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2001 Engine



We said we bought the Vette to drive.. Well, thats what we are doing. Shari and I now have about 13500 miles on our 2001 silver convertable. I hope our questions will ring a bell if the same issues develope in our friends cars..
1.. I find it almost impossible to read the oil level on the dip stick. I have waited untill it was warm, cold, running, stopped in all of the before conditions etc.etc.. The stick wont pick up the oil in a meaningfull way.. It is strung out over the holes and I have no idea what the reading is.. Im either nuts or others have the same problem.. Write me either way, I can handle it.
2.. Having said that, I get a "valve" (?) taping at idle no matter what reading I get on the dip stick.. Very quite but not what I consider ok.
3.. Have got a low oil alert on the dash and imed. threw in a quart of recomended oil even though I still couldnt tell from the dip stick if I was low..
4.. We baby the car except for a few misdirected moments when the Boxer pulls up beside us and I send him/her back to dealer for a tuneup .
Really, I am very interested in how you guys/gals check your oil..
I drive mine exactly like you do. Rarely get on it. Checking the oil is a real challenge. The only way I can get a consistant reading is checking it cold, after it's sat over night. And then it's iffy. When it's warm forget it. I also get the same taping you mentioned. Quite annoying. Never had a low oil alert. Oil pressure always seems a bit low but I am told thats normal. To insure the oil is a always at the proper level I change it quite frequently and add the exact amount called for. I guess you could say I change it rather than check it. Michael
HI there,
I usually use some Scotchbrite, and roughen the surface of the dipstick. This will assist in reading the dipstick.
As for the tapping, this should be checked. If you have not had it correctly checked, just to be sure, you should.
There is some noise with an LS1, and this is due to the valve train.
I hope this helps, and let us know if we can help further, c4c5:hb
Great Idea on roughing up the dipstick.. Will let you know how it works for me .. Thanks Derf
I slightly roughened the dip stick with fine sand paper, cleaning it VERY well before use. I check it first thing in the morning consistently and the oil holds to the stick. Make sure you roughen up both sides. No loss in 3000 miles and preparing to change the filter.

Another noise that sounds like a light clicking is the fuel injectors. Normal sound.
The tapping sound you hear may not be valvetrain related. Rather, it may be a known piston slap problem.

For 2002, the LS1 pistons have been changed out to a new assembly with different rings and, from what I understand, coated piston skirts.

The new rings address excessive oil consumption that was most prevalent on 6-speed 'Vettes driven under certain conditions. The skirt coating was applied to address the piston slap issue. From what I have read, the piston slap was reported to be present at idle only until the engine reached normal operating temperatures. I don't know...maybe because of previous experience as a mechanic, I can hear mine doing the piston slap at idle at any temperature. I'm not worried about it since I know what it is (and I have a 72/60 warranty!).

Anybody with a 2002 out there who can comment?

By the way, I have no problem checking the level on my dipstick. I do it in the garage with ambient light (overhead shut off), and get just the right viewing angle, take a deep breath, hold it, squint a little, twist the stick to position "B", repeat... :)

Colorado :w
They changed the pistons to the coated variety mid model year 2001. I think I remember reading May in a tech release, could be wrong on the date. It could have been earlier, but I don't think so. So, depending of when your 2001 was built, you have the coated piston upgrade for the valve slap, but not the more aggresive oil control ring that changed in MY2002.
You know, I'm not sure on the date that the fix was available. From what I remember reading, it seems that the new piston assemblies were to be available starting in the spring of '01 as a replacement part for those who registered complaints with GM. Installing the new assemblies in regular production wasn't to take place until the start of the '02 run.
Check it right.

I would assume that all of you check your oil with your car on a flat surface, at least a half hour after it has been shut off. You should also be using a white lent free cloth, when you pull it out the first time, wipe it clean, the second time, holding it horizontal, lay it onto the white cloth. Now read the oil stain as you roll the dip stick off from the stain. Yes, it will bleed past the actual level but it beats trying to find it on the dip stick.

Didn't used to have this problem in the older oils, but then the engines didn't run as clean as they do now either.
engine tapping

my 2002 has a light tapping sound when you first start it but it goes away quickly. neither my 97 or 99 had this tapping. i have heard it is caused becaused GM shorten up the length of the piston skirt to decrease friction. i had a 2002 grand am while on vacation in Fl and it had the same tapping when cold but it was louder than my C-5
Seems that I read somewhere that the lifters on the V6s bleed down real fast when the engine is shut down, and then they have to pump up again on restart. I guess there's not enough residual oil to stop the tapping until they are fully pumped up again. My youngest son's 2000 Malibu does the same thing.
engine noise

i have a 3.8 V-6 in a 2000 impala that does not make any noise on startup and my 1997 venture van with a 3.4 V-6 is quiet also and it seems that this noise just started in the last couple of years as GM has some TSB about it.
I have a Z06 with the LS6 engine and I am able to read the oil level with no trouble. It could be that they use a different dip stick on the LS6 than they do on the LS1 (don't know why they would, it's the same block).

The piston/ring running production change was made in April of 2001. My Z06 was built on June 15, 2001 and does not have the oil burning/piston slap issues that I have read about on this forum and in several car magazines.

I have 5,888 miles on the car and had the oil changed at 2,800 and 5,880 miles. Before the first and second oil changes it should no sign of oil loss.
My coupe was built June 4, 2001 and does not have a piston slap or oil consumption problem. I did some digging on the forums to find why and found the same articles from GM reprinted. Next time I'll remember to copy and save them.
Colorado said:
Seems that I read somewhere that the lifters on the V6s bleed down real fast when the engine is shut down, and then they have to pump up again on restart. I guess there's not enough residual oil to stop the tapping until they are fully pumped up again. My youngest son's 2000 Malibu does the same thing.

Some of the 3100 V6's have the piston slap problem, and they are louder than the Vettes! They fixed it with coated pistons just like the Vette. some 2000's have the coated pistons on #5 and #6 and 2001 and up have all 6 coated.
DealerTech - Is there a service bulletin covering the 3100s? I'd like to get this fixed before the warranty runs out.

Sorry for temporarily turning this into a Malibu forum :(


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