Thursday, June 21, 2007

Interesting Electrical System Failure on the Corvette

A couple of weeks back, and a couple of weeks after the dealer replaced the bad fuel gauge sending unit in the fuel tank, the Corvette started to act "funny." I had a dead battery one morning, even though the car had only sat idle for three days. But when I hooked up the charging unit in the garage--it started right up--which is odd, since it usually takes tens of minutes or more of trickle charging before it has enough power to get going.

Then, I was driving through one of Boise's many construction zones where they were repaving--and the road was very rough. Twice, when I went over especially rough sections, the car completely cut out for a fraction of a second, resetting all electronic counters (such as average fuel economy).

I checked the battery connections, and they seemed tight enough. Then I drove down to the mailbox on my fairly rough driveway and access road--and when I tried to restart the car--dead as a doornail. Then, miraculously, two minutes later, it started right up!

So now I have decided that there are gremlins in the electrical system. This is worrisome, because intermittent electrical problems on cars are notoriously hard to diagnose--and the extended warranty doesn't cover diagnosis time.

Anyway, I pull into the Chevy dealer, and Darrin Panda, who is the service advisor that I usually talk to, admitted that what I was describing sounded like a loose connection, and he admitted that it was not impossible that something didn't get hooked up right after the last repair.

So we pop the hood, and he finds that the battery terminal is loose--and even more interesting, he can see corrosion that has dripped out of that part of the battery. Since this is a sealed Delco battery, this is a sign that the battery has serious problems. They managed to get it all fixed for about $70 (because the battery was still under a pro rata warranty).

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