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Chevrolet Corvette Electrical Problems

kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,685
edited January 2014 in Chevrolet
Issues? Let's talk about them!


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  • Hello, I have a 1999 Vette and the passenger side power window quit on me, is there something simple I can look at or should I go to my dealer who loves to see me come in, as you might expect. Sincerely
    Tim May
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Well, if the other side is still working, there are only about 3 areas that can be causing this.

    1)Dead motor.
    2)Bad wiring.
    3)Bad switch.

    What kind of mechanical skills and/or tools do you have?

    Basically, can you remove the door panel?
  • I know this might sound crazy but I heard a guy at our corvette club meeting say the chevy dealer told him to hold the window button down and slam the door several times, who knows it might work. When you leave your car setting a lot the contact get rust on it. Good luck
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Yea, that might work. When it does, it usually isn't making a failing switch work, it makes a failing motor work. It moves the motor armature enough so it get off a 'bad spot' and then works.

    For a few times. Then it fails again. And the same thing could happen for a failing switch.

    Get it fixed. It may fail the next time in a down position. With it raining. Or 30 degrees outside.
  • stigerstiger Posts: 1
    I am about to inherit a 1984 Vette. There is a report problem – i.e. apparent short and the battery runs down when parked. My brother (the current owner) was told that there is a problem with this model and the dashboard shorts. I have heard of similar problems where batteries drain because of clocks and radios. Has anyone encountered this type of problem with an early C4?
  • I know this probably sounds very strange, but the past few months my garage door opener only works when I shut off my '93 Corvette. New batteries did not work. We called the garage door opener and nothing they told us worked. I called my Corvette mechanic, and he never heard of such a thing. The car also has intermittent electrical problems. One week the locks work from my remote, one week they don't. Same with the trunk latch.

    Any ideas or anyone out there with similar problems??
  • Hi guys, just joined-hope you can help. My wife has an 87 Corvette rag top. About a year ago, the dash lights just suddenly went out. The gauges still came to life. In the right daylight you could see them all working, but they wouldn't light up on their own. Very difficult to drive at night. I checked everything I could think of. They mysteriously started working all by themselves about a month later, and have been fine ever since. Until now. A couple months ago they went out again, and wont come back. Again I have checked every fuse, relay, switch....What am I missing? Whatever is doing this is capable of connecting and disconnecting by itself. The car is a toy and only gets driven on good days. It's your basic Vette with power everything, auto trans and 88,000 miles. Please help! Thanks in advance......T.R.
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,147
    it's gotta be a grounding problem. replace/reconnect dash ground wires? if the ground wire is completely disconnected, maybe broken inside the insulation, you can sometimes get symptoms like you describe due to the ground 'floating'.
  • imattimatt Posts: 4

    I actually have a Camaro but I heard the power window stuff is the same. I am experiencing occasional problem with my passenger side window. Although it will usually work, there have been times when it will not go up. Fortunately it has not happened in a rain storm yet. I was intending to take it to a dealer but then it works perfectly again. Any ideas?
  • imattimatt Posts: 4
    I have a friend who has an 84 Corvette and the same thing happens. He took it back to the dealer umteen times under warranty but they could never solve it. I was surprised to see you having the same issues. It is probably a design thing. It sounds more as though you guys need a design modification instead of a repair.
  • I am trying to get my '88 IROC ready to sell, and the very day I had a guy look at it, the dash lights would not work....? I was told that if one of the car's headlights are out, that the dash lights will not light up either. I had never heard of that, but oh well - I did see that my right side bright light was out, so I replaced it. HUH!! It still does not work...? The dims are okay (which lights that particular light as well), but when I switch to brights, it goes out, and the dash lights are still out. I have checked all the fuses under the driver side dash, and they are okay. I am stumped. Any help before the garage sees me coming with my wallet in hand????? Thanks!!
  • Hey mopartr, I just found and joined this site today. I am having the same problem with my 1988 IROC Z-28 Camaro. Did you ever get any answers to your question that worked??
  • rieseriese Posts: 1
    Does anyone know what and how much is involved in replacing front shocks on an 03 Corvette Convertible?

    Also, low tire pressure monitor system needs to be serviced?

    Interested in buying this car but am concerned about these two problems.
  • i have an 89 vette...the problem is went to start up and it ran great...when to a store about 30 mi away and was in the store for about an hour...went to go start up again it would not do anything. no relay no turn over. all assor. worked. i check batt cables...starter cable all were tight...even put the car in neutral (automatic) and back into park to ensure it was in park...still nothing...then about an hour later i went to try one more time and it fired right up no problems...not even alot of turn over...started up like it was brand new....what should i start looking for?
  • wfrwfr Posts: 3
    After leaving my 08 Z 06 in the garage for three weeks the battery had drained down to the point that it would not start. The GM service people said that the normal drain for this car is 50 MA of current due to the electronic equipment that is running all of the time. Their remedy is to plug it into a battery charger when not driving the car. Is this common knowledge with the Corvette owners?
    Where do you find an electrical outlet in a parking lot?
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    On the shocks, depends on what suspension set up the car came with. There are
    three if I'm right. The stock system, then the Z51 and finally the Mag Rheo....
    adjustable system. Have to determine which and as you might expect it probably
    gets more expensive as you progress through them.

    As to pressure monitor system, again depends on why it needs service. I take off
    my stock wheels to run track wheels and when I get about 25 miles from home the
    system tells me it needs service, no signal from TPS (tire pressure sensors). Well
    of course, they are back in the garage. Everything ok when I return, even gives me
    pressures for wheels not on the car.
    The most likely issue is one or more sensors damaged by changing tires, it
    happens. Another possibility is that the system just needs to relearn which sensor
    is at which wheel, done with a magnet, but don't know the procedure, have to look
    it up in the manual. Another possibility is that the car has after market wheels and
    they don't have sensors, hence no reading and needs service. I think a set of four
    sensors can run up to $500 but I could be off on that by a large bit.

    If the car is low miles, my wife's 04 has only 22k on it, I'm surprised that the shocks
    are in need of replacement. I have an 02, Z51 with 75k miles and original OEM
    shocks are still ok.

  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Good luck finding your outlet away from home :)

    If you run the charger at home and then are away for a couple weeks it will probably
    last longer than if you have left it several times in a row without charging in between.
    One solution is to drive it more. ;) As for is this common, it goes back to the C5's
    so yes it is common and you probably have lots more draw on a C6.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    If the car is being sold by a car lot, they should repair both these before anyone buys the car.

    The current model tire sensors have a battery in them. With supposed life of 5 years. The ones on this car might just need batteries. Or, the wheels were switched around when mounting tires or rotating, and just need to be re-set.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Ok, the 2005 Manual tranny cars had a lot of Dead Battery Syndrome (DBS). A re-flash of the 'computer' supposed to fix most of these cars.

    This is a new car. The dealer should fix it. If they do not have a tech with enough electrical knowledge to track down the drain, take it somewhere else.

    Is it actually a dead battery, or is the FOB not being recognized. FOB not being recognized is a known problem with 2008's, and the dealer should also have TSB's about this problem. I think the Body Control, or whatever module/computer that controls the security and starting system, is what has to be replaced to fix this problem.
  • i found my gauge pegged out at 80psi and the digital saying 130psi even in assor. position. i own 1999 corvette, if it is oil pressure sensor, or sender why did the check engine lite not come on??? i have confirm that i have no leaks
  • wfrwfr Posts: 3
    Thank you for the reply. My service people at the dealership said that the 50ma drain is normal and that nothing is wrong. They just said to get a battery charger.
  • wfrwfr Posts: 3
    I forgot to answer one of your questions. It was a dead (low) battery. The FOB was recognized.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Corvettes continue to be delivered with crappy batteries, which fail soon after delivery. I think this is what happened to you.

    And I think Corvettes live a hard life if they sit on a dealer's lot for any lenght of time. If the dealer allows it, a lot of people can be getting into the car, moving the seats, leaving the doors open, maybe starting it up and not running for any length of time. This leads to a badly discharged battery. Modern 'sealed' batteries, if severly discharged, will can never be re-charged to full charge. The number I've seen, is a sealed battery discharged will only recharge to about 80% of it's original capacity. If discharged again, this falls even lower.
  • 02 Z06, daily driver,19000 miles with a new battery. Every once in a while when I turn the key it acts like the battery is dead or the clutch isn't on the floor. It starts after several tries but yesterday it took about 20 tries. I'm afraid to take it to the dealer because he'll keep it a week, charge a fortune and find nothing wrong. Any hints? Thanks, Joe.
  • comanche1comanche1 Posts: 5
    02 conv. vett. 2 days ago the switches on the driver door would not work at all.
    After opening and closing the door they would again work. Then the following day
    all the switches went out and while driving the oil went to zero, the Temp went to
    red and messages began to apear telling me, check engine, low engine power,
    check tire pressure and some more. I pulled over, shut the car down and upon
    restarting everything functioned fine except the door switched. As I pulled away
    it started all over again (3 times) .I opened the door and squeezed the boot holding the wires and the door switches worked. All mechanical functions seemed to work fine during all this.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Well, the first thing I would do is have the battery tested. Not just check the voltage, but a 'load' test.

    When the battery starts to go bad, cars loaded with electronics sometime show multiple strange displays, just like you said you saw. Low voltage makes the sensors start to display strange things.
  • Possibly could be the Vats system(vehicle anti theft system),I had this problem. Check your ign. key's chip, I used my new key-solved the problem. When this happens usually 10 minutes later vats will reset allowing car to be started. You can purchase a vats bypass kit from Corvette Central,Mid America and others,even on Ebay. Or a good mechanic can wire in a resistor the same as in your key into the wire in your steering column. But then your alarm system is dead. Good luck.
  • I have a 92 corvette that has me stumped. When I turn on various accessories such as the windshield wipers or AC they will not shut off without turning the car off. I am also having a problem with the door ajar light coming on intermittently while I'm driving. These may not be related but can anyone point me in the right direction to troubleshoot this?
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Door ajar is probably just a switch, on either of the doors. Switches in the old days were in the door jam at the front of the door. Newer cars have switches inside the door panels, on the locking mechanism, sensing when the door is closed. You have to take a door panel off to get to these. Even newer cars may also get one of the 'computers' involved, because they dim the lights down when a door is closed, engage the security system, autolock the doors, etc, etc, etc. But it's probably just a switch going bad on needing cleaned up with electric cleaner, etc.

    For these kinds of problems, you probably need a Factory Service Manual. Chiltons will not get it done. Check on ebay, many used manuals are sold there. Or is the publisher of factory manuals, and you can order from there.

    The other problem - wow. So you start the car, something is NOT on, and you turn it on, and it will then not shut off???? Relays are involved in lots of things, but I don't see that multiple relays would fail at the same time. Even if controlled by a relay, different accessories should have their own relay.

    Unless - has this car had a significant electrical problem in the past? Such as a big short to an accessory outlet? Some other electrical component that shorted out? If so, then wires inside wiring packages could have melted into one another, causing all kinds of cross-wiring across unrelated circuits.

    Also, has someone put either a remote start or security system into the car? Or an aftermarket stereo? These require cutting into who knows what, and when they start to fail, and they will fail, they cause all kinds of strange problems.
  • Thanks for the info:

    The Door ajar makes sense, the actuators were replaced recently and I could see where the mechanic did not put everything back in place I will look into that. I already own a Factory Service Manual so I will get into that book and see what it says.

    When I bought this car it had an upgraded stereo that is probably what's causing the issue I will take it to an electronics person and try to narrow it down.

    Again thanks for the info.
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