Do I Need A Catch Can On My Silverado? Everything You Need To Know

If you’re a proud owner of a Silverado, you may have come across discussions about the necessity of a catch can. With various opinions and conflicting information available, it’s important to explore this topic further to make an informed decision. 

So, do you need a catch can for your Silverado? The answer depends on various factors, including your driving habits, engine condition, and long-term maintenance goals.

In this blog post, we will explore the purpose of a catch can and its potential benefits for your Silverado’s engine. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of whether or not you need a catch can for your Silverado.

Benefits of Installing a Catch Can on Your Silverado

Keeping your Silverado’s engine clean and running smoothly is essential for optimal performance. Installing a catch can is one simple yet effective way to achieve this. Here are the key benefits of adding this device to your vehicle:

Improved Engine Efficiency

A catch can effectively traps and separate oil and other contaminants from the blow-by gases that escape from the engine’s crankcase. 

By preventing these substances from re-entering the intake system, the catch can helps maintain cleaner air and fuel mixture, leading to improved engine efficiency.

Reduced Carbon Buildup

Over time, the accumulation of oil and carbon deposits can significantly impact your engine’s performance and longevity. The catch can intercept these harmful substances, preventing them from coating vital engine components. This results in reduced carbon buildup and extends the lifespan of critical engine parts.

Enhanced Fuel Economy

When the intake system remains clean, the engine can operate at its optimum level, promoting better fuel combustion. 

By removing oil and contaminants, the catch can prevents the formation of carbon deposits in the intake manifold and valves, leading to improved fuel economy and potentially saving you money at the pump.

Increased Horsepower and Torque 

By maintaining a clean intake system, a catch can ensure consistent airflow, allowing the engine to breathe more efficiently. 

This, in turn, can lead to increased horsepower and torque output, giving your Silverado a noticeable boost in performance.

Extended Maintenance Intervals 

With a catch can installed, you can potentially reduce the frequency of maintenance tasks such as cleaning the intake system and replacing spark plugs. 

The device’s ability to capture oil and contaminants prevents them from causing premature wear and tear on engine components, thus extending the intervals between maintenance procedures.

Prolonged Engine Life

By safeguarding your engine against the damaging effects of oil and carbon buildup, a catch can helps extend the overall lifespan of your Silverado’s power plant. It reduces the likelihood of costly repairs and enhances the reliability of your vehicle, providing peace of mind for years to come.

Environmentally Friendly

Properly functioning catch cans ensure that harmful substances like oil and carbon particles do not enter the atmosphere through your vehicle’s exhaust. By reducing emissions and promoting cleaner combustion, installing a catch can contributes to a greener environment.

Step-by-Step Guide: Installing a Catch Can on Your Silverado

A catch can is a valuable addition to your Silverado’s engine, helping to prevent harmful oil and fuel vapours from contaminating the intake system. Installing one is a straightforward process that can be done by following these simple steps:

Step 1. Gather The Necessary Tools And Materials

  • Catch can kit (specifically designed for your Silverado model)
  • Socket set and wrenches
  • Screwdriver
  • Hose clamps
  • Rubber gloves

Step 2. Locate The Pcv Valve

Open the hood of your Silverado and locate the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve. It is usually connected to the intake manifold or valve cover.

Step 3. Remove The Factory Hose

  • Using the appropriate size socket or wrench, loosen the clamp securing the factory hose to the PCV valve. Slide the clamp away from the valve.
  • Gently pull the hose off the PCV valve, being careful not to damage the valve or surrounding components.

Step 4. Install The Catch Can:

  • Take the catch can from the kit and identify the inlet and outlet ports. These are usually labeled.
  • Connect the factory hose previously removed from the PCV valve to the inlet port of the catch can. Use a hose clamp to secure it tightly.

Step 5. Route The Outlet Hose:

  • Locate a suitable area near the intake manifold or air intake system to mount the catch can. Ensure it is securely fastened.
  • Attach the provided hose to the outlet port of the catch can and route it to the intake system. Use hose clamps to secure it in place.

Step 6. Secure And Test

  • Double-check all connections, ensuring they are tight and leak-free.
  • Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes, checking for any abnormalities or leaks.
  • Once satisfied, shut off the engine and close the hood.

Potential Risks of Not Having a Catch Can

A catch can is a device that can help to prevent oil from entering your Silverado’s intake system. If you don’t have a catch can, there are a number of potential risks, including:

Increased Engine Oil Contamination

When a vehicle does not have a catch can, unburned fuel and oil vapor can accumulate in the intake system, leading to increased contamination of the engine oil. This can result in reduced lubrication and increased wear on engine components.

Reduced Engine Performance

Without a catch can, the accumulation of oil and fuel vapor in the intake system can disrupt the proper air-to-fuel ratio, negatively impacting the engine’s performance. This can lead to reduced power, sluggish acceleration, and overall decreased efficiency.

Clogged Intake Manifold and Throttle Body

The absence of a catch can allows oil and fuel vapor to accumulate and form deposits within the intake manifold and throttle body. Over time, these deposits can clog the passages, obstructing the airflow and affecting the engine’s combustion process.

Potential for Carbon Buildup

In the absence of a catch can, the intake valves can become coated with oil and fuel residue, which, when combined with other contaminants, can contribute to the formation of carbon deposits. 

Carbon buildup can cause valve sticking, reduced compression, and even engine misfires.

Increased Emissions

The accumulation of oil and fuel vapor without a catch can can result in higher emissions. These unburned hydrocarbons contribute to air pollution and can potentially lead to a failed emissions test. 

Additionally, increased emissions may also affect the vehicle’s compliance with environmental regulations.

Potential for Engine Damage

Over time, the lack of a catch can and the resulting oil and fuel vapor buildup can lead to serious engine damage. 

Increased wear, decreased performance, and the formation of carbon deposits can ultimately affect the longevity and reliability of the engine.

Warranty Voidance

In some cases, the installation of a catch can may be considered a modification by vehicle manufacturers. Failing to install one when recommended or required can result in voiding the vehicle’s warranty. It is important to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or seek professional advice before making any modifications.

7 Maintenance Tips for Your Catch Can

Maintaining a catch can for your Silverado is important to ensure its optimal performance and longevity. Here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind:

1. Regular Inspection

Periodically inspect the catch can to check for any signs of damage, leaks, or excessive buildup. Look for oil residue or sludge that may have accumulated inside the can.

2. Emptying the Catch Can

Depending on your driving habits and conditions, the catch can may need to be emptied at regular intervals. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the frequency of emptying. Typically, it is advisable to empty the can when it reaches about half full.

3. Draining the Catch Can

To drain the catch can, locate the drain valve or plug at the bottom of the can. Place a suitable container beneath it to collect the oil. Open the drain valve carefully, allowing the oil to drain completely. Close the valve tightly once the draining is complete.

4. Cleaning the Catch Can

Over time, the catch can may accumulate sludge and oil residue. It is recommended to clean the can periodically to maintain its efficiency. 

Remove the catch can from its mounting location and disassemble it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Clean the can and its components using a suitable degreaser or solvent. Rinse thoroughly and ensure all traces of cleaning agents are removed. Allow the can to dry completely before reassembling and reinstalling it.

5. Inspecting and Replacing Filters: 

Catch cans often have internal filters or baffles that trap oil and contaminants. Inspect these filters regularly and replace them as necessary. 

Some filters may be reusable and can be cleaned, while others may require replacement. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for filter maintenance.

6. Check Hose Connections: 

Ensure that all hoses connected to the catch can are secure and free from leaks. Tighten any loose connections and replace damaged or worn-out hoses.

7. Maintain the PCV System: 

The catch can is part of the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) system. It is crucial to maintain the overall health of the PCV system to maximize the effectiveness of the catch can. 

Check the PCV valve and associated hoses for proper operation and replace any faulty components.

By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure that your Silverado’s catch can function effectively, keeping the engine clean and protecting vital components from oil contamination.

Frequently Asked Question

A catch can is designed to capture and separate oil vapours and other contaminants before they enter the intake manifold. Here are some quick and clear FAQs to help you understand if you need a catch can for your Silverado:

Can I Install a Catch Can Myself?

Yes, installing a catch can is a relatively straightforward process that can be done by many Silverado owners with basic mechanical skills.

However, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure proper placement and connection of the catch can in your Silverado’s PCV system.

Will Using A Catch Can Void My Silverado’s Warranty?

Installing a catch can should not void your Silverado’s warranty. However, it’s always recommended to consult your vehicle’s manufacturer or refer to the warranty documentation to understand the specific terms and conditions.

Can A Catch Can Improve Fuel Efficiency?

While a catch can is primarily aimed at reducing carbon buildup, some users report marginal improvements in fuel efficiency. 

However, the impact on fuel economy may vary depending on driving habits, engine condition, and other factors. It’s important to set realistic expectations in this regard.

How Often Should I Empty The Catch Can?

The frequency of emptying the catch can depends on driving conditions and the amount of blow-by your engine produces. 

It’s generally recommended to inspect and empty the catch can during regular maintenance intervals or as part of your routine vehicle checks.


Adding a catch can to your Silverado is a smart move. It helps prevent harmful oil and sludge buildup in the engine, ensuring optimal performance and longevity.

By efficiently trapping these contaminants, a catch can keep your truck running smoothly and minimizes the risk of costly repairs.

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