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Do It Yourself Oil Change on a 2008 Silverado

by Paul Dohrman; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Wheel chocks, bricks or rocks

  • 2 jack stands, 2 jack screws or 2 drive-on ramps

  • Emergency jack

  • Drain pan

  • Crescent wrench

  • Oil filter wrench that fits your filter

  • New drain bolt washer

  • Socket wrench

  • Rag

  • Engine oil filter

  • 4.5 to 6 qts. of SAE 5W-30 motor oil meeting GM standard GM6094M

  • Funnel

The 2008 Chevy Silverado uses an "Engine Oil Life System" to notify you when to change the oil. This system determines when an oil change is needed based on engine temperature and revolutions, a more sophisticated approach than counting mileage. When the system displays a “Change Engine Oil Soon” light on the Driver Information Center (DIC), you should change it in the next 600 miles. Chevy recommends changing the oil filter at the same time. If you do this yourself, the only specialty tool you’ll need is an oil filter wrench, which you can pick up at a Chevy dealership.

Three Ways to Raise the Front of a 2008 Silverado

Set the Silverado's emergency brake. Also, block off both sides of the rear tire diagonal to the jack using rocks, chocks or bricks. Place the jack about 5 inches behind the front wheel well on either the right or left side. You may see notches or marks under the car for where to put the jack. After jacking up the side, slide an extended jack stand next to the emergency jack. Lower the emergency jack, setting the car onto the jack stand. Repeat for the car’s other side.

Drive the Silverado’s front wheels onto drive-on ramps, as a second alternative. Prevent ramp movement during mounting by first putting rubber mats underneath. Don’t use ramps on an incline. Downhill the ramps can flip and uphill they can be too steep to mount. Set the Silverado’s emergency brake after the ramp mounting.

Use jackscrews as a third alternative. They rise and fall like an emergency jack but have a jack stand’s stability. Place them under where the emergency jack would go.

Replacing the Oil

Run the Silverado’s engine in neutral. Turn it off when the radiator fan comes on. (Warmed oil drains more thoroughly.) Wait five minutes for the motor oil to settle in the drain pan.

Unscrew the engine oil refill cap, on the left side of the engine. Don’t remove it. You’re merely allowing air in to help the oil drain.

Find the oil drain bolt under the Silverado’s engine. It will likely be the lowest bolt you’ll see on the oil tank. Tell it apart from the transmission fluid drain plug by feeling the metal around both. Metal around the former still feels hot from idling the engine in Step 1.

Loosen the oil drain bolt counterclockwise. Use a closed-end wrench if the bolt seems stuck. Manually unscrew the bolt once you place a drain pan underneath. While the oil is draining, proceed to Step 5.

Fit the oil filter wrench over the oil filter, which is also under the engine. The filter is a baseball-sized cylinder. Turn the filter wrench counterclockwise, preferably after inserting a socket wrench into the oil filter wrench’s center hole, though this isn’t necessary. Once loosened, screw the filter off by hand. Keep your face out from under the filter, which is full of skin-irritating, carcinogenic oil.

Take off the rubber O-ring that seals the filter with the engine. Wipe away remaining O-ring residue with a rag. Coat both sides of the new seal with clean oil, hold it in place in the engine cavity and screw on the new oil filter. For the 4.3-liter engine, use ACDelco filter PF47 (GM p/n 25010792). For larger engines, use ACDelco filter PF48 (GM p/n 89017524). When you start feeling turning resistance, turn an extra two-thirds of a revolution using the filter wrench. Don’t overtighten; that could cause an oil leak. Once the oil has been draining a full hour, proceed to Step 7.

Screw in the oil drain bolt , preferably with a new washer. In case you’re using a torque wrench, tighten the bolt to 27 to 29 foot-pounds. Edmunds recommends the washer replacement because these compressible washers wear fast.

Pour in 4.5 qts. of motor oil for the 4.3-liter engine and 6 qts. larger engines. Use SAE 5W-30 viscosity and look for the API for-gas-engines starburst label. Check that the oil meets GM Standard GM6094M. Use a funnel to pour it in where you unscrewed the refill cap. Check the dipstick—which is to the rear, slightly to the left—as the oil level get close to capacity. Make sure you don’t overfill, which can impair mileage. Screw on the filler cap.

Idle the Silverado’s engine in neutral until the radiator fan turns on. Check the oil filter and oil drain bolt for leakage. Lower the Silverado off any supports.

Put the car in “Park.” Scroll to “Oil Life Remaining” on the DIC display. Press either the reset button on DIC or the odometer stem if there are no DIC buttons. Hold the button for five seconds to reset Engine Oil Life System.

Warnings

Wash used engine oil off of your skin using soap and water. Used motor oil is a skin irritant and carcinogen.

As Edmunds points out, U.S. law prohibits disposing used engine oil down the drain, into the sewer or ground, or in the regular trash. Instead, find a garage or recycling center that will dispose of your oil for free.

About the Author

Paul Dohrman's academic background is in physics and economics. He has professional experience as an educator, mortgage consultant, and casualty actuary. His interests include development economics, technology-based charities, and angel investing.

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Photo Credits

  • changing the wheel image by Radu Razvan from Fotolia.com