The oil pump in a GM Duramax engine draws lubricant from the pan and sends it flowing around the briskly moving internals. The oil travels through specially designed passageways called oil galleries. The purpose of the oil is to cool down the moving parts and keep friction to a minimum. A properly working high-pressure pump will keep engine internals alive and functioning correctly for several hundred thousand miles.
Components and Functions
The inside of the oil pump is a simple mix of gears, bolts, nuts and an outer casing. Since the pump sits in the lubricant filled oil pan, there is little chance of rust or corrosion weakening the metal outer case. A high-pressure oil pump uses drive gears to create pressure in the system. The pressure pulls oil up out of the pan at the bottom of the engine and sends it clear up to the heads up top.
The GM engine requires frequent oil changes to keep the fluid from thickening and clogging up the lines. When the oil filter goes bad, it could release dirt and metal shavings collected from the engine into the oil pan reservoir. If this happens, the high-pressure pump will suck up these contaminants and send them back through the oil galleries. When quick moving internal components do not receive the proper amount of oil, the parts could overheat or seize together. The result is a loss of power or an engine that will not even crank over.
If the pump sucks up any substantial contaminants, the teeth on the pump’s gears could snap right off. The broken teeth reduce the pump’s ability to send oil through the system, resulting in sudden fluid starvation. Furthermore, the teeth could jam into the remainder of the moving gears and stop the pump altogether. Once the pump stops working, the GM vehicle will send a fault warning to the dash lights to alert the driver. The engine must be switched off at once to protect the rest of the internals from costly damage.