Keeping America’s Sports Car Nice
When it comes to a sports car or a supercar like the Corvette, owners often only think about the initial price of the car and perhaps the insurance rates. The cost of maintaining the car is usually a secondary concern.
Because the Corvette is bound to be your second, third, or even fourth car, it’s likely that you’ll drive the car less often, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have maintenance to worry about.
Some sports cars and supercars are notoriously difficult and expensive to maintain. This is because they’re extremely complicated machines with the latest technology and some of the most advanced engines. Due to their cutting-edge nature, maintenance can be a true commitment.
However, the Corvette is a bit different. Yes, it’s on the cutting edge in terms of performance, but at its heart, it has a naturally aspirated V8 engine that sends power to the rear wheels. Chevrolet built this car for regular folks. It’s the everyman supercar. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what it takes to keep a C7 Corvette maintained.
Are Corvette’s Dependable Cars?
According to JD Power, most years for the Corvette rank high for quality and reliability. For example, the 2019 model year rated 82 out of 100 for quality and reliability. Other years, and even previous generations, ranked similarly. This would indicate that Chevrolet does a good job when designing and assembling the Corvette.
Another good indicator of its quality is complaints, or lack thereof, from customers. According to Car Complaints, the Chevrolet Corvette doesn’t have many complaints.
The worst year for the car in terms of reliability and maintenance according to the website was 2008 due to electrical problems. If you can buy a newer Corvette than 2008, you’re not bound to have too many issues with it. According to those two sources, the Corvette is a well-made and reliable vehicle to own.
Corvette Reliability Throughout the Generations
Then there’s the long list of customers who have owned Corvettes. Many of the contributors to this site have or do currently own Corvettes and have reported few issues with them. For the most part, there isn’t even a generation that is lacking.
The data for the C1 Corvette and C2 Corvette is fairly sparse. Car Complaints has some data on the C3 Corvette, but the number of complaints is low.
The C4 Corvette is where things become a bit more modern in terms of electronics and overall design. However, it too lacks many complaints from owners.
Stepping up to the C5 Corvette, you’ll see more of the same. There was an uptick in complaints towards the end of the generation, according to Car Complaints, but overall, the number is still pretty low.
The C6 Corvette seems to be the most problematic generation. That said, most years show minor issues with the exception of the 2008 model year, which experienced some electrical issues referenced above. The C7 Corvette is another generation that had low complaints from owners, according to Car Complaints. The most troubling of which are complaints about a slightly jerky transmission. Otherwise, there’s little to worry about.
In terms of the new C8 Corvette, a lot is yet to be determined. The car has not been out too long. So far, it’s had a couple of minor hiccups with the frunk, and recently there was a recall on some models for the engine’s valve springs. However, we’re confident that Chevrolet can smooth things out and have this car be as good as previous models.
What’s Maintaining a Corvette Like?
At the risk of sounding obvious, maintaining a Corvette is like maintaining any other car. You’ll need to do regular service intervals to keep the car in good condition. This includes oil changes, coolant flushes, brake fluid checks, brake pads and rotor checks, and buy new tires from time to time among other things the owner’s manual calls for.
Older Corvettes may need additional parts or service as they age and as components wear out. However, you’ll find that Corvettes tend to hold up well over the years.
One thing that sets the Corvette apart from its competition is that it can be serviced at Chevrolet dealerships, and those are plentiful. You can also go to almost any automotive shop in the country and have the car serviced.
More exotic sports cars and supercars will often require specific tools and specific service centers. Even Porsche, which is a major, mainstream automaker, has far fewer dealerships available than Chevrolet. This makes owning and maintaining a Corvette easy to do.
How Does a Corvette Stack Up Against Other Cars?
I already discussed this a little bit in terms of other sports cars and supercars. Against those vehicles, the Corvette does well.
How about when compared to regular passenger cars? Are Corvettes just as reliable? They can be. While you won’t often find the Corvette on a list of cars that are dependable or this list of cars with low maintenance, for example, you should be able to get many, many happy years of driving out of a well taken care of Corvette.
If an owner were to keep up with regular maintenance and service a Corvette as it’s supposed to be serviced according to the owner’s manual, then he or she should have few issues making the car last for well over a 100,000 or even 200,000 miles.