The following list of common issues is intended for individual reference only, and may not reflect the specific issues of every 1990 Corvette. While the intent of this page is to identify the common issues pertaining to the 1990 Corvette, it is not an all-inclusive list and should be used for reference only.
1990 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 1990 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 1990 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 1990 Corvette (including the ZR-1), 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 1990 L98 Engine is known to have overheating issues.
The vehicle shuts off either when the car is at idle or when decelerating from highway speeds.
Oil cooling lines prone to leak over time, causing oil to cover bottom of car/drip on the exhaust system.
Creates serious potential for engine fire/similar hazardous condition.
Transmission O-ring leaks.
Anti-lock brakes known to fail. Cause of malfunction believed to be either wheel speed sensor or defective brake rotor.
Uneven braking reported, resulting in the vehicle pulling either to the left or the right during normal braking conditions.
Front brake rotors/pads reported to failure prematurely, resulting in frequent replacement. Early brake fatigue could be the result of improperly operating anti-lock barking system, which was identified as a known mechanical issue on a number of 1990 Corvettes. Additionally, erratic brake response is believed to cause the vehicle to become uncontrollable while driving in wet weather.
Parking brake recalled because of problem with parking brake assembly. The cable pulls loose of the nylon reel resulting in failure of parking brake mechanism. See 1990 Corvette Recalls for more information.
Steering noise occurs when the steering wheel is turned left or right, or when the car is sitting stationary.
Fiberglass rear leaf springs prone to breakage causing the rear of the vehicle to sag and/or to drag on the pavement while being driven.
ECU (Engine Control Unit/Electronic Control Unit)
Electronic control unit prone to failure, resulting in ignition failure and/or impairing vehicle operation.
Instrument Cluster Module
Electrical problem in sensor unit causes erratic readings from the outside temperature gauge which, in turn, causes the air-conditioning system to operate erratically.
Engine compartment fires have been reported – cause unknown, presumed to be an electrical problem. Another possible cause could be a defective hood release cable. There are some indications that the hood release cable rubs the electrical wiring, which could create a fire condition very close to the fuel lines.
Windshield Wiper Motor/Drive
Wiper motor/transmission known to fail during normal operation. Although there have been several incidents reported, this malfunction may simply be the result of age and not a specific defect in the design.
Defective windshield wiper relay board.
Windshield wipers reportedly collide and bind, causing assembly to become inoperative during operation which, in turn, can cause serious impairment while driving vehicle in rain/storm conditions.
Tire Pressure Indicator
Low tire pressure system fails as the result of a defective wheel transmitter.
Passive Restraint System
Airbag deployment has failed on a number of 1990 Corvettes. Despite deployment failure, the sensors indicated that the airbags had been inflated.
Light on dashboard illuminates, indicating that the air bag system is not operating properly. Indicated repair is dealer replacement of the Air Bag Inflator Module.
Seat Belts/Safety Restraints
Both driver and passenger seat belts prone to failure. Seat belts were recalled by dealership. See 1990 Corvette Recalls for more information.
Seat belt retractor locks in closed position/reported inoperable.