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C6 buyers pointers (advice needed)

 
Old 07-11-2019, 05:49 AM
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Erik_Hagglund
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Default C6 buyers pointers (advice needed)

Hello,

I've had my 2003 C5 convertible for about 7 years now and I'm looking to "upgrade" to a C6, but I don't know an awful lot about them (yet) so I was wondering if somebody in here had some insight in what to look for in a C6, in respect of known weak points and frequently occurring faults.
Is there anything in particular one should be look for or be aware of?
I have a little bit of a budget restriction so I will be looking mainly for year 05-09 and probably the LS3 engine (I think??) and convertibles/coupés.

Any known weakpoints in engine and powertrain? Electronics?

On my C5 I've only had to replace the ABS pump, oil pressure sensor and the computer for the seat and steering column. Other than that: Refuel, change oil and filters every 8-10K miles and just drive drive drive. Are C6's equally easy maintained?
N.B. I'm not buying a racetrack Corvette, I'm buying a Corvette to cruise around in at probably 3-5 mph under the speed limit :p

Also, I did have a quick scan through the posts but couldn't find what I was looking for, so if there is a previous thread about this, sorry. Got the direct link? :-)



Photo taken at https://goo.gl/maps/aYbS4UvfMsnjvwBZ9 June 7:th 2016
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:20 AM
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2005 thru 2007 use the LS2 engine, so if you are set on an LS3 you will need to look at 2008 to 2013. The LS3 cars come with a $2000-3000 price bump compared to a similar LS2 car.

I've never owned a 2005, but from following this forum it appears the 2005 has many unique issues that often accompany a new model year.

It would be wise to educate yourself between the different models of base and GS.

From your post it appears you will probably not be interested in a Z06, but if you are then educated yourself on the valve issues associated with the LS7.

It might help to know if there are any must have options on your list? HUD? auto? Manual? Z51?

One option that is really popular that I didn't understand when I purchased a C6 was NPP Dual Mode Exhaust so at least learn what that is. It was available on 2008 to 2013.

Knowing your budget might also allow for better advice. I personally feel the C6 is currently a great buy with the amount of performance you get for your dollar. Anyhoo... that should get you started.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:35 AM
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Beauty C5.

I have 100,000 miles on my 2006 LS2 and the only thing that's I changed out at 30K miles was my water pump. It was leaking at the seal. I replaced with an OEM, and has been issue free. It seems driving the car causes less issues overall as the systems get a work out

The "weak" points of the C6, may be somewhat similar to a C5.
Check for harmonic balancer wobble. If the wobble is noticeable, that may have to changed out.
There is/was a recall on the low beam headlights, caused by a broken ground wire.
Air Bag warning light recall TSB) caused by a connector under the driver seat. Most just zip tie the connector so it doesn't come loose.
(get a GMVIS report) and it will tell you if there are any recalls, what work was done under warranty, etc. from any GM dealer. These are free , just ask the service dept for a copy based on the vehicle Vin #
From 2006 onward, changes were made to a stronger rear differential and no issues have been reported on the drivetrain in general in the 10 years that I have been on the C6 forum.
Each year, there was minor changes, either to the interior, exterior appearance that improved the car, but not noriceable for the untrained eye.
2006- Z06 introduced to the C6 lineup
new stiffer rear differential for the C6 platform
A6 auto introduced with paddle shifters
2007 -Added Steering wheel controls for audio system
2008- Steering wheel feel was improved by more precise component machining, stiffer intermediate shaft and revised controller calibrations.
new FOB that concealed the key.
Dual Mode exhaust (RPO NPP) exhaust was introducedfor coupes and convertibles (increases HP to 436 for LS3)
Software changes to paddle shifter on Auto for quicker shifts
Manual transmission shifter has shorter fore-aft travel than previous years.
Interior revised with new wrapped graphic pattern for radio surround console, and bright surround trim around ashtray, and shifter area and door release.
Radio surround console has new leather wrapped sides and top.
2009 -ZR1 introduced to the C6 lineup
Bosch ABS, traction control, and active handling were revised over the other years.
2010 - Grand Sport model was introduced to the C6 lineup
Launch control was introduced to all manual transmissions
A6 paddle shift controls were revised for ease of getting back from Sport to Drive mode
Trim pattern for console was revised.
2011 - Carbon Fiber synchronizer cones replaced brass in 6 speed manuals.
2012- Seats were changed to a larger bolster on the seat back and cushion areas for better lateral support
Sterring wheels were revised with bright trim
Console cover and arm rests were newly padded.

As you know, the biggest deifference was in 2008 when the LS3 was introduced. Both those and the LS2 are pretty much bullet proof.
The 427 LS7 however had some issues with valves/valve guides, and most had to be redone, or should be.
The electronics in the C6 are for the most part A1, but the rule of thumb is to keep the battery charged on a battery tender if the car sits for periods of time.
Most of the electronic /codes etc are weak battery related. Grounding points should be checked occasional for rust etc, just to be sure because all the electronic systems are negative ground initiated.

Like any vehicle of the same model, some have issues, and others don't.

Good luck in your search.
IMO, buy the newest model in your price bracket, and go with the 3LT package if your car is for cruising or road trips.
the 3LT trim package has all the bells and whistles for comfort.

Last edited by 4SUMERZ; 07-11-2019 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:53 AM
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One more "problem" item to add to the above posts... There is an issue with fuel tank leaks which causes a very expensive repair especially for the auto trannies.
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:28 AM
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Dont pay extra for a garage queen....

134k miles since i bought this 2008 new.

just an amazingly reliable car. Its my daily driver since new.

change the battery every 3 years, tires every 20k, change the oil add gas and go.

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Old 07-11-2019, 08:49 AM
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Check the harmonic balancer for any wobble as they are known to fail.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 449er View Post
One more "problem" item to add to the above posts... There is an issue with fuel tank leaks which causes a very expensive repair especially for the auto trannies.
The fuel leak is covered by GM with a special prolonged warranty
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:00 AM
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You didn't mention if looking for an auto or stick. Having come out of an 05' manual and into an 08' manual, I not only prefer the LS3 to the LS2, the trans shifts way smoother in the 08!
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:37 AM
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Yet one more thing to add (assuming I didn't miss it above): The clocks in the optional NAV systems are having issues for pre '11 models if the battery gets disconnected. There are literally 100's of posts about this. If the battery gets disconnected, the NAV system loses some reference point, and it takes months for the clock and date to reappear, and it can't be manually reset. If / when the clock comes back, the date is something like in the year 2000, at which point I believe you can manually set the clock. GM is allegedly working on a fix, but there are quite a few annoyed owners out there.

Model years 12 and 13 are said to have better seats. A consideration if you plan some road trips.

Personally, I'd go for an 11+ Grand Sport. They have some nice handling and braking upgrades, more rubber, and the wide body. If you get one of those, get it aligned to the PFADT street specs if you want it for cruising. Otherwise, tire life might suffer depending on the current alignment.
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:33 PM
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You may have an opportunity to replace the harmonic balancer after owning the car for a while. If so, you may want to go back with an SFI 18.1 rated one. I've read where some folks went back with OEM part and had to go through the repair again. Also, make sure a fresh center bolt is used. Those bolts can only be used one time. Be careful with the sun visor lids They're easy to break, but you can order one and with the right pic kit from the tool store, you can replace them.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:10 PM
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I bought my 2008 C6 Z51 3LT M6 NPP exhaust a couple months ago and absolutely love it!!! Preferences and other things to look our for:
- Nothing wrong with LS2 but I would go with LS3 if you can find one in your budget.
- Private seller over dealer will save you approximately $1500 - $2k
- I live in Texas and had the best luck searching craigslist locally and surrounding cities, ended up finding mine a couple hundred miles away but worth the trip
- Z51, 3LT, and already modded cars can often be found at same prices as base/stock models
- dealers rarely know the model trim so helps to take a picture of RPO codes in glovebox and do your research when you get home
- inspect tires from front and underneath, mine were badly worn to the metal on the inside but couldn't even tell from outside inspection
- make sure key fobs work, car recognizes 1 and 2, and memory seats remember settings
- check if driver seats rock a little back and forth - known issue
- check to see how it starts, and check again after the test drive - slow cranks may indicate battery or starter problems - I replaced both battery and starter. The heat from headers/cats kills the solenoid - known issue
- careful with glovebox latch, they get old, brittle and easily break - known issue - easy fix
- check under the front bumper to inspect scrapes - i think they all have them just make sure no damage beyond cosmetic

Good luck!
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:53 AM
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Thank you all for your input, very valuable and informative.
I went to look at a 2005 C6 yesterday but it didn't quite "click". Mostly because it looked like it had been repainted (poorly) and...well... it was a 2005.

I'm starting to consider if maybe I shouldn't adjust my budget a little bit so that I can get a 2010-2013 automatic Grand Sport Conv. 3xblack
I didn't say what my budget was for a reason, and the reason being that prices here in Sweden are a bit higher than those in the US, but now I'm thinking, maybe I should go over there and buy one, the market is much larger and so the range of options and colors are a bit more extensive over there.
My budget is roughly 30K to 35K (however, for that special-one-of-a-kind C6 I can go as high as 40K), but in that budget needs to be room for transportation to Europe and also retrofitting boring things like side+rear indicator lights (has to be yellow in Europe unless the car is older than 1974 I think) to be able to register it here (which also comes at a certain cost).

Anyhow, I realize I have a lot of reading to do.
Again, thank for all valuable input and information, I have started to compile a list of thinks to be aware of. It's easy to forget everything that you were suppose to consider when you stand face to face with the love of your life, emotions tend to throw logic out the window


Have a great weekend!
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:16 AM
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Also check the oil pan for leaks as some have had issues with them.
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Erik_Hagglund View Post
Hello,

I've had my 2003 C5 convertible for about 7 years now and I'm looking to "upgrade" to a C6, but I don't know an awful lot about them (yet) so I was wondering if somebody in here had some insight in what to look for in a C6, in respect of known weak points and frequently occurring faults.
Is there anything in particular one should be look for or be aware of?
I have a little bit of a budget restriction so I will be looking mainly for year 05-09 and probably the LS3 engine (I think??) and convertibles/coupés.

Any known weakpoints in engine and powertrain? Electronics?

On my C5 I've only had to replace the ABS pump, oil pressure sensor and the computer for the seat and steering column. Other than that: Refuel, change oil and filters every 8-10K miles and just drive drive drive. Are C6's equally easy maintained?
N.B. I'm not buying a racetrack Corvette, I'm buying a Corvette to cruise around in at probably 3-5 mph under the speed limit :p

Also, I did have a quick scan through the posts but couldn't find what I was looking for, so if there is a previous thread about this, sorry. Got the direct link? :-)



Photo taken at https://goo.gl/maps/aYbS4UvfMsnjvwBZ9 June 7:th 2016
I am original owner of 2005 Corvette with 78,000+ reliable miles. I haven't experienced any out of the ordinary problems that have been said on this first year and model. Just did complete brake job at 75,000+ miles and replaced the original 2004 AC/Delco battery in 2017. Factory Goodyear RF tires lasted 44,000+ miles.
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Old 07-12-2019, 01:02 PM
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I would add -- be sure to get both Key FOBs -- and check that the Manual Key works in the trunk Lock . - good to check before you really need it to work only to find out it does not.

Some say the sport seats in a 2012 or 2013 are better - that is true, My son has a 2011 GS, I have a 2012 GS and a 2013 GS. the 2013 seats are the most comfortable for my little ***.. probably why the 2013 has 33K miles on it. The 2012 GS has the sport seats.. it is a 3LT trim -- nice fit but the 2013 is Purrrfect.

Also tires are always a hot topic...run flat or non runflat.. Michelin or firestones or Bridgestones or Goodyears - I have the Bridgestones Run Flats Pole Position on the 2013 - great tires would buy again, I have the Michelins Non run Flat on the 2012 -- nice tires no regrets but if I had to do it again I would do the Run Flat version... contrary to popular opinion... there is not much difference in noise level between the 2.

Lastly -- the C6 is ok to drive in the rain... nothing bad has happened to mine due to rain. And you dont need 3 buckets to wash them either.
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by C6 Snowboarder View Post
I would add -- be sure to get both Key FOBs -- and check that the Manual Key works in the trunk Lock . - good to check before you really need it to work only to find out it does not.

Some say the sport seats in a 2012 or 2013 are better - that is true, My son has a 2011 GS, I have a 2012 GS and a 2013 GS. the 2013 seats are the most comfortable for my little ***.. probably why the 2013 has 33K miles on it. The 2012 GS has the sport seats.. it is a 3LT trim -- nice fit but the 2013 is Purrrfect.

Also tires are always a hot topic...run flat or non runflat.. Michelin or firestones or Bridgestones or Goodyears - I have the Bridgestones Run Flats Pole Position on the 2013 - great tires would buy again, I have the Michelins Non run Flat on the 2012 -- nice tires no regrets but if I had to do it again I would do the Run Flat version... contrary to popular opinion... there is not much difference in noise level between the 2.

Lastly -- the C6 is ok to drive in the rain... nothing bad has happened to mine due to rain. And you dont need 3 buckets to wash them either.
Mine is water proof and a daily driver.
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