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Chevrolet Lumina



  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    GM turned down my request for "goodwill assistance" for replacement alternator on Lumina with 29K miles. Seems I didn't visit Mr. Goodwrench enough for maintenance. They certainly have some weird criteria for handing out the secret warranty bucks. Anyone have any luck getting GM to pick up the tab for their lousy alternators?
  • i have had my rotors and brake pads replaced, and my car is still almost impossible to stop. Mechanics say everything is fine, also, when i go into reverse my brakes squeal really loud. Is there a remedy to this nightmare. I am afraid to back up because of the loud brake squeal. thank you.

  • I have a 97 Monte which I replaced the rotors with raybestos ones and the pads with raybestos quiet stop. This was about $225 total. I have about 2000 miles on the set and no complaints. We have not had much wet weather here, and wet stopping power during a downpour was my chief complaint. If you have the 3.4 engine, check the vacuum hose from the engine to the power brake booster.I understand these get old and soft and collapse under the vacuum. The Monte has the the same brakes as the Lumina and I am happy with them otherwise. I have made emergency stops which surprized me at how fast the car stopped.
  • i just bought a cd stereo to replace my cassete and it says lock ..does anyone know how to unlock it
  • You would need the code that that the original owner used for the security setting, without this a delco dealer or Gm dealer can get it done(for a charge)
  • thanks for the response
    i actually brought it to the dealer and paid $60 for him to do the code
  • I am an owner of a 1996 Chevy Lumina with 130,000 miles on and the only problem that i have had so far would be the two front ball joints. but i am running into another small problem. the low oil light comes on when i start the car but if i shut it off and start it again, it goes off. also antifrezze and oil come up missing, i dont think its burnning it cuz i never smell it and it dont leave any puddles anywhare. has anyone else had this problem or know what to do about it?
  • I also have a 96 Lumina with 140,000 miles and have just recently serviced it for similar problem. I was loosing some coolant for a while with no visible leak. Didn't think too much of it at the time then last week while driving home from work the "low coolant" light came on. I pulled over immediately and discovered almost no coolant and still no visible leak. Checked my dipstick and discovered a crankcase full of water.
    It turned out to be the intake manifold gasket. It was probably going for a while but in it's early stages the coolant vaporized quicker than I could detect it in the oil, but when it finally broke loose completely there was no doubt. I was fortunate in that I stopped the engine before any other major damage occured since water makes a bad lubricant. You may also be experiencing the early stages of a bad intake manifold gasket as well. Good luck!
  • My 95 Lumina had the same symptoms at 100,000 miles. Here are the four most likely causes.
    1. The intake manifold gasket as sealant mentioned in post # 449.
    2. Head gasket.
    3. Warpage of the aluminum head.
    4. Valve seals. This won't cause coolant loss, but will cause excessive oil consumption. I put new gaskets on my car from the block up, and had a machinist plane the heads. He also installed new valve seals for me. At 170,000 miles the problems have yet to recur.
  • cintimcintim Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 lumina with the 3.4 engine. My mechanic mentioned that the timing belt should be replaced after 60,000 miles but the owners manual says it should be inspected only. Anyone have problems with their timing belt on this engine and at what mileage. Mine is approaching 70K. also what are the symptoms of it going out? Any help would be appreciated.
  • I had owned the 90 Lumina Euro for three and a half years, but after the AC broke for the second time iabout three weeks ago, I decided to buy a new car and sell it. It had 100,000 miles when I bought it in 1999 and 134,000 miles when I sold it yesterday. During my ownership, I replaced the water pump, windshield washer pump, rear struts, alternator, battery, and two tires. The coolant kept leaking for a long time, and I had to take it to the shop several times until it was fixed completely. The driver's seat belt got stuck, and the remote trunk lid lever broke too, and it had recently started to show multiple oil leaks as well. On the positive side, I enjoyed the power everything and the powerful V6 engine. It was spacious, heavy and sturdy and I felt safe driving in it. It consumed lots of gas, but I didn't mind it that much; after al, it had a big engine! My previous car, Nissan Sentra with a 1.6-litter engine, was a basic model and everything was manual. I didn't even have the power steering! So compared to that, I enjoyed the luxurious feel of a mid-size family sedan. (I especially liked the leather steering wheel!) I had always wanted to drive a good old American car (before the Sentra, I had a 1988 Toyota Carolla), so I enjoyed that too. It was my first automatic, and although I enjoyed not having to shift the gear, I missed the stick, and decided to go back to a 5-speed for my next car, a 2002 Hyundai Elantra GLS. People say that the GLS has a soft suspension, but coming from the Lumina, it sure feels very firm. I bought the Lumina for $2,500 in 1999 and sold it for $1,200. The expenses for maintenance and regular oil changes cost me about $1,800 over the three and a half years. The total cost of the ownership was certainly cheaper than owning a brand-new car, but I figured it was time to move on.
  • When the timing belt is torn and if you have an interference engine, the valves are destroyed and it could cause an irrevocable damage. My Nissan Sentra 1985 had that kind of engine and died when its timing belt got torn out of the blue. I don't think you feel any symptoms in advance. So as a preventive measure, it's a good idea to replace the timing belt even if you don't have an interference engine so you won't get stranded on the road. A mechanic told me that my 1990 Lumina Euro had a timing chain so there was no need to replace it, although I suppose that it too could get torn in the long run.
  • I'm looking for a '97 or '98 Lumina and I'm hoping to find one with either a 3.4 or 3.8L engine. I'm starting to think that they dont exist. Every single Lumina that I've seen so far is equipped with the 3.1L. I was hoping to get some feedback about the different engines and whether or not you're happy with the 3.1. Should I hold out until I find either the 3.4 or 3.8 or should I "settle" for the 3.1? All opinions appreciated. Thanks.
  • I have a '99 LTZ with the 3.8L. I think the engine was an LTZ option in '98 and standard in '99. I don't think the 3.4L pushrod engine has ever been offered. The 3.4L DOHC may have been an option earlier. I'm not sure. That engine was said to be powerful but troublesome.

    I've bought several used cars at General Services Administration (GSA) auctions. A few years ago there were a lot of base Luminas with police options and 3.8L engines being sold. They may still be around.

    The 3.1L has chronic intake manifold leaks and piston slap, serious and expensive problems. You can look at "Common General Motor's 2.8, 3.1, 3.4 V6's engine problems" here on Edmunds and on the Usenet. There are also lots of trouble free 3.1Ls that their owners like. You have to decide. My 3.8L is okay.
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    Has anyone had problems with their 4T60-E? My brother has a 1997 Lumina LS with the 3100 and the 4T60-E. He recently had the "check engine" light come on, and a local shop said the code was "shift solenoid A electrical". I know there is a shift solenoid A and B that controls the shifting. As far as I know, he still has all the gears working. He said it feels sluggish, and sounded like he meant it shifts slowly, but perhaps it is starting in 2nd and he doesn't realize it. Anyway, the repair was quoted at $2,000 so I'm trying to help him find alternatives. Has anyone had success dealing with this problem without having the tranny torn open and the parts replaced? Thanks!
  • I was leaning toward the 3.8L to begin with and after reading your replies I think that's the way to go. Now I just have to find one. Any other discussion on this topic is welcome. I'd like to read as many opinions as possible. Thanks again!
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I have the 3.1 in my 97 which I consider a work car and it is adequate for commuting. Had no problems except for the alternator which seems to be a weak point. No problem with gaskets but engine only has 31K miles. The 3.1 has a good reputation but I would expect some problems if you get one with high mileage. I'm getting the 3.8 in my Impala. The 3.4 is louder than the 3.1 in the Lumina, so given a choice I would go with the 3.8, too.
  • mje33mje33 Posts: 2
    I have a 1999 LTZ with the 3800. I have an intermittent problem that sometimes when I turn the key, there is a slight delay before it starts. It seems to act up more when the weather is cold and damp. I have had it at the dealer a few times but there isn't much they can do if the car won't do it when its there (yes, I brought it there when it was cold and damp). Today it outright wouldn't start (engine warm) on several tries. When I turned the key, all lights came on, I heard a low hum for a few seconds which stopped, then nothing. I gave it a few minutes and then it started. Has anyone else had this problem?
  • Like I said I have a 96 Lumina with a 3.4, it is a vary powerful engine but also very temperamental. you have to take very good care of it or it will not last forever. it is said that the 3.8 is the best best engine ever made by GM for todays cars. I am currently trying to look for one to replace my 3.4. the 3.4 is also a very expensive engine. I have owned mine for just under a year I have put 25000 miles on it and have only had minor problems, but expensive. so if I was you I would keep looking for the 3.8 and don't "settle" for the 3.1 it is a gutless wonder, too small for the car.
  • mje33mje33 Posts: 2
    Update: I tried using a brand new car from my wife's key ring and (knock on wood) I haven't had a problem since. I noticed some wear marks on the old key and the resistor chip embedded in it felt very worn compared to the new key.
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