Corvette C7 years to avoid — most common problems
Since the Corvette debuted in 1953, it has lived up to expectations. It continues to be the world’s longest-running passenger car. And though the C8 eventually replaced the C7, it remains a great car, staying true to the Corvette legacy.
If you are in the market for a Corvette, there are C7 models you can use for your daily activities and get excellent service. However, there are also some Corvette C7 years to avoid. Let’s find out which is great for you.
Most common Corvette C7 problems
Most issues that plague the C7 begin to manifest after 100,000 miles. Knowing these problems and how to handle or prevent them will help keep your Corvette going for longer than the average expected lifespan. Below are the common issues you should expect on the Corvette C7.
One major problem the Corvette C7s face is overheating. Drivers were often plunged into using the Limp mode because of overheating under the hood.
Chevrolet tried to resolve the issue by redesigning the hood and installing a different supercharger cover which did not work. They then upgraded the radiators and adjusted the eight-speed automatic transmission. They also extended the warranty packages for the vehicles most affected.
If you are buying a 2015 to 2018 C7 Z06, check for the cooling system upgrades the vehicle has received. Also, consider supplementing its transmission coolers and oil.
Cracked and warped wheels
It is normal for car wheels to be stained or dirty since they work next to the tires, which are always on the ground. But unlike other cars, Corvette C7s distinguish themselves for having severe wheel problems.
After some time, most Corvette C7 wheels warp or crack to an extent where it becomes a problem to drive. The problem was most prevalent for the Z06 and Grand Sport models, whose wheels developed cracks after being hit by potholes many times, less than the number of times it takes the average wheel to crack. The issue was severe such that Corvette C7 drivers filed two class-action lawsuits against Chevrolet.
The best way to deal with this problem is to get forged aftermarket wheels. They are more expensive but are more robust and last longer. If you are in the market for a Corvette C7, you should avoid those two trims and check out others.
Some Corvette C7 drivers complained of experiencing jerky and stiff shifts, which often caused their cars to surge in traffic or vibrate excessively. These transmission systems got terrible so quickly that many drivers needed new transmissions just a few days after noticing the problem.
In response to the problem, Chevrolet issued a technical service bulletin to help drivers deal with the issue appropriately. The solution they proffered involved flushing the original fluid, replacing torque converters if they were damaged, and topping the transmission with Mobil 1 synthetic high-performance fluid which was new at the time. Drivers were satisfied with this solution as there were improvements in the shift quality after the fix, and the shuddering had gone completely.
The touchscreen of the Corvette C7 is exciting and well-advanced. But sometimes, the screen fails and becomes completely black, with flickering displays occasionally.
The cause of the issue is not often with the screen but with the wiring. The cables of the HMI module, which the infotainment system is connected to, sometimes get loose, disabling the infotainment and audio. Plugging these wires back in would bring the screen back on.
In other cases, the ECU connector could be broken, a problem your mechanic can quickly fix. Other issues can cause your Corvette C7 screen to go black, which Chevrolet lists in its TSB issue #PI1149A. It is only in rare cases that the screen itself is the problem.
If you are actively looking for a Corvette C7 to buy, it is best to avoid the early C7 models, especially those of 2015 and 2016. These vehicles are known to have the worst engine and powertrain problems, with most of them getting a blown engine before their warranties expire.
The prevalence of blown engines in these early models is linked to some quality control and machining issues Chevrolet had at the time. To help with the situation, Chevrolet advised drivers to follow a break-in schedule, giving the engine a better chance.
Thankfully, later C7 models do not have this problem. But if you buy any early C7 model, check if the car has been broken in properly, so you do not have to battle blown engines later.
Generally, cars wear like every other machine on earth. What makes the C7 stand apart for its interior wear is that it happens pretty much earlier than you’d expect.
Drivers reported that the interior creaked and rattled quite early into the vehicle’s life. Though it does not affect drivability, it is not pleasing to drivers who bought the new car.
Which Corvette C7 years to avoid?
While the C7 contains many reliable models, you should avoid some of them if you want value for your money. Here are the Corvette C7 models you should avoid and why.
Corvette C7 (2015 model year)
The significant complaints most 2015 Corvette drivers had centered on the transmission. The worst part about the problem is that it started as low as 7,500 miles.
The drivers had to replace the torque inverter, which was the cause of the jerking and hesitating were symptoms the inverter was damaged. Drivers whose vehicles were under 50,000 miles on the odometer had the torque inverter changed for free as it was covered under their warranty.
Another problem that was pronounced on the 2015 Corvette was with the tires. The factory-installed tires had a default that caused the car’s front end to shake when making a sharp turn. Drivers reported that the shaking was so intense that you could feel the strong vibration of the steering wheel and the entire front suspension of the car.
Chevrolet replaced the tires for free. Nonetheless, the transmission problem the 2015 Corvette is prone to developing should be enough to deter you from getting the vehicle.
Corvette C7 (2016 model year)
The 2016 Corvette seemed to inherit most of the problems of the 2015 model. It had several engine problems, transmission, and body issues. Its suspension, fuel, electric, and exhaust systems were not in good shape either.
The many problems the 2016 Corvette is prone to developing make the car one Corvette you should avoid.
Corvette C7 (2017 model year)
The major problem the 2017 Corvette faced was with its wheels. The wheels often cracked, causing flat tires and vibrations when used at highway speeds, and mainly occurred after an average of 18,300 miles.
In addition to the wheel issue, the power steering assist on the 2017 model was prone to fail suddenly, requiring drivers to use all their strength to turn the vehicle.
Replacing the wheels costs about $850, while the solution to the power steering assist problem is not widely known. Chevrolet had issued a recall for the affected vehicles, but most drivers complained that the recall was late.
Best Corvette C7 years
When looking for a Corvette C7 to buy, watch out for any of these models.
- 2014 Chevrolet Corvette
- 2018 Chevrolet Corvette
- 2019 Chevrolet Corvette
These Corvette models have excellent scores on the reliability charts and are modern options you should consider exploring.
The 2019 model is the best Corvette C7, with the best safety and reliability ratings. It is the most modern among them and comes with the latest innovations designed to improve the driver experience, making it more fun and safe. And among all other Corvette generations, these models of this generation stand as one of the best options you can get in the used market.
Is the Corvette C7 worth buying?
The Corvette C7 was a success. It has incredible and gorgeous interior design, color, trim combinations, and finishing. It also delivers outstanding performance, all for a fair price.
You will find it exceptional if you are seeking to use the Corvette C7 as a daily commuting means. As an investment, it promises great returns as the vehicle holds its value much better than the average vehicle. Even as a used vehicle, you will get the best out of it as it can last more than 200,000 miles with the proper care and maintenance.
Which Corvette C7 is best?
The 2019 Corvette is the best C7 model. It has fewer problems than this generation’s other models and delivers better performance.
What’s the worst year for Corvettes?
2008, 2015, and 2017 are the worst years for the Corvettes. It would be best if you avoided these models to enjoy the driving experience the Corvette initially offers adequately.
Are Corvette C7s reliable?
Corvette C7s are dependable. The generation has some of the most reliable vehicles in the Corvette franchise.
What is the meaning of the C in the Corvette C7?
Chevrolet used the C-number combination to specify different generations. As such, Corvette C7 refers to the seventh generation of Corvettes they produced.
Is the Corvette C7 a muscle car?
The C7 is a muscle car through and through. Sports cars and muscle cars are often confused together but are different. The Corvette C7 combines the qualities of both vehicles to give a sleek, fast and intense performance.