2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Cooling Checkup
September 24, 2014
Now, we knew going in there probably wouldn't be a whole lot the dealer could do, especially since the chances of them replicating the problem would be near nil.
But we figured it was the right thing to do.
As expected, the dealer was unable to find a single thing physically wrong with our Vette. They pressure-tested the cooling system and found no leaks. They also looked for any Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) faults, but nothing there either. Our service writer found this odd, since apparently there should have been some faults related to the warnings that showed up on the instrument panel during the overheating event.
The technician drove the car around a bit to see if he could replicate the overheating, but of course driving around Los Angeles wasn't even close to the type of hard, mountain road driving that caused the problem.
We also had the outside temperature sensor checked, as an editor recently noticed some massively-fluctuating readings. Here as well, the dealer found nothing wrong with the sensor.
Apparently, our overheating long-term update alarmed General Motors to some extent, and a friendly Chevy public relations officer reached out to us with some suggestions as to why this might have happened, and how to possibly prevent this from happening in the future.
"First, the factory fill for Stingray is a 60/40 water-to-coolant mix (not the traditional 50/50). You might want to ask the dealership to check, and confirm you're still at 60/40.
Second, it looks like you have the tight-fitting 'aero' front license plate bracket on the car. That bracket looks more integrated, and actually reduces drag for slightly better fuel economy. But it also blocks some of the air going to the radiator, reducing cooling efficiency. For high-temp areas like southern California, you might be better using the standard plate bracket that sits higher on the nose — at least for the summer.
Third, if you're really driving hard, turning off the A/C will help improve engine cooling — at the expense of the cabin temp."
Regarding the first item, we asked the dealer to check on the coolant mix and they stated it was at the factory setting.
For the second, we were unaware our car had the "aero" front license plate, or that there were even any options/alternatives.
Going forward, I have plans to take the Vette back to the same mountain road, hopefully in similarly hot conditions. Minimum I'll simply take the front license plate and bracket off (if we don't outfit the car with the standard plate bracket in the meantime). And, yes, I'll turn off the A/C for the mountain charging, even though, as Mike Magrath joked: "A/C off...what is this, 1969?"
Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 26,063 miles