The following list of common issues is intended for individual reference only, and may not reflect the specific issues of every 1989 Corvette. While the intent of this page is to identify the common issues pertaining to the 1989 Corvette, it is not an all-inclusive list and should be used for reference only.
1989 Corvette Recalls, Technical Service Bulletins, & Maintenance Schedule
The information contained on this page is for reference only. The time and mileage intervals for each of the maintenance items included on this page were established by General Motors with the introduction of the 1989 Chevy Corvette. Please note that the original service intervals may not reflect the standard service intervals used in current automobile engines.
The following list of common issues is intended for individual reference only, and may not reflect the specific issues of every 1989 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 1989 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 1989 L98 Engine is known to have overheating issues.
Other issues include engine pinging, intermittent stalling, and rough idle due to timing retard – may require regular adjustment.
Intake and Exhaust Manifold gaskets are known to leak and will require replacement.
Although alternators have historically been known to fail on a number of vehicles, there have been a high number of alternator failures reported on the 1989 Chevy Corvette.
Rack and Pinion Steering Unit
The rack and pinion unit on the 1989 Corvette is prone to failure.
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 1988 Corvette models as well.
Braking system on 1989 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.
A number of 1989 Corvette owners have reported issues with a defective power brake booster.
Braking system can also cause erratic braking conditions which have resulted in loss of vehicle control.
The Anti-Lock Braking System may lock up during vehicle operation causing the vehicle to skid out of control.
The 1989 Chevy Corvette has three catalytic converters (two upstream, one downstream) built into the exhaust system. When the catalytic converters deteriorate (either from age, usage, or both), the upstream converters literally disintegrate internally, and the deteriorated material may pass through the exhaust to the downstream converter, creating a blockage the can affect horsepower and performance. If this happens, the converters must be replaced to restore power to the car.
Defects in cooling system increases likelihood of engine overheating.
Windshield Wiper System
Intermittent erratic operation of the wiper system during normal vehicle operation.+
Battery drains completely as the result of continuous current draw from the following: the anti-theft computer, computer control module, and the dashboard clock. Battery requires recharging before vehicle is operable.
Computer & Control Module
The computer’s central chip/circuit board is prone to failure, which can create a number of issues including the inability to start/run the engine. To correct this issue, the computer ECM must be replaced. If ECM is not defective, then check all circuits in the ignition/electrical system for possible shorts/grounding issues.
Other issues with the on-board computer can include rough or erratic and/or high idle, stalling at lower operating speeds
Wheels & Rims
Defect in 1989 Corvette aluminum rims causing warping/damage to the lip of the rim during normal driving conditions, often at speeds of less than 40 miles per hour. Multiple cases have been reported of rims being warped simultaneously during vehicle operation, resulting in a bad shimmy between 35-55 miles per hour.
Dashboard & Instrument Panel
The dashboard lights commonly go out due to electrical problems. This issue may be caused by defective wiring, or as the result of a defective computer command control module.
If the computerized dashboard is diagnosed as defective, the entire dashboard assembly must be replaced.
The driver’s side seat anchors have been deemed defective. GM issued a factory recall for this item.