Chevy 5.3 Oil Pickup Tube O-Ring Symptoms:(Explained)

If you have a vehicle with 5.3 L engine and are experiencing low oil pressure, the oil pickup tube O-ring is likely to be deteriorating.

In order to lubricate the engine, the oil must be pumped up from the pan through the engine. This procedure, which is carried out by the oil pump, requires the use of a gasket or “O-ring” to prevent oil from leaking past the mounting position. 

An oil pump’s gaskets and O-rings serve a highly particular and crucial job that is critical to the engine’s functioning. Although oil pump O-ring failure is uncommon, it does occur.

Signs Of A Bad Oil Pickup Tube O-Ring: The smell of the engine’s fuel and fuel leaks from your vehicle are the first indicators that your car’s oil pickup tube O-ring is failing.

What Are The Symptoms Of Oil Pickup Tube O-Ring?

There are other prominent symptoms you may notice if your oil pickup tube O-ring is failing.

Let’s get to know about those symptoms and how to detect 5.3 oil pickup tube O-ring symptoms in details below –

1. The level of engine oil is low

An oil leak can cause a lot of harm to your engine. The leak can significantly reduce the oil level and pressure inside the engine. The oil pressure is maybe 10 psi or less than that.

If the oil level is low then you need to check the oil pump to see if the

O-ring is damaged or not. If you don’t want a lot of damage, you should check the engine oil level on a regular basis.

2. Oil visible around the timing cover

Oil leakage can be seen on the timing cover due to oil pickup tube o ring failure.

And driving your vehicle with oil leakage on the timing cover can be a serious issue. 

3. Oil visible around the intake manifold

The intake manifold enables equal distribution of air into the engine on all cylinders. Oil can be observed on the intake manifold if the O-ring fails.

4. Visible oil puddles underneath the vehicle

Drops of oil under the car is another typical indicator that it’s time to replace the oil pump O-ring. When your automobile leaks this much oil, it may cause a ton of problems with the internal components.

5. Bad performance

Another symptom of problematic oil pickup tube O-rings is engine performance issues.

Your vehicle’s engine will not work as it is supposed to after O-ring failure.

A faulty o-ring can result in difficulties starting, misfires, a loss of power, acceleration, and fuel efficiency, and even stalling in extreme situations.

6. Engine noise

When this element of your oil pump fails, you may hear rattling or loud noises.

Here are some reasons why O-Ring is Failing –

There are a variety of reasons why your oil pickup tube o ring may be failing. Here are a few of them:

  • Using an O-ring material that has a low compression set
  • Improper gland design
  • Incorrect O-Ring size
  • Incompatibility of O-Ring elastomer and environmental elements.
  • Continuous contact between the O-ring surface and the housing
  • Improper O-Ring installation.
  • Inadequate O-Ring lubrication

What To Do When You Detect Oil Pickup O-Ring Failure?

It is important to make sure your vehicle is doing well both in and out. You should not delay if you notice any unusual situations or signals that your car is giving you.

The oil pump provides the necessary pressure to move the oil through the engine and to the proper locations. The oil pump O ring must be in good operating order for this pump to remain leak-free.

Since you are not able to see this part on your car, it is important to look for the warning signs. Allowing this component to deteriorate over an extended period of time might cause significant harm to your engine.

After noticing the symptoms, you need to go to a mechanic for thorough checking and they will help you by replacing the o-ring or if needed the oil pickup tube.

You may do a smart test to see whether the O-ring has failed and the oil pump is sucking in air.

 It entails increasing the oil level in the crankcase to the point where the area surrounding the pickup tube O-ring is submerged. You may do this by putting oil in the crankcase and then lifting the back of the vehicle to tilt the oil in the crankcase toward the engine’s front.

Start the engine and check the oil pressure after you’ve poured oil and lifted the vehicle. If the idle speed has returned to normal, the pickup tube O-ring has to be changed.

You can also change your oil pickup tube o ring all by yourself-

  • First, remove the oil pan to obtain a clean sight at the pickup tube, then remove the pickup tube holding bolt and replace the O-ring.
  • You’ll need lots of patience, but it is possible to remove the pickup tube retaining bolt without removing the pan
  • Then, you’ll need to remove the front cover and use some small tools in addition to your wrenches, but it’s doable.
  • Remove the oil pump from the front of the crankshaft after removing the bolt from the pump. It may take some wriggling and the removal of the oil pump cover, but the crankshaft should clear. In the pan, the pickup tube will stay in place. You should be able to see the damaged O-ring once you’ve removed the pickup tube from the pump.
  • Reassembly is the reverse of disassembly. To avoid cutting or crimping an O-ring, make sure you acquire the right one for the job and install it carefully.

Is Replacing The Oil Pickup Tube O-Ring Typically Expensive?

The price of an oil pickup tube o ring is not that much the price of the o ring ranges between 3$ to 25$.

But the cost may change if you have to change other parts like the oil pump or the pick up tube and maybe the valve. The cost of changing those parts can cost you more bucks.

The oil pan would have to be removed from the automobile to replace the pump O-ring. We recommend that you replace both the pump and the O-ring at the same time.

And if your oil pump needs a change the cost of replacing an oil pump ranges from $1,000 to $1,320. Labor expenses are expected to range from $700 to $890.

How Often Should You Inspect Or Service 5.3 oil pickup tube o-ring?

While oil leaks are frequently monitored and detected during routine maintenance, confirming a pump O-ring gasket leak without thorough teardown will be difficult.

Regular maintenance is the best way to avoid any type of gasket or O-ring failure.

Engine oil leaks are very severe, as even tiny leaks can create major issues. Your engine will be severely harmed by low oil levels. So, it is very important to check on your vehicle’s internal parts regularly.

The Verdict

Driving with your faulty O-ring can be very dangerous. And I’m pretty sure you don’t want to drive with this much risk.

So, if you notice any indications or symptoms of oil pickup tube O-ring failure, you should get it serviced right away.

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