The Chevrolet Corvette C4 is a car that’s meant to be driven. Okay, so it’s going to cost a fair bit in fuel, but you’re not going to use it as an everyday runner anyway. Best to keep it for the weekends and enjoy it on the roads it was designed to be used on.
But of course, it’s getting on a bit these days, and is quite likely to have a few frays round the edges (don’t we all?). Then again, it was built in an era when cars were just inherently simpler, so shouldn’t offer too much for the home mechanic to worry about. And anyway, we’ll be there to help, because we’ve done a full stripdown and rebuild on a ’Vette to help you at every stage of any repair. So, spend your Saturday getting any bits you need and fixing it yourself, then spend the cash you’ve saved by not paying garage labor bills on fuel instead.
What recalls has the Chevrolet Corvette been subject to?
Early cars were recalled because the bolts that attach the front brake caliper bracket to the steering knuckle were not to the right spec, and needed to be replaced.
Faulty seatbelts caused another recall, because they could lock in a position that prevented them being pulled out to be worn.
A dodgy battery cable caused another recall, after it was found that it was rubbing against some engine wiring components, causing the insulation to become worn through.
The power steering pulley was the source of a recall after it was found that it could become cracked, following which it could fail.
Replacement windshield wiper motors also caused another recall, because the replacement motors were found to have a defect that could cause them to overheat and fail – and there was a risk of fire.
What common problems does the Chevrolet Corvette have?
The Chevrolet Corvette is known to have an issue in which the end of the dipstick makes contact with the crankshaft when the engine is running, causing an unpleasant noise.
The oil cooler on the Corvette C4 is another weak point, because an oil leak can begin at the joint between the inlet pipe and cooler.
However, that isn’t the only leak, because the rocker cover gaskets have also been known to spring a leak, dropping a telltale trail of the expensive stuff on the blacktop.
A number of Corvette C4 models have also experienced the hold-down springs for the brake pads snapping, which is more than a little inconvenient.
And if a power window suddenly fails to operate then you won’t be alone – they’re known to go on strike from time to time. A new regulator sorts out the issue.
Does the Chevrolet Corvette have dipstick problems?
Unfortunately, the Chevrolet Corvette of this vintage can develop a problem in which the end of the dipstick makes contact with the crankshaft when the engine is running. The resultant noise is decidedly not what you want to hear from a V8.
The solution is to replace both the dipstick itself and the insertion tube, which stops the dipstick going so far into the engine.
Th good news is that you’ll find a dipstick tub replacement procedure in your Haynes Corvette manual, so just check it out and the noise will soon be a thing of the past.
Does the Chevrolet Corvette have oil cooler problems?
There you are, opening up the garage to set off for a Sunday morning blast in your ’Vette and… what’s that? A puddle. Under the car. A puddle that looks decidedly oily.
Closer inspection reveals that there’s an oil weep from the joint where the inlet pipe joins the oil cooler itself. This is a weak spot that afflicts many examples of the Corvette C4.
However, Chevrolet knows this and has come up with a revised pipe (part no: 14084035). So, all you need do is invest in the pipe then consult your Haynes Corvette manual to see how to replace it.
Then you’ll be able to go for that blast next weekend.
Does the Chevrolet Corvette have rocker cover problems?
Well, not strictly. It’s the rocker cover gaskets that can sometimes cause a problem because they can fail, causing your pride and joy to gradually lose some of the liquid that keeps it running smoothly.
Fortunately, sorting out this glitch isn’t something that should worry the home mechanic whatsoever. It’s just a case of undoing a few bolts, removing the rocker covers (you’ll need to do both banks of the V), cleaning everything up and getting rid of every trace of the old gasket, then fitting the new and reassembling.
As ever, we’ve listed everything you need to do in the Haynes Corvette manual, so you should only need to set aside 90 minutes or so. Get cracking!
Does the Chevrolet Corvette C4 have brake pad problems?
The Corvette C4 is not unfamiliar with a condition in which the hold-down springs for its brake pads snap, causing both vibrations and noise.
The good news is that Chevrolet has manufactured pads with stainless-steel springs (part no: 14091366). These springs fit either the front or rear calipers, so there should be no confusion.
And swapping the springs is simplicity itself. We’ve already carried out the procedure and taken loads of detailed pictures for the Haynes Corvette manual, so just follow each step and you’ll stopping straight, true and silently before long.
Does the Chevrolet Corvette have power window problems?
There’s no denying that the 5.7-litre V8 in the Corvette C4 is a tuneful thing. So it makes sense that you might want to wind down the windows so you can hear it that bit better. But what if you press the button and nothing happens? A muffled rumble is all you’ll hear. It might make car park ticket machines a bit tricky, too.
The window regulator can fail, so you’ll need to replace it. This will involve removing the door card then disconnecting and unbolting the regulator, before fitting a new one and connecting it all up.
Check out the bodywork and fittings chapter of your Haynes Corvette manual and everything’s there.