Photo Credit: CorvetteForum.com
I spent a few minutes last night listening to a video of a 2015 Corvette Z06 roar down the street. My son Chris was even more fortunate – he saw a red Z06 “live” going through the drive-through at the local Bojangle’s a few days ago.
There may not be a more exciting sound these days to the ears of a Corvette enthusiast.
Sadly, though, the owner of a new Z06, known on Corvette Forum as “Lawdogg 149,” recently heard a much sadder sound after he says he had properly broken in his supercar, getting ready for an event at Road Atlanta Jan. 10-11.
Making a pull from 35mph, the owner says, “I shifted short of redline and boom — the car began knocking. I pulled over and popped the hood. I could hear a loud knock coming from the No. 6 cylinder area along with a serious, grinding, metal-on-metal sound coming from the supercharger area.”
His dealer confirmed that his engine was indeed apparently the first consumer Z06 engine to die, victim of a failure in the No. 6 cylinder valvetrain – not exactly the type of first a driver wants to be known for.
The owner in a post on Corvette Forum says he was given two options by General Motors:
Allow them to take the engine apart and patch repair it, keeping his original numbers matching engine in the car.
Replace the engine as a whole.
Since the owner tracks his cars a lot, he took the second choice, calling it “the best option in my opinion” because he doesn’t “want any more issues with this engine.”
Now the engine has been sent back to the factory for analysis to see just why a Z06 motor would fail after only 891 miles of service – perhaps a manufacturing defect or a driver error on the upshift (like accidentally shifting to first instead of third during the pull).
Fortunately, the warranty will cover installation of a new engine for this owner, but will it be in time for the event at Road Atlanta?
“Who knows how long this will take,” the bummed-out owner says.
“Sure, this is a first year car and I understand that. But this is not the first time I have had to do R&D for the big GM. Just last year I was the first private owner to track my C7 Z51. That car overheated on a November cool day down here at Road Atlanta. Both the Transmission (M7) and engine. I made a post here and notified the engineering department through my dealer. No one even followed up or cared.”
The owner says the biggest surprise out of his Z06 misfortune was that GM wasn’t surprised at all about this situation.
“Seems this has occurred before with the test fleet vehicles,” he says. “I come here and post not to bash GM but to warn you fellow Corvette owners before you go out and tune or modify your cars. Sure this may of been a issue in just a few but there was a lot of looking into my computer files and such to find any mods. Sure GM would love to not have to pay for this $23,999 engine.”
By the way, Lawdogg lives 540 miles from the dealer where he bought the car and says he used the drive home to properly break in his new Z06 so it’s not like he went right out and blew the motor up as he was leaving the dealership parking lot. Let’s hope this engine failure is just an aberration and doesn’t turn into a common problem.
He did make a bit of news just last week with the posting of a video on YouTube showing the Z06 achieving a 0-60 mph run in 3.1 seconds with a passenger in the vehicle:
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