Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

Tech Question for Hib Halverson


Mark S.

Hib, I've read many of your articles and I remember you describing the oil change procedure on the '97 C5. This past weekend I did my first oil/filter on my '01 C5 Coupe - 1,300 miles ( I thoroughly drained every bit of oil out by lifting the rear, etc.). I then re-filled with the 6.5 qt capacity, took her for a spin and then checked the oil level. After letting her sit for approx 20 minutes I checked the level and found that I was about a half quart low. There are many '01 owners posting (in other forums) that it now takes 7 qts to achieve a "full" refill on the dipstick. This doesn't make sense since most of the '97-'00 owners are saying that 6.5 qts is "full" on their dipsticks. I know that GM did a dipstick and dipstick configuration change on the '01 model (perhaps that's the culprit). I went ahead and added an additional eighth of a quart last night and the level on the dipstick now reads a quarter of a quart low. Did GM make any changes to the oil pan capacity from '00 to '01? I don't think so. I do know that I checked my dipstick on my C5 the day I picked up from the dealership and the oil was at the "full" mark. Maybe the dealer topped it off. But it seems that the factory is filling the LS1 with 7 qts instead of the rated 6.5 capacity. Do you have any info on what's going on here? And is adding an additonal half quart of oil going to cause problems in the future? Thanks!!

(I just realized that this should have been posted in the 1997-2002 Technical Discussion section...oh, well)
Welcome to the CAC. I'll move it over to the 97-02 Tech. Discussion....

Mark S.,

Your oil filter will require about 1/2 quart, if installed empty.

Phil, everything was installed properly. Remember, I did lift the rear about 6 inches above the rear to ensure that every drop of oil came out. Like I said the only change to the 2001s was a dipstick and dipstick tube change...no oil pan change. Just about every 1997 thru 2000 model has posted in other forums that 6.5 qts (with filter change) takes them to the "full" mark on their dipstick...every 2001 owner claims it takes them 7.0 qts. Seems strange since the oil pan size didn't change. I'm so confused that I've compromised and put in 6.75 qts (and my dipstick shows a quarter quart low).
To be honest, for the questions about pan and dip stick changes, I don't have a good answer.

That said, if it were my car and the service manual says 6.5qts. that's what I'd run. If it shows low on the stick, I'd accept that level as my new fill mark.

I'll ask this question of GM and, if there's a revised, oil level specification, I'll advise.
Hib, thanks for your answer. Believe me, there are a lot of '01 owners who have been re-filling to 7.0 qts (even dealerships that are putting in 7.0 qts for an oil/filter change). All this talk of excessive oil consumption in the '01s may be attributed to this (and what I consider a "faulty" dipstick change for the '01 model).
So far, my research indicates that the 6.5qt number is the correct one.
Hib, again, thanks for your response...but you wouldn't believe the number of '01 owners who are putting in 7.0 qts in their crankcases. Even dealers are chargining for 7, 7.2 qts, etc. Remember, I did a thorough drain (with filter change) and my used oil container showed a bit over 7.0 qts of factory filled Mobil One. When I put in 6.5 qts...it read a half qt low on the dipstick for almost a week...then I added one cup and brough the level up to 6.75 qts and then the dipstick read three quarters full. This is really strange. Many '01 owners are putting in 7.0 qts and don't see a problem with this. I see it as an "overfill" whereas others say that the engine will burn off a half quart easily and that there will be no engine damage (i.e. big pan and that a half quart doesn't raise the level enough to cause frothing of the oil, etc.).
While the correct number seems to be proving 6.5, putting seven in is no big deal. That's less than a 10% over fill. It might be half a quart more but the actual oil level in the pan will only rise 8%.

That said, dealers still shouldn't be charging people for adding more oil than the specified capacity. I'd drain the half or three-quarters of a qt. out then take it back to the dealer asking for a partial refund.
Hib, thanks. For me, I'll just leave the extra 8 ounces in (total of 6.75 qts) and when I do my next oil change I'll be sure to just add 6.5 qts. I agree, a lot of other owners are being charged for that extra oil. But I assure you that I drained a bit over 7 qts from the "factory fill." I don't think this issue of the '01 dipstick will ever be resolved. Again, thanks.
I am a Tech at a Chevy dealer, and I have found that 6.5 qts brings it to full every time on a '97-'00, I dont recall changing the oil on a '01 yet ( too busy doing Column Lock Recalls! ;-) If you put 6.5 in when changing the filter too and it does not come out to full, dont sweat it, you have the correct amount in there.

Filling it with 7 quarts will not hurt a thing either, I assure you.

As far as getting charged for 7 qts, think of it this way, how many quarts would you have to buy to get 6.5? You would buy 7. Dealers buy Mobil 1 by the quart bottle too. (not in bulk like conventional oil) If the tech leaves the parts dept. with 7 quart bottles in hand, 7 quarts have to get charged to something. Besides, we are talking about $2 here. Bringing back half a quart and asking for a refund as someone suggested would be a good way to get less than optimal service on you next visit! If it is an issue simply ask for the opened bottle with the half qt. in it.

Welcome to the Corvette Action Center. I was just wondering, which dealer here in Northern VA do you work at? I live in Reston. If you want to email me privately, you're welcome to do so. :)
DealerTech, thanks for chiming in. Yes, one extra half quart will probably not make a difference...but getting Dave Hill and the other engineers to say so will never happen. They keep insisting that the proper re-fill for the LS1/LS6 is 6.5 qts (with filter change) period! I just want them to state that it will not cause any problems in the future by adding an "extra" half quart every oil/filter change. But like I said it's really strange how 95% of '01 owners report they require 7.0 qts to reach the full mark on the "re-designed" dipstick and dipstick tube on the '01 models. You can clearly see that the dipstick tube was moved about an extra 4-6 inches away from the firewall when comparing the location to a pre-'01 model. To me, it has to be an inaccurate re-design of the dipstick for '01.
You are right Mark, the '01 sticks are off. 6.5 is still the right amount.

Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors


MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!

Our Partners

Top Bottom