2003 C5 Corvette

2003 Corvette Overview

The arrival of the 2003 Chevrolet Corvette represented the culmination of fifty years of evolution for General Motors flagship automobile.  It had been during the spring of 1953 that the first Corvette had been unveiled at GM’s “Motorama”.

Since that time, it had transformed into an entirely new vision of Corvette with each evolution.  “Few vehicles have had the staying power of Corvette” said Rick Baldick, Corvette Brand Manager. “We believe that much of that success comes from a willingness to embrace advancing technology while remaining true to Corvette’s glorious history.

As we celebrate our golden anniversary in 2003, we honor our past and cast a bright eye toward the future.”

Model: 2003 Corvette
Generation: C5 Corvette
Type: 2 Door Coupe/Z06 Coupe/Convertible
Available Colors: Quicksilver, Electron Blue, Speedway White, Black, Torch Red, Millenium Yellow, Medium Spiral Gray, Anniversary Red
Engine: LS1, 346C.I., 5.7 Litre V8 (Coupe/Convertible) LS6, 346C.I., 5.7Litre V8 (Z06)
VIN: 1G1YY22G535100001 – 1G1YY22G235135469
Transmission: 4-speed automatic (standard), 6 speed manual (optional)
Original Price: $43,895 (Coupe), $50,370 (Convertible), $51,155 (Z06)
Units Produced: 35,469
Specs: 2003 Corvette Spec List
2003 Corvette
The 2003 Chevy Corvette (Image courtesy of GM Media.)

Now, with fifty years behind it, Chevrolet executives were prepared to commemorate the half-century-old sports car through a series of planned events that included the introduction of a Special Edition 2003 C5 Corvette.

The “50th Anniversary Special Edition” Corvette package, available only on base coupes and convertibles, consisted of a special metallic-burgundy Anniversary Red exterior with champagne colored wheels and specific “anniversary edition” badging.

1953 & 2003 Corvette
Corvette celebrated its 50th Anniversary with the 2003 model year. (Image courtesy of Barrett Jackson)

Complementing the exterior, a shale colored interior was highlighted with embroidered emblems on the seats and floor mats, armrests, and grips.

 

When included as part of the convertible package, the collapsible top also featured the matching shale-color.  This option was only available to consumers as part of a preferred equipment group.

RPO 1SC, Preferred Option Group Number 2, included the special paint and trim package, as well as Magnetic Selective Ride Control, along with other options included with RPO 1SB.  This option, despite the additional $5,000.00 cost to consumers, was ordered by more than 11,500 customers.

With regards to the aforementioned Selective Ride Control that was included as part of RPO 1SC, consumers wishing to equip their Corvettes with this option could do so without purchasing the costly anniversary package.

Listed as RPO F55, the Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension was very similar to a system that GM had previously introduced on the 2002 Cadillac STS.  The Selective Ride Control system used a unique damper design to govern wheel and body motion by utilizing a “Magneto-Rheological” fluid in each shock absorber.  Essentially, this fluid was little more than synthetic oil permeated with millions of tiny iron balls that floated uniformly within the shock fluid.  To adjust the level of ride damping, an electrical current was fed into an electromagnetic coil, thereby causing the iron-ball infused oil to change viscosity – allowing the car’s ride to almost instantly go from no damping to virtually solid damping.

Corvette "50th Anniversary" Logo
The “50th Anniversary” Logo was installed on each 2003 Corvette.

The F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension was designed to make more than 1,000 minute adjustments per second.  Controlled by a dual-processor computer chip, the suspension utilized the car’s speed, steering-wheel angle, wheel travel, braking, lateral acceleration, and outside temperature to adjust the car’s ride.

The system was designed to isolate and smooth the ride of each tire to help minimize bouncing, vibration, and noise.  As a result, the  2003 Corvette produced a quieter, flatter ride with more responsive and more precise handling, especially during high-speed driving maneuvers.

2003 Corvette F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control
The 2003 Corvette featured the F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control Suspension system.

Working in conjunction with both the mum balance and ride stability over a full range of road conditions.  This option included a console-mounted switch that allowed drivers the ability to manually select the ride type – either “Tour” which provided drivers with a smoother, more comfortable ride or “Sport” which gave drivers a more rigid suspension that also reduced body roll.

While most critics agreed that the F55 Ride Control Option did improve overall drivability of the Corvette, the inclusion of the F55 Ride Control System added just over 13 pounds to the car.  As a result, the Z06 did not receive this option, as increased weight would result in diminished performance at the rear wheels.

 

The coupes and convertibles did include a number of equipment options that were now standard when ordering a 2003 Corvette.  New Corvette owners could now expect to receive a car that included fog lamps, sports sears, dual-zone auto climate control, and a power passenger seat.  The 2003 Corvette coupes also received a standard parcel net and privacy shade for the hatch area.

2003 Corvette Storage
The 2003 Corvette came equipped with a standard parcel net and a privacy shade in the cargo area.

An interesting addition to the coupe, (given the specific nature of a two-seat sports car) was the introduction of special hooks that were installed on the passenger’s seat to facilitate the connection of a specially equipped child seat (an option that was only recommended when used in conjunction with a passenger-side airbag-cutoff switch).

All Corvettes (coupe, convertible, and the Z06) were fitted with special silver 50th Anniversary emblems at the front and rear that featured the number “50” along with the signature Corvette crossed flags logo.

 

DID YOU KNOW: In an effort to meet stricter standards for occupant protection, the Z06 Corvette hardtop headliners were made thicker for the 2003 model year. Additionally, the interior area for the A-pillar of all models and the B-pillar in the Coupe/Z06 were modified.

Also, for the 2003 model year, a number of factory features that were previously optional were made standard in coupes and convertibles. These included fog lamps, sports seats, power passenger seats, dual-zone air conditioning, and (in the coupe only) the parcel net and luggage shade.

While the C5 Corvette had certainly earned the respect of automobile enthusiasts around the world, Chevrolet was still faced with some unique challenges for the 2003 model year.  For the first time in a generation, a number of genuine automotive competitors had arrived, and each posed a threat that might draw consumers away from Corvette.

Dodge introduced a redesigned Viper Roadster with a robust V-10.  While the Viper was considerably more expensive than the Corvette, its $80,000 price tag was not so far out of reach as to discourage prospective Corvette owners from exploring their options. A more serious threat to the Corvette was the arrival of Nissan’s all-new V-6 powered 350Z, a car that provided solid, swept-back looks, and ‘Vette-like handling starting at just $26,269.  Even Porsche’s mid-engine Boxster remained a formidable rival at a price-point that continued to match the Corvette Convertible.

Still, despite the competition, the 2003 Corvette still boasted fairly impressive sales numbers, even given the fact that all three iterations of Chevy’s sports car saw another price increase for the new model year.  For 2003, Chevrolet sold 12,812 coupes starting at a price of $43,255, a total of 14,022 convertibles starting at $49,700, and 8,635 Z06 coupes starting at $50,485.  All total, 2003 produced total sales of 36,026 Corvettes, which was still an improvement over the 2002 model year, though only by 88 units.

2003 Corvette Racing Teams
The 2003 Corvette Racing Teams at the 24 Hours of LeMans.

Of course, by late 2003, everyone knew that the C5 Corvette was headed for retirement.  The automotive press had already flooded the media with design rumors and spy photos of the replacement C6 Corvette.

Still, with more than a year before the arrival of the C6 Corvettes, General Motors continued to rally behind the C5, especially on the race track – and the 2003 C5-R’s commemorated the racing season by dominating their field with a third straight manufacturer’s title in the American LeMans Series and a second-third finish at the 24 Hours of LeMans that same year.  In fact, the C5-R’s season-long performance was so strong that one of the only changes made to the 2004 Corvette would be to commemorate the 2003 racing season.

RACING: As Corvette celebrated its 50th Anniversary, the Corvette Racing Teams helped commemorate the special anniversary by placing 2nd and 3rd place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The #50 Corvette C5-R, co-driven by Oliver Gavin, Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim completed 326 laps to finish 11th overall and second in the GTS class. Collins and Pilgrim notched their fourth straight podium finish while Gavin took home his second in a Corvette at Le Mans.

The #53 Corvette C5-R, co-driven by Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell and Franck Freon completed 326 laps of the 8.6 mile circuit to finish 12th overall and third in the production-based GTS class. Fellows and O’Connell also co-drove to class victories in 2001 and 2002, while Freon experienced his tenth straight Le Mans appearance and fourth podium finish at Le Sarthe with Corvette.

As the Corvette celebrated its 50th anniversary, it was an interesting point of note that the Corvette was one of the longest-lived sports cars in the world.  Yet, despite its many iterations and its incredible complexity, Corvette has remained faithful to the pioneers who designed and built it as well as to the owners who have owned and enjoyed driving it for fifty years.

In fact, at its 50th anniversary, the 2003 Corvette continued to share its GRP (fiberglass) body panels and its front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout of the 1953 model.  Without question, at fifty, Corvette continued to be the proud legacy of Harley Earl, who envisioned a two-seat roadster a half-century earlier.  Yet, as far as the Corvette had evolved since its earliest ancestor, the best was still to come.

See full 2003 C5 Corvette Image Gallery


2003 Corvette Specifications

2003 Corvette Main Specs

MODEL: 2003 Chevrolet Corvette
BODY STYLE: Two-door Coupe, Convertible, Hard Top front engine, rear wheel drive
MANUFACTURING LOCATION: Bowling Green, Kentucky
VEHICLE NUMBERS (VIN): 1G1YY22G535100001 – 1G1YY22G235135469
VIN SUFFIX: ZFA: 346 CUBIC INCH, 350 HP, AUTOMATIC TRANS
ZFC: 346 CUBIC INCH, 350 HP, MANUAL TRANS
ZFB: 346 CUBIC INCH, 405 HP, MANUAL TRANS
ENGINE BLOCK NUMBER: 12561168: 346 CUBIC INCH, 405 HORSEPOWER
HEAD NUMBER: 12564241: 346 CUBIC INCH, 350 HORSEPOWER
12564243: 346 CUBIC INCH, 405 HORSEPOWER

2003 Corvette Construction

  • Full-length perimeter frame with hydroformed frame side rails manufactured out of seamless tubular steel joined by two welded-on bumper beams.
  • The cockpit is framed by a welded cage of aluminum castings and extrusions.
  • Instrument panel cross member includes a magnesium steering column support and magnesium-core steering wheel.
  • Closed Drivetrain tunnel
  • Twin mid-ship mounted composite fuel tanks
  • Aircraft-type composite floor with a balsa wood core
  • One-piece Cast Aluminum front and rear chassis cross members
  • Body panels are constructed of flexible sheet-molded compound (SMC)
  • Quarter panels are bolted to the structure

2003 Corvette Pricing & Options

CODE: DESCRIPTION: QUANTITY: RETAIL PRICE:
1YY07
Base Corvette Sport Coupe
12,812
$43,895.00
1YY37
Base Corvette Z06 Hardtop
8,635
$51,155.00
1YY67
Base Corvette Convertible
14,022
$50,370.00
1SB
Preferred Equipment Group – Coupe
7,310
$1,200.00
1SB
Preferred Equipment Group – Convertible
6,643
$1,200.00
1SC
50th Anniversary Edition – Coupe
4,085
$5,000.00
1SC
50th Anniversary Edition – Convertible
7,547
$5,000.00
AAB
Memory Package (Z06 Hardtop)
8,241
$750.00
B84
Body Side Moldings
22,243
$150.00
CC3
Removable Roof Panel, Blue Tint (Coupe)
5,184
$1,200.00
C2L  Dual Removable Roof Panels (Coupe) 3,150
$750.00
DDO  Electrochromatic Mirrors (Z06 Hardtop) 8,227
$120.00
F55
Magnetic Selective Ride Control (Coupe & Convertible)
14,992
$1,695.00
G92
Performance Axle Ratio (3.15 ratio) (automatic)
9,785
$395.00
MN6
6-Speed Manual Transmission (Coupe & Convertible)
8,590
$915.00
N73
Magnesium Wheels (Coupe & Convertible)
293
$1,500.00
QF5
Polished Aluminum Wheels (Coupe & Convertible)
10,290
$1,295.00
R8C
Corvette Museum Delivery
787
$490.00
ULO
Delco Stereo Cassette (Replaces Standard Radio)
4,664
$0.00
U1S
Remote Compact 12-Disc Changer (Coupe & Convertible)
15,979
$600.00
V49
Front License Plate Frame
 20,605
$15.00
Z51  Performance Handling Package (Coupe & Convertible)  2,592
$395.00
79U
Millennium Yellow Paint with tint coat
3,900
$750.00

2003 Corvette

2003 Corvette Exterior & Interior Colors

Color Options & Quantities

CODE
EXTERIOR COLORS
Coupe
Conv
Z06
Total
INTERIOR COLORS
12
Quicksilver
798
500
1,089 2,387
Black, Light Grey, Red
21
Electron Blue
967
531
1,272
2,770
Black, Light Grey, Light Oak
40
Speedway White
371
308
N/A
679
Black, Light Grey, Light Oak, Red
41
Black
1,600
1,398
2,599
5,597
Black, Light Grey, Light Oak, Red
70
Torch Red
1,864
1,374
1,967
5,205
Black, Light Grey, Light Oak, Red
79
Millenium Yellow
1,041
1,151
1,708
3,900
Black, Light Grey, Light Oak, Red
88
Medium Spiral Gray
2,086
1,213
N/A
3,299
Black, Light Grey, Light Oak, Red
94
Anniversary Red
4,085
7,547
N/A
11,632 Black, Light Grey, Light Oak, Red

Interior Colors & Quantities

CODE COLOR TOTAL
154
193
194
673
703
704
923
Shale
Black
Black (Z06)
Light Oak
Red
Black/Red (Z06)
Light Gray
11,632
18,180
1,669
1,969
2,019

Exterior Colors

2003 Corvette Colors

Interior Colors

2003 Corvette Colors Interior

Seats & Tacho

2003 Corvette Seat Options

Wheels

2003 Corvette Wheel Options

2003 Corvette Engine

2003 Corvette Powertrain Specifications

Engine Spec

Engine
Order Code: LS1 LS6
Engine Manufacturing:
St. Catherines, Ontario St. Catherines, OntariO
Type: 90 degree V, Front Longitudinal, OHV Pushrod 90 degree V, Front Longitudinal, OHV Pushrod
Number of Cylinders 8 8
Displacement (liters/cc/cid): 5.7 / 5,665 / 346 5.7 / 5,665 / 346
Fuel induction system: Sequential Fuel Injection Sequential Fuel Injection
Horsepower (SAE net @ rpm): 350 @ 5,600 405 @ 6,000
Torque (lbs.-ft. @ rpm) (manual): 375 @ 4,400 400 @ 4,800
Torque (lbs.-ft. @ rpm) (auto): 360 @ 4,000 N/A
Valves per cylinder: 2 2
Bore x stroke (mm.): 99.0 x 92.0 99.0 x 92.0
Redline (rpm): 6,000 rpm 6,500 rpm
Compression ratio: 10.1:1 10.5:1
Firing Order:
1-8-7-2-6-5-4-3 1-8-7-2-6-5-4-3
Cylinder No. System (Left):
1-3-5-7 1-3-5-7
Cylinder No. System (Right): 2-4-6-8 2-4-6-8
Fuel Required:
Unleaded Unleaded
Fuel Antiknock index (R+M) +2
87 87
Recommended Fuel:
Premium Unleaded Premium Unleaded
EPA – Automatic Transmission
– City: 18 mpg N/A
– Highway:
25 mpg N/A
– Max cruising range 481 miles / 774 km N/A
EPA – Manual Transmission
– City: 19 mpg 19 mpg
– Highway: 28 mpg 28 mpg
– Max cruising range 518 miles / 834 km 518 miles / 834 km

Engine Materials

Engine Materials
Engine Materials LS1 LS6
Block: Cast Aluminum Cast Aluminum
Cylinder Heads: Cast Aluminum Cast Aluminum
Intake Manifold: Composite Composite
Exhaust Manifold: Cast Nodular Iron Cast Nodular Iron
Crankshaft: Cast Nodular Iron w/Rolled Fillets Cast Nodular Iron w/Rolled Fillets
Camshaft: Hollow Steel Hollow Steel
Cam drive: Chain Chain

Transmission (Automatic)

Standard Transmission Spec
Type: Rear Wheel Drive
Order Code: M30
Model: 4L60-E Hydra-Matic Rear-Mounted 4-Speed Automatic w/Overdrive
Gear Ratios
1st Gear: 3.06:1
2nd Gear: 1.63:1
3rd Gear: 1.00:1
4th Gear: 0.70:1
Reverse: 2.29:1
Axle Ratio: 2.73:1 (3.15 optional)
Final Drive Ratio: 1.90:1 (2.19 optional)

Transmission (Manual)

Optional Manual Spec
Type: Rear Wheel Drive
Order Code: MN6
Model: T56 Borg-Warner Rear-Mounted 6-Speed Manual
Gear Ratios
1st Gear: 2.66:1
2nd Gear: 1.78:1
3rd Gear: 1.30:1
4th Gear: 1.00:1
5th Gear: 0.74:1
6th Gear: 0.50:1
Reverse: 2.90:1
Axle Ratio: 3.42:1
Final Drive Ratio: 1.71:1

Transmission (Manual Z06)

Optional Manual Spec
Type: Rear Wheel Drive
Order Code: M12
Model:
Gear Ratios
1st Gear: 2.97:1
2nd Gear: 2.07:1
3rd Gear: 1.43:1
4th Gear: 1.00:1
5th Gear: 0.84:1
6th Gear: 0.56:1
Reverse: 3.28:1
Axle Ratio: 3.42:1
Final Drive Ratio: 1.91:1

2003 Corvette Wheels, Suspension & Brakes

Suspension

Front Suspension 
Front Suspension Type:
Short/Long arm (SLA) double wishboneFeatures:
Forged aluminum Steering Knuckle
Cast aluminum upper control arm
Transverse-mounted composite leaf spring
Monotube shock absorbers
Individual wheel height adjusters
F45 – includes Selective Real Time Damping control
FE4 – has a larger front stabilizer bar
Stabilizer bar diameter: Base (19mm), F45 (19mm), Z51 (21.7mm)
Shock absorber diameter: Base (36mm), F45 (28mm), Z51 (45mm)
Rear Suspension 
Rear Suspension Type:
Short/Long arm (SLA) double wishboneFeatures:
Cast aluminum upper control arm
Transverse-mounted composite leaf spring
Monotube shock absorbers
Lubed-for-life ball joints
Individual wheel height adjusters
F45 – includes Selective Real Time Damping control
FE4 – has a stiffer rear leaf spring
FE4 – has new rear shock valving
Stabilizer bar diameter: Base (19mm), F45 (19mm), Z51 (21.7mm)
Shock absorber diameter: Base (36mm), F45 (28mm), Z51 (45mm)

Brakes

Type Power-Assisted, Four-Wheel Vented Disc
Anti-lock system (Standard) Four Wheel (Bosch ABS S.3)
Rotor diameter x thickness, front (mm): 12.6 x 1.26
Rotor diameter x thickness, rear (mm): 11.8 x 1.00
Swept area, fr. / rr. (sq. in.): 263 / 158

Wheels & Tires

Wheels & Tires Coupe/Convertible Z06
Wheels, size: 17 x 8.5 (front), 18″ x 9.5″ (rear) 17 x 9.5 (front), 18 x 10.5 (rear)
Wheel Type (Standard) Cast Aluminum Cast Spun Aluminum
Wheel Type (Optional) Forged High-Polish Aluminum
Wheel Type (Optional) Magnesium (bronze tone)
Number of studs: 5 5
Circle diameter, (inches): N/A N/A
Spare: N/A N/A
Tire, size: P245/45ZR-17 (front), P275/40ZR-18 (rear) P265/40ZR-17 (front), P295/35ZR-18 (rear)
Tires, manufacturer / type: Extended-Mobility Eagle F1 GS High-Performance Goodyear Eagle F1 SC (GM Tire Inflator Kit Included)

Steering

Steering
Type: Power-Assisted, Speed-Sensitive, Magnetic, Variable-Effort (MagnaSteer)
Ratio: 16.1:1
Wheel diameter (in.): 15.0
Turns, Lock to Lock: 2.66 (Z06 2.46)
Turning Diameter, curb-to-curb (ft.): 39.4 (Z06 42.3)
Turning Diameter, wall-to-wall (ft.): 40.3 (Z06 43.3)

2003 Corvette Exterior Dimensions

Coupe Dimensions (Coupe)

2003 Corvette Dimensions - Coupe

Exterior Dimensions (Coupe)

Exterior Dimensions
Model Coupe
Wheelbase 104.5 Inches
Overall Length 179.7 Inches
Total Body Width 73.6 Inches
Overall Height 47.7 Inches
Front Track Width 62.0 Inches
Rear Track Width 62.1 Inches
Ground Clearance 3.7 Inches
Overhang, Front: 38.8 Inches
Overhang, Rear: 35.7 Inches
Trunk Liftover Height: 36.7 Inches

Interior Dimensions (Coupe)

Interior Dimensions
Model Coupe
Headroom 37.8 Inches
Shoulder Room 55.3 Inches
Hip Room 54.2 Inches
Leg Room 42.7 Inches

Convertible Dimensions (Convertible)

2003 Corvette Dimensions - Convertible

Exterior Dimensions (Convertible)

Exterior Dimensions
Model Coupe
Wheelbase 104.5 Inches
Overall Length 179.7 Inches
Total Body Width 73.6 Inches
Overall Height 47.7 Inches
Front Track Width 62.0 Inches
Rear Track Width 62.1 Inches
Ground Clearance 3.7 Inches
Overhang, Front: 38.8 Inches
Overhang, Rear: 35.7 Inches
Trunk Liftover Height: 36.7 Inches

Interior Dimensions (Convertible)

Interior Dimensions
Model Coupe
Headroom 37.8 Inches
Shoulder Room 55.3 Inches
Hip Room 54.2 Inches
Leg Room 42.7 Inches

Coupe Dimensions (Z06)

2003 Corvette Dimensions - Z06

Exterior Dimensions (Z06)

Exterior Dimensions
Model Coupe
Wheelbase 104.5 Inches
Overall Length 179.7 Inches
Total Body Width 73.6 Inches
Overall Height 47.7 Inches
Front Track Width 62.0 Inches
Rear Track Width 62.1 Inches
Ground Clearance 3.7 Inches
Overhang, Front: 38.8 Inches
Overhang, Rear: 35.7 Inches
Trunk Liftover Height: 36.7 Inches

Interior Dimensions (Z06)

Interior Dimensions
Model Coupe
Headroom 37.8 Inches
Shoulder Room 55.3 Inches
Hip Room 54.2 Inches
Leg Room 42.7 Inches

Capacities

Capacities
Model Coupe Convertible Z06
Passenger Capacity 2 – Driver & Passenger 2 – Driver & Passenger 2 – Driver & Passenger
Curb Weight (Manual)
Curb Weight (Auto) 3,246 lbs. 3,248 lbs. 3,118
Interior Passenger Volume (cu.ft): 51.4 Cubic Fee N/A 51.7 Cubic Fee
Interior Trunk Volume (cu. ft): 24.8 Cubic Feet 13.8 Cubic Feet (Top up), 11.1 (Top down) 13.3 Cubic Feet
Fuel Capacity (GALLONS) 18.5 gallons 18.5 gallons 18.5 gallons
Engine Oil Capacity (QTS) 6.5 (with filter) 6.5 (with filter) 6.5 (with filter)
Coolant Capacity (QTS./LITERS) 11.5 quarts, 11.8 w/ manual 11.5 quarts, 11.8 w/ manual 11.5 quarts, 11.8 w/ manual
Battery (CCA): 600 Cold Cranking Amperes 600 Cold Cranking Amperes 600 Cold Cranking Amperes
Coefficient of Drag (cd): 0.29 cd 0.29 cd 0.29 cd
Weight Dist. Front/Rear (%) 51/49 51/49 53/47

2003 Corvette

2003 Corvette Performance Results

PERFORMANCE RESULTS Coupe Convertible Z06
Weight-to-power ratio, auto. trans. (lbs:hp):
Weight-to-power ratio, man. trans. (lbs:hp):
Specific output (hp/liter): 61.4 61.4 71.1
0-60 MPH, Manual Trans. (seconds): 4.9 4.72 4.07
0-60 MPH, Auto Trans. (seconds):
Quarter Mile, Man. Trans. (seconds / mph): 13.4/101.1 13.02/109.59
Top Speed (mph):
Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.89 0.88 1.03

2003 Corvette

2003 Corvette Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN)

VIN Range & Meaning

VIN Range 1G1YY12S015100001 – 1G1YY12S115135601
1 (First Digit) 1 – United States
G (Second Digit) Manufacturer.  G – General Motors
1 (Third Digit) Manufacturer Division. 1 – Chevrolet
YY (Fourth & Fifth Digits) Carline/Series. YY – Corvette/Coupe
1/2/3 (Sixth Digit) Bodystyle of Car. 1 – Hardtop, 2 – Two Door Hatchback Coupe, 3 – Two Door Convertible
2 (Seventh Digit) Type of Restraint System.  2 – Passive Restraint System.
G (Eighth Digit) Type of Engine. G – LS1: 5.7 Liter, 346CI Engine, S – LS6: 5.7 Liter, 346 CI Engine
7 (Ninth Digit) Check Digit (varies)
3 (Tenth Digit) The Model Year. 3 – 2003
5 (Eleventh Digit) 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 135469. The pilot and prototype cars were given a VIN number in this VIN series. Each Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is unique to an individual car.

For all 2003 Corvettes in the U.S. and Canada, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) was stamped on a plate on the inner vertical surface of the left windshield pillar visible through the windshield. (See Figure below)

For all 2003 Corvettes exported from the U.S. the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) was stamped onto the vehicle frame rail. (See Figure below)

2003 Corvette Engine VIN Derivative

All engines are stamped or laser etched with a partial vehicle identification number (VIN), which was derived from the complete VIN.

VIN Derivative:

  • 135100001 – 135135469

The engine VIN derivative contains the following nine positions:

  • 1 (First Digit) – GM Division Identifier. 1 – Chevrolet
  • 3 (Second Digit) -Model Year. 3 – 2003
  • 5 (Third Digit) – Assembly Plant. 5 – Bowling Green, KY
  • 1XXXXX (Fourth thru Ninth Digits) – Plant Sequence Numbers (matching VIN)

LS1 and LS6 Engine VIN Derivative Label Locations:

2001 Corvette Engine VIN Derivative
Figure 3
  1. Engine VIN Derivative, Primary Location
  2. Engine VIN Derivative, Secondary Location

The engine VIN Derivative number will be located in either the primary or secondary location, as shown. (See Figure 3 above)

2003 Corvette Engine Identification (ID) Numbers

Stick-on labels attached to the engine, laser etching, or stampings in the engine block indicate the engine unit number/build date code.

LS1 and LS6 Engine ID Number Label Locations

2001 Corvette Engine Identification (ID) Numbers
Figure 4
  1. Engine ID Number, Primary Location
  2. Engine ID Number, Secondary Location

The engine ID number will be located on the rear of the LH cylinder head (2) or the front part of the LH oil pan rail (1).
(See Figure 4 above)

2003 Corvette 6-Speed Manual Transmission (RPO MM6, RPO MM12) VIN Derivative

Stick-on labels, laser etching, or stampings on the transmission indicate the engine unit number/build date code.

Borg Warner T-56 Manual Transmission VIN Derivative Label Locations

2001 Corvette 6-Speed Manual Transmission (RPO MM6, RPO MM12) VIN Derivative
Figure 5
  1. 6-Speed Manual Transmission VIN Derivative, Primary Location
  2. 6-Speed Manual Transmission VIN Derivative, Secondary Location

The 6-speed manual transmission, the Borg Warner Modified T-56 (RPO MM6), is stamped with a VIN Derivative, which will be located in either the primary or secondary  location, as shown. (See Figure 5 above).

2003 Corvette Automatic Transmission Identification (ID) Number

The 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission, the Hydra-Matic 4L60-E (RPO M30), has an identification number with stick-on labels, laser etching, or stampings. (see Figure 6 below.)

The Automatic transmission ID Number contains the following nine positions

  • 3 (First Digit) – Model Year. 3 – 2003
  • Y (Second and Third Digit) – Model. Y – Corvette
  • D (Fourth Digit) – Transmission Type. D – HYDRA-MATIC 4L60-E
  • 3 (Fifth Digit) – Calendar Year. 3 – 2003
  • XXX (Sixth thru eighth Digit) – Julian Date (or Day of the Year)
  • X (Ninth Digit) – Shift Build

Hydra-Matic 4L60-E Transmission ID Label Location

Hydra-Matic 4L60-E Transmission ID Label Location
Figure 6

The transmission identification number (Figure 6) indicates the transmission model type and when the unit was built.

2003 Corvette Automatic Transmission VIN Derivative

Stick-on labels, laser etching, or stampings on the Hydra-Matic 4L60-E automatic transmission indicate the VIN Derivative. (see Figure 7 below).

Hydra-Matic 4L60-E Transmission VIN Derivative Label Locations

  1. Automatic Transmission VIN Derivative, Primary Location
  2. Automatic Transmission VIN Derivative, Secondary Location
  3. Automatic Transmission VIN Derivative, Optional Location
  4. Automatic Transmission VIN Derivative, Optional Location

The automatic transmission, the Hydra-Matic 4L60-E (RPO MM30), is stamped with a VIN Derivative, which will be located in either the primary, secondary, or optional locations. (See Figure 7 above.)

Axle Identification

  1. GM Part Number
  2. Getrag Part Number
  3. Serial Number

Label Certification
(Located on the edge of the driver’s door)

  1. Name of Manufacturer
  2. Gross Vehicle Weight-Rating
  3. Gross Axle Weight-Rating, Front, Rear
  4. Canadian Safety Mark (w/RPO Z49)
  5. Certification Statement
  6. Vehicle Class Type (Pass Car, etc.)
  7. Vehicle Identification Number
  8. Date of Manufacture (Mo/Yr)

Service Parts Identification Label (SPID)
(Located inside the glovebox)

  1. Vehicle Identification Number
  2. Engineering Model number (Vehicle Division, Vehicle Line and Body Style)
  3. Interior Trim and Decor Level
  4. Exterior (Paint Color) WA Number
  5. Paint Technology
  6. Special Order Paint Colors and Numbers
  7. Vehicle Option Content

The service parts identification label is used to identify the original equipment options built into the specific vehicle being serviced.

2003 Corvette

2003 Corvette Factory Options

CODE: DESCRIPTION: QUANTITY: RETAIL PRICE:
1YY07
Base Corvette Sport Coupe
12,812
$43,895.00
1YY37
Base Corvette Z06 Hardtop
8,635
$51,155.00
1YY67
Base Corvette Convertible
14,022
$50,370.00
1SB
Preferred Equipment Group – Coupe
7,310
$1,200.00
1SB
Preferred Equipment Group – Convertible
6,643
$1,200.00
1SC
50th Anniversary Edition – Coupe
4,085
$5,000.00
1SC
50th Anniversary Edition – Convertible
7,547
$5,000.00
AAB
Memory Package (Z06 Hardtop)
8,241
$750.00
B84
Body Side Moldings
22,243
$150.00
CC3
Removable Roof Panel, Blue Tint (Coupe)
5,184
$1,200.00
C2L  Dual Removable Roof Panels (Coupe) 3,150
$750.00
DDO  Electrochromatic Mirrors (Z06 Hardtop) 8,227
$120.00
F55
Magnetic Selective Ride Control (Coupe & Convertible)
14,992
$1,695.00
G92
Performance Axle Ratio (3.15 ratio) (automatic)
9,785
$395.00
MN6
6-Speed Manual Transmission (Coupe & Convertible)
8,590
$915.00
N73
Magnesium Wheels (Coupe & Convertible)
293
$1,500.00
QF5
Polished Aluminum Wheels (Coupe & Convertible)
10,290
$1,295.00
R8C
Corvette Museum Delivery
787
$490.00
ULO
Delco Stereo Cassette (Replaces Standard Radio)
4,664
$0.00
U1S
Remote Compact 12-Disc Changer (Coupe & Convertible)
15,979
$600.00
V49
Front License Plate Frame
 20,605
$15.00
Z51  Performance Handling Package (Coupe & Convertible)  2,592
$395.00
79U
Millennium Yellow Paint with tint coat
3,900
$750.00

Base Corvette Sport Coupe (1YY07)

  • The base price of the 2002 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe without any optional equipment.
  • A 346 cubic inch, 350 horsepower, 5.7 liter engine (LS1), 4-speed automatic transmission, removable body-color roof panel, a Delco stereo system with CD player and digital clock, Bose speaker package, sport leather seats, fog lamps, power passenger seat, dual-zone auto HVAC, and a parcel net and luggage shade were included in the base price.

Base Corvette Z06 Hardtop (1YY37)

  • The base price of the 2002 Chevrolet Corvette Hardtop without optional equipment.
  • A 346 cubic inch, 405 horsepower, 5.7 liter engine (LS6), 6-speed manual transmission, Head-Up Display (HUD), a Delco stereo system with CD player and digital clock, Bose speaker package, and leather seats were included in the base price.

Base Corvette Convertible (1YY67)

  • The base price of the 2002 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible without optional equipment.
  • A 346 cubic inch, 350 horsepower, 5.7 liter engine (LS1), 4-speed automatic transmission, a retractable soft top, a Delco stereo system with CD player and digital clock, Bose speaker package, sport leather seats, foglamps, power passenger seat, and dual-zone auto HVAC were included in the base price.

Preferred Equipment Group – Coupe (1SB) – This group included:

  • Head-Up Display (HUD)
  • Power-Telescopic Steering Column
  • Electrochromatic Mirrors
  • Memory Package
  • Twilight Sentinel

Preferred Equipment Group – Convertible (1SB) – This group included:

  • Head-Up Display (HUD)
  • Power-Telescopic Steering Column
  • Electrochromatic Mirrors
  • Memory Package
  • Twilight Sentinel

50th Anniversary Edition – Coupe (1SC) – This group included:

  • 1SB equipment
  • Magnetic Selective Ride Control
  • 50th Anniversary Paint and Trim

50th Anniversary Edition – Convertible (1SC) – This group included:

  • 1SB equipment
  • Magnetic Selective Ride Control
  • 50th Anniversary Paint and Trim

Memory Package (AAB)

  • Periphery devices memory package.
  • This option “remembered” outside-rear-view-mirror, radio, heater-vent air conditioning control, and power driver seat settings.

Body Side Moldings (B84)

  • Plastic adhesive moldings that ran from the bodyside coves to the end of the door.
  • These moldings had two pieces per side (one mounting ahead of the door to the front fender, the other mounting directly to the driver and passenger doors respectively), and their thickness tapered from front to rear.

Removable Roof Panel, Blue Tint (CC3)

  • Single piece, transparent, removable glass roof top with blue tint.
  • CC3 was only available for the Coupe.

Dual Removable Roof Panels (C2L)

  • Single piece removable roof top panels – one painted, one tinted glass.
  • The color on the painted panel exactly matched the body color of the car. The glass panel was tinted blue but remained otherwise transparent, providing the driver with an open feel in the cockpit, even when the panel was in place.
  • CC3 was only available for the Coupe.

Electrochromatic Mirrors (DD0)

  • Outside mirrors LH and RH with electric remote control, heated, and light sensitivity.
  • DD0 was only available for the Z06.

Magnetic Selective Ride Control (F55)

  • Uses a revolutionary damper design that controls wheel and body motion with
  • Magneto-Rheological fluid in the shocks to provide variable real-time damping.

Performance Axle (3.15 Ratio (Automatic)) (G92)

  • Optional performance axle ratio of 3.15:1 with automatic transmission.
  • The standard automatic transmission featured an axle ratio of 2.75:1. By comparison, the manual transmission model featured a 3.42:1 axle ratio.

6-Speed Manual Transmission (MN6)

  • An optional, 6-speed manual transmission.
  • The rear transaxle combined a Borg-Warner six-speed manual transmission (utilizing a Computer-Aided Gear Selection (CAGS)) with a limited-slip axle built by Getrag.

Magnesium Wheels (N73)

  • Optional magnesium wheel package replacing the standard polished aluminum wheels.

Polished Aluminum Wheels (QF5)

  • High-Polish 5-spoke Forged Aluminum Wheels

Corvette Museum Delivery (R8C)

Delco Stereo Cassette (UL0)

Remote Compact 12-Disc Changer (U1S)

  • Remote 12-disc CD player/disc changer (installed in rear storage compartment).

Front License Plate Frame (V49)

  • A “U” shaped plastic frame on the front bumper that a second license plate could slip into.
  • This was an appearance item only, and was not required for mounting a front license plate to the C5 Corvette.

Performance Handling Package (Z51)

  • Upgraded suspension system for better performance and handling.
  • This option included stiffer springs and stabilizer bars.
  • It required the Performance Axle Ratio (RPO G92) with automatic transmission.
  • It was not made available on vehicles equipped with Selective Real Time Dampening (RPO F45).

Millenium Yellow Paint (79U)

  • Premium Tint Coat Color – Additional Charge

Notes:

The 50th Anniversary Edition, available only during the 2003 model year on coupe and convertible models, is a tribute to a half-century of automotive leadership. It includes special 50th Anniversary Red exterior paint, specific badging, unique Shale interior including color coordinated instrument panel and console, and champagne-painted anniversary wheels with special emblems.

New on the Corvette for 2003, Magnetic Selective Ride Control uses a revolutionary damper design that controls wheel and body motion with Magneto-Rheological fluid in the shocks. By controlling the current to an electromagnetic coil inside the piston of the damper, the MR fluid’s consistency can be changed, resulting in continuously variable real time damping.

Coupe and convertible have more standard equipment: fog lamps, sport seats, power passenger seat, dual zone auto HVAC, parcel net and luggage shade (coupe only).

Medium Spiral Gray Metallic replaces Pewter for exterior color options.

As standard equipment, the 2003 Corvette includes Child Restraint Attachment System (CRAS) child seat hooks on the passenger seat to allow for easier child seat connection.

New Color Options for the 2003 Corvette

  • Exterior Color Additions
  • Medium Spiral Gray Metallic
  • 50th Anniversary Red

New Pro Options for the 2003 Corvette

  • Magnetic Selective Ride Control (RPO F55)

 


2003 Corvette Recalls

Recall 04V060000

Make: Chevrolet
Model: Corvette
Model Year: 2003
Manufacturer: General Motors Corp.
Mfr’s Report Date: Feb 06, 2004
Nhtsa Campaign Id Number: 04V060000
Nhtsa Action Number: EA02031
Component: Steering: Column Locking: Anti-Theft Device
Potential Number Of Units Affected: 126624
Summary: On Certain Passenger Vehicles Equipped With Electronic Column Lock Systems (Ecl), When The Ignition Switch Is Turned To “lock,” The Ecl System Prevents Turning Of The Steering System. When The Vehicle Is Started, The Ecl Unlocks The Steering System. The Vehicle Is Designed So That If The Column Fails To Unlock When The Vehicle Is Started And The Customer Tries To Drive, The Fuel Supply Will Be Shut Off So That The Vehicle Cannot Move When The Vehicle Cannot Be Steered. If Voltage At The Powertrain Control Module Is Low Or Interrupted, However, The Fuel Shut Off May Not Occur And The Vehicle Can Be Accelerated While The Steering System Is Locked. Also When The Control System Shows That The Ecl Is Unlocked And The Vehicle Is Being Driven, The Lock Pin Location Can Vary. Depending On The Location Of The Lock Plate Relative To The Switch Transition Point, There Could Then Be Contact Between The Lock Plate And Pin Causing The Steering To Lock While Driving .
Consequence: If This Occurs, A Crash Could Occur Without Warning.
Remedy: On Vehicles Equipped With An Automatic Transmission, The Dealer Will Disable The Steering Column Lock By Removing The Column Lock Plate. When The Ignition Key Is Removed, The Transmission Shifter Will Lock But The Steering Column Will Not Lock. On Vehicles Equipped With A Manual Transmission, The Dealer Will Reprogram The Powertrain Control Module, Perform A Dimensional Check Of The Column Lock And, If Necessary, Replace The Lock Plate. The Steering Column On These Vehicles Will Continue To Lock When The Key Is Removed. Owner Notification To Owners Of 1997 Vehicles Equipped With Automatic Transmissions Began On April 26, 2004. Owners Of 1998 Through 2004 Vehicles (Except 1997-1998 Manual Transmission Vehicles) Will Be Notified Beginning On August 2, 2004. The Remaining Owners (1997-1998 Manual Transmission Vehicles) Will Be Notified Later In 2004, When Parts Are Available. Owners Should Contact Chevrolet At 1-800-630-2438.
Notes: Gm Recall No. 04006. Customers Can Also Contact The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Auto Safety Hotline At 1-888-dash-2-dot (1-888-327-4236).

Recall 09e012000

Make: Chevrolet
Model: Corvette
Model Year: 2003
Manufacturer: Sabersport
Mfr’s Report Date: Mar 28, 2009
Nhtsa Campaign Id Number: 09e012000
Nhtsa Action Number: N/a
Component: Exterior Lighting
Potential Number Of Units Affected: 16270
Summary: Sabersport Is Recalling 16,270 Combination Corner And Bumper Lamp Assemblies Of Various Part Numbers Sold For Use As Aftermarket Equipment For Various Passenger Vehicles. These Headlamps Fail To Conform To The Requirements Of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, And Associated Equipment.” These Lamps Do Not Contain The Required Amber Side Reflectors.
Consequence: Decreased Lighting Visibility May Result In A Vehicle Crash.
Remedy: Sabersport Will Notify Owners And Offer A Full Refund For The Noncompliant Combination Lamps. The Safety Recall Began On May 11, 2009. Owners May Contact Sabersport At 1-909-598-7589.
Notes: This Recall Only Pertains To Aftermarket Replacement Equipment And Has No Relation To Any Original Equipment Installed On Vehicles Produced By The Vehicle Manufacturer. In Order To Determine If Your Aftermarket Lamp Assembly Is Affected By This Noncompliance, Please Review The List Of Model Numbers Provided To Us By Sabersport. The List Can Be Found Under “Document Search” Located At The Bottom Of Your Screen. Owners May Also 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 .

Recall 09e025000

Make: Chevrolet
Model: Corvette
Model Year: 2003
Manufacturer: Dope, Inc.
Mfr’s Report Date: Apr 05, 2009
Nhtsa Campaign Id Number: 09e025000
Nhtsa Action Number: N/a
Component: Exterior Lighting:headlights
Potential Number Of Units Affected: 42540
Summary: Dope, Inc. Is Recalling 42,540 Combination Corner And Bumper Lamp Assemblies Of Various Part Numbers Sold For Use As Aftermarket Equipment For Various Passenger Vehicles. These Headlamps Fail To Conform To The Requirements Of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, And Associated Equipment.” These Lamps Do Not Contain The Required Amber Side Reflectors.
Consequence: Decreased Lighting Visibility May Result In A Vehicle Crash.
Remedy: Dope, Inc. Will Notify Owners And Offer A Full Refund For The Noncompliant Combination Lamps. The Safety Recall Began On July 28, 2009. Owners May Contact Dope, Inc. At 1-626-272-1798.
Notes: This Recall Only Pertains To Aftermarket Replacement Equipment And Has No Relation To Any Original Equipment Installed On Vehicles Produced By The Vehicle Manufacturer. In Order To Determine If Your Aftermarket Lamp Assembly Is Affected By This Noncompliance, Please Review The List Of Model Numbers Provided To Us By Dope, Inc. The List Can Be Found Under “Document Search” Located At The Bottom Of Your Screen. Owners May Also 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.


2003 Corvette Service Bulletins

See full 2003 C5 Corvette – Service Bulletins

Service Bulletins 3850

Make: Chevrolet
Model: Corvette
Model Year: 2003
Manufacturer: General Motors Corp.
Service Bulletin Number: 3850
Nhtsa Item Number: 10019189
Component: Structure:body
Summary: Water Leak In The Rear Compartment Area. *tt

Service Bulletins 3785

Make: Chevrolet
Model: Corvette
Year: 2003
Manufacturer: General Motors Corp.
Service Bulletin Number: 3785
Nhtsa Item Number: 10018625
Component: Exterior Lighting:fog Lights
Summary: Fog Lamps Inoperative. *tt

Service Bulletins 3132

Make: Chevrolet
Model: Corvette
Year: 2003
Manufacturer: General Motors Corp.
Service Bulletin Number: 3132
Nhtsa Item Number: 10010628
Component: Suspension:rear:shock Absorber
Summary: Lower Rear Shock Attaching Bolt May Break After Torqued. *tt

Service Bulletins 3359

Make: Chevrolet
Model: Corvette
Year: 2003
Manufacturer: General Motors Corp.
Service Bulletin Number: 3359
Nhtsa Item Number: 10013549
Component: Suspension:rear
Summary: Lower Rear Shock Attaching Bolt May Break After Torqued. *tt

Service Bulletins 3060

Make: Chevrolet
Model: Corvette
Year: 2003
Manufacturer: General Motors Corp.
Service Bulletin Number: 3060
Nhtsa Item Number: 10009370
Component: Power Train:automatic Transmission
Summary: The Engine Does Not Stall When Performing A P1870 Diagnostic Test With The Tech 2 Scan Tool Or When Commanding The Torque Converter Clutch Enable Solenoid On Applications That Do Not Have The P1870 Diagnostic Test Listed. 4l60e Or 4l65e Transmissions. *tt

See full 2003 C5 Corvette – Service Bulletins


2003 Corvette Common Issues

The following list of common issues is intended for individual reference only, and may not reflect the specific issues of every 2003 Corvette. While the intent of this page is to identify the common issues pertaining to the 2003 Corvette, it is not an all-inclusive list and should be used for reference only.

Mechanical Issues

Leaking Battery

Many C5’s came with AC Delco Freedom batteries that had a tendency to experience exterior cracking near the battery posts. The leaking battery acid drips down the side of the battery, down the funnel-like battery support, straight down onto the PCM and the wiring loom. It can also get onto the A/C lines. In some instances, car crippling damage can occur. Worst case scenario can result in the need to replace the battery, the PCM, and the wiring harness. Additionally, acid corrosion will need to be removed from the frame and the frame repainted to avoid further damage as a result of prolonged exposure to natural elements. In some instances, repairs will need to be made to the air condition lines. It may also require replacing the computer.

Engine

The needle bearings in the OEM rockers have been known to fail. The most common indicators that the engine is experiencing this type of a problem is increased valve train noise and the appearance of needle bearings on a magnetic oil pan drain plug.

The PCV system has a tendency to draw oil back into the intake at high RPM’s. It does not seem to cause any mechanical problems, other than a slight mess inside the intake manifold. A newer style PCV system can be installed, but this requires removing all the components in the top of the engine valley. This problem will cause carbon buildup in the cylinders.

Manual Transmission

On manual transmission cars equipped with either an MN6 or M12 transmission, the transmission sounds as if it is chattering/rattling whenever the car begins to accelerate from a complete stop. Despite the foreign nature of the sound, It is completely normal. The sound is the bi-product of the clutch throwout bearing, which creates a ratting sound whenever it is engaged/disengaged. In some instances, the transmission will make a similar, discernable rattling sound when the Corvette ignition is turned on/off. The source of the sound is the same. By depressing the clutch when turning the car on or off, the sound can be eliminated.

The C5 Corvette’s manual transmission shifter can be difficult to get into gear. During normal vehicle operation, it is worth noting that if the shifter is not fully engaged when operating 1st gear or Reverse, it will cause the transmission to literally “pop” out of gear when the clutch is let out. This is not considered the fault of the car by Genera Motors, but the fault of the driver.

Fuel Pump

In all C5 Corvettes, there are two fuel tanks and two fuel pumps. The first fuel pump continually pumps gasoline from the passenger side tank into the driver side tank. This pump is not known to create any type of audible sound. The main fuel pump, which resides directly behind the drivers seat, creates a considerable amount of noise, especially on early model C5 Corvettes. These sounds are normal, and are not an indicator of a failing fuel pump. NOTE: Chevrolet does have a bulletin out instructing Corvette owners how to better insulate against the humming sound of the fuel pump. Additionally, a newer, quieter fuel pump can also be installed.

Braking System

The front brakes of many C5 Corvettes have been known to pulsate during braking conditions. This is the result of warped rotors. The brake rotors developed for the C5 Corvette are known to warp from excessive braking conditions. This does not indicate that the brake rotors require replacement. In many instances, the rotors can simply be turned. However, when inspecting the brake rotors, it is important to observe if the rotors are cracked, as a cracked rotor will require replacement. Cracked rotors are the result of excessive hard braking and could be an indicator of how the car has been driven/maintained.

Exterior Issues

Headlight Bezel Plugs

Old-style headlight bezel plugs, which conceal the bezel mounting hardware, have a tendency to fall off of older C5 Corvettes. To resolve this issue, General Motors released a new style plug that features a twist-lock to prevent the plugs from falling out, but these plugs also require a new headlight bezel. Only the newer style bezels and plugs are available through General Motors and both are compatible with all years of the C5 Corvette.

Hood Rattles

During periods of cold weather, the rubber hood stops have a tendency to rub and chatter against the hood. Proper adjustment and lubrication of the hood stops is known to reduce/eliminate this issue.

Interior Issues

Steering Column

All C5 Corvettes, especially those equipped with a manual transmission, are known to have as have an issue with the steering column locking after ignition is disengaged and remaining locked after vehicle operator starts the vehicle again. In rare instances, it has also been reported that the steering column has locked during vehicle operation. Chevrolet dealerships are able to disable the locking mechanism by replacing the current locking plate with a modified locking plate. At present, this is the only known method to resolve this issue.

Seats

The C5 Corvette seats have several known issues that can occur if improper use and or improper maintenance occurs. Sliding hard across the bolster (the raised/contoured sections of the sitting area on either side of the central seat pad) can break it, causing it to flap from side to side. This area is also the most common area of the seats to experience leather wear/tearing as a result of having the most abrasive contact with the occupant as they enter/exit the vehicle.

The wire springs in the seat bottom, and the bars in the bolsters are sometimes known to wear thru the foam and leather. This situation can be fixed by placing a layer of burlap between the springs and the foam padding.

Another common seat issue often identified with many early C5 Corvettes is that both the driver and passenger seats tend to rock back and forth by about a 1/4″ during hard acceleration and braking. This issue can be repaired, but is not currently identified as an actual issue with General Motors.

Removable Roof

Many C5 Corvette Coupes with the removable roof tend to create a fair amount of wind noise and creaking during normal vehicle operation. While there is no known solution to completely eliminate the wind noise, the creaking can be reduced/eliminated by adding a lubricant to the weatherstriping seal around the roof. A dielectric or petroleum based grease is recommended and will doubly protect the weatherstrip by keeping it from drying out.

Fuel Gauge

In certain instances, some types of gasoline (especially those with a high sulfur content) will cause the fuel gauge to falsely read empty. In some instances, running a fuel system cleaner through the gas tank has been known to resolve this issue.

2003 Corvette

2003 Corvette Maintenance Schedule

Engine Oil Scheduled Maintenance

Change engine oil and filter as indicated by the GM Oil Life System (or every 12 months, whichever occurs first). Reset the system. The system will show you when to change the oil – usually between 3,000 miles (5,000 km) and 10,000 miles (16,000 km) since your last oil change. Under severe conditions, the indicator may come on before 3,000 miles (5,000 km). Never drive your vehicle more than 10,000 miles (16,000 km) or 12 months without an oil and filter change. Use engine oil meeting the GM Standard GM4718M.

The GM Oil Life System won’t detect dust in the oil. So if you drive in a dusty area, be sure to change your oil and filter every 3,000 miles (5,000 km) or sooner if the CHANGE OIL SOON message appears. Remember to reset the Oil Life Monitor when the oil and filter have been changed. See “GM Oil Life System” (at the bottom of this page) for more information on resetting the system.

Scheduled Maintenance

Every 15,000 Miles (25,000 Kilometers)

Inspect air cleaner filter if you are driving in dusty conditions. Replace filter if necessary.

Every 30,000 Miles (50,000 Kilometers)

Replace Air Cleaner Filter

Every 45,000 Miles (75,000 Kilometers)

Inspect air cleaner filter if you are driving in dusty conditions. Replace filter if necessary.

Every 50,000 Miles (83,000 Kilometers)

Change automatic transmission fluid and filter if the vehicle is mainly driven under one or more of these conditions:

  • In heavy city traffic where the outside temperature regularly reaches 90F (32C) or higher.
  • In hilly or mountainous terrain.
  • Uses such as high performance operation.

If you do not use your vehicle under any of these conditions, change the fluid and filter at 100,000 miles (166 000 km). Manual transmission fluid doesn’t require change.

Every 60,000 Miles (100,000 Kilometers):

Replace air cleaner filter and inspect engine accessory drive belt.

Every 75,000 Miles (125,000 Kilometers):

Inspect air cleaner filter if you are driving in dusty conditions. Replace filter if necessary.

Every 90,000 Miles (150,000 Kilometers):

Replace Air Cleaner Filter

Every 100,000 Miles (166,000 Kilometers):

Replace spark plugs and inspect spark plug wires.

Change automatic transmission fluid and filter if the vehicle is mainly driven under one or more of these conditions:

  • In heavy city traffic where the outside temperature regularly reaches 90F (32C) or higher.
  • In hilly or mountainous terrain.
  • Uses such as high performance operation.

Manual transmission fluid doesn’t require change.

NOTE: If you haven’t used your vehicle under severe conditions listed previously and, therefore, haven’t changed your automatic transmission fluid, change both the fluid and filter. Manual transmission fluid doesn’t require change.

Every 150,000 Miles (240,000 Kilometers):

Drain, flush and refill the cooling system (or every 60 months since last service, whichever occurs first). See “Engine Coolant” in the “1997 Corvette Fluids/Lubricants” chart (in the right margin of this page) for what to use.

Owner Inspection & Service Items

At Each Fuel Fill

NOTE: It is important for you or a service station attendant to perform these underhood checks at each fuel fill.

Engine Oil Level Check: Check the engine oil level and add the proper oil if necessary.

Engine Coolant Level Check: Check the engine coolant level and add DEX-COOL coolant mixture if necessary.

Windshield Washer Fluid Level Check: Check the windshield washer fluid level in the windshield washer tank and add the proper fluid if necessary.

At Least Once a Month

Tire Inflation Check: Make sure tires are inflated to the correct pressures.

Cassette Deck Service (if so equipped): Clean cassette deck. Cleaning should be done every 50 hours of tape play.

Power Antenna Service: Clean power antenna mast.

At Least Twice A Year

Restraint System Check: Make sure the safety belt reminder light and all your belts, buckles, latch plates, retractors and anchorages are working properly. Look for any other loose or damaged safety belt system parts. If you see anything that might keep a safety belt system from doing its job, have it repaired. Have any torn or frayed safety belts replaced. Also look for any opened or broken air bag coverings, and have them repaired or replaced. (The air bag system does not need regular maintenance.)

Wiper Blade Check: Inspect wiper blades for wear or cracking. Replace blade inserts that appear worn or damaged or that streak or miss areas of the windshield.

Weatherstrip Lubrication: Silicone grease on weatherstrips will make them last longer, seal better, and not stick or squeak. Apply silicone grease with a clean cloth. During very cold, damp weather more frequent application may be required. (See “Recommended Fluids and Lubricants” in the right margin of this page).

Manual Transmission Check (if so equipped):  Check the transmission fluid level; add if needed. (See “Manual Transmission Fluid” in the right margin of this page). Check for leaks. A fluid leak is the only reason for fluid loss. Have the system inspected and repaired if needed.

Automatic Transmission Visual Inspection: It is not necessary to check the transmission fluid level during a visual inspection of the actual transmission. A transmission fluid leak is the only reason for fluid loss. Check for leaks. If a leak occurs, take the vehicle to your Chevrolet dealership service department and have it repaired as soon as possible.

At Least Once A Year

Key Lock Cylinder Service: Lubricate the key lock cylinders.

Body Lubrication Service: Lubricate all body door hinges. Also lubricate all hinges and latches, including those for the hood, rear compartment, console door and any folding seat hardware. More frequent lubrication may be required when exposed to a corrosive environment.

Starter Switch Check:  CAUTION: When you are doing this check, the vehicle could move suddenly. If it does, you or others could be injured. Before you start, be sure you have enough room around the vehicle. Firmly apply the parking brake and the regular brake.

On automatic transmission vehicles, try to start the engine in each gear. The starter should work only in PARK (P) orNEUTRAL (N). If the starter works in any other position, your vehicle needs service.

On manual transmission vehicles, put the shift lever in NEUTRAL (N), push the clutch down halfway and try to start the engine. The starter should work only when the clutch is pushed down all the way to the floor. If the starter works when the clutch isn’t pushed all the way down, your vehicle needs service.

Automatic Transmission Shift Lock Control System Check: CAUTION: When you are doing this check, the vehicle could move suddenly. If it does, you or others could be injured. Before you start, be sure you have enough room around the vehicle. It should be parked on a level surface. Firmly apply the parking brake. (NOTE: Be prepared to apply the parking brake immediately if the vehicle begins to move.)

With the engine off, turn the key to the ON position, but don’t start the engine. Without applying the regular brake, try to move the shift lever out of PARK (P) with normal effort. If the shift lever moves out of PARK (P), your vehicle needs service.

Ignition Automatic Transmission Lock Check: While parked, and with the parking brake set, try to turn the ignition key to OFF in each shift lever position. The key should turn to OFF only when the shift lever is in PARK (P).

On all vehicles, the key should come out only in OFF. Parking Brake and Automatic Transmission PARK (P) Mechanism Check: CAUTION: When you are doing this check, your vehicle could begin to move. You or others could be injured and property could be damaged. Make sure there is room in front of your vehicle in case it begins to roll. Be ready to apply the regular brake at once should the vehicle begin to move.

Park on a fairly steep hill, with the vehicle facing downhill. Keeping your foot on the regular brake, set the parking brake.

To check the parking brake’s holding ability: With the engine running and transmission in NEUTRAL (N), slowly remove foot pressure from the regular brake pedal. Do this until the vehicle is held by the parking brake only.

To check the PARK (P) mechanism’s holding ability: With the engine running, shift to PARK (P). Then release the parking brake followed by the regular brake

Underbody Flushing Service: At least every spring, use plain water to flush any corrosive materials from the underbody. Take care to clean thoroughly any areas where mud and other debris can collect.

Dealership Inspection & Service Items

At Least Twice A Year

Steering and Suspension Inspection: Inspect the front and rear suspension and steering system for damaged, loose or missing parts, signs of wear or lack of lubrication. Inspect the power steering lines and hoses for proper hook-up, binding, leaks, cracks, chafing, etc.

Tire and Wheel Inspection: Inspect the tires for uneven wear or damage. If there is irregular or premature wear, check the wheel alignment. Inspect for damaged wheels.

Exhaust System Inspection: Inspect the complete exhaust system. Inspect the body 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 into the vehicle.

Engine Cooling System Inspection: Inspect the hoses and have them replaced if they are cracked, swollen or deteriorated. Inspect all pipes, fittings and clamps; replace as needed. Clean the outside of the radiator and air conditioning condenser. To help ensure proper operation, a pressure test of the cooling system and pressure cap is recommended at least once a year.

Rear Axle Service: Check the gear lubricant level in the rear axle and add if needed. A fluid loss may indicate a problem. Check the axle and repair it if needed.

Brake System Inspection: Inspect the complete system. Inspect brake lines and hoses for proper hook-up, binding, leaks, cracks, chafing, etc. Inspect disc brake pads for wear and rotors for surface condition. Inspect other brake parts, including calipers, parking brake, etc. You may need to have your brakes inspected more often if your driving habits or conditions result in frequent braking.

GM Oil Life System

Your vehicle has a computer that lets you know when to change your engine oil. This is not based on mileage, but on engine revolutions and engine operating temperature. When the computer has calculated that the oil needs changing, the GM Oil Life System will indicate that a change is necessary. The mileage between oil changes will vary depending on how you drive your vehicle — usually between 3,000 miles (5 000 km) and 10,000 miles (16 000 km) since your last oil and filter change. Under severe conditions, the system may come on before 3,000 miles (5 000 km). Never drive your vehicle more than 10,000 miles (16 000 km) or 12 months (whichever occurs first) without an oil change. Use engine oil meeting the GM Standard GM4718M.

The system won’t detect dust in the oil. So, if you drive in a dusty area, be sure to change your oil and filter every 3,000 miles (5 000 km) or sooner if the CHANGE OIL SOON message appears. Remember to reset the system whenever the oil is changed.

How to Reset the Change Oil Soon Message

To reset the CHANGE OIL SOON message after an oil change, do the following:
1. Turn the ignition to ON and with the engine off.
2. Press the TRIP button so the OIL LIFE percentage is displayed.
3. Press RESET and hold for two seconds. OIL LIFE REMAIN 100% will appear.

2003 Corvette Owners User Manual

2003 Corvette Owners User Manual

You can download for free this exclusive 2003 Corvette User Manual for more information about the car.

Download 2003 Corvette Owners User Manual

Source Material:

  1. The Pocket Book of the Corvette: The Definitive Guide to the All American Sports Car – Copyright 2003, Barnes & Noble
  2. CORVETTE: Sports Car Superstar – Copyright 2005, PIL – Publications International, Ltd.
  3. Corvette Black Book – Copyright 2009, Michael Bruce Associates, Inc.
  4. The Complete Book of Corvette, Every Model Since 1953 – Copyright 2005, Mike Mueller – MBI Publishing

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