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More about the Chevrolet Corvette
As one of the most well known, and most branded sports cars in the world, the Chevrolet Corvette is fairly popular. The Corvette is most often a coupe that offers agile handling and some serious power, often including an 8-cylinder engine under the hood with multiple options to upgrade. More recently, the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 offers a mid engine design in a vehicle declared a budget supercar - all while looking a bit like an even higher end vehicle in a Lamborghini or Ferrari. Having previously worked at a car dealership when the C8 ‘launched’ I can tell you the vehicles sound amazing, look sharp, and can draw quite a crowd for a sports car. While every model year looks nice, we especially like the most recent C8 edition.
Chevrolet Corvette problems
While there are complaints about the Chevy Corvette, we have to admit that there aren’t many. Much of the reason why is that there are a limited number of owners of the Corvette - though it is one of the best sports cars in history. Put simply, you’ll find a lot more complaints about the budget Chevrolet Cruze (a compact sedan) than you will a Corvette because there are many more of them on the road. Corvette owners also admittedly might have the skill to just fix their vehicle instead of complaining about it.
Tires & Rims
Prior to 2020, by far the most common complaint on CarsComplaints.com is about something relatively small - bent or cracking tires and rims. The complaints are very basic: the Corvette is a light alloy - often aluminum, that can bend under the continuous pressure of cornering. A bent rim doesn’t look good, and has the higher potential of causing a scratch on the tire that can cause a slow air leak.
Many reviews who made this complaint claim that the wheels on the Corvette are cast instead of forged. The especially annoying part of this is that the Chevrolet Corvette allows you to upgrade to better wheels for a price - and that many of these complaints happened after not too many miles - usually around 15,000. Many drivers also reported that the issue is not covered under warranty and that dealers offered different rims as a fix to the problem. This is kind of like saying that the rims the vehicle comes with aren’t designed for how many people will drive the vehicle.
Older editions of the Chevy Corvette that were made in the 90s have a common problem of experiencing transmission leaks that end up causing the vehicle to shift slowly or not at all if not fixed. Transmission fluid can be replaced, and the hoses that provide it fixed. Note that we bring this up because it isn’t uncommon for people to purchase “older” Chevrolet Corvettes because some like the style and engine types of older cars and can use them for unique projects without spending $60,000 or more on a new one.
More recently, fewer drivers report issues with the manual versions of the Corvette being hard to shift into second gear and requiring some additional force and effort - and maybe a little unusual noise when doing so. Dealers will often offer to adjust the linkages within the transmission to attempt to fix the problem.
Drivers with automatic transmissions have also reported problems with their Chevy Corvette shifting on delay or shuttering while shifting at high speeds. Both present less than ideal scenarios because attempting to drive in traffic with a vehicle that may wait two seconds before truly accelerating is not good.
Fuel problems are more associated with the 2008 to 2006 series of Chevrolet Corvette. Per the complaints available out there, there is a problem with a fitting on the left side of the fuel tank that can leak, spraying fuel from the tank before it reaches the fuel pump. The result is a nasty gasoline smell at nearly all times - including when sitting in the garage. Many drivers think that this is dangerous - and realistically, they aren’t wrong because gas shouldn’t be leaking!
The good news here is that Chevrolet knows about the issue and sent out a special bulletin to owners and dealerships, asking them to fix the vehicle before the problem becomes bigger - and causes fires. The fix is a simple matter of using a different part for the fuel pump.
Engine problems are actually fairly uncommon in the Chevy Corvette. Some users have reported that they will get a panicked engine light as well as a drop in the oil pressure gauge. These same drivers had their vehicle towed - and it turned out to be fine with an issue within the sensors instead of the engine itself - which is a good thing, right?
The dreaded check engine light is otherwise rare on the Chevy Corvette.
Water Pump problems
The water pump helps circulate needed water and coolant through your Corvette. The water pump has been known to have minor issues failing, which can result in overheating. The fix here is to replace the water pump. Leaks don’t tend to be a big issue within the water pump hose though.
Chevy Corvette generation differences
Chevrolet launched the new Chevy Corvette C8 “Stingray” model in 2020 to much fanfare across the country. So far, the mid engine sports car has done well in terms of quality as it has fairly few complaints. Keep in mind that we’ve only had a couple of years for people to start complaining and these could build up! Previous years of the Chevy Corvette have had many of the issues we discussed above, ranging from an engine light to tire problems. One thing to keep in mind is that there is quite a bit of difference in the years for a Corvette, some don’t even have daytime running lights while others have a complex anti theft system built into the key FOB.
So far, the most prevalent problem of previous generations of the Chevy Corvette has been tires and rims, in part because people tend to buy the lighter and cheaper rims at first. Unfortunately, these are pretty common Chevy Corvette problems that are associated with buying at the low end.
With all of that said, there isn’t a definitive answer to whether or not older or newer corvette models are more reliable. We can say so far that the 1990s and earlier corvette models are less electrically complicated than newer corvette models. In fact, a not especially common complaint about the new generation of Corvettes is small issues related to infotainment regarding buttons not working as expected.
Should I buy a preowned Corvette with chevy corvette problems?
Our honest answer is: sure. Many owners say that Chevy corvette problems are few and far between. Even if you have an issue, there is a decent chance you’ll figure out how to fix it in your own garage. While there are common Chevy Corvette problems out there, Chevrolet has released bulletins on some of the issues and made upgrades to more recent iterations to avoid having the same rim cracking problem. The National Highway Traffic Administration also seems to not have much to say about the Chevy Corvette, which is of course a good thing.
Inspection and History
While we always suggest getting a preowned vehicle you wish to purchase inspected, this is especially true with the Corvette. Drivers tend to modify their Corvettes a little more than most. While some are proud of their modifications and openly tell you about what they changed, others might be a bit quieter about changes they made to the car - or just forgot they made a change that could void the warranty.
Always get a vehicle inspection done - preferably by a mechanic that knows the Chevy Corvette well. Get the vehicle history report too. Look for signs of curb rash. Ask about service bulletins and make sure they are all complete.
If a dealer or private person does not want you to do a private inspection of a Chevy Corvette, take this as an unusual sign and just walk away. Even in a market where used car inventory is low and prices are high, you should still have the option to take a Chevy Corvette for a few hours to dig in a bit. Even without a check engine light on, the car still needs a thorough inspection.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding