DIY Made Easy: Step-by-Step GMC Sierra Engine Oil Change Instructions

As a mechanic, I can say that GMC Sierra has a reputation for being reliable and durable vehicles. They typically come equipped with quality engines that can last a long time, especially with proper maintenance and regular oil changes.

GMC Sierra is a popular pickup truck that was released by General Motors. The vehicle has several generations, each with its own features and characteristics. GMC Sierra was introduced to the US market in the early 1960s and has since undergone several updates and changes. The vehicle is offered in various configurations, including different engine options and trim levels. GMC Sierra is also known by different names in different countries, such as Chevrolet Silverado.

Simple Plan to Change Engine Oil

Changing the oil on GMC Sierra is critical because it keeps the engine running smoothly. It removes dirt and debris that can damage the engine and helps improve fuel economy. Regular oil changes prolong the life of your engine, saving you money on repairs in the long run.

So, let’s define the basic steps for performing a car engine oil change.

Warm up the engine to operating temperature

Drain the used engine oil and remove the old oil filter

Install a new filter and fill with fresh oil

Check the oil level with a dipstick

By following these simple steps, you can service your car. Now let’s take a closer look at each of the steps, select the recommended oil and filter. At the end of this page I will answer possible questions.

What You Need to Know Before Changing Engine Oil

How Often Should You Change Engine Oil on GMC Sierra

It is usually recommended to change the engine oil in GMC Sierra approximately every 5,000 – 7,500 miles or once every six months, depending on the operating conditions. However, the manufacturer’s recommendations should always take priority, so it’s best to consult the owner’s manual for your specific model year of GMC Sierra for precise information on the recommended oil change interval.

Poll: how often do you change your engine oil?

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Step-by-step instruction: Checking the engine oil level

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface and allow the engine to cool for a few minutes.
  2. Open the hood and locate the oil dipstick. It is usually marked in yellow and has a handle for easy extraction.
  3. Pull out the dipstick fully, wipe it clean with a cloth or paper towel to remove any residual oil.
  4. Insert the dipstick back into the opening and then pull it out again.
  5. Take note of the two markings or notches on the dipstick. They usually indicate the minimum and maximum oil levels.
  6. The oil level should be between these two markings. If the level is below the minimum mark, oil needs to be added. If the level exceeds the maximum mark, excess oil should be drained.
  7. Use a funnel to add oil to prevent spills.
  8. After adding or removing oil, insert the dipstick again and ensure it is securely in place.

Visual inspection of the engine oil

What to look for in GMC Sierra During a visual inspection of the engine oil in GMC Sierra, you can pay attention to the following aspects:

  1. Color: Fresh oil is usually transparent or slightly yellowish. If the oil appears cloudy, dark, or contains visible particles, it may indicate contamination or engine wear.
  2. Consistency: The oil should be smooth and free from thick deposits or gel-like formations.
  3. Level: Check how well the oil is filled in the engine. It should be within the recommended range indicated on the dipstick.
visual inspection of the engine oil

Additional maintenance tasks during an oil change

During an oil change in GMC Sierra, it is usually recommended to perform the following tasks:

  1. Oil filter replacement: The oil filter should be replaced along with the oil change. It is responsible for filtering impurities and contaminants from the engine oil to maintain its cleanliness and efficiency.
  2. Inspection and replacement of the drain plug: If the drain plug shows visible damage or leaks, it is recommended to replace it to prevent oil loss.
  3. Replacement of the drain plug gasket: When replacing the drain plug, it is also advisable to replace the drain plug gasket to ensure a secure and leak-free connection.

Comparison of engine oils for GMC Sierra

Pros and cons of different types There are several types of engine oils, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of them:

  1. Conventional/mineral oils: These are traditional oils based on petroleum. They are usually available at a lower price and provide sufficient engine protection, but they may require more frequent changesand have lower resistance to high temperatures.
  2. Synthetic oils: Synthetic oils are created through chemical synthesis and have better stability at high temperatures, providing a longer oil change interval. They also have better flowability at low temperatures and offer more efficient engine lubrication. However, they typically come at a higher cost compared to mineral oils.
  3. Semi-synthetic oils: Semi-synthetic oils are a blend of mineral and synthetic components. They provide a good balance between performance and cost, offering reliable engine protection.
Vehicle characteristics

Essential Pre-Work Checkpoints for Safe Motor Oil Change

Before performing a motor oil change in GMC Sierra, it’s important to follow these essential pre-work checkpoints to ensure a safe and effective oil change process:

How to Choose the Right Engine Oil for Your GMC Sierra

To choose the right engine oil for your GMC Sierra, refer to the following table that provides information on engine oil selection for different generations of the vehicle:

Generation (Year)EngineSuitable Oil ViscosityPopular American BrandsRequired Amount of Oil
1st (2007-2013)4.3L V6, 4.8L V8, 5.3L V85W-30, 10W-30Mobil 1 ($27/5 qarts)
Royal Purple ($38/5 quarts)
Pennzoil ($21/5 quarts)
6 quarts
2nd (2014-2018)4.3L V6, 5.3L V8, 6.2L V80W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30Mobil 1 ($29/5 quart)
Royal Purple ($38/5 quart)
6 quarts
3rd (2019-present)2.7L Turbo, 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8, 6.2L V80W-20, 5W-30Mobil 1 ($29/5 quart)
Royal Purple ($38/5 quart)
8 quarts
Table with suitable engine oil GMC Sierra, depending on the issue code and engine

Picking the Best Oil Filter for Your GMC Sierra

When selecting an oil filter for your GMC Sierra, consider the following table that provides oil filter options for different generations of the vehicle:

Generation (Year)EnginePopular American BrandsArticle Number
1st (2007-2013)4.3L V6, 4.8L V8, 5.3L V8AC Delco, Fram, Bosch, WIXXG10060, 57060XP
2nd (2014-2018)4.3L V6, 5.3L V8, 6.2L V8Purolator, WIX, K&N, MotorcraftFL-500S, PL22500 
3rd (2019-present)2.7L Turbo, 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8, 6.2L V8Motorcraft, Baldwin, ACDelco, Mobil 1M1-212A, PF63 
Suitable oil filter for GMC Sierra

Must-Have Tools for DIY Motor Oil Change

When performing a DIY motor oil change in your GMC Sierra, it’s important to have the following tools and conditions:

  1. Socket set or wrench: Required for removing the oil drain plug and oil filter.
  2. Oil filter wrench: Helps in loosening and removing the oil filter.
  3. Drain pan: To collect the old oil during the drain process.
  4. Funnel: Facilitates the pouring of new oil into the engine.
  5. Oil filter: Make sure to have a compatible oil filter for your GMC Sierra.
  6. New engine oil: Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended oil type and quantity.
  7. Disposable gloves: Protect your hands from oil and contaminants.
  8. Safety glasses: Provides eye protection during the oil change process.
  9. Jack and jack stands (if required): For lifting and securing the vehicle, if necessary.
  10. Shop towels or rags: Useful for cleaning up spills or wiping surfaces.

Before starting the oil change, make sure to read your GMC Sierra’s owner’s manual and familiarize yourself with the specific oil change procedures and recommendations for your vehicle.

Step-by-Step Guide to Changing Motor Oil: A Detailed Breakdown

Follow these steps to change the motor oil in your GMC Sierra:

  1. Warm up the engine: Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes to warm up the oil. This helps the oil flow more freely during the drain.
  2. Position the vehicle: Park the GMC Sierra on a level surface and engage the parking brake.
  3. Locate the oil drain plug: Consult the owner’s manual to identify the exact location of the oil drain plug.
  4. Place the drain pan: Position the drain pan beneath the oil drain plug.
  5. Remove the drain plug: Using a socket set or wrench, carefully loosen and remove the oil drain plug. Allow the old oil to drain completely into the pan.
  6. Replace the drain plug: Once the oil has drained, clean the drain plug and its sealing washer or replace the washer if necessary. Then, tighten the drain plug securely.
  7. Locate and remove the oil filter: The oil filter is usually located near the engine. Use an oil filter wrench to loosen and remove the old oil filter. Be prepared for some oil spillage.
  8. Lubricate the new oil filter: Before installing the new oil filter, apply a thin layer of fresh oil to the rubber gasket.
  9. Install the new oil filter: Screw the new oil filter onto the engine by hand until it is snug. Then, tighten it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  10. Add new oil: Remove the oil filler cap and use a funnel to pour the recommended amount of fresh oil into the engine. Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct oil capacity and type.
  11. Check the oil level: Insert the dipstick, remove it, and check the oil level. Ensure it is within the acceptable range. Add more oil if needed.
  12. Clean up and dispose of used oil: Wipe off any spilled oil and properly dispose of the used oil and oil filter at a recycling center or an auto parts store that accepts used oil.

Changing the oil in your GMC Sierra typically takes around 30-60 minutes, depending on your experience and the accessibility of the drain plug and oil filter.

Preparing Your GMC Sierra: How to Warm Up the Engine Before an Oil Change

Properly warming up the engine before an oil change involves starting the engine and allowing it to run for a few minutes. This helps to heat the oil, making it flow more easily during the drain process. Warming up the engine also ensures that any contaminants in the oil are suspended and can be drained out effectively. However, it’s important to note that excessive idling can be harmful to the environment and fuel consumption. Therefore, aim to warm up the engine for no more than a few minutes before proceeding with the oil change.

Common Queries After DIY Engine Oil Change: Your FAQs Answered

  1. How often should I change the engine oil in my GMC Sierra? It is generally recommended to change the engine oil in your GMC Sierra every 5,000 – 7,500 miles or as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. Refer to your owner’s manual for the specific oil change interval for your vehicle.
  2. Can I reuse the oil filter during an oil change? It is generally recommended to replace the oil filter with a new one during each oil change. Reusing the old filter may compromise filtration efficiency and affect engine performance.
  3. What should I do with the used engine oil and filter? Used engine oil and filters should be properly disposed of at designated collection centers or recycling facilities. Many auto parts stores and service stations accept used oil and filters for recycling.

Potential Problems After Incorrect DIY Oil Change in GMC Sierra

Performing an incorrect DIY oil change in your GMC Sierra can lead to various problems, such as:

  1. Overfilling or underfilling the engine with oilcan cause issues with lubrication and engine performance.
  2. Incorrectly tightening the drain plug or oil filter can result in leaks and oil loss.
  3. Using the wrong type or viscosity of oil can impact engine performance and longevity.
  4. Failing to replace the oil filter can lead to reduced filtration efficiency and increased engine wear.
  5. Improper disposal of used oil and filters can harm the environment.

If you encounter any of these problems or suspect an issue after an oil change, it’s recommended to consult a professional mechanic for inspection and potential corrective measures.

Detecting Engine Oil Leaks: A Checklist After DIY Oil Change

After performing a DIY oil change in your GMC Sierra, you should check for potential engine oil leaks. Here’s a checklist to help you detect any leaks:

  1. Inspect the drain plug: Ensure that the drain plug is securely tightened and not leaking oil. Check for any signs of oil around the drain plug area.
  2. Examine the oil filter: Verify that the oil filter is properly installed and tightened. Look for any oil seepage or drips around the filter.
  3. Inspect the oil pan and gasket: Check the oil pan and its gasket for signs of leaks. Look for oil accumulation or wetness around the oil pan.
  4. Check the valve cover gasket: Inspect the valve cover gasket for any signs of leaks. Look for oil seepage or drips around the valve cover area.
  5. Inspect other engine components: Check other engine components, such as the oil pressure sensor or oil cooler, for any signs of oil leakage.

If you notice any oil leaks, it’s important to address them promptly. Tightening loose components or replacing faulty gaskets or seals may be necessary to resolve the issue. If you are unsure or unable to fix the problem yourself, it’s advisable to seek assistance from a professional mechanic.

Resetting the Oil Change Counter in Your GMC Sierra: A Step-by-Step Guide


To reset the oil change counter in your GMC Sierra after completing a service, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure the ignition is in the “Off” position.
  2. Press and hold the “Trip” or “Reset” button on your instrument cluster.
  3. While holding the button, turn the ignition to the “On” position (do not start the engine).
  4. Continue holding the button until the oil change indicator light or message resets. This usually takes a few seconds.
  5. Release the button and verify that the oil change counter has been reset.

Note: The exact procedure may vary depending on the model year and instrument cluster design of your GMC Sierra. If you are unsure, refer to your owner’s manual or consult a certified mechanic for assistance.

Responsible Disposal: What to Do with Used Engine Oil After Changing

Proper disposal of used engine oil is essential for environmental protection. Here’s what you can do with the old used engine oil after a self-replacement:

  1. Store the used oil in a suitable container: Use a clean, leak-proof container with a tightly sealed lid to store the used oil. Make sure the container is labeled for used oil.
  2. Take the used oil to a recycling center: Many local recycling centers or waste management facilities accept used oil for recycling. Check with your local authorities or recycling centers for designated drop-off points.
  3. Bring it to an auto parts store or service station: Some auto parts stores or service stations have programs in place to accept used oil for recycling. They may also accept used oil filters. Check with the store or station beforehand to confirm their acceptance policy.
  4. Do not pour used oil down drains or dispose of it in the trash: It is important to never pour used oil down drains, sewers, or toilets, as it can contaminate water sources. Similarly, do not dispose of used oil in regular trash bins.

Remember to follow local regulations and guidelines for proper disposal of used engine oil in your area. By responsibly disposing of used oil, you contribute to environmental conservation and protect ecosystems.

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One thought on “DIY Made Easy: Step-by-Step GMC Sierra Engine Oil Change Instructions

  1. 📣 Hey there, fellow GMC Sierra owners! 🚗💨

    Just wanted to remind you all that this post is a safe space for all your questions and concerns regarding motor oil changes in our car. Don’t hesitate to ask anything, no matter how big or small. We’re here to help and support each other!

    Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or a first-time oil changer, we’ve got halp you. Share your experiences, seek advice, or simply drop by to say hello. Let’s create a friendly and informative community where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts.

    Remember, there’s no such thing as a silly question when it comes to taking care of our GMC Sierra. So go ahead, hit that comment button, and let’s start a conversation about all things motor oil change-related. Your fellow Sierra enthusiasts are here to lend a hand and provide valuable insights.

    Looking forward to hearing from you all! 🔧💪

    #GMCSierra #MotorOilChange #DIY #NaEngine

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