The following list of common issues is intended for individual reference only, and may not reflect the specific issues of every 1996 Corvette. While the intent of this page is to identify the common issues pertaining to the 1996 Corvette, it is not an all-inclusive list and should be used for reference only.
1996 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 1996 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 1996 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 1996 Corvette (including the Collectors Edition and the Grandsport,) it is not an all-inclusive list and should be used for reference only.
The Opti-Spark Ignition System has been known to fail on late model C4 Corvettes (those equipped with PFI V8 engines). Failure of the Opti-Spark Ignition System may prevent the vehicle from starting.
Failure of the Ignition Lock Cylinder occurs, though infrequently, preventing the vehicle from starting.
The valve train of the LT4 is somewhat noisy and is one reason that GM made the valve covers of a composite material rather than aluminum or other metal.
The LT1/LT4 engine is also prone to engine oil leaks, most especially around the front and rear of the intake manifold. The manifold was sealed at the ends with RTV rather than gasket material and tended to leak even straight from the factory. Other common areas to check for oil leaks on the engine include: the timing chain cover, the valve covers, the waterpump drive seal, the oil pan, and the front and rear main bearing seals.
The LT1 engine often exhibits a rough idle at start-up, especially after the car has been sitting for an extended period of time. The most probable cause of the idling issue is fouled injectors. In many instances, adding a fuel stabilizer and/or fuel injection cleaner to the fuel tank helps resolve this issue.
A transmission leak may occur from the pump body on 4L60-E transmissions due to the pump bushing walking out of the valve body.
It should be noted the ZF6 transmission is somewhat noisy (particularly in neutral with the clutch out)
The transmission is controlled by an electronic control unit. In some instances, this unit is known to fail, causing erratic transmission shifting problems resulting in drivability issues.
It is quite common for road debris and trash to get sucked up between the radiator and the A/C condenser, thereby blocking air flow and causing the engine to overheat. This area should be inspected and cleaned out at regular intervals.
Check the underside of the radiator for signs of leaking coolant, the side tanks on the factory radiator are constructed of plastic and may be cracked and leaking on a higher mileage car.
Unfortunately, all 1996 Corvettes are subject to one of two A/C problems:
First, failure to be able to raise or lower cabin temperature by pushing on the temperature up/down control buttons on the dash are usually due to a failed A/C Controller Module.
Second, air conditioning blows on the floor or through the defrost vents only but not through the dash vents. These are indications of a bad A/C Program Module.
Low Pressure Tire Warning System (LTPWS)
The sensor bands and sensors are prone to breakage. Additionally, they are unique for each wheel, and GM factory replacement components have become very difficult to find. Cars equipped with this option originally had a sticker on each wheel rim to notify the tire installer about the sensor.
Although a common issue on many mid-nineties Chevrolet cars/trucks, the fuel pump on the Chevrolet Corvette is known to fail prematurely. Because of the pumps location in the fuel tank, this repair can be both timely and costly. When replacing the fuel pump, it is generally recommended to replace the entire sending unit as well.
The weather stripping on all late model C4 Corvettes is not very durable and is a very costly repair. The weather stripping is known to crack, rip, and tear. The weather stripping at the base of the windshield and at the coupe hatchback glass is generally the first, most common portion to fail.
Front Air Dam Spoiler
Because of the low front-end clearance on the Corvette, the front air dam spoiler tends to get damaged even as the result of normal vehicle operation. The front air dam spoiler tends to get scraped up and damaged very easily. Replacement spoilers are available both through General Motors and a variety of aftermarket suppliers.
Removal of the roof panel may result in extreme vehicle vibration during driving conditions where bumpy, uneven roads exist. This issue has been reported at speeds up to 35 miles per hour.
The front roof line of the Chevrolet Corvette is known to cause visibility obstructions for taller drivers including limiting visibility of traffic lights.
Driver & Passenger Seats
The first area that most commonly fails are the side bolsters and the seat bottoms, particularly on the driver’s side. The leather on the factory seats is fairly thin and not very durable. Factory original seat cover replacements are no longer available from GM.
The plastic bezel around the seat back release in the back of each headrest are prone to breakage.
Steering wheels may exhibit vertical play. If the steering wheel exhibits more than just minimal up and down movement, then the Corvette may have been damaged as the result of prior vehicle operators using the steering wheel as a means of pulling themselves out of the vehicle. The vertical motion indicates that the steering column mounting bolts are probably damaged. While this issue is repairable, it is a very time consuming and expensive repair.
Center Console Cover
The center console lid is commonly known to crack, which is an issue with all C4 Corvettes.
There have been many incidents reported of the airbags failing to deploy during a head-on collision, resulting in driver injury. The on-board computer does test the air bag system during ignition start. Check for any airbag warning lights on the instrument/dashboard. If the airbag light remains lit, contact a GM Certified service center immediately.
Owners should not be concerned if minor, though visible evidence of overspray (or even blotches) of paint under the hood, particularly in the area around the hood latch pins and receptacles. This was very common on factory production cars of this era and should be expected. In fact, owners should be more concerned if they do NOT see any overspray or spray paint in this area.
There have been many instances of electrical fires reported resulting in damage to the Corvette, often resulting in the total loss of the vehicle. These fires are often attributed to a short in the computer system.