6 spd 08 Coupe my steep driveway the TCS indicator in the dash was displayed

Q. I have a 6 spd 08 Coupe. When I drove up my steep driveway the TCS indicator in the dash was displayed ( car with skid lines ) and service the TCS displayed in the DIC. I cleared the msg but couldn’t get the dash light off. My problem was when this happened I was locked out of reverse, no reverse at all. I got car back down the driveway and drove it and finally cleared the car sliding display. I have reverse again. Has anyone else had this problem of not being able to get the shifter into “reverse”.  It only has happened twice and both times happened on my driveway.

A. This could be a tough diagnosis. I think you probably have a lose connection in a wheel sensor circuit. I suspect there is something about the way the body of your Vette flexes going into your driveway that is causing a corroded or lose connection to open an electrical circuit. That may seem like a stretch but you first have to understand how electricity works.

A basic principal of electricity is that it always takes the path of least resistance. But how would that cause the car to be locked out of reverse? This car should have a reverse lockout solenoid that blocks reverse under certain conditions. When the traction system loses a direct path for its signals on one or more sensors that signal looks for an alternate path to ground. On modern cars with hundreds of electrical circuits many of which may be interconnected this gives the electrical signal the possibility of lots of alternates.

Certainly one alternate path might be by way of the reverse lockout solenoid. In tis case the signal might find ground through the solenoid. Because the electricity flows through the solenoid to ground it may activate the solenoid just like it would with an actual trigger signal. If that is the case the lock out would be activated until the connection is restored.

The problem here is how to verify this. One way is with a scan tool to look at the signals to see which one goes away during an episode. But that by itself can be a problem unless the issue can be duplicated readily. Once you know which signal is going away you will have to measure resistance in each protion of the circuit wiring until you find the culprit. You could also perform a wiggle test in the hopes that wiggling wires will make it happen which will also tell you where to look.

You have to understand that testing when the problem isn’t present is mostly a waste of time because when it isn’t acting up there is no problem to find.

Originally posted on National Corvette Owner’s Association newsletter http://www.nationalcorvetteowners.com/


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