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How many miles will a C5 last for?

H

hoover33

Guest
Hi,

I'm new here and considering buying a Coupe or Z06 soon. Since I'll obviously be putting a great deal of money into it, I'm wondering how long it will last me. If I buy a new 2002 or 2003 C5, treat it good with frequent maintenance and upkeep (but do drive it fast whenever I can... it's a Vette damnit), how many miles will it last me for? 100k, 200k, 300k? I saw a used C4 being sold with 300k miles, so that made me feel pretty hopeful. Am I right in assuming that the odometer on Vettes has enough digits to prevent 100k rollover?

Also, would the high performance (and relatively new) Z06 be prone to having a shorter life, since I'd be driving it a lot harder, and since it's so new there might be problems down the road that no one has observed yet? Somehow I feel like the "tried-and-true" Coupe would last longer.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me... I've looked everywhere online but can't seem to find this info anywhere.
 
P

page62

Guest
This is such a gray area that it's very hard to provide a specific answer.

The bottom line is that if you're willing to spend the money on repairs & maintenance, the car will last until metal fatigue takes its toll (a million miles?) But at some point you're gonna get tired of the car being in the shop all the time.

And when you say "driving hard," what do you mean? Pushing it once in a while, participating in frequent autocrosses/races? Drag racing?

So the bottom line is you have to ask yourself what you can afford in terms of depreciation, maintenance, etc. If you're gonna drive this baby until the wheels fall off (and you can afford it), go for it! You'll have many years of fun...
 
H

hoover33

Guest
Yeh, I figured that it was a pretty gray area, and I was also aware I'm not being too specific. But your reply did help. I honestly don't know how hard I'd drive it, I've actually never been interested in cars until now (I've had a POS 4-cyl Mustang since I graduated high school... my first and only car), but I think if I had a car as fast as a Vette I might want to take it to the track and push it hard sometimes.

You think the Z06 would be just as reliable as the Coupe?
 
S

sothpaw

Guest
I think the Z06 just has special
mufflers and has a honed intake
manifold. Based on that, I'd guess
that the 6spd Z06 would be just as
reliable.

Do some homework: find out the
differences in the Z06 and the coupe.
For sure, if GM uses the same exact
transmission and rear diff, Z06 will
be less reliable as hp is higher.
Then again, with a manual all you
should have to do is the clutch anyway.

If you never drove a vette before, I'd advise
the coupe as chances are (see above) it might
be more reliable and it's cheaper. And, 350 hp
with 6 spd is STILL a big jump in performance
for you. The coupe will have a top speed of
172 mph (yes, it is true, I have road tested
a C5 auto convertible to 142 mph w/top down and there
was more to go) and 1/4 mi time of 13.3 s.

Ask yourself how much performance you want?
You can keep the price down by buying used.

C4 might be cheaper to maintain in the long run
as C5 features a combined diff/transmission,
on C4 it is separate.
 
M

MacShee98

Guest
Any car, even a Yugo (well, maybe not), will last forever if you take care of it and repair or replace it's parts as they fail or wear out.

But that is a tall order. Just look at the junkyards - full of cars many of which could still be on the road today given better care. Most of us have lives that have nothing to do with garages and repair shops, let alone the luxury of time required to perform routine maintenance - not to mention the cost.

The C5, even with moderate accelerator abuse, should last well into six digits on the odometer. The body will never rust. Timely oil changes, some tires, an exhaust system, a battery, some brake pads, a few bulbs here and there and an occaisional air filter should be all the car requires.

Get an extended warranty as insurance against expensive downtime after the GM warranty expires.

The C5's are new, relatively speaking, so an extensive track record - long-term reliabilty record - has yet to be generated. It's not a Volvo, but no Million-Mile badge holder ever got that far without regular maintenance and repairs. Same goes for the Vette, and you can bet it would a far more enjoyable million miles!
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2002
Messages
1,441
Location
Staten Island, NY
Corvette
1999 Torch Red Coupe
Either car will last long enough, the better question would be how many miles you would put on in a year? Is this your primary car or a second weekend type car. And also realize not just Corvettes but lots of newer cars spend most of their life at what would have been though of as "fast idle" in the past. Tooling down the highway at 70 with the motor loping along at 1800 rpm.

That changes the perception on exactly what is alot of miles. At any rate I have been in and worked on C4s with way over 100k and C5s with around 70k, both had lots of life left in them.

good luck!
 
C

CorvetteWave

Guest
Other items to consider:

do drive in city traffic with lots of stop and go?
realistically, how well will you maintain the car?
what type of roads do you have?
what type of weather do you have?
will the car be garaged all the time when not being driven?
how well do you maintain the apperance?

all these questions are things to consider, and should be considered whatever you decide to buy. however, may have a bigger impact on a Vette.

I have a 2000 coupe with 14000 miles. it has been garaged the entire time and very well maintained. I expect the car to last a long time in years, but not so much in miles. I will be happy with 10 years and 150000 miles...
 

c4c5specialist

Technical Advisor
Joined
May 29, 2001
Messages
3,682
Location
New Haven, Ct. USA
Corvette
Nope, but someday.
HI there,
Corvette powertrains are engineered for 200.000 miles.
I have a 97 customer with 155,000 and no major problems, other than regular maintenance.
Be religous on your maintenance, and you will get 200.000 out of your car, with out question.
This is not the only one over 100k.
I have many but this one is the highest.
I hope that this helps, c4c5:hb
 
V

vipereater

Guest
I purchased my 98 with 56,000 miles and it currently has 63,000. I've had to replace the alternator, starter, flare the exhaust (both sides came unflanged), adjust the windows (wind noise), oil pressure sensor (the one that's hard to get to), fix the steering lock problem, passenger side window motor and what ever is causing my ABS/ASR lights to come on at 70 mph. This is my every day driver. My next C5 purchase will have much fewer miles. I checked the maintenance history before I purchased and it came up with only very minor repairs. Oh well, maybe I'm ahead of all the problems now. I should have purchased extended warrantee. Ouch!!!!

Vipereater

http://members.cox.net/nemesis_moxie_corvettes/
 

FrankM

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2001
Messages
154
Location
Derry, NH
good maintenance and don't abuse it.
key ingredients to extending a vehicles life
 
D

Drewser

Guest
Hey Vipereater

I have drivers side windnoise that the dealer "can't do much about." I've narrowed it down to the window not snugging up well, at least not as well as the passenger side. How did you fix yours?
--Drew:w
 

danl72

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
678
Location
Chatsworth, CA
Corvette
2008 C6 Coupe
Just like any car, if you take care of it, it will take care of you and last a long time. My dad had a 85' Celebrty that had 250,000 miles and a truch that had 187,000. All he did was routine maintenance.
 
D

Drewser

Guest
Oh yeah???

Well MY Dad has an early 80s Dodge van that literally has no original paint. He has replaced the tranny several times, has well over 300,000 miles on it (he said he is goin for a half million) and his idea of a good time is to slop some paint on the rust spots. He said that the van could retire when he does (he just turned 60 so maybe within the next 10 years or so). Crazy man...crazy.
 

Redbob

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2001
Messages
239
Location
Cross Roads, Texas, U.S.
Corvette
'89 dk red coupe
Re: Oh yeah???

Drewser said:
Well MY Dad has an early 80s Dodge van...

Chrysler product. 'Nuff said!

Oh, and having worked at Chrysler, for a few years, I think I'm qualified to comment.


But as to "How long will it last?"
The answers are all above: 1) Religiously maintain it; and 2) Abuse it all you can afford!
My C4 has 112,000 on it, regularly eats alternators, but at least they're easy to replace, and cheap as long as you don't buy them from a $tealer.
 

FrankM

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2001
Messages
154
Location
Derry, NH
It would be interesting to see what is failing with the alternaters and why.:confused :confused This is not normal.

I have the original.......... don't jinx me now!!!
 

Redbob

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2001
Messages
239
Location
Cross Roads, Texas, U.S.
Corvette
'89 dk red coupe
Apparently it's "normal" enough that JC Whitney has introduced a fix for it and that various auto-supply chains like AutoZone have introduced extra-cost "Lifetime" guarantee replacements.

The diodes fry in mine; replacing them is a pain, so I just go with the Delco replacements. $179 at the $tealer, $79 at AutoZone.

Average life: about 12K - 15K miles. With a new battery, of course.

Usual disclaimers, YMMV, etc.
 

FrankM

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2001
Messages
154
Location
Derry, NH
Redbob said:

The diodes fry in mine; replacing them is a pain, so I just go with the Delco replacements. $179 at the $tealer, $79 at AutoZone.

Average life: about 12K - 15K miles. With a new battery, of course.

Either one of two things can be causing them to fail early, assuming the doides short & the quality is top notch.

1: not dissapating its heat correctly. (I doubt it if its in the original oem housing)

2: electrical spike(s). possibly you have some type of non oem electrical device(s)

It doesn't matter what JC WHitney is doing about it, its not normal.
Who knows what quality they are using, perhaps the are masking an inferior quality diode.
 

Redbob

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2001
Messages
239
Location
Cross Roads, Texas, U.S.
Corvette
'89 dk red coupe
Either one of two things can be causing them to fail early, assuming the doides short & the quality is top notch.

1: not dissapating its heat correctly. (I doubt it if its in the original oem housing)

2: electrical spike(s). possibly you have some type of non oem electrical device(s)

Of course it's hot; this is North Texas, where an average summer day will be over 100 F, from early June through late September.
This year excepted. I think yesterday was our first day over 100.

Anyway, the only difference between one alternator and another - all Delco rebuilds, BTW - is how much you pay for them.
And from what I've been able to determine, my experience is not atypical around here.
Unusual electrical loads? I have got a Passport radar detector.
Oh, and as noted above, both cooling fans are running pretty much from June through September! But the car was "designed" for that, wasn't it?

I'm not complaining: changing an alternator is no more than a 10 minute job, and next change I'll be putting in the "Lifetime Guarantee" alternator, which will reduce the cost of later changes.

- R
 

FrankM

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2001
Messages
154
Location
Derry, NH
Redbob said:


Of course it's hot; this is North Texas, where an average summer day will be over 100 F, from early June through late September.
This year excepted. I think yesterday was our first day over 100.

Anyway, the only difference between one alternator and another - all Delco rebuilds, BTW - is how much you pay for them.
And from what I've been able to determine, my experience is not atypical around here.
Unusual electrical loads? I have got a Passport radar detector.
Oh, and as noted above, both cooling fans are running pretty much from June through September! But the car was "designed" for that, wasn't it?

I'm not complaining: changing an alternator is no more than a 10 minute job, and next change I'll be putting in the "Lifetime Guarantee" alternator, which will reduce the cost of later changes.

- R

Do all the alternators in Texas fail in 12-15k miles?

I would not stand for that if it was my car, maybe that is just me though.
 

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