1. Gather Information
2. Understand Malfunction
3. Identify which Parameters need to be Evaluated
4. Identify the Source of the Problem
5. Correcting or Repairing the Problem
6. Verify the Repair with Testing
7. Perform Root Cause Analysis
Reference Manuals or Books are Critical to any Troubleshooting results. Find all Corvette Manuals Here
Step 1 "Gathering Information" is a logical first step to begin Corvette troubleshooting. This step is so often overlooked. Ask yourself the following. What technical information is available How is the part or system suppose to work? Review Technical Information that is available. Search online or buy a reference book if one exists. Ask experts for advice and direction.
Step 2 "Understanding Malfunction" means you understand what function is not working properly. You should be able to answer this after testing the system or with direct observation. Be diligent and make sure to review Step 1 information if needed.
Step 3 "Identify which parameters need to be evaluated" De-clutter and eliminate every part that does not directly influence your problem. During Corvette Troubleshooting understanding what inputs and outputs control the component are critical to detecting the failure. How are they actuated? What is normal what is abnormal? What are the expected values for the measurements? What test equipment do you need? Could another component be at fault for the problem? Could other components been affected by this fault?
Step 4 "Identify the source of the problem" requires you to Isolate the failed components or evaluate circuit parameters. Isolating the problem in complicated circuits can be described as divide and conquer Establishing what is working and what is not helps to isolate problems.
Corvette Troubleshooting involves testing with volt meters or vacuum/pressure gauges and comparing the results to the previous norms you gathered in steps 1-3 will determine failures. This is where the preparation in information gathering pays off. Things like wiring diagrams and schematics help to determine expected inputs and outputs. The results show location of faults. This is where the term fault isolation comes from.
Step 5 "Correcting or Repairing the Problem" most often requires replacement of components or parts but not always. Wiring problems play a major role in many faults. Things like broken wires or chaffing lead to circuit malfunctions. The most dreaded of faults can be week connections and corrosion as they can be difficult to detect.
Chaffing or broken wires can lead to blown fuses. Fuses are installed in circuits only to protect the wiring from fire hazards. Its important to inspect a circuit with a blow fuse very closely before installing a new fuse. Weak connections and corrosion will make circuits appear to do odd things like being real dim or turning on and off for no reason.
Things like running lights and stop lights will malfunction together where ever the circuits have an interconnection either by design or fault. Older Corvettes also use fusible links. These links were used for the same reason as fuses but were less accessible to the driver. More on testing circuits and components in the videos below.
Step 6 "Verifying the repair with testing" is the moment of truth for your Corvette Troubleshooting exercise. When you flip that switch or turn that key you are validating all the work that was done. This can be a very rewarding experience and it should not be taken lightly as many a people will fail if the previous steps were not followed.
Step 7 "Perform a root cause analysis" can help prevent this problem from happening again. This step is often where engineering stops and the real world begins. See a failure is a failure that's expected after a certain amount of time or cycles. Useful life is the term used to describe this failure point. A maximum amount of time and minimal cost is the target of all engineering designs.
As time marches on the rate of failures on everything we own tries to return to dust. So in your final step of root cause analysis stop and think how to stop this problem from happening again or how to slow down the occurrence Maybe the wires have become aged and the insulation is starting to break down and fall apart. Maybe technology offers a solution to prolong the life of parts that was not around 10-20 years ago. Do yourself a favor and don't skip this step. You may want to consider a partial restoration project to get your Corvette in good working order again. We hope you found this step process of Corvette Troubleshooting helpful.