Your Corvette requires special attention to its unique maintenance issues, especially as your performance vehicle ages.
“Wear and tear items typically fail a bit quicker on Corvettes, as they do on all performance vehicles, due to the more aggressive style of driving and composition of the parts,” says John Peters, fixed operations director for George Matick Chevrolet in metro Detroit.
“Brakes and tires are a much softer design so as to provide more stopping power and traction to the road. As a result, they tend to wear out a bit quicker than their counterparts.”
Signs of brake wear may include chirping, grinding or squealing noises, or difficulty stopping. Tires need to be properly inflated, rotated, and balanced to reduce risk of failure and also to save money. Tires may need to be replaced if you see cord or fabric showing through the rubber, three or more visible treadwear indicators, cracks or cuts in the tread or sidewall, or a bulge or split in the tire.
Trained dealer technicians have access to tools and equipment to inspect the brakes and tires, and can recommend quality parts engineered for your specific model.
Corvette racecar driver John Heinricy recommends that a life-extending lubricant be applied to the door, hood, hatch and trunk seals. “The door and hatch seals are the most susceptible to deterioration,” he says. “This usually occurs after 10 to 20 years.”
Ideally, engine oil and windshield washer fluid levels should be checked at every fuel fill, but instrument cluster lights are also a good indicator that fluids are low and need to be filled. Proper fluid levels and approved fluids are important to protect the Corvette’s systems and components, Heinricy says.
Hoses are vital for transporting the fluids and should be regularly inspected to ensure that there are no cracks or leaks. Similarly, if you see that your belts are showing signs of cracking or splitting or if you hear squeaking, it may be time to have a trained technician inspect your belts and recommend adjustment or replacement if necessary.
Other than the obvious reason of keeping your Corvette looking glossy and new, properly washing and waxing will protect your paint job from the elements. Heinricy tends to wash his car when it starts to look dirty and waxes it once a year in the spring.
“I always hand wash my Corvette and I try to do it every couple weeks, but I keep it garaged when it’s wet out so I might only wash it once a month,” Heinricy adds. “If I go to a track or if I get caught in the rain, I wash it afterwards.” When he attends events and wants to impress other Corvette lovers, he often does a special cleanup.
For Corvette owners who use their car in high-performance situations, such as autocross, high-performance driving like HPDEs or drag events, there are some special maintenance items to consider.
“The brake fluid should be completely changed each year because there is a normal absorption of moisture in the fluid that deteriorates the high temperature capability.” Always use fresh fluid from unopened containers for the replacement of the fluid.
When driving in high-performance events, it is also important to change the oil more frequently. Heinricy usually changes his fluid when he sees a significant discoloration of the oil, but it’s important to note that the type of oil may also vary. GM actually recommends different oil when using the C7 during track days, as apposed to oil from the factory fill. The owner’s manual has specific recommendations for HPDE/track day use.
For track driving, occasionally specific high performance suspension alignment settings are used. “The alignment should be changed back for street driving or higher than normal tire wear could result. If the same tires are used for both track and street, then this may not matter, as the wear during track use will be the most significant,” Heinricy explains.
Brake pads often are replaced with brands that are intended for track day activities. “There is usually a much higher rate of brake dust accumulation on the wheels during these events and care should be taken to remove the dust and residue as soon as possible because this dust can permanently damage the wheel finish,” the Corvette expert says.
John Peters says additional maintenance service may be required for your Corvette. He suggests using trained Chevy technicians who can perform a thorough multi-point inspection and can recommend when your vehicle may need extra attention.
George Matick Chevrolet in metro Detroit is a one-stop destination for all your Corvette maintenance needs. Schedule an appointment online or call (877) 291-5506 to speak with a certified service technician. For additional information on service and maintenance, see Section 11 of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Owner Manual.