2008 Tahoe LTZ. No oil. Added 2 quarts, dipstick still doesn't show anything.

Disclaimer: Links on this page pointing to Amazon, eBay and other sites may include affiliate code. If you click them and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission.

User_Name

TYF Newbie
Joined
Feb 14, 2023
Posts
21
Reaction score
20
I bought the truck last friday, all seemed good. Today i noticed my oil pressure guage fluctuating and heard a light tapping. Checked the oil, it shows complete empty. I continued to add 1 qt, dipstick showed nothing, added 1 more qt, dipstick still dry. Nothing is leaking underneath, all is dry. If it is completely empty as the dipstick shows, wouldn't 2 quarts read something? I did read that these take 6-7 quarts to fill, perhaps I should just add more? Maybe the dipstick isn't reaching the pan for some reason? The engine was a police engine, and someone did add long pipes and a dynaflow. I would imagine they had to reroute the dipstick tube or route the headers around... thanks for reading, any response is much appreciated.



I must add, after adding the 2 quarts, my oil pressure stayed at a steady 35-40, and tapping dissapeared.
 
Last edited:

Fless

Staff member
Super Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2017
Posts
8,322
Reaction score
15,844
Location
Elev 5,280
Get the spec on how much oil it takes, and drain it and replace the filter. Then add the specified amount and see what the dipstick reads.

See if the dipstick has any part numbers on it to see if that can be traced back to engine type. Does the dipstick tube look like it was rerouted?
 
OP
OP
User_Name

User_Name

TYF Newbie
Joined
Feb 14, 2023
Posts
21
Reaction score
20
Get the spec on how much oil it takes, and drain it and replace the filter. Then add the specified amount and see what the dipstick reads.

See if the dipstick has any part numbers on it to see if that can be traced back to engine type. Does the dipstick tube look like it was rerouted?
I'll check for numbers, and do a change tomorrow. The tube seems to be where it should be, about 5 in. away from the tranny tube, pretty much parallel. I will add, it takes some push to get the dipstick all the way down. Maybe its catching on a flange and kind of snaking up? Its hard to tell because the dipsticks are a mile long. But do you think 2 qts would show on a 6qt pan? I read that dipsticks usually only touch the top 2 quarts, not sure how much truth is behind this.
 

swathdiver

Full Access Member
Joined
May 18, 2017
Posts
17,922
Reaction score
22,357
Location
Treasure Coast, Florida
I'll check for numbers, and do a change tomorrow. The tube seems to be where it should be, about 5 in. away from the tranny tube, pretty much parallel. I will add, it takes some push to get the dipstick all the way down. Maybe its catching on a flange and kind of snaking up? Its hard to tell because the dipsticks are a mile long. But do you think 2 qts would show on a 6qt pan? I read that dipsticks usually only touch the top 2 quarts, not sure how much truth is behind this.
Must be pretty low not to show, dump it out all out and start over. If the engine has an external oil cooler on the driver's side radiator tank, check the lines to see if any burst. After about 5-7 years, they start to weep and then leak and then let go and that takes a few years usually.
 

OR VietVet

Multnomah Falls
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2014
Posts
15,879
Reaction score
22,883
Location
Willamette Valley
Yes, the dipstick is designed to read the top 2 quarts. Otherwise you stand a chance of the stick getting in the way of the crankshaft. You could be 4 quarts low, on a 6 quart system and add 2 quarts and still not show on the dipstick. If you are going to start the engine or drive it at all, before you do a drain and filter change and refill, top the oil off to the full mark.

I also forgot to say this about the dipstick being hard to stab in the tube at times. That dipstick is typically a two piece stick that is riveted together and could even be a one piece, but it bends and is routed by the tube to get in there and I always use two hands and guide the stick in so it does not bend and kink.

Sounds like a great night in the sack.........;):hump:

By the way, welcome to the forum.
 
Last edited:

Joseph Garcia

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Posts
5,095
Reaction score
6,265
Welcome to the Forum from NH.

Lots of knowledgeable folks here who freely share their knowledge, experiences, and perspectives. Knowledge is power.

I hope that you will become a participating member in the Forum's discussions.

Pics of the truck, please.

You are already receiving sage advice from the knowledgeable folks on this Forum.
 

B-train

Full Access Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2022
Posts
986
Reaction score
1,373
100% agree with dropping the oil and filter. Drain it, spin on a new filter, and pour in 6 quarts of oil. Start it, check for filter leaks and shut it off. Let it sit for 10 minutes if the engine is cold and then check the dipstick. This will give you a baseline and you will know if your dipstick is accurate or not.
 
OP
OP
User_Name

User_Name

TYF Newbie
Joined
Feb 14, 2023
Posts
21
Reaction score
20
Yes, the dipstick is designed to read the top 2 quarts. Otherwise you stand a chance of the stick getting in the way of the crankshaft. You could be 4 quarts low, on a 6 quart system and add 2 quarts and still not show on the dipstick. If you are going to start the engine or drive it at all, before you do a drain and filter change and refill, top the oil off to the full mark.

I also forgot to say this about the dipstick being hard to stab in the tube at times. That dipstick is typically a two piece stick that is riveted together and could even be a one piece, but it bends and is routed by the tube to get in there and I always use two hands and
uide the stick in so it does not bend and kink.

Sounds like a great night in the sack.........;):hump:

By the way, welcome to the forum.
100% agree with dropping the oil and filter. Drain it, spin on a new filter, and pour in 6 quarts of oil. Start it, check for filter leaks and shut it off. Let it sit for 10 minutes if the engine is cold and then check the dipstick. This will give you a baseline and you will know if your dipstick is accurate or not.
I added 1 more qt this morning, now it's showing an acceptable level. It's seeming as if the truck actually was almost completely empty... but the engine made no weird noise until the pressure went wonky, then tapping at idle made me check the oil. Engine still bone dry underneath. Crossing my fingers this was just a matter of the previous owner not checking the oil regularly.

I did look at the numbers on the dipstick, and they matched, thanks for that tip. Was able to rule that out.

Now onto the clunking it does when putting in gear... should I make a new thread? Lol thanks yall. Much appreciated feedbac
 

Doubeleive

Wes
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Posts
20,235
Reaction score
27,797
Location
Stockton, Ca.
I added 1 more qt this morning, now it's showing an acceptable level. It's seeming as if the truck actually was almost completely empty... but the engine made no weird noise until the pressure went wonky, then tapping at idle made me check the oil. Engine still bone dry underneath. Crossing my fingers this was just a matter of the previous owner not checking the oil regularly.

I did look at the numbers on the dipstick, and they matched, thanks for that tip. Was able to rule that out.

Now onto the clunking it does when putting in gear... should I make a new thread? Lol thanks yall. Much appreciated feedbac
How much clunk? Some is expected especially if parked on any kind of incline, but check all other fluids since you don't know what was changed, checked or flushed. I would just do them all. That way you establish a baseline.
Make a video of the clunk sound and upload it to YouTube and link it here
 
OP
OP
User_Name

User_Name

TYF Newbie
Joined
Feb 14, 2023
Posts
21
Reaction score
20
How much clunk? Some is expected especially if parked on any kind of incline, but check all other fluids since you don't know what was changed, checked or flushed. I would just do them all. That way you establish a baseline.
Make a video of the clunk sound and upload it to YouTube and link it here
So I -think- I know where the clunking may be coming from. I got under there, and I can literally push the front hog head up about half an inch. The mount bolts that the differential is attached to have play, so do the bushings where the mount bolts to frame.I have not used 4wd since I got the truck last friday, nor do I plan to ever, this was bought as a work truck, my tools aren't heavy. I'm fine with 2wd. That said, I took it to a mechanic, he wanted to sell me on motor mounts, but this is no motor mount I'm hearing, we agreed they are bad, but not the clunk cause. Then he said the sound is coming from the transfer case and said $2500 to replace. I am willing to replace a transfer case myself, and I will for sure replace the front hog head bushings and tighten mount bolts.



My question is, can I remove the front driveshaft, and drive in 2wd, to see if the clunking persists? If the clunking stopped, perhaps all I need to fix is the bushings/mounts. On the other hand, the mechanic did say that as long as you're in 2wd, there will be no load on the front axle, which makes sense.

I did check transfer case fluid, my finger could not fit in the hole to check fluid level, so I figured I'd add some anyways to see. I was able to fill it with probably 3/4 a quart of dexron6. Rest went on me and the ground. Not sure if it'll take more, I couldn't tell if it was leaking cause it was full, or if it was leftover fluid from the bendy funnel. Put the drain bolt back on. The clunking is still there. Maybe it's not as noticeable? I think I'm saying that because that's what I really wanted to happen. No it still clunks though, either way.

The clunking comes when I'm stopping, abruptly or slowly, about 10-15ft before the actual stop. It also comes when I go from P to D, 6/10 times. Same with reverse to D, maybe 3 or 4/10 times.

Pretty sure it's already in 1st gear when I hear/feel the clunk. Transmission shifts fine, up and down, it's just hard to tell if I'm in 1st when I hear the clunk, the long pipe headers with this engine have quite a rumble. Tbh, it drives/feels like my 67 mercury cougar, if it had power steering. I like that though. I don't want to give up on this truck.

Sorry for the book. I guess my question is, can I rule out if the clunk is caused by the failure of the front differential bushings, by removing the front driveshaft? In 2wd only ofc.

Thank you for every reply, yall are saints
 

Forum statistics

Threads
124,079
Posts
1,726,491
Members
85,654
Latest member
onsteder
Top