I have a 2007 Chevy Suburban with 64k miles on it. I was recently on my way to Dallas, TX from the Kansas City area and between Tulsa and Ok City my oil pressure light went off. I pulled over on I-44 and proceeded to check the oil. All good there and it showed as full. I have had issues in the past where the ‘Add Oil’ indicator light came on even though there’s no evidence of a leak whatsoever. Anyway, Since this had happened in the past I went ahead and brought my extra quart of oil (synthetic btw). I changed the oil a few months previous myself and only added 5 quarts (the manual calls for 6) because it showed full and I didn’t want to overfill. So, as I was pulled over on a dangerous stretch of Interstate I figured I’ll add oil just to be safe (so now I’m at 6 quarts). I start it up and the oil pressure signal is not on. As I’m driving I’m watching the oil pressure needle bounce around. Finally it comes to a point where I know the indicator is coming and I take the next available exit to Chandler, OK. As I exit and hit the toll booth the oil pressure indicator starts going off again. I went about 1.5 miles into town to the Chevy dealership. Long story short, they thought it was a bad sensor but that didn’t fix so I’m in KC and my cars in Chandler, OK waiting for a new oil pump. And, oh, guess what…Warranty went out in September or 2 months ago for the 5 year/100k powertrain.
My question is, has anyone had any success getting assistance from Chevy in these situations and if so (or not), what the process for appealing this? To me it seems that it would be ridiculous that Chevy couldn’t assist in SOME fashion. I’m well under 100k miles and if you count by years and not original sale date, still under 5 years. Repair costs aside, this was a huge PITA. I had to stay in the only available motel in the town with my wife and 4 kids and ditch my Thanksgiving plans. My father in law had to drive my Trailblazer down from KC to pick us up, pay tolls, gas costs,etc. and I have to go back down next weekend to pick up the Suburban. My wife is pretty much done with Chevy’s (we’ve had some issues with our 03 Trailblazer) but I’m still on the fence. Any advice would be appreciated.
That’s Unusual And Bad Luck. 5 Years Is Pretty Generous For A Powertrain Warranty, Although It Is About Average Mileage (Close To 12,000 Miles/Year). All Warranty Coverage Must End Somewhere. Are You Sure GM Won’t Help ? Have You Asked For Help Beyond The Dealer Level ?
Overfilling with oil is not desirable. It could lead to foaming and loss of pressure.
Which engine is in this vehicle ?
What oil change intervals have you used (miles/months) ?
Many Will Disagree With Me, But It’s For Reasons Like This One (Collisions And Other Unforseen Problems, Too) That I Rent Vehicles For Quick Roadtrips And Vacations When Time Constraints Are Present.
I leave five cars at home and I’ve never regretted my decision to rent a vehicle for a quick or long distance trip. There are some real bargains out there.
Maybe the problem is due to engine oil sludging. This is caused by failure to change the oil often enough based on driving habits, the environment, and so on.
Replacing an oil pump is a misguided attempt to solve an oil pressure problem in my humble opinion. An oil pump is the first link in the chain to receive oil so these people who replace pumps (and it’s a chronic thing) fail to see that the first link that gets the oil will be worn out but all of the links following are not?
Sometimes a Good Will warranty can be performed but that’s arbitrary and involves a number of factors including maintenance habits and so on.
So has anyone bothered to check the oil pressure yet and what are your oil change intervals both as to mileage and time?
It doesn’t hurt to ask but I wouldn’t necessarily expect any help from GM. As CSA pointed out, a warranty has to end somewhere.
As a side issue if I read your first post correctly, when you changed your oil, you may have misread the dipstick sort of. You might not have accounted for the oil filter being empty right after changing it so the dipstick will give a false full reading. You were likely a full quart low all that time.
Always obey the dipstick, don’t guess that it’s wrong. And I agree, it’s VERY rare for an oil pump to be bad. Have they put a pressure gauge on the oil system to figure out what the pressure really is?
And AlanY is right, doesn’t hurt to ask, but don’t count on GM going over and above the warranty requirements.
Funny enough, the dipstick on this thing as been a pain to read since I got the vehicle. I did take the safe route and assumed I had enough oil in the engine and did not want to overfill the oil (my good friend’s Dad is a mechanic and he basically told him the same thing…don’t overfill).
Renting, while a decent idea, is costly with 4 kids given the size of vehicle I would need and the cargo I tend to bring along.
I’m going to press GM on this issue so I’ll keep everyone posted.
As far as how often I change the oil, usually between 3k and 5k miles or 3-6 months. It varies. Sometimes I’ve hit the “change oil soon” light and at those times I’ve changed it within 30-50 miles. Basically, I’ve followed the owners manual which essentially only requires you change it at least once a year (which I’ve never come close to doing). ok4450 mentioned oil sludging…which makes me wonder if the active fuel management system is an issue. I did a little research after the vehicle told me to add oil and some have stated this system is faulty because when the unused cylinders shut down oil continues to flow into those cylinders as if they’re being used. Wouldn’t this lead to oil sludging.
BTW, basically, the dealership I took it to said it COULD be the oil pump but they wouldn’t know until they pulled the engine apart to see what they were dealing with. I’ll be talking with them this week.
Anyone have contact information at Chevy for appealing this warranty???
I Believe Chevrolet Would Employ A Service/Parts Representative Who Serves Your Dealership. I’d Ask To Arrange A Meeting With Her/Him At The Dealership.
Guys, About That Oil Pump Replacement . . .
. . . Perhaps the reason for replacement isn’t because the pump is suspected of being worn out, but rather the pump is suspected to have a pressure relief piston that is stuck open or nearly so.That could explain the falling pressure as the oil warms and thins after a cold start and taking to the road that was described by the owner.
Well i did have a balancer and crank sensor replaced free by the Buick dealer when I was a little over the 50K limit. Its up to the dealer and if you had a good relationship with them and had servicing done there, they could go to bat for you. Since you are in KC though, no reason they should try to help you out but might contact your local dealer to see what they say. Of course that was the old GM too, not the new one.
I’m not sure about GM, but I know Ford use to have corporate contact information in the back of the owners manual. I too doubt that it’s a bad oil pump. My '88 Ford Escort with 518K miles still has the original oil pump. Things that need to be checked are to be sure the pick up screen going to the oil pump isn’t stopped up and that the filter isn’t stopped up or damaged. I had to pull the oil pan off my Escort last spring and clean the pick up tube screen, because the oil pressure dropped to near 0. After I cleaned the screen the oil pressure came back up to about 60 psi at highway speed on a warm engine. Are you using the factory recommended weight oil? If it were losing oil pressure because of bad bearings you’d probably be using oil and have an engine knock.
FordMan…that was the first thing the dealer checked. They cleaned it but it didn’t correct the problem…which is why they landed on the possible oil pump. I’ve been using only approved oil (of which there’s a bunch of different kinds).
I’ll dig around and give GM a call tomorrow and see what they say.
I wonder what is up also, one would think you do not have a major engine issue, and for 50 bucks put in an aftermarket engine oil pressure guage, just to confirm any problem.
Changing the oil at 6 month and/or 5k miles intervals may simply be too long a span to go between those changes and many an engine has been lost due to an oil change regimen like this.
Apparently engine sludging was suspected if they removed the pan and cleaned the oil tube pickup screen. If the pan was sludged, and if the screen was coked over, and if the oil pressure was tested and found to be abnormally low then the odds of the oil pump being the cause of the oil pressure is about none in my opinion.
That generally points to worn crankshaft and/or camshaft bearings.
Bottom line is that if the oil pump is (allegedly) worn out then the entire engine is on the downhill slide. If the oil pan was removed to clean any existing sludge out what someone should have done at the time was remove a couple of bearings caps from the far end of the crankshaft and visually check for excessive wear. This would be less than a 5 minute deal to perform.
If the engine has a serious problem and you want any Good Will warranty then you really need to be able to back up with documentation the oil change history of this vehicle. Even with documentation it’s a roll of the dice.
The plus is that you’re very close to the warranty expiration date anyway so some consideration might be given.
I wasn’t even aware that Chandler had a Chevy dealer and I would not be optimistic at all that this new oil pump is going to cure anything. I’ve never seen a worn out oil pump for what that’s worth although I have many of them replaced.
If GM wanted to “assist” you they would have made the warranty 6 years instead of 5…But they may have some sort of “good-will” policy to cover cases like this…You will have to make some noise…
Update for everyone. So I called the dealership and posed a few questions (thanks ok4450) and here are some responses I got.
I asked if they checked the mains and rods and he told me they did. For ok4450 I did ask if they checked the crankshaft and camshaft bearings and he said they could not. Now, keep in mind, I’m not a mechanic and I’m working off of your comments and said don’t you just have to remove a couple covers to view them and he said no or something to that effect. The PSI they got was 3 lbs. Very low…a friend of mine told me it should be around 7-10 lbs in this situation. They’ve replaced both the oil pump and the oil pressure sending unit and the mechanic still needs to test drive it.
One comment he made that he had me really concerned is this: “The oil in it was as dirty as he had ever seen”. He asked me when I changed the oil last and what kind I used and I told him on 6/29 it was changed at 59,500 miles and I used a fully synthetic brand that had the GM approved label on it. The vehicle currently has just under 64,000 miles on it. He said it looked like I’d gone 17,000 miles without an oil change. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but the dipstick on this vehicle is a pain in the arse to read. It read, as far as I could tell, as pretty well full when I changed it. It did seem light for what should have been 5-6 quarts of drained oil but I pulled the plug and left and came back about 5-10 minutes later and it was basically done emptying. Is it possible I left a lot of oil behind or is there something else going on? Could this be pointing to other issues? Again, this thing is not leaking oil, burning blue smoke, nothing.
One other thing. When I asked him about the oil being so dirty and if it’s pointing to something else he basically said, not necessarily but he wouldn’t go more than 4k miles between changes. He said a lot of people will wait for the vehicle to tell you to change the oil and he thinks it’s leading to a lot of problems. Makes sense and I’ve only hit the indicator once (on a short mileage interval due to some mountain driving). Just thought I’d share.
To check a couple of bearing caps means removal of the oil pan. I mentioned this because I was under the impression they removed the oil pan to clean out sludge. With the pan removed checking a couple of bearing caps only takes a few minutes and it’s always best to check a few caps that are located the greatest distance from the oil pump as those are the ones most likely to see damage first.
If they claimed to have checked the mains and rods then the pan had to be off of the engine.
Your oil pressure sucks to be blunt about it and your friend is also incorrect. No matter (3, 7, or 10) all of that is too low for a 67k miles vehicle. The numbers your friend threw out there are part of the old wives tales routine. I will add that even with low oil pressure the engine may appear to run fine but it’s doomed.
Theorizing for a moment, maybe the oil capacity is decreased due to sludging in the oil pan but that gets back to my impression (right or wrong) that the oil pan was removed and cleaned. If that was the case they should have pointed this out after the pan was removed.
I’m of the feeling this is not going to turn out well. Given the low miles and recent warranty expiration and based on what I feel is a serious engine problem, you might have to approach GM abouta Goow Will warranty.
This usually requires documentation and/or a log of oil changes and so on. Good luck.
Just to clarify, when that indicator goes off you should see 7-10 PSI. He was not saying the vehicle should have 7-10 PSI under general operating conditions. After I had nursed the car to the dealership, they checked the pressure and it was running at 3 PSI.
I believe they did remove the pan, unfortunately, I’m not well versed in this stuff and I did try to push a bit without coming off as an a-hole.
The guy at the dealership who talked to you about 4k miles oil changes and the maintenance minders causing problems is dead on with those comments.
There was a big discussion on this forum around the first of the year about a lady with a 40k miles Chevy Traverse that had a wiped engine because of a maintenance minder gimmick. (That’s what I call them anyway.)
If I remember correctly the engine in her vehicle was sludged beyond repair and I think GM stepped in with another motor.
If they’re getting 3 PSI running after what’s been done then that motor is toast is the way I would look at it. The only thing that 3 PSI will do is turn off a red oil pressure warning light; it will not protect an engine.
Cylinder pressures in a running motor can reach 1500-2000 PSI so you can see how 3 PSI of an oil film that is just a few thousanths of an inch thick is not going to provide much protection. It will simply be squashed out like an ant under a boot.
Keep us informed and good luck on this.