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Common problems with Vettes?



What are common problems with say a 94 Vette, and what are typical maintnance cost for one.(ex. Tune ups, and any other thing that they may typically need or have problems with.)
The biggest problem with Vette's is that they're too addicting and you find yourself digging deeper and deeper into your wallet for them!

I personally haven't come across any serious problem with mine. Like all cars, if you maintain it well, you can usually avoid those serious problems. Typical maintanance costs are not that expensive if you're a do it yourself kind of owner. I personally think that if you have someone else do the work, it will pretty much double the cost of what you're having done.

Plus, there is so much knowledge out there, in this forum and in books that can be picked up and easy to understand even for mechanically deficient people such as myself.
Need more info

ALL C-4 Vettes are MUCH better than their noble parent's C-3's

I assume you have your eye on one...aaaaaah

Describe this one in detail and our band of royal Puh-Bahs will give you their .02 on the deal.

Biggest drawback

Around $450-650 to replace w water pump. 1 day job.

Good for 50-75K MAX

If you have a leaky water pump.. your Opti (crap) is not far behind.

But you put a new one in and bingo.

Because of this you cannot steam clean the engine... water gets in and your spark is messed up big time.

Toss up between rear wheel bearings & injectors

Hi milage cars have loose wheel bearings & diribbling injectors. Not a BIG problem but it can suck your wallet dry faster than the LT-1 can turn a quarter mile... once that's done.

The little pellet in the key.. if the key mechanism looks worn out.. and the owner has a ring of keys like the school janitor, your VATS will not sence properly.. and will not let you crank the car. 2 fixes here 1 cheap..1 not.
Cheap, splice in a resistor under the dash to replace the resistor ( 1hr 75cents of parts)


Replace the column lock and get new key.
$300.00 ish

The car has a lot of electronic Do-Dah's on it.. which usually VERY reliable and fairly easy to fix..If you know the secrets, ( which you have found the fountian of info here@ CAC)

So I give that car 2 thumbs up.. and personally prefer it to a C-5 or C-3

Well I have had my eyes on a 94 Vette for some time, the only reason I asked about potential problems is car has 120k miles which really doesn't bother me because car is beautiful and the owner(original) has really pampered it, he just used it as a daily driver. Price is $11,900 Only problems I am aware of is cruise control not working? I wanted this car before but bought an 89 Iroc instead (Iroc is great car but insurance is $400 dollars a month! Yes I am 16, funny thing is 94 Vette is only 300 dollars a month?) Anyways car will get looked at by my mechanic, but my parents want to know what are typical maintance cost, because my other choice of cars are 96-97 Z28/Transam and they are looking at expense of all cars, but I drove the Vette a while ago and am having dream about it, so Vette is in my mind, so I have to show that Vette won't cost TOO much more.
I think the maint is close

The parts break less but they are a bit more expensive ( the corvette specific parts) AT THE DEALER

A lot of GM stuff will cross over.

Mid America, Ecklers, ETC have great deals on parts ( get all the catalogs.. and do some front end reading)

As far as cruise.. the three most popular problems are....

The switch on the column ( bout 120 bucks for the part..1.5 hrs r&r) and we can show you how to test it here.

The vac lines get old, crack,etc. cheap fix.

The brake switch/ cruise vent is mis adjusted.

Auto? Stick? Colors?features?

120.000 is a bit high for milage but a WELL maintained one will do 200+ on the engine.

And by all means... have the car inspected

BUT Corvette stuff is very specific.. do not let the inspection mechanic scare you off, it's their job to find problems ( read obvious)

But they might not have the repair experience.

C4C5 is a certified, bonafied,top notch, GM Master Tech ( with a ton of stripes )

A good one for accurate, straight, BS free info.

Will you be doing some of the work yourself?

What a ripoff!

$300 for a VATS ignition??!?! Maybe if you have it installed on a Sunday at midnight in the middle of nowhere and get bent over at that. I can (and will on request) get you one and ship it out for around 1/3 of that.
The color is black on black, 6 speed, premium sound, dual power seats, and the rest of the typical goodies, I was surprised when I looked at it, the paint looked very good, (my other 91 Camaro is black and looks great but PITA too keep it that way) Paint had typical front end chip and road marks but even they were minor. I should be going within the week to drive it again and take it too my mechanic, Hopefully my other cars will sell by then and I will have my first Vette within a week or two unless something happens. I will be doing typical maint. but nothing major I hope everything goes good and my Camaro's sell. I will keep things posted.
Don't forget the rotten CD player!

They are always broken or about to be, until repaired at least once.
After repair they seem to last. Power antenna is not so good.
Water pump and Opti are expensive, but if replaced and the opti vented, seem's to cure the problems with them. Maintenance is not bad, minor repairs seem's to add up sometimes (fixing and repairing the little things). My 94 has been totaly trouble free. The CD player and the antenna was broken at purchase.
I hope this helps ease your fears on high mileage C4 Vettes. I traded my 93 in on my 2002 ZO6, (only cause wife said only one toy at a time), the 93 had 146,500+ miles on it.
The water pump developed a leak at the rear seal at 93,000 miles, replaced pump.
Replaced the front brake pads at 110,000 miles.
Replaced the serpentine belt at 93,000 while I was in there replacing the water pump.
Thanks to the high pressure car wash (I should have known better) filling my opti-spark, I had to replace that at 115,000 miles.
Sounds like a whole lot, but since I did all the work myself, the cost was reasonable.
I found all my parts on-line from different Chevy Dealer parts departments, or GMpartdirect.com, most were about 1/2 of what the local dealers wanted. All genuine in the box new, no after market parts. Especially when talking about opti-spark modules.
When I was on the way to the Chevy Dealer to pick up my new Z, I gave it one last quick shot through 100, still powerful, still rock steady, and still getting 30 MPG at 75 MPH on the HWY.
They really do last if you take care of them. They love to be driven.
My 88

Orig pads came out @104K
Tranny blew@105K
U joints & rear bearings were shot when I bought it
Water pump shot@ 109KDid belt@same time.
All 3 CATS died@110K $660.00
MAF sensor@ 110K

And I did a bunch of cosmetic stuff for me & misc wiring.. oh yeah
ALT blew@ 112K

After this rash.. the car has been a daily driver and has not missed a beat. The previous owner could not even spell service.

I bought it@102k and the wheel ALMOST came off on the way home... but I knew it was a dog, I now have 122K on it.. and short of the leaky injectors..it runs like a top!

She has NEVER left me stranded... but has limped a few times.


High performance Corvette specific parts are a totally different story. Those parts can get pretty expensive, take for instance $500 for a pair of Borla mufflers. I've so far shied away from them, but may not be able to resist much longer!

But most work can be done yourself with some tools and patience. Doing work yourself saves you money and can be fun at times, I'm sure you have car fanatic buddies who could also lend a hand when needed. I sure wouldn't turn down an invitation to work on a Vette'.
Bubba the vette sponge

BullWinkle said:
I'm sure you have car fanatic buddies who could also lend a hand when needed. I sure wouldn't turn down an invitation to work on a Vette'.
True enough, but I have some friends that I wouldn't let get within a sockets throw to my baby much less actually work on something. You know the type, they own a half camaro, half fire-chicken that knocks and burns a little oil (2 qts per tank full) or worse, they own a rustang (nuff said).:D Rule of thumb, if they have more than 4 cars in their yard that don't run...find somebody else.
On the Borlas...go ahead and take the plunge. You'll likey.
Re: Bubba the vette sponge

Drewser said:

Rule of thumb, if they have more than 4 cars in their yard that don't run...find somebody else.

If they had more than 1 car that didn't run, I wouldn't invite them over!
KId , i think you better buy this Vette . You clearly have a case of Corvette fever . It sometimes goes away for awhile , but it will keep reoccuring thoughout your life . Seriously though , a car that has been taken care of , if bought at the right price , like this one can be a bargain . I wouldn't hammer on it though . Let us know if you get it !
I think the truly great thing about Corvette's is that there is a good one out there for most people's budget. They're not insanely expensive like some other cars. C3 and C4's are pretty affordable cars that are also everyday practical if you live in the right region.
The other nice thing about Corvettes is that once you're in this league, your Vette trade-in value helps to get into a brand new Vette should you decide to do so later.
From then on, it's really no more costly than any other car.
Hopefully you'll have better luck on the LT 1 Vette than Ive had on my L98 (1985)

Bought mine at 135 000 Kilometers (??100K miles??)

So far Ive

Brake pads/rotors
Shift gate/stick/knob/linkage
Clutch slave/master/conneting line
Seals on valves
Steering column
Steering Wheels (choice)
Dash (wood Grain) (choice)
Cooling Fan Relay
Rack and Pinion (all new)

Ive Fixed and or changed out

Top side of motor (pulled ported painted replaced)
Suspension (shocks, Rack)
Total Stereo
Carpet/seats/dash (all new cept seats which are coming)

Just make sure you have someone who knows Vette very well go with you to look at the car And/or you trust the seller I got taken for a ride becasue all the problems with my car where hidden from me and of course showed themselves not to long after I bought the car. dont get me wrong I love my car and I have raised the resale on it 8 thousand dollars from my purchase price

Paid 12 000
Invested 15 000 (Big stereo worth 4000 which can come out)
Appraised 20 000
Whether an 84 or 94, buy a straight well maintained car. I know most people say to have it inspected and that's fine but for me,get in it and put it through the paces. There isn't a car out there that will take a performance run without exposing itself. I have nothing but praise for any corvette that is maintained. I have never had a serious problem with the three I have owned. I do maintain them with the best money can buy and I do DRIVE them.
Once you drive one you'll want 10 more.
Best of luck in your hunt.
Yes a test drive is in order

But WHO in their right mind would buy a Vette and not test drive it... The point of buying a car ( for MOST people ) is to drive it.. and a GOOD test drive is part of the qualification.

A note here.. short of the car breaking down on the test drive.. you will develop an emotional connection with the car.. the minute you start driving it...

This will short circut your skills of

Making a good counter offer.

Complaining about this or that to reduce the price.

Blind you to OBVIOUS imperfections.

You will now experience the following,

The urge to take it home NOW and bathe it.

Ordering every catalog known to man and reading each page over & over.

And find ANY excuse at ANY time to take her out.

There are many more symptoms.... these are but a few.

Vigman or Mike if that's OK,
You just described the dreaded Vettenitous that has infected most of us. Glad you forewarned anybody that is actively thinking of becoming a Vette owner.
Since we are infected, the only two known cures are:
1. Drive it around and really enjoy the Corvette Experience
2. Keep buying more Corvettes, and refer back to #1 as often as necessary.


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