 2021

2020 TrailBoss LT lifters

Reading these reviews is shocking. I made it to 45000 before the lifters collapsed. It's been over a month with my truck at the dealer. I have a rental but dealer only covers the basic. I need to pay out of pocket for protection insurance. Super disappointed. I left Tundra trucks for this fiasco. Regret it BIG-TIME!!

Jeff Fehr on November 10, 2021


All of you that are having trouble with your 2021 Silverado's with a 5.3, does your truck have the GM's Active Fuel Management (AFM) or does it have the Run Stop where the engine shuts off when you come to a stop, like at a stoplight? I just bought a 2021 Silverado and concerned on what could be coming my way! Thanks

Rick williams on July 10, 2022

2006 5.3 The Best

I have 284,000 on my Silverado 1500. It is a camper special and pulls a 30’ Silverback (heavy). I have replaced the water pump and battery and that’s it! Oil and filter every 5,000 and washed often. Still hits passing gear and the power makes me and passengers grin. Thank you Chevy, you sold me a great vehicle.

Chad on August 30, 2021

2021 High Country

Hey I have a 2021 High Country with 3500 miles on it started misfiring would not do it all the time will run fine for a couple hours then start misfiring it’s at the dealership 10 hours from home and they said bent lifter or push rods..Why does it do it every so often not all the time?.any help please

HS on July 3, 2021

2021 Silverado serious problem

Truck purchased Jan less than 6k miles. 5.3L V8, engine suddenly started knocking, ESC stability control lost and parking brake locked up while in motion. Very scary situation. Had truck towed to dealer. Advisor said engine lifters were the problem had no explanation for ESC or parking brake issues.

Bob Kellerman on October 21, 2021


2021 silverado rst 9500 miles on road home pulling motorcycle, dash said add trans fluid,chevusa towed truck ,I had to have trailer towed @ my cost. Truck had just had oil changed, esb,parking brake service engine lit up dash . Chevy dealer said lifters no rental available no loaner avail. Thanks GM

BJ on June 17, 2021

2021 Silverado bad lifters at 8000 miles

Only 8000 miles on the new truck and out of nowhere, driving home from work, severe engine knocking during acceleration and loud ticking at idle. Super bummed out and dealer says it may take as long as 2 weeks for parts to come in. Now I’m reading many others with similar issues..

Ingrid on March 10, 2022

2010 Surburban LTZ

2010 Chevy Suburban LTZ. 283,985 miles. First time issue, rear main leak. I say get it re paired for $1,500 at the dealership, husband wants to replace engine $4,500-$5,500. I say repair, chevy mechanic said it should not be a problem down the road. Would like other's input.

Kim on January 6, 2022

2000 chevy suurban

My truck has over 335,0000 miles and is still running strong. I've have a few issues and have had to change a good many parts. But so far no overhaul, and I hope it'll keep me on the road a few more years.. My "burban" has been the most dependable vehicle I've ever owned.

Robertb160.rb@gmail.com on May 15, 2022

Bad when they don't do there GMC

I have a gmc sierra 1500 2018 5.3 and got it and it was misfire on number 4 cylinder. Had Warranty on emissions and power trane from gmc they it was cover.Dealer .so had plugs and wires,ignition coils ,head fix valve repair truck is still down.Should have got ford

Lucas on December 6, 2021

Super happy with my 99 Silverado

Bought a 99 Silverado, with only 103.000 miles on it...only issue is a ticking, tinging noise coming from bell housing.. Almost like something is inside bouncing around..but, there's nothing inside, and it doesn't do it all of the time...any idea what it could be?

Dennis on July 13, 2021


I bought 2021 Chevy Silverado z71 5.3 this is now june 13 I have 8790 miles on my truck and now it in the dealership with bent push rods don’t no when I will get my truck back or if it will happen again in the future to the other push rods may notbe keeping

Fred Martinez on July 9, 2021

Failed lifters and misfire.

I have a 2021 Z71 Trail Boss with 2000 miles and has been in the shop numerous times. I’ve been told I filled my tank with contaminated fuel, I’ve had lifters replaced and now they tell mr it’s a software issue. I’m done GMC can buy it back!!!

Craig Lowery on September 24, 2021

2009 Silverado

Having lifter sticking and making noise at 100,389 miles,on number 4 cylinder.What is the best solution of fixing it and getting rid of the (AFM),junk.Called a business and they said up to 2,000.00 to fix and not removing (AFM),any suggestions?

Grant on February 16, 2022


In 2011 I bought A 2010 Yukon with just under 11,000 miles. Not knowing what grade or type oil was in it, I drained the oil and serviced it with a high quality 5-20 synthetic, replaced the filter with and know with 190,000 miles, running OK.

harrisburg,pa on December 10, 2021

2021 Yukon XL missing oil

3000 miles low oil light come on. Dealer drained 5.5 qts. Out missing 2.5 qts. In 3000 miles. In the next 2000 used 2 more qts. Dealer ran three days of test and going to put new engine in.I hope its better than the first fingers crossed.

TERRY SELLERS on July 6, 2021

2021 Silverado engine problems

We purchased 3 new 2021 Silverado's with the 5.3 for our business in December 2020. 2 went down with lifter problems at 5,000 miles and the 3rd went at 11,000 miles. Took 2 weeks for repairs. They definitely have a big problem.

Maxbo on March 19, 2022

Happy with 04 crew cab

Just shy of 750,000 miles. Had to replace cracked heads at 700,000 and the o-ring on oil pick up tube at 250,000. Couple of water pumps and lots of synthetic oil changes. Very happy with truck. Would not trade for a new one..

Albert Cuellar on January 16, 2022


Had a collapsed lifter due to AFM. Had to repair myself and deleted the AFM. They can say this is not a common occurrence but it really is. Youtube has people showing how to fix it because it's that common. Good luck people.

John on August 23, 2022


2011 GMC Sierra w/ R-Title (Passed an enhanced PA Inspection in order to receive PA Registration) Does anyone know if owning a vehicle that has an R-Title, would exclude you from the Class Action Lawsuit? Thanks!

2014 gmc 5.3 rod failure on December 28, 2021

Head Gasket leak

2014 gmc 5.3 53,000 miles head gasket blown #4 cylinder. Repaired and 500 miles later spun #1 rod bearing. Had 2015 GMC 5.3 59,000 miles that collasped afm lifter issues 3 times. Traded that truck with 65,000

Ed Boss on August 20, 2022

Lifter mess, Main oil journal on bearing gone at 90k. $6,000

Lifters, rods and cams are the main issue with most early failures. GM 5.3 has become worse than Ram Hemi rolling bearing seizing up on 5% of trucks at around 100k with poor oil changes and excess idling.

2021 Chevy Silverado 5.3 owner on November 11, 2021

Bad engine

Lifter issue with parking break engaging at 16,600 miles, Chevrolet knows about the problem but knowingly keeps selling the product hoping It makes it out of warranty. This is shameful and illegal.

Ron on March 28, 2022

Unhappy Chevy Owner

Purchased a 2021 Chevy Silverado RST in Mar of 2021. At 15,000 it had lifter failure. At 16,000 miles it had ECM failure. Truck has been in and out of the dealer a total of 7 weeks since 15 Jan.

Mike Harpster on September 12, 2021

Failed lifters

60,000 miles on my 2018 Yukon Xl and had to tow it to dealer, diagnosed with failed lifters. Can’t get head gaskets to repair it. Come on GM! Step up and do right by your longtime customers!

Robert Rucker on June 29, 2022

It's been very good to us.

We purchased vehicle new in July 2000..have driven it without any issues until last year replacing transmission...and now after 21 years are just now having to replace engine...we love GMC

Randy on July 8, 2021

2021 z71

Driving to the airport. Popping and clicking noises from the engine. Surging when going up hill or speeding up. Felt like a bad miss. Made it to the airport. 🤷🏻‍♂️

joe on March 3, 2022

2006 Silverado z71

239k-other than ticking like crazy on start up this old truck runs like a dream. Change the oil twice a year and that's it. Some one said to turn the radio up and drive it .

Curtiss Wright on January 13, 2022


Everyone but the author knows about the AFM lifter failures. Mechanics know all about them. I had never heard of a lifter failure until I had one and learned about the AFM.

M smith on May 25, 2023

L84 water pump failures

I have a 2020 lt with a 5.3 . Water pump was done at 36k. Nationwide back order on them. Have spoken to dealers and they’re saying it’s a big problem. Just a heads up

Phil on December 4, 2021

2018 - Coolant being sprayed into cylinder

2018 - 107,000 miles, block is leaking coolant into #4 cylinder. $9600 new engine. What a crock. Not a maintenance issue…..this is a poor quality issue.

jaime l martin on November 7, 2021


I have a 2006 sierra with the 5.3...the issue i have had is the oil pump going out at about 160,000 miles. Easy fix still running great at 202,000 miles

Denny Oakley on January 19, 2022


I have a 2000 1500 5.3 silverado,280,000 ks, only problem so far leaking valve cover gaskets,change semi synthetic oil and filter every 4000 ks

Gene on January 28, 2022


Bought s 2017 GMC Sierra 160,00 miles later runs like a new one !! Maintained every 5,000 miles don’t like the transmission but hey drive it

Raymond F McLain, Jr on January 13, 2022


Have 2021 Silverado, lifters went bad at 4400 miles. Replaced both banks of lifters had truck in shop 4 days. Don't really trust it now.

greg on December 25, 2021

Commercial parts manager

07 Sierra with over 280k miles. Plugs and 1 coil all I have ever had to do to it. Marvelous engine and fewest calls for parts

Mary Barra Fan Club on January 15, 2022

GM know how to kill things...

GM CEO Mary Barra got a $20 Million Dollar Bonus for her lying performance before Congress... Worth every dollar.

Tim on November 21, 2021

5.3 2021

Same problem as many others 8000 miles Engine failure .No parts new truck sitting for who knows how long.

Fred the Head on February 8, 2023

2000 Silverado

Almost 200 K and 23 years and going. Just replaced a radiator and power steering cooler.

Chris on January 15, 2022

2000 silverado

270k...5 speed...all new underneath..muffler etc...one great truck

Gil on January 20, 2022

21 Yukon

What were the build dates of all these engines that failed?

Braden Carlson

An automotive journalist for over six years, Braden Carlson has contributed to a variety of auto websites, including Team Speed and LS1Tech. When he’s not writing or under one of his project cars, you’ll often find him producing video and photography for his "Cursed Forever" YouTube channel.

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