If you reside in the midwest, you can feel our pain. It has been a brutally cold February, and we’re all quite excited about the coming of spring and temperatures above freezing. Consequently, we’ve all had to hear our cars turn over ever so slowly and fire up much to their disagreement. But what about a C7 Corvette Stingray?
Car and Driver decided to see how the C7 Corvette would handle the arctic temperatures that plagued Ann Arbor, Michigan and much of the midwest a week ago. Prompting the investigation were comments of the digital tire-temperature gauge merely reading “frozen” upon firing up the car. The engine also didn’t seem to happy with turning over.
So, doing a bit of experimentation, C&D moved the Stingray from its warm-ish garage, and parked it outside over night while temperatures dropped to a Siberian-like -26 degrees Fahrenheit.
Waking the next morning to air that would bring your cheeks rosy-red in a matter of seconds, the Corvette’s electric door release worked perfectly. The same couldn’t be said for the power window’s actuator, which is meant to immediately drop the glass upon opening the door to clear the roof seals. The window moved a tad too sluggish, and caught the seal ever so slightly, reports C&D.
Finally, it came time to fire up the 6.2-liter LT1 V8. With the clutch buried, the starter button was pressed, where the water pump immediately gave hesitation. Another 12-seconds later and the engine came to life. The engine passed the extreme cold weather testing and lives to tell about it. The worst part of down-right icy climate? The 7-speed gearbox’s unwillingness to work with the driver.
C&D called it “like stirring cold molasses,” and describes the action of two hands required to move the stick from first, to neutral. After ten minutes things began to return to normal, though the oil temperature still lay dead at the bottom of the gauge, and required a little more time to heat up the cabin.
Upon flipping through the owner’s manual for the C7 Corvette Stingray, these delayed startup times are described as normal, with long cranking times a sure thing if old man winter wants to take it below zero. A GM technical service bulletin even describes a specific amount of time the engine should take to turn over when temps go sub-zero, with seven seconds being needed to bring the car to life.
Luckily, these types of starts should be well behind us within a few weeks as the midwest begins to thaw out after our brutally cold February.