The electronic systems in todays Corvettes are simply staggering. Computers regulate the engine systems, handle chassis functions, and just about everything else your Corvette does. Its easy to see why electronic systems have baffled backyard mechanics for so long. Before electronics, if there was a problem it was obvious to one of the senses. You could hear, feel, see, or smell the problem area. With an electronic system, a faulty part could be overlooked because theres no difference in appearance or obvious proof of an improperly working part. Without some form of input, a faulty part could result in playing a game of remove-and-replace until the bad piece could be located.
Thankfully for us, GM has made the diagnosis process quite simple. The key to unlocking the once-obscure realm of engine analysis is a code reader. If there is a problem with a part or operating system, the computer will show that theres a problem by lighting up the Service Engine Soon light on the dash. It will also identify the problem by giving it a numerical identification.
We wanted to learn more about using these code readers, so we went to Chris Petris of the Corvette Clinic to get the full scoop.
In an upcoming issue, Corvette Fever will use these various code readers to gather information about whats going on under the hood of some of the Corvettes around the shop.