Here, I’ve compiled all the information about the Chevy 5.3 lifter replacement cost.
I also review three kits that may be just what you need, based on the results they’ve provided so far.
When a lifter fails, the cylinders can take a significant hit. Some even may collapse, potentially leading to a bunch of new problems like annoying noises.
Faulty lifters are an issue you don’t want to leave unattended because they could escalate and produce engine misfires.
To keep the problem from getting out of hand, you must think of installing a replacement lifter set quickly.
Stick around to learn everything you have to know about these lifters.
Best Chevy 5.3 Lifter Replacement Kits
Before discussing the cost of replacing the Chevy 5.3 lifters, let’s look at some of the highest-quality replacement options out there.
These sets offer quality in material, consistency in performance, and reliability due to a solid build.
Find out how each of these products solved common Chevy 5.3 lifter issues in these reviews.
01. Elgin Industries 1/2-Set Valve Lifter Kit
- Four Standard Lifters
- Four AFM DOD Lifters
- Solid Steel Construction
- Leak-Proof Housing
This Chevy 5.3 lifter replacement kit is the top choice because there’s virtually nothing wrong with it.
All pieces work well, delivering a quality performance without any tics or annoying noises.
There are also no leaks either, which is the ultimate satisfaction for car owners.
The pieces come as described in a perfectly packaged box with no leaks. There are four AFM valve lifters, and four standard lifters included.
That makes half a set for the engine, which means you would have to make two orders for a complete engine set.
While it’s a bit pricey, the reliability of these lifters makes it worth it. No noise and zero leaks are only two of the advantages you can expect.
All in all, this is a high-quality chevy 5.3 AFM lifter replacement that needs your attention.
02. L&C OFFICIAL Valve Lifters Lash Adjusters
- OE Quality
- Intake/Exhaust Hydraulic Lifters
- Solid Steel Construction
- Fuel Management
I gave this kit a shot after the Chevy 5.3 had a lifter gone rogue that ended up eating the camshaft.
At first, the lifters were a bit noisy, which was a mild inconvenience. But the noise gradually toned down after approximately an hour of engine running time.
With roughly 1k miles ran, the lifters still hold up decently.
The installation was a breeze, but these lifters also needed oil for lubrication. After a thousand miles, using this valve lifter kit for replacement has been a success.
There have not been any misfires or engine codes that would diminish its performance.
So there you go! These are the ideal valve lifter replacement if you want a decent makeover for better motor performance.
The parts excel at quality and consistency, as they can put up with heavy use.
03. Mirrors Upgrade Hydraulic Valve Lifters HL124
- Steel Construction
- Maintenance Oil-Filling Hole
- Complete 16Pcs Kit
- Anti-Leak Encapsulation
This hydraulic roller lift kit is another one of my favorites due to its incredible quality and reliable performance.
Each piece features high-quality steel, a material that satisfies racing lift requirements and casual use. The steel is durable, too.
It can withstand the pressure of continuous high-speeds to let the drivers enjoy a ride with peace of mind.
The valve lifter also does a great job of sealing the valve train gaps. Once installed, there’s no longer an inconvenient space between the roller and the convex shaft.
This design makes the kit much more efficient because it prevents knocking sounds often found in hydraulic lifters.
There are no guide trays included in this kit, though you can request them for an additional cost.
What you get instead are 16 lifters with enhanced encapsulation for fewer risks of oil leaks.
After receiving the kit, all you have to do is soak the pieces in oil overnight for lubrication, and that’s it. They’re now ready for installation.
How expensive is it to replace lifters in a car?
Figuring out the Chevy 5.3 lifter replacement cost depends on two factors: labor work and the price of the parts you must buy.
But there’s an easy method to look at it. If the labor scale is around $100 hourly, the overall service cost of replacing the lifters is between $300 and $1000.
To get a precise cost of both parts and labor, you have to consult with a mechanic. But you could use a V8 engine as a reference here.
This one works with 16 lifters, which is approximately from $1,000 to $2,000.
How to diagnose a damaged lifter?
Imagine you’re dealing with an engine misfire, but you have no idea where it’s coming from.
Fuel and spark seem to be working well, so what’s causing the issue?
Well, the third thing you should check other than fuel and spark should be compression.
Lack of compression could happen due to several reasons: damaged rings, malfunctioning pistons, or faulty valves.
But lifters could also cause this problem. DOD lifter collapse is a common issue that may go unnoticed, but there’s a method for you to diagnose it.
While effective, this diagnostic test is a bit unorthodox.
Don’t worry, though! The procedure won’t screw up any parts. If you’re quick, there won’t be any mess either.
Alright, so here’s what you do to diagnose a collapsed lifter.
- Remove the coil pack and the valve cover and fire off the engine running with one bank. It will run on four cylinders. While the system fires up, look at the rockers to check if one is not moving as it should. You may notice that one may not be moving at all. This could be what’s causing the engine to misfire.
Sounds too convoluted? Watch this video to get a better view of how to perform this test.
5.3 Lifter Replacement: 7 Steps & Tips On How to Do It
Why pay for an expensive service when you can replace the lifters yourself?
The first step is not to feel intimidated by the thought of working on your vehicle.
Once you get past that initial fear and feel like you can fix collapsed lifters, you can get to work.
Here’s how you install a 5.3 Chevy engine lifter replacement.
Step 1: Know Your Engine (and Vehicle!)
If you don’t have any experience in this field, take your time to study the engine and its surroundings.
There are a bunch of parts that could drive you crazy if you forget where every nut or bolt goes.
Take a look at the ducting, tubing, and all of the sensors, among other things. To make things easier later, take pictures from every angle.
This will give you visual guidance on where everything goes.
Step 2: Disconnect & Remove
Start dismantling the intake ducting. Start from the tubing pointing to the throttle box, and move your way forward.
Get the electrical sensors out, remove the line, and take off the tubing.
Don’t forget to take pictures before and after taking care of these parts and write notes if needed.
Step 3: Unbolting the Manifolds
5.3 engines have two manifolds located at the upper and lower side. Unbolt the upper manifold first to gain access to the lower section.
Unbolt the upper manifold, disconnect lines and sensors, and unbolt the brackets and clamps.
This whole process may take some time, but don’t rush it. Patience is key to getting everything right.
Step 4: Start Removing Stuff!
Start from the engine’s lower intake, work your way upwards by removing nuts and bolts.
Keep a keen eye during this process, as some of the bolts/nuts may be hard to spot. Attempt to lift the upper manifold.
If it gets stuck, tap it with a rubber mallet gently. Don’t use screwdrivers because it’s pretty easy to damage the intake and heads.
Then, get the old lifter set out.
Step 5: Installing the New Lifters Set
Put the new lifters in place according to their sockets and pattern.
Follow the pattern carefully, or the filters could wear and tear prematurely otherwise.
Now you must twist the lifters into their bores to get a firm fit.
Get a wrench, and torque the lifters steadily. Finish up by filling them with oil.
Step 6: Putting Everything Back Together
Remember how you took out every duct pipe, wire, sensor, and bolt? Well, now it’s time to put them back into their place.
You’re almost there, but don’t consider it a victory just yet.
Mixing the wirings could be dangerous, so check the pictures and notes you took earlier if you must.
Step 7: Testing
With your fingers crossed, start the engine and hope for the best.
Let it run for a while to check if the lifters are working properly. You can tell if the installation has been a success if there are no noises or misfires.
Once you realize the process was like taking a walk in the park, clean the working space and check if no loose parts are lying around.
FAQ About Chevy 5.3 Lifter Replacement Cost
Why do some AFM lifters fail?
AFM lifters can fail due to oil pressure issues and poor handling.
There are other potential causes like low-quality oil that deteriorates the lifters, but these are less likely to happen.
Another thing you should worry about is using less oil than the required amount.
This can lead to improper functioning, which is not fun and would require quick inspection.
Lastly, the lifters may have simply run past beyond their service life after a long time of everyday use.
Can I replace the lifters only?
Yes, you can replace only the lifters if the rest of the system is working properly.
Keep in mind that if you want to remove the lifters, you can do it with or without removing the head cylinders.
This doesn’t mean you have to buy new ones, as you can re-use them after installing the lifters.
The same goes for the camshaft. As long as there isn’t any problem with those parts, you only have to worry about the lifters.
Can you fix a stuck lifter?
You can fix a stuck lifter by using engine detergent in the gasoline and loading higher octane gas.
This process will create a reaction that removes clogged debris, which will help to get the lifters unstuck.
Follow up by adding common engine flush and replace both the engine oil and filter.
With that done, have fun driving the vehicle at least 500 miles using the higher octane gas. Eventually, the stuck lifter will be no more.
Can lifter tick cause permanent damage?
Lifter tick is a sign of a damaged lifter, which could produce serious damage to the lifters and camshafts over time.
It’s even more important to run a diagnosis if the lifter tick is present from the moment you start the engine up to when you stop it.
Can you disable AFM to protect the lifters?
You can’t protect the lifters by disabling AFM if they already have any damage.
The lifters will fail anyway. With that said, disabling AFM could reduce the wear on the lifters to make them last a bit longer.
Try this method as a temporary measure but think of replacing the lifters for a permanent fix.
What’s an estimated AFM lifter replacement cost?
Typical dealer cost for a complete replacement of cam and AFM filter can vary between $3,500 and $4,500.
Replacing the lifters is necessary when as few as one of them is having problems.
It’s easy to look past this issue and don’t think much of it, but damaged lifters take a toll on the vehicle’s performance.
The problems can go from mild noise to complete engine misfires. Don’t let it reach those levels.
Study the Chevy 5.3 lifter replacement cost and follow through with the replacement as soon as possible.
Once you do, the will be a significant spike in the vehicle’s performance due to an enhanced engine boost.