Want to drive your Z51 C8 Corvette at a track and still keep your warranty? You must cough up about $265 for an authorized C8 service tech to add two quarts of transmission fluid.
Update 6/9/2020 – According to Kurt, “So, just a quick update on this. It seems there was a clerical issue with the Service Advisor I worked with. From what I could tell from the PDR and other feedback I received online, this is a sub-2 hour job (1.5hrs is what it looked like). which makes total sense. Not 5.5 hours. That being said, management at the dealership is being very responsive to getting this corrected. From the sounds of it, they’re likely going to refund the entire cost and have a discussion with the Service Advisor as to how they came up with the 5.5 hours. I will say that after I had the 2 qts added, it seems to be shifting a lot smoother. It’s hard to explain because it shifted so quickly before I took it in, but it just seems overall smoother in manual mode and in automatic/D mode.”
When 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette with Z51 Performance Package owner Kurt Kressin got the bill back for adding two quarts of Dual Clutch Transmission fluid to his transmission, after taxes his dealership charged him $265 for two bottles of DCT fluid and labor. To keep your warranty if you want to drive on the track, C8 Corvette owners with the Z51 Performance Package, at the very least, must let a dealer perform an additional 2 quart top off of DCT fluid for the transmission. This service is one of nine other items on a checklist C8 Z51 owners must do if they’d like warranty work after a day at the track.
Keep in mind, as per our update above, when we first blogged about this service Kurt’s dealership charged him for 5.5 hours of labor instead of the correct 1.5 hours.
While surprising, the bill is straightforward. This Chevrolet dealership charged Kurtis $85.80 for two quarts of C8-specific DCT fluid and 1.5 hours of labor at $110 an hour for a sub-total total of $250.80 before taxes and a grant total of $265.84.
The Z51 Performance package is a $5,000 option that gets you better tires, revised suspension tuning, aerodynamic aids, increased cooling capacity, bigger brakes, a shorter final-drive ratio, an electronic limited slip, and a bump in power. All that allows you to run on the track, lap after lap without overheating or immediate brake fade.
Most importantly, right now, C8s with Z51 Performance Packages can drive on a track and not void their warranty.
There is a big if.
You can only drive your C8 Z51 on a track if you follow GM’s specific checklist for track prep. There are nine areas that you must address including,
- Reaching 1,500 miles
- Specific brake fluid
- Install a cooling duct
- Burnish new brake pads per specific instructions.
- Set your shocks and springs for track duty
- Set your tire pressures
- Wheel Alignment
- Oil check
- Additional two quarts of DCT Fluid
According to the C8 Z51 track prep check list,
“Any transmission level set or change should be performed at your dealer. The transmission fluid used in the dual clutch transmission is a specific transmission fluid. Use of unapproved fluid may cause damage to the transmission. See your dealer for the proper transmission fluid.“
TL;DR- you can’t add two quarts at home, wreck your transmission at the track, and expect GM warranty service to kick in. This must be done at a dealership.
How hard can it be?
Think topping off your DCT Fluid in your Corvette is as easy as opening the rear deck lid, finding the fill point, and adding two quarts with a funnel? You thought wrong.
It’s a tedious process that requires removing access panels, removing the air box, and locating the correct fill plug. Here’s the crazy part, there are three shift shaft bolts around the fill point that support the transmission and look a lot like a fill plug. If you accidently remove a shaft bolt, the supports will become disengaged and you literally need a new transmission. What kind of sick joke are GM engineers playing?
This Youtuber shows us a sneak peek of how that service is done not at a GM dealership.
The even crazier bit is that, per their document, it doesn’t hurt the transmission to have the extra two quarts in there. So, why the heck didn’t they just add two additional quarts for Z51 Performance Package C8s at the factory?
I’m not certain if the other eight track prep services have to be done at the dealership, too, but if you want to keep your warranty, it would behoove you to shell out that dough for those services while you’re there.
You think Chevrolet Corvette and affordable track driving out of the box comes to mind. If affordable means close to $300 just to get on the track, then I guess it is.