Improving Performance and Fuel Economy: Chevrolet Corsica Maintenance Tips
In the late 1980s, the Chevrolet Corsica officially became Chevy's high-volume compact sedan. It veers away from the Chevy's traditional compact-car lineup—Corsica's styling sports a more European flavor with its alloy wheels, tachometer, and tauter sport suspension. Despite the European-inspired styling, this Chevy model remains a true American because of its good cabin space and price that cater to the U.S. market.
Your Corsica is a treasure that needs the right and routine maintenance to keep it running optimally for a long time. Listed here are a few tips to help improve your car's fuel economy and performance:
- Change your oil regularly.
If yours is an older model, oil change is required every 3,000 miles. Check your Chevrolet Vehicle Owner's Manual for the oil change schedule for your Corsica's specific year of production. But if you are lucky to have a newer model that features Chevy's Engine Oil Life System (OLS), you have more time to wait in between oil changes. The OLS keeps track of your car's operating conditions such as engine temperature and vehicle speed, your driving habits, and the climate in your area so that you know when exactly your car needs an oil change. And when the OLS light turns on, you know it is time for an oil change. After changing oil, you can have your service technician reset the OLS. You can even opt to reset it yourself.
Every time you fill up, check the engine oil level to make sure that you do not waste precious oil, or your car will not run out of oil anytime soon. This step will also help you detect any leaks early on. So that you get a precise oil level reading, park your Chevrolet Corsica on an even surface and make sure the oil is warm and at normal working temperature. The specific instructions for checking oil level for your car's specific year and model can be found in your owner's manual.
- Check your brakes for any signs of trouble.
Do you hear grinding, chirping, and whistling sounds each time you step on the brake pedal? Those are telltale signs that something is wrong with your braking system, and it needs to be serviced right away. Probable causes are worn rotors or brake pads, damaged noise insulators, and brake pads that are loosely attached to the caliper. Check the small and thin piece of metal mounted on the brake pad; it serves as a warning indicator when the brake pads are wearing out and need to be replaced. If the metal makes a chirping sound when you apply the brakes, then it is time to get your car a new set of brake pads.
- Replace your tires when necessary.
Your Corsica is equipped with wear bars that indicate tread wear on your tires. Wear bars, which are like thin rubber strips across the tire tread, appear when it is time to change the tires. If three or more wear bars show around the tires, waste no time and have them changed already.
Chevrolet Corsica: Chevy’s Take on the European Sport Sedan Trend
Produced in three generations from 1987 to 1996, the Chevrolet Corsica was a result of Chevy’s attempts to get in with the European sport sedan trend at that time. To achieve a European sporty look, the Corsica was built using an L-body platform that was also used on the Beretta. Throughout its production years, the Corsica proved to be a true-blue Chevy that offered a perfect mix of style, flair, and performance at an affordable price.
1987-1990: Introducing the Chevy Corsica
To give it a sporty look, the Corsica used an L-body platform and a J-body Cavalier-based chassis and suspension parts. It was sold in several trims: base, LT, and LTZ. The base was built with silver door handles, while the LT and LTZ models featured black handles. The only body type available during its first two years of production was a four-door sedan. Along with the Chevy Beretta, the Corsica was produced at the New Jersey-based Linden Assembly and Delaware-based Wilmington Assembly.
In 1989, a hatchback version was introduced, as well as an LTZ performance package that featured Beretta-based suspension components. A limited XT trim was also introduced, which included LTZ performance components, a special body kit, a spoiler package, and leather upholstery. In 1990, minor upgrades included restyled driver controls. The first-gen was a huge success since 1988 Corsica units were considered best-sellers alongside their Beretta counterparts.
1991-1994: The LT trim takes over
Several trim levels were dropped during several second-gen production years. In 1992, the LT was the only available trim type. In 1994, the LT trim became the base model. The hatchback model was also dropped as the Corsica received major upgrades for its interior in 1991. In the following years until 1994, several changes were done including a shift interlock for automatic transmission units and upgraded engines to increase horsepower. In 1994, the manual shift option was removed in all US models because of poor consumer demand.
1995-1996: Daytime running lights as standard features
The third-gen version was the first-ever American car to be built with standard daytime running lights. This innovative upgrade further catapulted the Corsica into the spotlight. The model was also equipped with a grille, moldings, and mirrors that matched the body color. To improve ride quality, the rear suspension was also modified. New tire sizes were also added, and the Corsica was now designed to work with the Dex-Cool coolant. In 1996, the Chevrolet Corsica was now equipped with OBD-II functionalities.
In 1996, GM decided to discontinue the Corsica because several reasons. These included new safety standards that would require a complete overhaul and unavoidable competition with another GM vehicle, the Chevrolet Cavalier. Despite its discontinuation, however, the Corsica continues to provide second-hand buyers with an affordable, stylish, and sporty looking sedan.