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Fluid level checks Chevrolet Tahoe 1999 - 2006 Petrol 6.0 V8

OnDemand step-by-step maintenance & repair BETA

Chevrolet Tahoe 1999 - 2006  | 6.0 V8 Fluid level checks

  • time 5 to 30 minutes
  • difficulty 1
Note: The following are fluid level checks to be done on a 250 mile or weekly basis. Additional fluid level checks can be found in specific maintenance procedures that follow. Regardless of intervals, be alert to fluid leaks under the vehicle, which would indicate a fault to be corrected immediately
1 Fluids are an essential part of the lubrication, cooling, brake, clutch and windshield washer systems. Because the fluids gradually become depleted and/or contaminated during normal operation of the vehicle, they must be periodically replenished. See Recommended lubricants and fluids at the end of this page before adding fluid to any of the following components. Note: The vehicle must be on level ground when fluid levels are checked
2 The engine oil level is checked with a dipstick (arrowed) that extends through a tube and into the oil pan at the bottom of the engine
3 The oil level should be checked before the vehicle has been driven, or about 5 minutes after the engine has been shut off. If the oil is checked immediately after driving the vehicle, some of the oil will remain in the upper engine components, resulting in an inaccurate reading on the dipstick
4 Pull the dipstick out of the tube and wipe all the oil from the end with a clean rag or paper towel. Insert the clean dipstick all the way back into the tube, then pull it out again. Note the oil at the end of the dipstick. Add oil as necessary to keep the level between the MIN and MAX marks or within the SAFE zone on the dipstick
5 Do not overfill the engine by adding too much oil since this may result in oil-fouled spark plugs, oil leaks or oil seal failures
6 Oil is added to the engine after unscrewing a cap (arrowed) from the valve cover
7 Checking the oil level is an important preventive maintenance step. A consistently low oil level indicates oil leakage through damaged seals, defective gaskets or past worn rings or valve guides. If the oil looks milky or has water droplets in it, the cylinder head gasket(s) may be blown or the head(s) or block may be cracked. The engine should be checked immediately. The condition of the oil should also be checked. Whenever you check the oil level, slide your thumb and index finger up the dipstick before wiping off the oil. If you see small dirt or metal particles clinging to the dipstick, the oil should be changed

Engine coolant

Warning: Do not allow antifreeze to come in contact with your skin or painted surfaces of the vehicle. Rinse off spills immediately with plenty of water. Antifreeze is highly toxic if ingested. Never leave antifreeze lying around in an open container or in puddles on the floor; children and pets are attracted by its sweet smell and may drink it. Check with local authorities on disposing of used anti-freeze. Many communities have collection centers that will see that antifreeze is disposed of safely
Note: Non-toxic antifreeze is now manufactured and available at local auto parts stores, but even this type should be disposed of properly
Caution: Never mix green-colored ethylene glycol anti-freeze and orange-colored “DEX-COOL” silicate-free coolant because doing so will destroy the efficiency of the “DEX-COOL” coolant which is designed to last for 100,000 miles or five years
8 All vehicles covered by this manual are equipped with a pressurized coolant surge tank, located at the right side of the engine compartment, and connected by hoses to the radiator and cooling system
9 The coolant level in the surge tank should be checked regularly
Warning: Do not remove the pressure cap to check the coolant level when the engine is warm
10 The level of coolant in the surge tank varies with the temperature of the engine. When the engine is cold, the coolant level should be at or slightly above the COLD mark on the surge tank (arrowed). Once the engine has warmed up, the level should be at or near the HOT mark. If it isn’t, add coolant to the surge tank. To add coolant simply twist open the cap and add a 50/50 mixture of ethylene glycol based green-colored antifreeze or orange-colored “DEX-COOL” silicate-free coolant and water (see the Caution at the beginning of this Section)
11 Drive the vehicle and recheck the coolant level. If only a small amount of coolant is required to bring the system up to the proper level, water can be used. However, repeated additions of water will dilute the antifreeze and water solution. In order to maintain the proper ratio of antifreeze and water, always top up the coolant level with the correct mixture. An empty plastic milk jug or bleach bottle makes an excellent container for mixing coolant. Do not use rust inhibitors or additives
12 If the coolant level drops consistently, there may be a leak in the system. Inspect the radiator, hoses, filler cap, drain plugs and water pump. If no leaks are noted, have the pressure cap tested by a service station
13 If you have to remove the pressure cap, wait until the engine has cooled completely, then wrap a thick cloth around the cap and slowly unscrew it. If coolant or steam escapes, let the engine cool down longer, then remove the cap
14 Check the condition of the coolant as well. It should be relatively clear. If it is brown or rust colored, the system should be drained, flushed and refilled. Even if the coolant appears to be normal, the corrosion inhibitors wear out, so it must be replaced at the specified intervals. If the system is filled with standard green coolant/water, it must be flushed and replaced more frequently than if the original “DEX-COOL” coolant is retained
15 Fluid for the windshield washer system is located in a plastic reservoir in the left side of the engine compartment
16 In milder climates, plain water can be used in the reservoir, but it should be kept no more than 2/3 full to allow for expansion if the water freezes. In colder climates, use windshield washer system antifreeze, available at any auto parts store, to lower the freezing point of the fluid. Mix the antifreeze with water in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions on the container
Caution: Don’t use cooling system antifreeze - it will damage the vehicle’s paint
17 To help prevent icing in cold weather, warm the windshield with the defroster before using the washer

Battery electrolyte

18 These vehicles are equipped with a battery which is permanently sealed (except for vent holes) and has no filler caps. Water doesn’t have to be added to these batteries at any time. If a maintenance-type battery is installed, the caps on the top of the battery should be removed periodically to check for a low electrolyte level. This check is most critical during the warm summer months. Add only distilled water to any battery

Brake and clutch fluid

19 The brake master cylinder is mounted on the upper left of the engine compartment firewall. The clutch cylinder used on manual transmission models is mounted next to the master cylinder
20 The translucent plastic reservoir allows the fluid inside to be checked without removing the cap. Note that the clutch system is a sealed unit and it shouldn’t be necessary to add fluid under most conditions. Be sure to wipe the top of either reservoir cap with a clean rag to prevent contamination of the brake and/or clutch system before removing the cover. Never let the brake fluid level drop below the MIN mark (arrow)
21 When adding fluid, pour it carefully into the reservoir to avoid spilling it on surrounding painted surfaces. Be sure the specified fluid is used, since mixing different types of brake fluid can cause damage to the system. See Recommended lubricants and fluids at the end of this page or your owner’s manual.
Warning: Brake fluid can harm your eyes and damage painted surfaces, so use extreme caution when handling or pouring it. Do not use brake fluid that has been standing open or is more than one year old. Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air. Moisture in the system can cause a dangerous loss of brake performance
22 At this time, the fluid and master cylinder can be inspected for contamination. The system should be drained and refilled if deposits, dirt particles or water droplets are seen in the fluid
23 After filling the reservoir to the proper level, make sure the cover or cap is on tight to prevent fluid leakage
24 The brake fluid level in the master cylinder will drop slightly as the pads at the front wheels wear down during normal operation. If the master cylinder requires repeated additions to keep it at the proper level, it’s an indication of leakage in the brake system, which should be corrected immediately. Check all brake lines and connections
25 If, upon checking the master cylinder fluid level, you discover one or both reservoirs empty or nearly empty, the brake system should be bled and thoroughly inspected


Note: Listed here are manufacturer recommendations at the time this manual was written. Manufacturers occasionally upgrade their fluid and lubricant specifications, so check with your local auto parts store for current recommendations
Engine oil API “certified for gasoline engines”
Viscosity See accompanying chart
Fuel Unleaded gasoline, 87 octane minimum
Automatic transmission fluid DEXRON III automatic transmission fluid (2006 and later modelsrequire DEXRON VI)
Manual transmission lubricant
Synchromesh transmission fluid or equivalent
  NV 4500 Syn-torq synthetic transmission fluid or equivalent
  ZF S6-650 Trans-Synd synthetic transmission fluid or equivalent
Manual transfer case
  New Venture 261 NP2 DEXRON III automatic transmission fluid (2006 and later models require DEXRON VI)
Automatic transfer case
  New Venture 236 NP8, New Venture 246-NP8, GM Auto Trak II transfer case fluid
  All others DEXRON-III automatic transmission fluid (2006 and later models require DEXRON VI)
    Selectable 4WD SAE 80W90 GL-5 gear oil
    Full-time 4WD SAE 75W90 synthetic gear oil
  Rear SAE 75W90 synthetic gear oil
  Quadrasteer rear axle GM synthetic axle lubricant
Power steering fluid GM power steering fluid
Brake hydraulic fluid DOT 3 brake fluid
Clutch hydraulic fluid
  5-speed transmission DOT 3 brake fluid
  6-speed transmission GM clutch hydraulic fluid
Engine coolant 50/50 mixture of DEX-COOL coolant and demineralized water
Parking brake mechanism grease White lithium-based grease NLGI no. 2
Chassis lubrication grease NLGI Grade 2 LB or GC-LB chassis grease
Hood, door and trunk hinge lubricant Lubriplate‚ lubricant aerosol spray
Door hinge and check spring grease NLGI no. 2 multi-purpose grease or equivalent
Key lock cylinder lubricant Graphite spray
Hood latch assembly lubricant NLGI no. 2 multi-purpose grease or equivalent
Door latch lubricant NLGI no. 2 multi-purpose grease or equivalent
19.25a Engine oil viscosity chart - for best fuel economy and cold starting, select the lowest SAE viscosity grade for theexpected temperature range


Engine oil (including filter)
  V6 engine 4.5 quarts
  V8 engine 6.0 quarts
Manual transmission
  New Venture 3500 2.2 quarts
  New Venture 4500 4.0 quarts
  ZF S6-650 6.3 quarts
Automatic transmission
  Fluid and filter change
    4L60-E/4L65-E 5.0 quarts
    4L80-E/4L85-E 7.7 quarts
  From dry, including torque converter
    4L60-E/4L65-E 11.2 quarts
    4L80-E/4L85-E 13.5 quarts
Transfer case
  New Venture 246-NP8
    1999 through 2001 2.4 quarts
    2002 and later 2.0 quarts
  New Venture 236-NP8 2.0 quarts
  New Venture 149-NP 2.4 quarts
  New Venture 263-NP1 2.0 quarts
  New Venture 149-NP3 2.2 quarts
  New Venture 261-NP2
    1999 through 2001 2.3 quarts
    2002 and later 2.0 quarts
  Borg Warner 4481-NR3 1.5 quarts
  Borg Warner 4482-NR4 1.5 quarts
Cooling system**
  V6 engine 13.0 qts
  V8 engine
    4.8L and 5.3L 16.7 qts
      Yukon Denali, Yukon XL Denali 19.0 qts
      All others 16.8 qts
Note: *All capacities approximate. Add as necessary to bring to appropriate level.
Note: **Cooling system capacities vary depending on engine/transmission package, radiator and A/C system type. Add coolant as necessary to bring to appropriate level.
Torque specifications Ft-lbs (unless otherwise indicated)
Wheel lug nuts 140
Automatic transmission
    Pan bolts 97 in-lbs
    Drain plug 156 in-lbs
    Pan bolts
      2004 and 2005 models 18
      All others 97 in-lbs
    Drain plug 156 in-lbs
Engine oil drain plug 18
Manual transmission fill and drain plugs
  New Venture 3500 22
  New Venture 4500 27
  ZF S6-650 26
Transfer case drain/fill plug 15
Differential drain and fill plugs
  Front differential 24
  Rear differential
    1999 45
    2000 and 2001 24
    2002 and later
      Drain plug
        9.75 inch ring gear 20
        All except 9.75 inch ring gear 24
      Fill plug
        9.75 inch ring gear 15
        All except 9.75 inch ring gear 24
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