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It’s not rare for car owners to encounter a Corvette pop up headlights issue since this headlight model is pretty “vintage.” If you’re experiencing a problem with your pop-up headlamps and don’t know what to do, read our Driverevolve’s post. 

We’ll help you diagnose your problem and reveal the best fixes for each situation.  

List Of Corvette Cars With Pop Up Headlights 

Pop-up headlamps offer a unique retro vibe and are reminiscent of automobiles from the 1980s and 1990s. Yet, these eye-like headlamps date back further.

They become iconic with the Chevrolet Corvette throughout time. According to Turo, C2 was revealed in 1963, along with the 1st pair of pop-up headlamps to beautify a Corvette’s hood.

Its body was flatter and narrower than the C1, allowing the pop-up headlamps to disguise much easier. The C3 possessed additional contours in 1968 yet still kept the pop-up headlamps.
Corvette C2 was the first one with pop-up headlights. – Silodrome

Its body was flatter and narrower than the C1, allowing the pop-up headlamps to disguise much easier. The C3 possessed additional contours in 1968 yet still kept the pop-up headlamps.

These pop-up headlamps were also available on C4 and C5 Corvettes; however, Chevy made a tough call to discontinue them in 2005, officially making C5 the last car with pop up headlights of Corvette.

6 Common Problems With Corvette Pop Up Headlights (+ Solutions) 

Short Headlight Stops

If your nylon stops fail, your pop-up headlamp on the driver’s side will not work. 

Solution

A counterclockwise turn on the hand-operated controller may work in the short term. However, thoroughly addressing the issue requires more effort. 

Visit your nearest auto shop and have a 5/16′′ or 3/8′′ fuel pipe shortened or replacement nylon stops. You may purchase those a little longer and use them to substitute your short nylon stops.

Bad Headlight Switch Controller

A defective headlamp switch controller is another classic problem that might leave your C5 Corvette headlamps locked up or down. The wires inside your turning signal lever or multi-function control might obstruct the operation of your pop-up device. 

If your switch is the issue, switching on your twilight feature in the DIC options typically helps. Check elsewhere if the system fails to turn on the lights. Possibly, it's not your switch that causes the problem.
A defective headlamp switch controller is common. – Your Mechanic 

If your switch is the issue, switching on your twilight feature in the DIC options typically helps. Check elsewhere if the system fails to turn on the lights. Possibly, it’s not your switch that causes the problem.

Check your pop-up controller’s ground and electricity circuits for an exposed or bad connection.

Solution

Using the twilight feature will spare you a few dollars, but it is only sound in the short run. Your multi-function lever will require extra effort. 

It will take a while, but this workaround touches on the root of the problem.

Remove your multi-switch, dust your wires, and then reboot it. Inspect your door control contact first, followed by your harness contact. Replace the defective one before testing.

As a final option, change your controller or the multi-function turning indicator.

Dead Motor

If a C5 corvette headlamp does not work, the cause might be faulty motors. As the headlamp operates on the power transmitted directly from your motor, a dead motor means a dead headlamp.

Solution

Before running to a local auto shop, ensure the electricity gets to your motors. A thorough meter reading will help you identify the problem.

Before changing anything, it is advisable to double-check your motors, contacts, and so on. Feed your motors directly with approximately 12 volts from your battery. If it runs, the fault is not with the motors.

In this case, following the schematics and instructions in your car manual, examine your entire circuit utilizing a meter.

Bad or Dirty Connections

Oxidation and poor solder connections can induce several issues with C5 headlamps. For example, a C5 corvette headlamp might be locked down. You’ll need to disassemble your pop-up headlights to clean those grimy contacts.

Solution

You’ll need quick access to your motherboard to clean your contacts and rework the solder joints. Scrub all the dirt or grime off the contacts with steel wool. If scrubbing and resoldering don’t help, change your headlight’s opening door.

Faulty Wiring

There are 4 relay wires monitored at the same time. A blockage or too much electricity from your engine might damage one of those lines and create a stalled C5 corvette headlamp. It is advisable to examine the related motors and headlamp gears. Damaged wires might indicate defective gears or a motor.

Solution

Get your motherboard by removing the controller using a screwdriver. 

While the board's parts aren't really static-sensitive, you must still take precautions. The 4-pole circuit should be your priority because most issues arise here.
Faulty wiring can also cause your headlights to fail. – Road & Track 

While the board’s parts aren’t really static-sensitive, you must still take precautions. The 4-pole circuit should be your priority because most issues arise here.

Change or reattach your relay wires. If your current relay is already a replacement, we strongly advise you to purchase a relay adapter. Rather than hardwiring your wires to your motherboard, connect it to your relay port. Reinstall your unit and check your headlamps.

A Gear Issue

Gear failures within your pop-up might occur at any time. Check to see whether your motor is working. If your C5 corvette pop-up headlamps’ motor still functions, you have a severe stripped gear problem.

Solution

Substitute your OEM gears with bronze gears; however, before spending your money, ensure the issue lies within your gears. Other potential causes, like defective shock absorbers or the multi-function lever, should be ruled out initially.

Rodney brass gear sets are often perfect substitutes for defective pop-up ones.

Problem with the Bump Stops

Not having enough bump stops is a common issue and might cause your C5 corvette headlamp not to pop up. In this case, your headlamps will still work, and your dashboard will still display no alarms. 

But what if all the bump stops are still there? In this case, all automotive components, including the bump stops, experience deterioration and oxidation. And this degradation is the ultimate culprit.
Check whether your bump stops are missing or not. – Corvette Blogger 

But what if all the bump stops are still there? In this case, all automotive components, including the bump stops, experience deterioration and oxidation. And this degradation is also the ultimate culprit behind your headlamp problem. 

Solution 

You might try directly turning your gear 1 round counterclockwise. However, this workaround only addresses the issues for a short while, and you’ll be back in the exact situation the next time you go for a drive.

In the worst case, your motor might be over-torquing at your bump stops due to a defective component.

Getting bump stop replacement is a method you may try if you have some extra hours. Purchase a replacement kit and schedule service if you prefer to leave it to the pros.

You may find some slack in the connection to your motor. Fasten any loosened link and check again.

Also, thoroughly oil all of your joints before reassembling them all. This keeps oxidation and sparks between your plugs and pins’ mechanical joints at bay. If you have time, you may do the same thing with all of your vehicle’s electrical contacts. Preventing is always preferable to fixing.

Wrapping Up  

Corvette pop up headlights are classic; yet, due to their old-aged model, they can also bring many issues. Hopefully, with our post, you’ve identified your issue and learned how to best address the situation. However, if none of the above appears to be your problem, contact an expert and leave the work for them! Good luck!

For more knowledge of car parts, refer to our Fun Autopart section.

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