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September 2017
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Ask The Mechanic

Use this section to submit questions about your Corvette (or any other General Motors vehicle). The Mechanics at Speedway Chevrolet and Lee Johnson Chevrolet will do their best to answer it.

To ask a question you must be a CMCS member and must be logged in to the CMCS website. Then go to the "Tools" menu in the left-hand column of this website and then click on "Submit Items" and then "Ask Mechanic". Type in your question and click "Submit Question".
When the mechanics send an answer, we will post both the question and the answer in the "Ask the Mechanic" section for you and everyone to see.
 
Question: I want to put my '08 Corvette in storage for several months since the weather is so lousy. It will be in an unheated garage. What steps should I take to put it in storage, and what needs to be done when I'm ready to begin driving it again?

Answer from Chris Wall, Speedway Chevrolet When storing a vehicle, it seems to be a popular trend to elevate the car off the ground to ensure tires not losing air pressure and keeping flat spots from occurring, it also may be a good idea to do the following, (an excerpt from GM global web page): Battery care Infrequent Usage: Remove the black, negative (-) cable from the battery to keep the battery from running down. Warning: Batteries have acid that can burn you and gas that can explode. You can be badly hurt if you are not careful. Extended Storage: Remove the black, negative (-) cable from the battery or use a battery trickle charger. Note: If you have power windows ask your GM mechanic to review GM”s Global Page section on power windows.
 

Question I have heard that the C6 Corvettes sometimes have an issue with the rear axle nuts. What is the issue and what should be done?

Answer from Chris Wall, Speedway Chevrolet It may be a good idea to check the rear axle nut torque, I haven’t heard of anything that leads to a common issue with them however Darin, Speedway Chevrolet’s, lead tech states that after sitting thru a winter, wheels and axle should be checked and torqued to specs and all fluids checked..
 

Periodically the HUD page settings on our 2004 C5 resets as does the fuel average mileage and range (due to the mileage reset). This seems to occur after the car sits for a couple days. Is this an indication that the battery is beginning to become weak and should be replaced.

Answer from Darrin Lee, Speedway Chevrolet, Service Technician: I really have not encountered such a failure, I would suspect a power or ground loss to the instrument panel as I BELIEVE this data is stored there, (Service information is pretty vague when it comes to this type of information) or possibly a failure in the settings switches that may be commanding a reset. Unless there are concerns with hard starts (slow crank) I would feel confident the vehicle battery is in good condition.
 

I own a 2003 Z06 that is driven a limited number of miles -- With Synthetic Oil, is there a reccommended period of time that the oil should be changed, regardless of mileage?

From Chris Wall Speedway Chevrolet; Yes, with Mobil One the factory recomended motor oil,it's recomended at least once a year or 10,000 miles. Most of you in the club wont hit the mile mark, so I would recommend that once a year is sufficient..
 

My car has run flat tires and the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). How long do the TPMS modules in the wheels last? Is there a battery that needs to be replaced or does the module last indefinitely?

They do have a battery inside the presure sensor. However it cannot be replaced independently as it goes in as a unit with the tire presure sensor itself. Theres no given time for them to fail but the more they are driven, the more they work so it stands to reason that they'll go dead quicker on a daily driver. However most of them last anywhere from 2 to 3, or more, years. The tip you'll get is a series of dashes in the readout indicating one or more is dead.. Thank you Chris Wall Speedway Chevrolet
 

My 2003 C5 is in need of tires @ 30,000 miles. The OE tires are still on it but the insides of the fronts are badly worn - almost bald; and, the outsides still have some life left. The backs are evenly worn. I took this up with my alignment guy and we reviewed the spec and the results of their work. It appeared to me that there was too much negative camber dialed in. They put it at -0.4 degrees on the left and -0.5 on the right. I concluded the negative camber was a problem. The alignment guy said no and that he as seen as much as 3 degrees negative camber not affecting tire wear. I want to get this figured out before replacing the tires. What spec should I request for the tires to wear properly?

We have seen this before too, and we also have some really good specs to align the y bodys with so that tire wear does happen so quickly. It's not super involved and it really works. One of our customers had the specs and we tried it on his 07 and he said it never handled so well and the tires are really on the ground,even and flat. It sounds like you'll need tires also so please check us out for pricing, we will of course give the club discount and make sure its posted into your preferred owner account. Please get in touch with me directly and I can go overthe exact alignment specs with you. There are many to choose from and it dependes on what you want to do with your Corvette. Chris Wall Speedway Chevrolet
 

I have a 2006 Roadster and the DIC is now showing "Service Tire Monitor". Also the indicated tire pressures are not correct. What service needs to be done? If it requires breaking down the tires to get to the sensors I have concerns about scratches or other marks on my ZR1 wheels. How do you protect them when changing tires?

First of all the presures need to be checked and possibly the system needs programmed again, not a big deal, we can handle that for you at Speedway Chevrolet or Lee Johnson Chevrolet with no charge. Also, you may want to consider changing over to nitrogen in the tires as it is more stable and holds better. Additionally, on the tires, unfortunatly at this time we can't break them down and use outside sources (Les Schwab) but I do trust them, so, try the redo on presure first and programming,and it should heal up. Chris Wall Speedway Chevrolet
 

Recently I floored my 06 C6 to pass a slower car on a two-lane road. Just before and after I lifted off I there was a strong order of burning oil. I have had the car on a lift and there doesn't seem to be any leaks but engine bottom area does seem "oily". Is there something I should have checked or is this normal for a 5 year old car with 20K miles?

From Chris Wall, Speedway Chevrolet If the oil pan has residue on it we should check it over make sure its not the pan halves leaking and or some other anomaly causing the oil leak and smell. If it's checked on a hoist and a leak location is not seen, engine dye should be added to the system and get some miles on it that will help to track it down.
 

I am having a lot of difficulty in opening the rear hatch on my C6 convertible. When I use the dash button or the outside button the lid barely lifts enough to get my fingertips in to pry it open. I have sprayed the latch area with a silicon oil to no avail. What can be done to get the lid to "pop" up?

Thanks for asking that one. I believe we have had a few of the lock acuators in the rear get weak and may need replaced.or the pop up mechanism is getting weak. You may want to stop by and have Darrin Lee check it real quick. I am on vacation until the 3rd but he is there and I forward emails to Darrin.It also may only require a little adjustment to the deck lid. Thanks again and remember,lets push those Onstar buttons and get 6 months free if you dont have a current subscription !! If you do push it ,email me your vin number so I can enter it in our system as activated,, Thank you Chris Wall cwall@speedwaychevrolet.com
 

The check gas Cap warning just showed up on my 2006 C6's DCI. I stopped and checked the gas cap and it was as tight as usual. What do I do about this?

In this case it may be as simple as a gas cap seal going bad, or it could be a fuel tank presure sensor. Lots of things can cause it. A quick code read will help isolate the affected part or parts. Usually we find its a a tank sensor or purge control solenoid misbehaving. Hope that helps Chris Wall Speedway Chevrolet
 

I’ve got a question that maybe the Ask the Mechanic could answer? After I’ve been running the car for a while and come back into the garage, the whole garage begins to smell really strong. It’s not a raw gas smell but an exhaust type of smell that has gotten stronger and stronger last year and this. When the car is running outdoors, I don’t notice the smell either in the car or standing in back of it. Last year I had Lee Johnson check the fuel system with a pressure check and it checked out OK. I’ve had the Borla Stinger exhaust pipes on it for about 5 years now. Other than the smell, the car runs great. I’m wondering if the smell could be a catalytic converter going bad or something else. L J didn’t have a suggestion last year. What do you think?

From Jonny Edwards, Speedway Chevrolet: What kind of smell is it? A vehicle is going to give out a strong exhaust smell especially if sitting in a closed area like a garage. Usually, if a catalytic converter is failing, the smell is close to that of a rotten egg. If the car is running to rich, usually the oxygen sensors will pick that up and set a check engine light to advise the driver. If this car has no warning lights on, my guess would be that the smell might be normal.
 

I have a 2006 with 24K miles and I was wondering if I should have the transmission fluid changed. I read an article that described the process which involved a pump machine to remove the old fluid and a process to ensure all the old fluid was exchanged for new. Is that whats done by the dealer? Is this necessary at 24K miles? Is it expensive?

From Jonny Edwards, Speedway Chevrolet: In regards to the transmission service on the 2006. The owner’s manual shows to have it serviced every 50,000 miles under "severe" (hot rodding type driving) service. If under normal driving then have it serviced every 100,000 miles. Now, on that note: I am a firm believer in preventative maintenance so I always recommend transmission services (new internal filter and TOTAL fluid exchange, yes performed by machine) every 50,000 miles. And at the same time, I always recommend to service the rear differential. Cost wise, the transmission service with filter kit is $289.95 and the rear differential service is $129.95 with the proper additives needed for the clutch packs. Speedway does offer a CMCS discount of 10% off. On a side note: With the vehicle being a 2006, it is due for a cooling system flush and service (every 5 years).
 

I have a 2006 with 24K miles and I was wondering if I should have the transmission fluid changed. I read an article that described the process which involved a pump machine to remove the old fluid and a process to ensure all the old fluid was exchanged for new. Is that whats done by the dealer? Is this necessary at 24K miles? Is it expensive?

From Jonny Edwards, Speedway Chevrolet: In regards to the transmission service on the 2006. The owner’s manual shows to have it serviced every 50,000 miles under "severe" (hot rodding type driving) service. If under normal driving then have it serviced every 100,000 miles. Now, on that note: I am a firm believer in preventative maintenance so I always recommend transmission services (new internal filter and TOTAL fluid exchange, yes performed by machine) every 50,000 miles. And at the same time, I always recommend to service the rear differential. Cost wise, the transmission service with filter kit is $289.95 and the rear differential service is $129.95 with the proper additives needed for the clutch packs. Speedway does offer a CMCS discount of 10% off. On a side note: With the vehicle being a 2006, it is due for a cooling system flush and service (every 5 years).