For all its power, prestige and reputation, the Chevrolet Corvette C5 still shares most of the same common elements with other automobiles. Although it's important not to take lightly the sizable investment it takes to own a Corvette, there are still many repairs and maintenance procedures you can do yourself. When taking on a problem with your Corvette, however, always be sure to use only factory-authorized parts and accessories. No need to spend close to six figures to own a car and then skimp on the parts and end up in worse condition than you started!
Just like with the smallest economy car, a Corvette C5 has fuse boxes controlling current to all the electrical systems. With any system (lights, air conditioner, radio, power accessories, etc.), always start by checking the fuses. The Corvette C5 has two fuse boxes--one under the dash behind a panel over the left knee and one under the hood in front of the driver's position. The owner's manual has a diagram exhibiting which of the colored fuses controls what system.
Pull the corresponding fuse and examine the wire encased in the plastic. If the wire is broken, then replace the fuse with another that is rated with the same number. Don't "upgrade" and think a bigger fuse will last longer or do better. Electrical circuits don't work this way. Replace 15 amp fuses with 15, 10 with 10 and so on.
The Corvette C5 has a beefy serpentine belt located at the front of the engine. This belt winds its way around several devices and provides the power for their operation. As it is a rubber belt it can fail at any time. Replacing the serpentine belt is easy. Located on top of the engine is a diagram of the proper path for the belt. On the bottom of the engine is a spring-loaded tension pulley making the belt taut. Just wind the belt through all the pulleys and use a socket wrench to turn the tension pulley until it grabs the belt. Release and the belt is tight and you're ready to go!
The Corvette C5 has various pumps and accessories on the engine to perform different tasks: water pump, power steering pump, oil pump and alternator. If any of these components fail, replacement is the best and most inexpensive option. Rebuilding or repairing the unit is more time and trouble than it's worth. Replacing any of these devices is simply a matter of removing the drive serpentine belt, draining any associated fluids (brake, power steering, coolant) and unbolting from the engine. It really is as simple as unplugging an old unit and plugging in a new one.
- "Corvette C5 Performance Projects: 1997-2004 (Motorbooks Workshop);" Richard Newton; 2006
- "Chevrolet Corvette Automotive Repair Manual 1984 through 1996;" Mike Stubblefield, John H. Haynes; 1997
- Photo Credit Auto Exhaust image by Digital Photique from Fotolia.com
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