The arrival of the 1988 model year brought with it the 35th anniversary of the Chevy Corvette. For General Motors as a whole, and especially for the teams of people responsible for the design and development of “America’s Sports Car”, this anniversary was significant not only because of the milestone it represented, but because the thirtieth anniversary of Corvette had passed with barely a whisper.
After all, the Corvette had turned thirty years old in 1983, and, because of engineering decisions that were made to support increasingly high emissions standards, Chevrolet had opted not to build an ’83 Corvette at all. The result was that Corvette had gone a decade without any type of anniversary special edition model to celebrate its ongoing successes.
So, for its 35th anniversary year, the Corvette was treated to a number of important engine and chassis upgrades. With Tony Rudd, Lotus’s former technical director, leading a team of design engineers in an engine development program to advance the L98’s overall performance, the 1988 Corvette would serve as a platform upon which his design advances could be utilized.
For 1988, the L98 received another five horsepower bump in power thanks to the addition of freer-breathing cylinder heads and a re-profiled camshaft.
Additionally, Chevrolet introduced a new, less restrictive muffler package for the 1988 model. Believed by many to be another possible cause for the horsepower bump, these new mufflers were introduced only on Corvette coupes that were fitted with the optional 3.07:1 performance axle.
The increased resonance from the mufflers was deemed too loud for the convertible models. Similarly, the taller gearing of the 2.59:1 gears were also considered impractical for the less-restrictive mufflers, which meant that, at least for 1988, the standard axle ratio model Corvettes were fitted with the same mufflers as their 1987 counterparts.
Advances in chassis design included the introduction of larger, 17 x 9.5 inch “Cuisinart” rims that were mated to hefty P275/40ZR-17 Goodyear Eagle GT tires. The new rims featured a freshly designed twelve-slot pattern. Still side specific (meaning that four-way tire rotation was not possible), this new design was a considerable improvement over the original C4 wheels.
The new tires were classified as “Z-rated” tires, meaning that they could maintain sustained driving speeds in excess of 149 miles per hour, which was a significant advancement in Corvette’s tire/wheel program. While this new tire/rim assembly was only offered as part of the Z51 and Z52 suspension package upgrades in 1988, the standard 16 x 8.5 inch rims were similarly updated, featuring a new six slot pattern that was mated to P255/50ZR-16 Z-rated tires.
With the introduction of the higher performance tires to its platform, Corvette engineers wanted to ensure that they utilized the new tires’ greater durability while also developing better directional control of the Corvette during hard stops. To achieve this, the front suspension geometry was re-worked to incorporate “zero scrub radius”. A “zero scrub radius” is a steering access that intersects the exact center of the tire’s contact patch, rather than an outboard (positive scrub radius) or inboard (negative scrub radius) as has been found on some European cars of that era.
The rear suspension was also revised and was fitted with slightly more rebound travel and reduced camber for improved straight-line and braking stability. To further aid in the development of directional control during braking, the brakes were fortified as well. For 1988, Corvette came standard with larger, two-piston, front calipers. Further, larger (12.9 inch fronts and 11.9 inch rears), thicker brake rotors were also added to all four wheels. Lastly, an integral handbrake was introduced to the rear discs, replacing the previous small, separate drums that served as the parking brake on earlier C4 models.
The interior of the 1988 Corvette received few upgrades from the previous model year, though there were some minor, but significant updates that were introduced to increase ease of driving and the driver’s overall comfort. Much like the Porsche 928 from that same era, the C4 had been introduced with a pull-up handbrake mounted outboard of the driver’s seat. It featured a brake lever that could be folded down after engagement so that it would not interfere with the driver’s ability to enter and exit the vehicle. While this design was not changed for 1988, the location of the parking brake lever was moved a bit lower and further back from its original position with the intent of being less intrusive.
Another, less notable change to the interior involved the modification of the interior air extractors within all Corvette coupes. This was done to increase the flow rate of air through the climate control system, which was now offered with the extra-cost automatic-temperature control that was phased in toward the tail end of the 1987 Corvette’s production run.
DID YOU KNOW: The 1988 model represented the 35th Anniversary of the Corvette. 2,050 35th Anniversary Corvettes were built to commemorate this occasion. All were white coupes, with white leather interiors and white wheels, and each received special badging. Also, in preparation for the SCCA Corvette Challenge Series, GM built 56 race cars for the newly appointed series and all of these special Corvettes were street-legal. After competing in the SCCA sanctioned events, these Corvettes were then sold to private owners. Lastly, the 1988 Corvette was the first to include unidirectional wheels.
For its 35th anniversary, Chevrolet announced that a limited production of 2,000 Special Anniversary Edition Corvettes would be manufactured. The anniversary model would only be available as a coupe. Officially offered under option code Z01, the car featured a bright white lower body (which included color-matched door handles, mirrors, body side moldings, and 17-inch wheels) which was set off by a black roof hoop and a transparent black acrylic roof panel.
In 1988, the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) banned all showroom stock Corvettes from competing in its racing events. The reason for this decision? The Chevy Corvette had not been beaten in three years of racing competition against some of the world’s best sports cars, and the competition complained so loudly that the governing body of the SCCA had to respond. To appease Chevrolet, SCCA developed a marque-specific race series for the Corvette. The Corvette Challenge ran from 1988-1989 and was a huge hit with race fans, mostly because it showcased driver talent instead of engineering expertise.
Special edition commemorative badges were inserted above the body side gills as well as being embroidered into the all-white leather-upholstered interior. Additionally, the Special Anniversary Edition Corvette was fitted with a commemorative console mounted anniversary plaque. Other features packed into the 35th anniversary model included dual six-way power sport seats, automatic climate control, the GM Delco/Bose audio system, and heated door mirrors.
As a homage to the original 1953Motorama Corvette, which was originally introduced at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Chevrolet executives decided to introduce the 1988 35th Anniversary Corvette at the New York Auto Show on April 1, 1988. The car was well received and the limited edition Anniversary Corvettes quickly sold out. Even so, the sale of these Corvettes – 2,050 units in all – was not enough to change the overall direction of Corvette sales at the dealership level.
As with every model year since 1985, total Corvette sales continued to decline. With just under 23,000 units sold, the 1988 Corvette was the lowest selling model-year since 1972.
At the same time, the C4 was continuing to find success at the race track. It had been the undefeated class champion in SCCA Showroom Stock racing for three straight years. For 1988, Chevrolet decided to build fifty-six street-legal cars for the 1988 SCCA Corvette Challenge series.
Stock engines would be manufactured at the CPC engine plant in Flint, Michigan, and would then be shipped to Bowling Green, Ky. for installation. Upon completion of their assembly, the Corvettes would then be transported to Wixom, Michigan, for the additional roll cages and other racing modifications.
During the course of the year, Chevy would replace most engines, swapping them for motors that had a more evenly calibrated.
Note: For Callaway Twin-Turbo, Chevrolet engine coding was replaced as follows: First two digits for year, next three digits for Callaway sequence, last four digits to match the last four digits of the vehicle identification number.
Location of the Assembly Plant. 5 – Bowling Green, Kentucky
1XXXXX (Twelfth thru Seventeenth Digits)
Production Sequence Numbers.
The last six digits begin at 100001 and run thru 122789, accounting for each of the 22,789 Corvette Coupes/Convertibles built in 1988. Each Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is unique to an individual car. For all 1988 Corvettes, the Vehicle Identification Number was stamped on a plate on the inner vertical surface of the left windshield pillar visible through the windshield.
The Check Digit is used to calculate the characters in the serial number and gives it a single digit code that can be used to verify the serial number is legitimate. (Note: The Check digit number varies depending on each specific VIN number.)
1988 Corvette Factory Options
Base Corvette Sport Coupe
Base Corvette Convertible
Power Passenger Seat
Power Driver Seat
Sport Seats, leather
Base Seats, leather
Callaway Twin Turbo (not GM installed)
Radiator Boost Fan
Dual Removable Roof Panels (coupe)
Removable Roof Panel, blue tint (coupe)
Removable Roof Panel, bronze tint (coupe)
Electronic Air Conditioning Control
Twin Remote Heated Mirrors (convertible)
Illuminated Driver Vanity Mirror
Delco-Bilstein Shock Absorbers
Performance Axle Ratio, 3.07:1
Engine Oil Cooler
4-Speed Manual Transmission
California Emission Requirements
Stereo System, Delco-Bose
35th Special Edition Package (coupe)
Performance Handling Package (coupe)
Sport Handling Package
Rear Window+Side Mirror Defog (coupe)
Base Corvette Sport Coupe (1YY07)
The base price of the 1988 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe without any optional equipment.
A 350 cubic inch, 240/245 horsepower engine, 4-speed automatic transmission, removable body-color roof panel, and cloth seats were included in the base price.
Refinements for 1988 included carpeted door sills, solution-dyed carpet, improved “flow through” ventilation for coupes, and a lower, rearward relocation of the parking brake handle.
Engine power remained at 240hp for 1988 models except for coupes with 3.07:1 axle ratios which had 245hp. The 5hp increase came from less restrictive mufflers which were deemed too loud for convertibles and 2.59:1 axle coupes.
Base Corvette Convertible (1YY67)
The base price of the 1988 Corvette Convertible without any optional equipment.
A 350 cubic inch, 240/245 horsepower engine, 4-speed automatic transmission, collapsable soft top, and cloth seats were included in the base price.
Refinements for 1988 included carpeted door sills, solution-dyed carpet, and a lower, rearward relocation of the parking brake handle.
Power Passenger Seat (AC1)
Optional, six-way, adjustable passenger seat.
Power Driver Seat (AC3)
Optional, six-way, adjustable driver seat.
Sports Seat, Leather (AQ9)
Special sport seats that featured inflatable lumbar support and power-adjusted side bolsters.
Base Seats, Leather (AR9)
Leather cover option for the standard, base driver and passenger seats.
Callaway Twin Turbo (not GM installed) (B2K)
Addition of Callaway Twin Turbos to the existing L98 engine.
This option generated a specific equipment build with standard engines at the Corvette assembly plant. The cars were then drop-shipped to Callaway’s Connecticut shop for installation of Callaway-modified twin-turbo engines.
This is not a factory installed option. The Callaway Corvette could be ordered through participating Chevrolet dealers. Fully assembled Corvettes were then shipped from the Bowling Green Corvette plant to Callaway Engineering in Old Lyme,
Connecticut, where it received engine (and other) modifications.
The 1988 Callaway Corvette had performance ratings of 382 horsepower and 562 lb.-ft torque.
Automatic transmissions (reworked truck Turbo Hydramatic 400s) were available for $6500.00
Either Z51 or Z52 suspensions could be specified. Later production with Z52 had Z51’s larger front brakes, less restrictive mufflers, longer air dams, and steering coolers because option B2K triggered these through Special Equipment Option Z5G.
Full Chevrolet warranty applied except for powertrain which was covered by Callaway for twelve months or 12,000 miles.
Radiator Boost Fan (B4P)
An oscillating fan placed in front of the radiator that is used to push air through the radiator
Dual Removable Roof Panels (coupe) (C2L)
Included both a tinted, transparent glass top and a painted top.
Removable Roof Panels, blue tint (coupe) (24S)
Blue tinted removable glass top.
Removable Roof Panels, bronze tint (coupe) (64S)
Bronze tinted removable glass top.
Electronic Air Conditioning Control (C68)
Air conditioning system electronic control unit.
Twin Remote Heated Mirrors (convertible) (DL8)
Driver and passenger side heated rear view mirrors.
This option was only available for Corvette convertibles.
The heated mirrors were included with the heated rear window in the Z6A defogger option for coupes.
Illuminated Driver Vanity Mirror (D74)
The driver side sun visor included a lighted vanity mirror.
Delco-Belstein Shock Absorbers (FG3)
Gas shock absorbers with valving revised for improved ride.
The FG3 option offered the Z51’s upgraded shocks without buying the full Z51 suspension package.
A joint venture between AC-Delco and premium shock manufacturer Bilstein, these stiffer shocks offered a firmer ride and improved handling characteristics.
Performance Axle Ratio (G92)
Optional performance axle ratio of 3.07:1.
Was only offered when the Corvette was ordered with an automatic transmission.
The actual “Performance Axle Ratio” varied from year to year. The G92 Option was available when ordering either the Corvette or the Camaro throughout the 1980’s and early ’90’s.
Engine Oil Cooler (KC4)
Internal cooler used to cool internal components of the automobile’s internal combustion engine.
4-Speed Manual Transmission (MM4)
Optional manual transmission that was offered as a zero dollar upgrade.
A “4+3”, 4 speed manual transmission that was originally developed and built by Doug Nash Company.
The “4+3” transmission had overdrives in the top three gears for improved fuel economy.
Rear axle gear ratios for manual transmission models was 3.07:1.
California Emission Requirements (NN5)
Revised emission/exhaust components to meet California Emission standards
Radio Delete (UL5)
Optional removal of any stereo components from the Corvette.
Stereo System, Delco-Bose (UU8)
Delco Bose AM/FM stereo radio with cassette.
Heavy-Duty Radiator (V01)
Optional, three (3) core aluminum radiator.
Includes larger diameter transmission cooler.
35th Special Edition Package (coupe) (Z01)
A thirty fifth anniversary special edition package for the 1988 Corvette.
It featured a two-tone exterior of white with black roof bow, white leather seats and steering wheel, special interior and exterior accents, a console-mounted anniversary plaque, special emblems and other distinguishing features.
Sales totaled 2,050 units.
This option included the following options: AC3, AQ9, 24S, C68, D74, Z52 and Z6A. Not available with convertible.
Performance Handling Package (coupe) (Z51)
Heavy Duty Steering and Suspension Upgrade for improved handling.
This option had newly styled 17 x 9.5-inch wheels with twelve cooling slots, and P275 / 40ZR17 tires.
This option had higher spring rates and finned power steering cooler as before, but in 1988 it also received larger front brake rotors and calipers.
It was limited to manual transmission coupes.
This option included the following options: B4P, FG3, KC4, V01, heavy duty suspension, 17×9.5 wheels, and fast steering ratio.
Sport Handling Package (Z52)
Combination of the Z51 Handling Package with the softer suspension of base models.
This option had newly styled 17 x 9.5-inch wheels with twelve cooling slots, and P275 / 40ZR17 tires.
This option included the radiator boost fan, Bilstein shock absorbers, engine oil cooler, heavy-duty radiator, 17×9.5-inch wheels with twelve cooling slots, faster 13:1 steering ratio, larger front stabilizer bar, and the convertible-inspired structural improvements for coupes.
This option was available for both convertibles and coupes, equipped with either the automatic or manual transmission.
This option included the following options: B4P, FG3, and KC4, 17 x 9.5 wheels and fast steering.
Rear Window + Side Mirror Defoggers (coupe) (Z6A)
Components equipped with heating elements (wire) for defogging.
The C4 Corvette used vertically run wire through it’s rear window to achieve proper and timely defogging
1988 Corvette Recalls
Make: Chevrolet Model: Corvette Model Year: 1987 Manufacturer: Honeywell International, Inc. Mfr’s Report Date: May 19, 2006 Nhtsa Campaign Id Number: 06e043000 N/a Nhtsa Action Number: N/a Component: Fuel System, Gasoline Potential Number Of Units Affected: 88303
Certain Replacement Fuel Filters, Fram Brand Name P/n G3727, With Date Codes X52911 Through X60801 Sequentially Or X600141 And A Mexico Country Or Origin Marking On The Fuel Filter Housing Manufactured From October 18, 2005, Through March 21, 2006, Sold For Use On The Vehicles Listed Above And On Certain School Buses. (To See The School Bus Engine Sizes, Click On “Document Search” And Then “Bus Applications”). The Connector On The Fuel Filter Was Not Manufactured To Honeywell’s Specification. As A Result, The O-ring May Not Seat Correctly On The Fuel Line.
This Condition May Cause An Inadequate Seal At The Connection, Potentially Leading To A Fuel Leak. In The Presence Of An Ignition Source, A Fire Could Occur.
Honeywell Will Notify Owners And Replace The Fuel Filters Free Of Charge. The Recall Began On October 18, 2006. Owners May Contact Fram Customer Service At 1-800-890-2075 (Option 1).
This Recall Only Pertains To Aftermarket Fram Fuel Filters And Has No Relation To Any Original Equipment Installed On The Vehicles Listed. Customers May Contact The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline At 1-888-327-4236 (Tty: 1-800-424-9153); Or Go To http://www.safercar.gov.
Make: Chevrolet Model: Corvette Model Year: 1988 Manufacturer: General Motors Corp. Mfr’s Report Date: Feb 05, 1988 Nhtsa Campaign Id Number: 88v017000 Nhtsa Action Number: N/a Component: Wheels:center Section Potential Number Of Units Affected: 4901
Missing Weld That Attaches Wheel Center To The Rim Could Allow Wheel Center To Separate From The Rim.
This Could Result In Partial Loss Of Steering Control and Brakes, Loss Of Tire Air Pressure, And Sudden Change In Vehicle Direction,which Could Result In Crash Without Prior Warning.
Replace Wheels With Missing Welds.
System: Wheel Welds.vehicle Description: Passenger Cars Equipped With 17 Inch Wheels.
Recall 90v032000 Pe90032
Make: Chevrolet Model: Corvette Model Year: 1988 Manufacturer: General Motors Corp. Mfr’s Report Date: Feb 05, 1990 Nhtsa Campaign Id Number: 90v032000 Pe90032 Nhtsa Action Number: Pe90032 Component: Suspension:rear:springs:leaf Spring Assembly Potential Number Of Units Affected: 45969
Rear Wheel Tie Rod Assembly May Fatigue And Could Fracture At The Inboard Bearing Due To High Inner Joint Rocking Torque.
Fracture In This Assembly Could Result In Loss Of Vehicle Control And A Crash Without Prior Warning.
Replace Faulty Tie Rod Assemblies.
System: Rear Wheel Tie Rods. Vehicle Description: Passenger Cars.
Recall 91v143000 Ea90033
Make: Chevrolet Model: Corvette Model Year: 1986 Manufacturer: General Motors Corp. Mfr’s Report Date: Aug 26, 1991 Nhtsa Campaign Id Number: 91v143000 Ea90033 Nhtsa Action Number: Ea90033 Component: Seat Belts:front:anchorage Potential Number Of Units Affected: 231833
Under Certain Vehicle Operations And Occupant Usage Conditions, The Safety Belts Can Lockup Or Jam In The Safety Belt Retractor.
If Lockup Occurs, It Is Impossible To Pull Belt Out Of the Retractor. The Occupant Of A Seat With An Unusable Safety Belt Is subject To Increased Risk Of Injury Or Death In The Event Of A Sudden Stop Or accident.
Make: Chevrolet Model: Corvette Model Year: 1988 Manufacturer: General Motors Corp. Service Bulletin Number: 01697 Date Of Bulletin: Jan 01, 2004 Nhtsa Item Number: 10006297 Component: Equipment:electrical
No Serial Data Communications Using The Tech 1 With A 1986 Or Newer Camaro, Firebird Or Corvette With A 5.0 Or 5.7 Litre Engine. Sit Bulletin 1450640. *tt
Service Bulletin 9313110
Make: Chevrolet Model: Corvette Model Year: 1988 Manufacturer: General Motors Corp. Service Bulletin Number: 9313110 Date Of Bulletin: Mar 01, 1993 Nhtsa Item Number: 39547 Component: Visibility:glass, Side/rear
Rear Lift Window Hard To Open/hinge Loose To Glass. *tw
1988 Corvette Common Issues
The following list of common issues is intended for individual reference only, and may not reflect the specific issues of every 1988 Corvette. This information comes from a variety of sources including the NHTSA Defects Reports pages. While the intent of this page is to identify the common issues pertaining to the 1988 Corvette, it is not an all-inclusive list and should be used for reference only.
The throttle linkage is known to stick, causing the throttle body to remain open. This creates a potentially serious issue in that it can cause the car to accelerate uncontrollably at ignition, resulting in damage to vehicle and possible driver/passenger injury.
The transmission will erratically engage into overdrive, despite overdrive being “locked out” manually.
The transmission is difficult to shift into overdrive.
Fuel Injection System
At start up, a strong odor of gasoline is present coming from the exhaust system. The odor also permeates the interior of the car.
Although number of reported occurrences is uncertain,it has been documented that the fuel injection manifold line leaked gasoline in a constant flow due to a ruptured injection line. This resulted in the vehicle catching fire.
Braking system on 1988 Corvette has been known to fail completely during normal operation. The common problem is that the brake pedal itself depresses completely to the floorboard with no brake response. Probable cause is a defective master cylinder or a leak in the brake system.
Rear Tie Rod Assembly
The rear tie rod assembly is known to fail due either to design or the material used during manufacturing. In either case, the rear tie rod breaks, causing the right rear wheel to pull the car off road to the right. This malfunction can occur without warning, and often while during vehicle operation.
This incident occurred with enough regularity that it resulted in GM issuing a recall campaign.
This same problem is known to exist in 1989 Corvette models as well.
Rear Stabilizer Bar
Rear stabilizer bar cracks/fractures causing control problems while vehicle is in motion.
Electric Wiring Issue (General)
Electrical wiring in car is known to have a direct short, which can cause electrical fire.
Erratic electrical shorts manifesting through the stereo, flashers, speakers, the entire dashboard panel, the ignition lock, the light under the hood, the light switch, the starter motor, etc. The entire electrical system is known to present potential shorts and is a common source of failure in the early C4 Corvettes.
Electronic Control Unit
Internal VATS (Vehicle Anti-Theft System) key-read issue prevents car from starting, even after multiple attempts, rendering the Corvette useless for as much as 15 minutes between attempts. Usually requires replacement of the ignition switch module.
The computer has intermittent difficulty reading VATS key during normal vehicle operation which can cause the Corvette to stall and remain inoperable for several minutes.
The cruise control malfunctions between 35-70 miles per hour. It causes sudden acceleration and may occur without warning at any given time.
Headlight motors are known to fail, preventing headlights from engaging/disengaging.
There are a number of fiberglass body panel components that are known to fail. These include faulty hood seals, leaky roof seals and deteriorating firewalls.
Both the driver and passenger doors are known to exhibit erratic vibration.
Windows known to have a persistent rattle. Common corrections include replacing the window regulators. Despite this, the windows may continue to rattle when not fully raised.
Smoke emanating from under driver/passenger seat has been repeatedly reported. The source of the smoke is an electrical short in the power seat drives.
The electrical wiring harness under the seats is prone to electrical shorts and can cause fire/overheating. This defective design can also cause the power seats to function erratically or to fail completely.
1988 Corvette Maintenance Schedule
Follow Schedule 1 if your car is mainly operated under one or more of the following conditions:.
When most trips are less than 4 miles (6 kilometers)
When most trips are less than 10 miles (16 kilometers) and outside temperatures remain below freezing.
Idling for extended periods and/or low-speed operation such as found in delivery, police, rental or taxi operation.
Towing a trailer.
Operating in dusty areas.
Follow Schedule 2 only if none of the driving conditions specified in Schedule 1 apply.
Additional Maintenance and Lubrication
While Operating Your Vehicle
Automatic Transmission Shift Indicator Position – Make sure the indicator points to the gear chosen.
Horn Operation – Blow the horn occasionally to make sure it works. Check all button locations.
Brake System Operation – Be alert to abnormal sounds, increased brake pedal travel or repeated pulling to one side when braking. Also, if a brake warning light comes on or flashes, or the anti-lock (if equipped) comes on or remains on, something may be wrong with part of the braking system. Have it inspected and repaired at once.
Exhaust System Operation – Be alert to any changes in the sound of the system or any smell of fumes. These are signs the system may be leaking or overheating. Have it inspected and repaired at once. Also see “Engine Exhaust Gas Caution (Carbon Monoxide)” and “Catalytic Converter” in your Owner’s Manual.
Tire and Wheel Operation – Be alert to a vibration of the steering wheel or seat at normal highway speeds. This may mean a wheel balance is needed. Also, a pull right or left on a straight, level road may show the need for a tire pressure adjustment or wheel alignment.
Steering System Operation – Be alert to changes in steering action. An inspection is needed when the steering wheel is harder to turn or has too much free play or if unusual sounds are noted when turning or parking.
Headlight Aim Operation – Take note of light pattern occasionally. If beam aim doesn’t look right, headlights should be aligned.
At Each Fuel Fill
Engine Oil Level Check – Check engine oil level and add if necessary. See your Owner’s Manual for further details. NOTE: A large loss of oil in this system may indicate a problem. Have it inspected and repaired at once.
Engine Coolant Level and Condition – Check engine coolant level in coolant reservoir tank and add if necessary. Replace if dirty or rusty. See your Owner’s Manual for further details. NOTE: A large loss in this system may indicate a problem. Have it inspected and repaired at once.
Windshield Washer Fluid Level Check – Check washer fluid level in container and add if necessary.
At Least Monthly
Tire Pressure Check – Keep pressures as shown on Tire Placard on the driver’s door (include spare unless it is a stowaway). Pressure should be checked when tires are “cold”.
Light Operation Check – Check operation of license plate light, side-marker lights, headlights including high beams, parking lights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, backup lights, instrument panel and interior lights and hazard warning flashers.
Fluid Leak Check – After the car has been parked for a while, inspect the surface beneath the car for water, oil, fuel or other fluids. Water dripping from the air conditioning system after use is normal. If you notice fuel leaks or fumes, the cause should be found and corrected at once.
At Least Twice A Year (for example: Every Spring and Fall)
Power Steering Pump Fluid Level Check – Check power steering pump fluid level in accordance with Owner’s Manual instructions and keep at proper level. NOTE: A large loss in this system may indicate a problem. Have it inspected and repaired at once.
Brake Master Cylinder Reservoir Fluid Level Check – Check fluid and keep at proper level. NOTE: A low fluid level can indicate worn disc brake pads which may need to be serviced. NOTE: A large loss in this system may indicate a problem. Have it inspected and repaired at once.
Clutch System Service – Manual Transmissions – For cars equipped with hydraulic clutch systems, check the reservoir fluid level and add fluid as required. All others, check clutch pedal free travel and adjust as necessary. See your Owner’s Manual for further detail. NOTE: A large loss in this system may indicate a problem. Have it inspected and repaired at once.
Each Time Oil Is Changed
Automatic and Manual Transmission/Transaxle Fluid Level Check – Check transmission/transaxle fluid level and add as required. If equipped with manual transmission – check fluid in the overdrive unit and add as required. NOTE: A large loss in this system may indicate a problem. Have it inspected and repaired at once.
Tire and Wheel Inspection and Rotation – Check tires for abnormal wear or damage. Also, check for damaged wheels. To equalize tire wear and obtain maximum tire life, it is suggested that tires be rotated at 7,500 miles (12,500 kilometers) followed by 15,000 miles (25,000 kilometers) thereafter. See “Tires” in owners manual for further information.
Brake Systems Inspection – For convenience, the following should be done when wheels are removed for rotation: Inspect lines and hoses for proper hookup, binding, leaks, cracks, chafing, etc. Inspect disc brake pads for wear and rotors for surface condition. Also inspect drum brake linings for wear and cracks (if applicable). Inspect other brake parts, including drums, wheel cylinders, parking brake, etc. at the same time. Check parking brake adjustment. INSPECT BRAKES MORE OFTEN IF DRIVING HABITS OR CONDITIONS RESULT IN FREQUENT BRAKING.
Steering, Suspension and Front Drive Axle Boot and Seal Inspection – Inspect front and rear suspension and steering system for damaged, loose or missing parts, signs of wear or lack of lubrication. Inspect power steering lines and hoses for proper hookup, binding, leaks, cracks, chafing, etc. (On cars equipped with manual steering gear, check for seal leakage.) Replace seals if necessary.
Exhaust System Inspection – Inspect complete system. Inspect boy near the exhaust system. Look for broken, damaged, missing or out-of-position parts as well as open seams, holes, loose connections or other conditions which could cause a heat build up in the floor pan or could let exhaust fumes seep into the trunk or passenger compartment.
Throttle Linkage Inspection – Inspect for interference, binding , damaged or missing parts.
Engine Drive Belts Inspection – Inspect all belts for cracks, fraying and wear. Adjust or replace as needed.
Rear Axle Service – Check gear lubricant level and add if needed. Cars equipped with limited-slip differential should have gear lubricant and any required additives drained and refilled at 7,500 miles (12,500 kilometers). See your Owner’s Manual. IF YOU USE YOUR CAR TO PULL A TRAILER, CHANGE GEAR LUBRICANT EVERY 7,500 MILES (12,500 KILOMETERS). NOTE: A large loss in this system may indicate a problem. Have it inspected and repaired at once.
Power Antenna – Clean and then lubricate power antenna mast. The proper lubricant should be used.
At Least Once A Year:
Lap and Shoulder Belts Condition and Operation – Inspect belt system, including webbing, buckles, latch plates, retractors, guide loops and anchors.
Seatback Latch and Recliner Operation – Be sure seatbacks latch using mechanical latches. Make sure the recliner is holding by pushing and pulling on the top of the seatback while it is reclined. See your Owner’s Manual for seat operating information.
Spare Tire and Jack Storage – Be alert to rattles in rear of car. Make sure the spare tire, all jacking equipment, any tire inflator and any covers or doors are securely stowed at all times. Oil jack ratchet or screw mechanism after each use.
Key Lock Service – Lubricate key lock cylinder at least annually.
Body Lubrication Service – Lubricate all body door hinges including the tailgate (if equipped). Also lubricate the body hood, fuel door and rear compartment hinges and latches including interior glove box and counsel doors, and any folding seat hardware.
Starter Safety Switch Operation – CAUTION: Before performing the following safety switch check, be sure to have enough room around the car. Then, firmly apply both the parking brake (see your Owner’s Manual for procedure) and the regular brakes. Do not use the accelerator pedal. If the engine starts, be ready to turn off the ignition promptly. Take these precautions because the car could possibly move without warning and possibly cause personal injury or property damage. On automatic transmission cars, try to start the engine in each gear. The starter should crank only in “Park” or “Neutral”. On manual transmission cars, place the shift lever in “Neutral”, push the clutch halfway and try to start. The starter should crank only when the clutch is fully depressed.
Steering Column Lock Operation – While parked, try to turn key to “Lock” in each gear range. The key should turn to “Lock” only when gear is in “Park” on automatic or “Reverse” on manual transmissions. On cars with key release lever, try to turn key to “Lock” without depressing the lever. The key should turn to “Lock” only with the key lever depressed. On all vehicles, the key should come out only in “Lock”.
Parking Brake an Transmission “Park” Mechanism Operation – CAUTION: Before checking the holding ability of the parking brake and automatic transmission “Park” mechanism, park on a fairly steep hill with enough room for movement in the downhill direction. To reduce the risk of personal injury or property damage, be prepared to apply the regular brakes promptly if the car begins to move. To check the parking brake, with the engine running and the transmission in “Neutral”, slowly remove foot pressure from the regular brake pedal (until the car is only held by the parking brake.) To check the automatic transmission “Park” mechanism holding ability, release all brakes after shifting the transmission to “Park”.
Underbody Flushing – At least every spring, flush from the underbody with plain water any corrosive materials used for ice and snow removal and dust control. Take care to thoroughly clean any areas where mud and other debris can collect. Sediment packed in closed areas of the vehicle should be loosened before being flushed.
Engine Cooling System Service – Inspect coolant and freeze protection. If dirty or rusty, drain, flush and refill with new coolant. Keep coolant at the proper mixture as specified in your Owner’s Manual. This provides proper freeze protection, corrosion inhibitor level and engine operating temperature. Inspect hoses and replace if cracked, swollen or deteriorated. Tighten hose clamps. Clean outside of radiator and air conditioning condenser. Wash radiator filler can and neck. To help ensure proper operation, a pressure test of both the cooling system and cap is also recommended
1988 Corvette DIY Service Guide
Battery & Charging
Inspection & Replacement of Battery, Factory Battery Specifications, Replacement of Alternator/Generator
Belts & Hoses
How to Replace Drive Belt(s), Inspection & Replacement of Upper/Lower Radiator Hoses
Inspection & Replacement of Brake Pads, Inspection & Replacement of Front/Rear Brake Rotors, How to Replace Brake Calipers, How to Bleed Brakes, Inspection & Replacement of Master Cylinder
Heating & Cooling
Inspection & Replacement of Radiator, How to Replace the Heater Core, Inspection & Replacement of Upper/Lower Radiator Hoses, How to Flush the Cooling System, How to Replace the Water Pump, How to Replace a Thermostat
Location of, Inspection & Replacement of Oxygen Sensors (Upstream/Downstream), How to Replace the EGR Valve, How to Replace the Smog Pump
Location & Replacement of the Following Filters: Oil Filter, Fuel Filter, Transmission Filter, PCV Valve
Ignition & Tune Up
How to Replace the Ignition Coil, How to Replace the Ignition Switch, Inspection & Replacement of Sparkplug Wires, Inspection & Replacement of Cap & Rotor, How to Replace Sparkplugs, Engine Firing Order, Engine Timing
Location & Replacement of: Mass Air Flow Sensor, Oil Pressure Sensor, Engine Temperature Sensor, Ambient Air Temperature Sensor, Fuel Pressure Sensor, Oxygen Sensors (Upstream/Downstream)
Suspension & Steering
Inspection & Replacement of Upper/Lower Ball Joints, How to Replace Control Arm Bushings, How to Replace the Power Steering Pump, Inspection & Replacement of Front Shocks/Struts, Inspection & Replacement of Rear Shocks/Struts, How to Replace Inner & Outer Tie Rod Ends
How to Replace the Starter Motor, How to Replace the Starter Solenoid, How to Replace the Drive Belt Tensioner, How to Replace the Idler Pulley, Location of, Inspection & Replacement of Engine (Motor) Mounts, How to Replace the Oil Pan Gasket, How to Replace the Oil Pump
Transmission & Clutches
How to Change the Transmission Filter (Automatic Transmission), How to Replace a Clutch (Manual Transmission)
1988 Corvette Dealers Sales Brochure
Download this 1988 Corvette Dealers Sales Brochure for a quick look at the features of the car.