Some say cars need to be driven on the highway occassionaly. I have a 2002 Tahoe, 80,000 miles. Runs good etc. Sometimes when I first start my Tahoe it had a slight tappet clicking which lasted from a few seconds to about maybe a minute. It’s OK the rest of the day. I also had an occassional very slight transmission slippage from a stop but that was rare. I talked to my dealer mechanic about these issues and was assured that they shouldn’t be a major issue unless I notice a major change in the symptoms. Noises or length of times of symptoms, etc. I recently took a long trip (700 miles each way) in it. Ever since I have returned, these symptoms are gone completely. My mechanic said that it probably just needed to be run like that for that long even though I have taken some shorter 200 mile trips. When he checked it after I returned he said everything was in great shape and should be fine till the next service is needed. Other than I put an extra 1,600 miles on it, it has really been a good vehicle. Actually it got a lot better gas mileage than I thought it would on the the highway. 18.3 mpg to 19.6 mpg.
I don’t see what a 700 mile trip would do that a 200 mile trip would not, but if your truck is symptom free I’d say, “Be happy.”
Contrary to what many think, highway driving is not hard on a vehicle. Highway miles are actually much easier on a vehicle than the daily grind back and forth to work. A highway trip lets everything (engine transmission, exhaust system, differential, etc) reach its normal working temperature and stay there for a while. This drives off any traces of moisture in the lubricants and the exhaust, which is a good thing.
If you got 18-20 mpg your truck is running great. Whatever you’re doing as far as maintenance goes, keep it up.
All of that hot oil circulating will clean things out and help with lifter noise. Now change the oil.
Does your oil filter sit with the can open side down (like you screw it down onto the top of the engine) or does it set with the opening up (like you screw it up onto the bottom of the engine)? It if is facing down, buy a new, brand name, oil filter which is listed for use on your Tahoe model and year.