#1 Most Common C5 Corvette Engine Problem...and the solution!
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Now, let's get into today's topic. We're going to address one of the major recurring problems on the C5 Corvette from 1997 to 2004. If you recognize this little device in my hand, you already know what I'm going to talk about. For those who don't, this is an oil pressure sensor for the C5 Corvette. It's located at the back of the engine block, behind the intake manifold. These sensors are known to go bad, and if you've owned a C5 for some time, you've probably dealt with this issue.
When these sensors fail internally, they can get stuck open or stuck shut. If they get stuck open, the oil pressure reading will be too high, pegging the gauge at 80 psi. On the other hand, if they get stuck shut, the reading will be too low, potentially triggering reduced power mode. One sign of a failing sensor is an oil leak trickling down the back of the block during an oil change or while the car is on a lift.
In the past, people would cut holes in the fiberglass tray under the windshield or remove the wipers to access the sensor directly. While this method works, I have a better solution for you. I'll walk you through the proper steps to replace the sensor, which also gives you an opportunity to address other maintenance items. Here's what you'll need:
1. A gas line tool: This tool is used to disconnect the fuel lines from the fuel rail. It looks like a little X-shaped tool.
2. A socket set: You'll need this to remove the 10 bolts holding the intake manifold in place.
To access the sensor, you'll need to lift the intake manifold and move it forward, towards the radiator. Disconnect some vacuum lines and unplug the throttle body and other wire harness plugs. Lift the intake manifold off and set it aside. Now, you'll clearly see the oil pressure sensor at the back of the block. Simply unscrew the old one and screw in the new one. It's a straightforward process.
However, if you want to avoid removing the intake manifold again in the future, I recommend using a relocation kit. This kit includes a hose that moves the sensor to a more accessible location near the left rear corner of the engine. It eliminates the need to remove the intake manifold and provides easier access to the sensor.
While the intake manifold is off, I suggest replacing the intake manifold gaskets. These gaskets are pre-formed rubber pieces that easily fit into each aperture on the manifold. It's a simple task that ensures a proper seal. Additionally, take the opportunity to clean any dirt, debris, or sand in the valley between the cylinder heads. This is also a great time to replace the knock sensors, which can become brittle with age and heat.
Once you've completed these tasks, you can reverse the steps and reassemble everything. Place the intake manifold back onto the engine, making sure to connect the vacuum lines and the fuel line securely. Torque the bolts evenly using hand tools, not electrical tools. Finally, connect the fuel line, which should snap into place.
Doing all these tasks at once reduces the chances of having to access the top of the engine again in the near future. The entire job should take around two to two and a half hours for a hobbyist working with normal tools in their garage on a Saturday.
If you need any of the tools or parts I mentioned, I've included links in the video description below. These links will take you directly to Amazon, where you can find quality products at reasonable prices. Please note that I'm not selling these items; I'm just providing you with convenient sourcing options.
If you have any questions or have tackled this job before, please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. I'll do my best to respond to all your comments promptly. Once again, I want to express my gratitude for your support. We're about to reach 40,000 subscribers, and it's all thanks to you. Have a wonderful weekend, and let's celebrate this milestone together!