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Car & Driver 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Engine Failure Could Become More Common

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has quickly become one of the bestselling sports cars in the world, but the long term test vehicle belonging to the folks from Car & Driver blew an engine just 6,000 miles in – and the problem is one that could affect other C7 Corvette owners under very normal driving conditions.

In the world of automotive media, few outlets are better known than Car & Driver so when the news surfaced that the folks at C&D blew the motor in their 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray long term test car, we are inclined to take notice of such a problem. Granted, we hear about all sorts of issues like the Tesla Model S that belonged to Edmunds making regular trips to the dealership, but something as dramatic as a total engine failure in a car that is as popular as the new Corvette Stingray is one of those issues that everyone across the industry is going to want to know more about.

More importantly, while journalists who are testing a car are likely to put it through more abuse than the average new car buyer/driver, it seems that the new LT1 engine in the C&D 2014 Stingray failed at no fault of the writers who were driving the C7 Corvette. They didn’t blow the motor by doing a 5 minute long burnout or while doing high speed tests in the heat of Death Valley. The Car & Driver Corvette engine expired due to a faulty component – one that is used in every single new Corvette sold.

The Suspect in the Murdered Corvette LT1
While some people who are aware of the blown engine in the Car & Driver 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray passed it off as a journalist beating the tar out of a sports car, only to have the engine fail after thousands of miles of abuse…that is not the case. While I am sure that the Corvette in question has probably seen a few more redline blasts than your average C7 owned by a 70-something man and his wife who use it for trips to visit the grandkids, it turns out that the culprit in this case wasn’t an overly aggressive driver – it was the oil filter.

The oil filter in this particular 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was faulty in a way that allowed small particles of metal to break free and enter the engine lubrication system. Once these tiny fragments of sharp metal worked their way through the engine, they became lodged in the bearing assembly of one of the connecting rods and over time, this caused the bearing to wear quickly. Once that bearing was no longer providing the smooth travel which it was designed to support, it was only a matter of time before other components began to fail.

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In the end, the LT1 engine in the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray test car was covered under warranty so it didn’t cost Car & Driver a dime…and it wouldn’t have cost a real owner a dime in the same situation either. However, it did require the dealership to remove and replace the engine – which would keep a normal owner from enjoying his or her Corvette for an extended period of time.

Could This Hurt More Corvette Engines?
The biggest problem with the LT1 engine that was replaced in the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray test car is that it was likely caused by a standard General Motors component. Considering the fact that media cars are often serviced at the dealership, there is a very good chance that things as simple as an oil change were performed using GM parts. This means that there could be a great many other C7 Corvette Stingrays out there which could be facing the same problem and according to C&D, there have been some other owners with a similar problem. General Motors is already looking into this problem and should they find that there are other oil filters with the same problem, this could lead to another painful recall for General Motors. Hopefully these few particular Corvettes were just fitted with a rare problematic filters so no other owners will have to deal with the headache of having their engine replaced under warranty…or through a new recall.

The good news is that the folks at Car & Driver have enjoyed their 2014 Corvette aside from the engine problem.

Source: Car & Driver


Mark Day (not verified)    September 8, 2014 - 10:03PM

My first car was a '57 Chevy and I owned GM vehicles exclusively for many years. They all had too many problems. It was necessary to become a knowledgeable auto enthusiast/mechanic to keep them on the road. The incompetence of GM management, never-the-less, was rewarded by a taxpayer multi-billion dollar bailout. By rewarding failure, the incompetence will continue. GM should be gone, and the bailout funds returned to the traumatized taxpayers. Some time ago I ceased purchasing GM vehicles.

Curtis (not verified)    September 9, 2014 - 7:34PM

In reply to by Mark Day (not verified)

I'm gonna hold comment until more info is given...besides all manufacturers have problems don't believe it? google "Porsche IMS failures" or "Lexus transmission failures" and "Lexus engine failures" and so on...

Mark Day (not verified)    September 10, 2014 - 3:20AM

"....besides all manufacturers have problems don't believe it?" Yes I believe it but not to the extent I lived through - defective engines in- '69 SS396 Chevelle, 400cu in '70 Impala, '80 Citation V6. Defective cam shaft '78 Camaro Z28. Poorly engineered entire front suspension & steering 2004 Malibu Maxx. If GM willing repaired these defects - no problem, but instead they sent their bureaucrats to deny responsibility.
My last purchase, a 2012 Toyota RAV4 V6 4WD, has had zero defects and zero returns to the dealer - regular maintenance excluded. I'd like a new Camaro but don't want the poor quality hassle.

Bob Loblaw (not verified)    January 2, 2017 - 3:52AM

In reply to by Mark Day (not verified)

If GM willing repaired these defects - no problem, but instead they sent their bureaucrats to deny responsibility. My last purchase, a 2012 Toyota RAV4 V6 4WD, has had zero defects and zero returns to the dealer - regular maintenance excluded. I'd like a new Camaro but don't want the poor quality hassle.

To me, GM has undergone a major transmission. The fact that GM acknowledges these issues and attempts to fix them speaks volumes. The fact that they recall vehicles for safety issues as soon as they identify them is a major change in the way they do business. To be honest I was always a huge Honda fan. But I was recently let down by my 2012 Honda Accord. HUGE oil consumption issues and transmission problems. My brothers 2016 Tacoma had to be lemon laser after Toyota attempted and daied to fix the electrical issues and trans!ission problems. I was shocked. These days I'm keeping an more o0en mind. Considering your experiences with GM occcured a LONG to!e ago, you might owe it to yourself to do the same.

Donald Rathjen (not verified)    January 2, 2017 - 11:42AM

In reply to by Bob Loblaw (not verified)

GM fixed my 2016 Stingray failed lifter problem by replacing all new lifters on the right bank cylinder head.
They had the car for 25 days and when it came back I couldn't tell that any work had be done, it was that clean. I asked them why don't you replace all the lifters instead of only doing one side of the engine? I found out from someone that works for GM that GM will only fix what's broken and nothing more. He said if another lifter failed this time on the left bank, they would fix that only when needed. The Chevy dealer has to have all repairs approved by GM before work can be started. If dealers do anything not pre-approved before hand, they will not be paid for the extra work not needed. My car only had 6,500 miles on it at that time. I was very disappointed that a new car could brake down with so few miles, but GM did stand behind the repair. I love everything else about the car and will keep driving as long as it is still under warranty. I recommend anyone that owns a C7 drive it and don't let it sit in the garage collecting dust. As long as it is under warranty any defeats will show themselves by driving mileage up, not sitting in the garage looking pretty. I have only owned two Corvettes in my life time (C1 and C7) and this C7 is miles ahead of anything else I've driven.

Bill H (not verified)    September 10, 2014 - 9:36PM

In February went to look at a C7 Z51 at AK Sales in Anchorage AK ..... presently own an 09 C6 Z51 NPP 3LT.... sat in the C7 started it up and looked at the electronics upgrades, engine had a nice tone to it. Looked at the door sticker to look at weight .... wow .... 3750+ lbs. fit and finish were not nearly as good as my 5 yr old Cyber Grey C6, tons of gelcoat scratches and actual chips in the paint. For my old car and $55K I could take possession. I chose to keep the C6 and this summer I was the local parade fashion accessory for Malie Delgado ..... AKA ... Miss Alaska, she is at Alantic City NJ right now see her on Sept 14th.

Now there a lot of other problems emerging .... long live the LS-3 .... smile every time I unleash the 436 hp.

J (not verified)    September 21, 2014 - 11:17PM

Their Yellow Lightning Lap car also blew its LT1. There are a number of other reports of blown motors that were not modified and not being abused on the Corvette forums. One guy blew his motor while driving 70 in the left lane on the interstate, he said there was so much smoke that all 6 lanes of the interstate were covered in smoke. The smoked caused another accident. One dealer rep attended a private track expo with 7 Stingrays, 2 pulled back into the pits with blown engines after only a few laps. GM has a major problem on their hands.

Jim (not verified)    December 2, 2014 - 6:01PM

In reply to by J (not verified)

Who made the oil filters for the Corvettes with failed engine?. What other engines & cars are the filters used on, carrying a different part number other than GM's? Who's going to pay for your repairs for whatever car you own whether under warranty or not under warranty.Surely GM doesn't make the filters themselves.How about GM disclosing this information publicly?

Da Coyote (not verified)    September 24, 2014 - 4:47PM

I've owned six GM cars and four were absolute pieces of excrement.

The other two were my '67 427 Vette Coupe (which I'd kill to have again) and my '06 Vette. As much as I hate, loathe, and despise GM, I must admit that they managed to sell me two very good machines which were fun and reliable. I had to sell my '06 due to the fact that GM still has not figured out comfortable seats and my wife could only last for an hour before having to exit post haste. Bummer.

Richard Holmberg (not verified)    November 27, 2014 - 12:14AM

Just got my 2014 Stingray back from Autonation Chevy after 6 weeks in their garage. Had a ticking noise that they said was normal and caused by high pressure injectors. Two weeks later they had the engine apart, new cam a lifters did not correct. Neither did the new high pressure fuel pump. Fianlly a new motor, radiator and cooling hoses. Warrantied repair that left me w/ a mismatched car. Dont bother calling GM, the brand laoyalty and customer experience group is a just a sham or a jobs program as no one ever returned calls, they closed out my case with out ever talking to me, the call centers were off shore with people who know very little about the company or the cars. My first Vette, my tenth GM vehicel. I could not be more dissapointed with my latest experience.

Lou (not verified)    December 10, 2014 - 3:33PM

I have owne GM cars all my life, starting in 1948. I have never had a large component failure. Water pump & alternators yes. I will never buy anything else.

Trent (not verified)    December 23, 2014 - 9:42PM

After hearing the news of this possible oil filter problem there is no way I'm buying a GM product. I really wanted a new ZO6 too. I'm not taking the chance. Thank you for this information, I really appreciate it.

Jason (not verified)    March 21, 2015 - 2:45PM

My March 2015 C7 just blew its engine yesterday with 12k miles on it. Caused a real dangerous situation on the highway. Metal shavings in engine and in the oil. Excessive end play near torque tube/crankshaft are to blame. Car already ate a torque tube at 6k and had a new one installed. Very sad state of affairs for GM and Corvette lovers.

Jon H. (not verified)    April 13, 2015 - 9:40PM

I just got the call about my engine needing replacing at 6600 miles. I have a 2014 Z51 convertible. At 1000 miles it had the torque tube replaced. At around 5,000 miles it had a pulley tensioner replaced. Last Friday it broke down on me while taking an evening cruise down a twisty road that ended at a light. It seized up at the light and disabled my hazard lights. I couldn't get it out of park and it put me in a very dangerous situation. After 2 hours of waiting for a GM Roadside assistance and waving off cars, my Vette was put on a flat bed and taken to my dealership.GM first stated that the starter went which caused a short of fuse box. Technician called back and said that they discovered an impacted a bearing and that my motor would need replacing. I traded in my Lexus IS-F for this car and am now starting to regret that. I drove my 416 HP Lexus hard for 3 years and only needed tires and brakes. This car when working is amazing but not worth all of the damn maintenance.

Jason (not verified)    April 15, 2015 - 8:35PM

In reply to by Jon H. (not verified)

Sorry to hear that Jon... I know exactly how you feel. I got my C7 back after the new engine was put in. A week or two later the torque tube rattle sound came back. Took the car back and now GM is ordering yet another torque tube. This is the second time the torque tube is being replaced, and the 3rd or 4th major mechanical tear down for my car. The car has less than 13k miles on it. I am debating between a refund or equal swap right now... but I suspect the same thing will happen again if I get a replacement. So sad because I love the car!

Jon H. (not verified)    April 16, 2015 - 6:15PM

In reply to by Jason (not verified)

I hear you Jason. I have been so excited with this car and selling all of its amazing features to friends and family as I have owned. Its hard for me to love the car any longer though after it put me in such a dangerous predicament. My car had a torque tube replaced at just 1k miles. Pulley tensioner problems at around 5,000 miles. 6,600 miles, starter blow up, fuse box melts down and rod bearing goes thus killing the motor and oil system. This dealership Van Chevrolet in Scottsdale is blaming Coulter Chevrolet four poorly installing the torque tube when it was replaced thus causing the motor to blow. My response is if you built the damn torque tube correctly in the first place this never would have happened and you would have saved yourself $32K in repairs) The motor is about $25k including parts and service, the torque tube I hear is about a $7K repair duet to all the labor required to get to it. I asked Chevy to reset my engine hours timer since I am getting a brand new motor. I wonder if that increases or decreased the value of the car. Yes the numbers don't match but now you have a brand new motor with 100K mile warranty on it. I hear lemon law is a tough one get although it sound like you are close. In AZ I believe its 30 days in the shop cumulatively before warranty is up or before 24,000 miles have been driven. That or car must have had same problem 4 times. I doubt I can blow up the engine 3 more times unless they keep installing sub par torque tubes. The funny thing is I have a 14- some problems should be expected for a first year car but not this bad. You have a 15 right?, One would think they would have fixed all of these flaws by now. To all future Corvette buyers.... wait another year and hope they fix all of these problems before you consider buying this car. What good is a car that you can take on a short road trip if you don't trust that it can make it.

Chuck Wills (not verified)    June 25, 2015 - 10:06AM

In reply to by Jon H. (not verified)

my c-7 is in for the third torque tube in the last sixonths. GM is sending in someone to figure out problem. I think we KNOW the problem!! Word is that they're going to replace the engine this time . Not a happy camper for sure.

Jon H (not verified)    June 25, 2015 - 2:55PM

In reply to by Chuck Wills (not verified)

Sorry bud. Its sucks making a car payment on a Vette and getting a Chevy economy car for a month instead. I feel like GM should re-imburse us back for car payment plus depreciation. Cadillac should be the service team for this not Chevy. It makes no sense to get a 25K loaner car when you drop off a 70K Corvette. Unfortunately I will be back to the dealership for the 4th time. This time it's not a torque tune, pulley or MOTOR but for a faulty touch screen... it keeps flickering and then shutting off. I am so sick of this car and it's problems. It sits in my garage most of the time and is hardly driven. It shouldn't have so many damn problems.

Jason (not verified)    April 17, 2015 - 7:04PM

Yes it's a tough dituation. Everyone in the vette community keeps insisting the number of cars with issues is infinitesimal, but when it's yours it is hard to convince yourself of that. Not sure what is next.

Dave (not verified)    April 17, 2015 - 9:18PM

Glad people are reporting about these problems. I sold mine with 1900 miles on it. At the time of the sale it was in tip top shape but I never ran it hard, didn't even get to the point where I smoked the tires. Didn't take the car above the speed limit either. Wasn't interested in taking any chances. Sold it for $8500 less than what I paid for it. It was worth it to me to not be involved with a major engine problem. Even if it would have been fixed, I didn't want anything to do with it. I put the money back into savings, decided not to replace it. Thanks all.

toddg (not verified)    April 25, 2015 - 7:43AM

Just shows you all that read these that the high and mighty corvette is such an overrated car..1-expensive-2-expensive to maintain especially tires that last 20000 miles and thats normal driving-3-cant drive in winter months unless you put the winter tires on it then your too low to ground anyway to drive in the snow-4-cant drive it fast in this country max speed limit is parts of texas at 80mph-5-insurance is exceptionally high and when you crash it at the track ooops insurance doesnt cover it so you better have the money to pay off the wrecked vette and go buy another one and last but not least its performance against the other sportscars like nissan gtr sucks..saw video where the gtr beats the new z06 with z07 options the gtr beats it in the advice...spend the xtra money and get a porshe...

chris schneider (not verified)    May 13, 2015 - 10:54PM

ok first off I have owned a gtr and the c7 hands down c7 is a more enjoyable car. gtr is quicker. but you think maint is expensive on c7??? that tells me you have not owned either...gtr needs tires every 12k along with 7000 dollar brake jobs every 12-15k miles along with fluid changes at the same time. so you plan on 12k spent in maint if you keep it for 18k miles assuming your tranmssion makes it till then if that goes along with 15k out of your pocket because they will find a way to pin it on racing the car...hate it when people post because they watched a few u tube videos and read the brochure now there experts

Melissa Locke (not verified)    June 25, 2015 - 8:48PM

Driving home from dinner tonight in a 45MPH zone, display said engine power reduced. Had to pull over could not move. Nothing happen when I gave it gas. Only have 4000 miles on our 2014 stingray. Calling the dealership first thing in the morning!

dave (not verified)    June 26, 2015 - 1:24AM

I'm telling all of you that will listen.. corvettes are taboo right now. I urge everyone to sell theirs right now if you don't have to take a huge loss.. I posted above.. I sold mine when nothing was wrong with it.. Mine had 1900 miles on it.. I read all over the internet about these potential problems with them, since I posted the guy that bought it from me, notified me and informed me the motor blew up in my old car! Its horrible. All he is getting is the run around from the stealerships too. It's a big fiasco that most of you don't have time for anyway. I'll never own another GM car because there are just too many problems with them. A family member bought a new camaro and wanted to take it on vacation... 700 miles in.. it broke down.. head gasket. It's ridiculous.. Some people who buy them have no problems but I'm not willing to take the gamble. Tell your friends. I hate to bash a car manufacture but a 100 thousand dollar car shouldn't have problems like this.

Cat Whil (not verified)    January 28, 2016 - 10:07AM

My husband's 2014 engine (with ~20K miles on it) just went out yesterday. (1/27/16) We suspect the exact same issue. Needs a new engine now. This was my husband's baby, that we took the Corvette Museum delivery of, and I was grateful he wasn't hurt when the engine went out. Driving in a major metro area in heavy traffic is NOT when you want to find out there's a defect with the oil filter that might potentially cause your engine to fail!