How To Tell What Engine Is In My Silverado

Silverado has different engine types. If you own one, you may be wondering about the type of engine the vehicle came with. Fortunately, we have done the necessary research for you, and here's what we discovered.

Determining the engine in a vehicle may seem difficult, but it can be done without the help of a professional. Follow these procedures to find out what type of engine is in your Silverado:

  1. Check for the vehicle identification number (VIN)
  2. Take down the VIN (vertically)
  3. Decode the VIN
  4. Find the manufacturer's decoder website
  5. Determine the type of engine in the vehicle

After finding and decoding a vehicle's VIN, determining the engine type becomes easier. Keep reading to get detailed information about how to determine which type of engine a Silverado has.

clean engine bay of an SUV, Man in uniform checking engine number for car registration. How To Tell What Engine Is In My Silverado

Determining The Engine Type In A Silverado

There are several areas you can check to find out the type of engine under the hood of your vehicle. Follow these steps to determine your Silverado's engine type

1. Check For The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

The VIN was introduced in the 1950s. It was created to make it easier to determine where a vehicle was manufactured and what equipment it has. In a VIN, each digit means something. This VIN can either be seen in the doorjamb or windshield of the driver's side of the vehicle.

2. Take Down The VIN (Vertically)

It is important to ensure that the VIN is written down vertically. The purpose of writing the number vertically is to aid your research because you will need to write the decoded information beside the VIN.

3. Decode The VIN

The first digit on the VIN signifies the country where the truck was made. 

For example, a truck manufactured in the United States will have a VIN starting with 1 or 4. If the number starts with 2, it shows that the vehicle was made in Canada. A VIN that starts with 3 indicates that the vehicle was manufactured in Mexico.

The second digit on the VIN reveals the manufacturer. The third digit is usually for the vehicle type. The 4th to the 8th character will give you specific information like engine size and the body style of the vehicle.  These numbers are crucial, and their meaning differs from manufacturer to manufacturer.  

4. Find The Manufacturer's Decoder Website

A lot of websites can help decode these number series to help you identify the type of engine in your vehicle. All you have to do is input the manufacturer and VIN on the website. In this instance, Chevrolet Vin decoding websites are available and free to use.

5. Determine The Type Of Engine

Using the decoder, you can determine the digits of the VIN that reveal the engine type. Locate the digits on your VIN and then use the decoder to find out your vehicle's engine type.

Chevrolet Silverado display. Chevy offers the Silverado in WT, Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ, and High Country models.

The most powerful Silverado engine is the well-known 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 which produces 420 horsepower and torque of 460 pound-feet of torque.

This engine makes the 2020 Silverado 1500 able to tow with a capacity of about 13,400 pounds. When combined with a 10-speed transmission, it has about 16 MPG city and 20 MPG highway.

How Can I Decode The GM Engine Block?

Every GM engine has an 8-digit code. The engine code is different from the long VIN which has information about the body style and model. To decode your GM engine block, follow the steps below:

1. Identify The Engine Block Code

This combination of 7 to 8 digits starts with a letter and is stamped on the engine. For a 6-cylinder GM motor, the code should be behind the distributor on the passenger side. You should get rid of any grease or dirt so you can see each code well. Clean until you see the full engine block stamp. 

2. Check The First Digit

The first digit is always in a capital letter, and it indicates the plant that produced the engine. 

3. Take Note Of The Next 4 Digits Of The Code

The following 4 digits reveal when the engine was cast. The first 2 digits represent the month and the last 2 represent the day.

4. Examine The Remaining Part Of The Code

The remaining portion should be 2 or 3 digits, including both numerals and letters. It is usually 3 capital letters. Look for the suffix in a GM engine code reference.

For instance, if the code reads CMP, the reference reveals this is a 305 engine that has 240 horsepower. It was made for a 1991 Pontiac Firebird with an automatic transmission (L98) and tuned port injection.

If you find a lot of entries for your suffix code, you should consider using the engine block casting date code to determine the engine's year and right suffix entry.

How Do I Tell If I Have An LT Or LS?

LT means Luxury Touring and LS means Luxury Sport. The following can help you find out if you have an LT or LS.


The LS has only one available engine, while the LT comes with 3 engine options.

Driver's Seat

The LS comes with a 4-way manual driver's seat while the LT has been made to stand out with an 8-way power seat for drivers.

What LT Engine Do I Have?

Currently, there are 5 LT engines which include LT1, LT4, L8B, L83, and L86. They are LT-based truck engines. Just like the LS engines, the best and easiest way to find the type of LT engine in your vehicle is to decode the 8th digit of the VIN.

red chevrolet silverado parked on a open parking space with woods in the background

Which Engine Is Better, LS Or LT?

The LS engine has been used for decades now, and it has simple features that can be modified. This is one of the reasons people like LS engines.

It is also durable, reliable, and inexpensive. One major con about the LS engine is that companies are no longer modifying this model and are not manufacturing parts that are compatible with LS engines.

The LT engine is more powerful and has a better rod. It is equipped with a hypereutectic piston which makes it last longer. LT engines can work efficiently from 800 HP to 1000 HP without having issues. The con of the LT engine is that it uses the latest technology which makes it complex for people to understand. 

When it comes to power, the newer LT1 offers much raw power per liter. The newer V8 has the ability to offer an additional 30 horsepower. This is important if you want more power and not a lot of forced induction. When it comes to availability, it is easier to get an LS1 engine since it was introduced before LS3.

What Problem Does The Silverado Have?

There are certain problems that are common in Silverdo and are usually faced by users. Here are some of them:


Generally, when an engine fails to start but still cracks, the problem isn't always from the battery and starter motor. Avoid multiple attempts of starting a car before repair. This may drain the battery and also cause the starter to overheat.

Faulty Fuel Pump

The Silverado is known to have fuel pump issues. The vehicle's pump is electronic and can be found inside the tank. The purpose of the pump is to prime the fuel system on startup and give fuel to the engine.

When the fuel pump starts to malfunction, the engine begins to crank and fails to start. This happens when the pump stops working entirely or the fuel pressure needed to turn on the engine is very low. 

Fuel Pump Relay Issues

The purpose of the fuel pump relay is to control how the fuel pump operates. It can be found in the fusebox. If the relay starts having issues, the fuel pump may lose its ability to function. Fortunately, relays are not too expensive, so they can be easily replaced. 

Diesel engine under the hood of a pickup truck. How To Tell What Engine Is In My Silverado

To Wrap Up

Engines are an important part of a vehicle. Without it, the vehicle can't function. So it is important to know the type of engine in your car. You can determine your engine type when you have successfully decoded your VIN. 

If you enjoyed reading this post, here are similar articles you may like:

Can Any Engine Fit In Any Car?

How Long Can Oil Sit In An Engine?

Can You Refuel With Car Engine Running?

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *