Diagnosing a Check Engine Light Problem on a Corvette

Corvettes have a very powerful engine and when the check engine indicator light comes on it may cause chills to course through your body because of the cost it may take to fix the problem. Even a Corvette has problems from time to time and when the check engine light does come on, it is best to have it checked out and see if the problem is something easy to fix yourself or something more extensive and expensive to be fixed by an auto repair center. Most cars made after 1996 have what is called a OBDII system, or an On Board Diagnostic System. All it takes to find the problem is to purchase a small tool that plugs into the port between the steering column and the pedals, and it will give you codes that translate into problems the car is having. The great thing about the Corvette is that you do not have to buy that little tool in most cases. It has a built in diagnostic center accessed on the driver’s information center.

Where can You Find the Check Engine Light on a Corvette?

In most cases, the indicator light for an engine check is inside the speedometer. It is usually found between the 20 and 30 mph mark. It looks like a little square engine and the light is usually yellow for caution. This light should light up when the car is started, but should flicker off a few seconds later. When it comes on after driving or comes on when starting and doesn’t go off, there is a problem.

What Problems Does the Check Engine Light Indicate?

The problem could be as simple as not screwing the fuel tank lid on tightly so that it clicks. It could be that you forgot to put the radiator reservoir cap back on when you put coolant into the radiator. The light could indicate that a sensor has malfunctioned. It could also mean a wire has become loose or connection is not connected right anymore. Other problems that are more expensive to fix could indicate an electrical problem or a problem within the engine itself.

How do You Find Out What is Wrong?

Turn the key on the Corvette, but do not turn it far enough to turn the engine on. If your Corvette has a Driver Information Center, go there and push the "Reset" button. This will clear the entire history of problems that may have happened in the past. Press the "Options" button and hold it down while you press the "Fuel" button four times. If you have a model without the Driver Information Center, engage the OBDII tool in the prongs and hit "Reset" and Run. Lists of numbers should start to pop up. These are codes to problems being experienced by your Corvette.

How do You Find Out What the Codes Mean?

Any number with an H is a historical code. That means it is something that has been wrong with the car before. The reset should get rid of any H numbers. Any number with a C is a current problem. Write down all the current codes, then go to a computer and do a search on them. You should be able to find out what the problem is that way. If you can’t find a code, take it to a dealer, garage, or auto parts store and ask them what it means. They should be able to tell you.

If you take the car to a garage or dealer to find out what the problem is and they say they can’t find out until the light goes out, take it somewhere else. There should be no problem getting codes from a Corvette even with the light on. To clear the codes on the diagnostic, all you have to do is press the "Reset" button and finish by exiting by pressing the "Exit" or "E/M" button to go back to normal. Don’t wait for a long time to find out what the problem is and fix it if it needs to be fixed. This could cause damage to the engine of a very expensive vehicle. Don’t panic because it might be something very simple.