How to Choose the Oil and Fluids for a Chevy Avalancheby Kyle McBride
Starting in 2011 and through the Avalanche's 2013 model year, Chevrolet recommended using a dexos-certified engine oil. The dexos certification takes much of the guesswork out of choosing engine oil. The certification shows that General Motors has tested the oil and put its stamp of approval on it for use in GM engines. The certification is backward compatible, so if your Avalanche was built prior to 2011, you should still choose dexos-certified oil. Use an SAE 5W-30 oil unless the temperature in your area falls below minus 20 degrees F. In cold climates, use SAE 0W-30.
Use Dexron-VI automatic transmission fluid in the automatic transmission, and if your Avalanche is four-wheel drive, the transfer case. Any premium-grade ATF will do as long as it's Dexron-VI. Your rear axle takes SAE 75W-90 synthetic oil and the front takes SAE 80W-90 gear oil. Again, any premium-grade oil will do as long as it's the specified SAE range.
Temperature comes back into play when choosing a windshield washer fluid. Chevy recommends Optikleen washer solvent; but for cold climates, choose a washer solvent labeled as an antifreeze solution -- not antifreeze coolant, but antifreeze washer solvent. For engine coolant, use a silicate-free antifreeze. Chevy recommends Dex-Cool. For your brakes, use DOT3 brake fluid and in your Avalanche's power steering system, use GM power steering fluid.