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Chevrolet Lumina



  • Checked on your suggestion; I guess GM isn't quite as good as I imagined. Still my preference, but I'll be a bit more realistic in the future. They're doing the work under warranty; teflon coating on the replacements. Appreciate the replies and advice. Meanwhile, was the 94 just a lucky break, or was that a pretty reliable engine? Aside from regular oil changes, my PM habits aren't terribly impressive.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    It's in lots of taxis which run up the miles--almost all the the taxis in Toronto are Luminas and they're in lots of other fleets. Not to mention the Buicks and other cars that still use them.
  • mlfranzmlfranz Posts: 7
    I own a '94 Lumina with the 3.1 motor. It currently as 180,750 miles and is still running strong. I've basically followed the maintenance schedule, changing the oil and filter every 3000 miles or so. I'm very pleased with the durability of the 3.1
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Howabout brakes? I have 34K miles on original pads--do these go forever?
  • I put well over 45,000 miles on my '94 before I needed to do the brakes. No idea how many miles were on them when I picked it up, though. I do know those rear calipers were tough, at least until I figured them out. (Don't just jump in with a C-clamp, it won't do any good!) That was just my inexperience, as I had never done rear disc brakes. Take good care of that '94! Best car I ever owned, and I've had more than my fair share.
  • mlfranzmlfranz Posts: 7
    I've had good luck with the brakes, too. I get about 50,000 from the front brakes, 58,000 from the rear brakes. My driving is primarily suburban roads. I concur with sandeman44 - it's been an excellent car to own, one of the best.
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    On my old '96 Lumina, I got almost 57k mi on the front brake pads. My wife also had a '96, and hers had about 48k on the pads. Bear in mind that the '95 and up had front discs/rear drums, while the previous-generation Lumina had 4-wheel discs (which were problematic, especially in cars before '93 - I don't remember how many brake jobs I had on my '91 Grand Prix - the only fault with that car).

  • desertkevdesertkev Posts: 76
    I bought a '90 Lumina brand new in '90 and I gave it to my dad back in '98...he is the guy who will drive a car till it dies....well, he now has 245,000 miles and it's the original motor and trans. I used Mobil 1 every 4000 and did Slick 50 every 25,000, Changed Tran Fluid every 20,000. Knock on wood, we're waiting for 300,000. Interior components are worn, but the body and engine are solid.
  • rogerm4rogerm4 Posts: 10
    Just spent 330.00 at the dealer to diagnose and replace bad spark plug wires in my wifes 96 lumina ls. The dealer just put new plug wires on on 7/3/2000 on a recall. Just 25000 miles later, the plug wires are bad again?? Now that is quality!! Anyone else had similar problems with the spark plug wires?
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Suggest you go to an independent garage the next time. They generally charge about half as much as the dealer, which has very high overhead due to having to maintain a parts inventory, expensive real estate, etc. I haven't had a problem with the wires.
  • melanietifmelanietif Posts: 1
    I have a Chevy Lumina 3.1 v6, fuel injected. About 2 wks. ago my husband drove the car across town and came home said the car was missing, and it was acting like one of the coil paks were out. So I took it to a retired GM Mechanic who is retired,and has the computer analisis machine. He replaced a censor. I drove it about 20 miles, then it done the missing again. Its like something is in the gas, dirt or water or maybe a spark plug or wire is breaking down. I just had the plugs replaced. So I took it to another supposed certified mechanic, he replaced the ignition module on it. Drove it about 50 miles, and it started the missing again. Now I have sunk almost $500 in the old car. I just don't know what to do. If the computers can't detect the problem, who can? It doesn't do it constantly. Just when I try to excel, when the engine has to try. Could dirt be in the gas? I have changed the fuel filter too, that did not phase the problem. I would appreciate the help if anyone can advise me. I am running out of patience with this heart beat of America, and fixing to go back to Ford Country.
  • dshepherd3dshepherd3 Posts: 194
    True you have a problem with the miss, but what about 500.00 for nothing!!! I would expect one of these "mechanics" to either find and fix the problem at no additional charge, or refund your money, why do you have to go all over town, spend this money and still be in the same spot, these cars are not rocket science, ineffective repairs should not be you responsibility to pay for. On a 91 car the computer will not tell you there is a miss, as such, a plug wire could do this, or one bad injector, If the miss is there when the shop checks this out, there should be no problem diagnosing it, without "guess work". Good Luck
  • Have intake manifold gaskets been considered? How's your coolant level? Do you have to add coolant often?
  • cwilliam2cwilliam2 Posts: 1
    #1 of 3 Service engine light came on dash board by cwilliam2 Jun 02, 2003 (7:36 pm)
    The service engine light came on so I took it to the dealership. Codes 23 park/neutral switch need
    replacing and code 77 intake manifold gasket came
    on. Does anyone know anything about the park/neutral switch and what are the indications it need replacement. I got a second opinion and
    was told this work ($1,900.00) was not necessary.
    Please advise.
  • Scan tool showed the temperature of the transmission (3.1,4T60E) to be 230 degrees F after an hour of driving. It seems the transmission would steadily get hotter the longer I drove, with no apparent cooling taking place. Normal range is 175 to 212F. A temperature of 250F will set code 79.
         I removed the radiator and flushed the trans cooler with the garden hose. At first nothing happened, then slowly this viscious goo started dribbling out. After about 5 minutes of steady pressure, the water exiting was clear and unobstructed. A test drive showed a 30F drop. If you are experiencing transmission over heating this could be one of the causes.
  • Agreed the thing is cheaper than the asian competetion but comes nowhere near in refinement terms.
  • bearmerbearmer Posts: 37
    What do you think the goo is? If it were collecting in the transaxle the valve body would get gummed up. I haven't heard of this before.
  • The only thing I can think of is the cooler somehow became partially or totally plugged and the fluid that was trapped in the cooler slowly thickened over time due to the heat. It had the consistency of chilled honey,with a grayish color. I did take the car to a garage about five months ago that advertises total fluid removal from the transaxle and had them refill it with 100% synthetic. They wouldn't put in a new filter so when I got home I installed one myself and inspected and cleaned the pan. The valve body looked clean then.
         I don't know if it was the synthetic, the garage or if the events are unrelated. At least the fluid is still red with no burnt smell and the trans shifts like always.
         There is a TSB #99-07-30-017 which talks about the trouble this causes,so with the Lumina it may be fairly common.
         And to snakeguy, I agree.
  • buzzy6buzzy6 Posts: 3
    I just bought a 98 Lumina LS. Seems to be a great car. I like the engine's torque and the suspension of the car, very comfortable. Anyway, first thing I noticed, is that when I change radio stations, the auto eq. immediately goes to "News", even though I had it on something else. Is this normal, or should the equilizer stay set on the same setting, when changing stations. (I wanted to check here, before I go thru the manual.) Thanks.
  • bearmerbearmer Posts: 37
    I think you're asking why the preset buttons don't save the tone. They do. Get the tone and the frequency you wan't then hold the preset button until the sound returns. If you mean that the tone changes while tuning with the knob or scan button, I don't think it's supposed to do that.
  • buzzy6buzzy6 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the quick response. I have not tried to save preset buttons with the tone, to see if it works. But when I tune a different station manually, it reverts back to "news", which is wrong, I think. I'll find out more later, when I pick the car up from the garage, I had them flush and change all the fluids, replace brakes, etc...
  • buzzy6buzzy6 Posts: 3
    Well, I checked the radio settings and, bearmer, you were right, the stations were not saved with the correct tone, it works just fine.

    Now, for the "replace oil soon" light, I can't get it to turn off, even though the oil and filter were changed. I followed the directions in the owner's manual, but after pressing the gas pedal 3 times, the light never blinks. Nothing happens. I noticed that the light goes out after driving for a while, but when I start the car again, it's on again.

    Second problem, I had to purchase a second transmitter for the door locks. I followed some instructions I found on the net to program it, but it didn't work. Anyone know the correct procedure to program the transmitters?

    Thanks for your help.
  • grandpa83grandpa83 Posts: 1
    My Lumina has 102,000 miles on it and there is a significant leak coming from the right front area of the engine. We have had two estimates - one saving it is the front timing cover gasket and seal - the other saying it is the intake gasket (best case) or worst case head gasket, however, they think it is probably intake. Are these similar things - just different terms or am I getting two drastically different opinions. I have spent $90 ($45 each) so do not want to go to another place! The cost for the timing gasket is $750, the cost for the intake is $550. Does anyone have an opinion? Thank you!
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    But opinions are like armpits................and you may not be getting the correct diagnosis.

    That said, it sounds like an external gasket leak so I would not be concerned if it's a small amt. of oil, just top off the oil in the crankcase every week.

    If it's an intake or head gasket leak you should find oil in the coolant. You could do an oil analysis for $20 to find out.

    You dont't say where you are seeing the leaking oil, which is primary clue as to where the leak might be coming from.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,576
    If it's an intake or head gasket leak you should find oil in the coolant. You could do an oil analysis for $20 to find out.
    That isn't entirely correct.
    The 3.1 will usually pop the gsket between the coolant passage and the outside.
    Occasionally, it will pop between the coolant passage and the drain to pan passage, but not that often.

    There is a leak detection dye you can purchase from most auto parts stores for $5. Leak detection UV lights are available for about $40.
    The dye will help you easily detect the leak.
    We carry several different leak detection lights and Lisle's small penlight is one of the least expensive.
  • hookramerhookramer Posts: 8
    my ac was blowing cold for a while and it just stopped i brought it to mech and he replaced the fuse and then it was fine 20 minutes later it stopped blowing cold so i brought it back

    the mech said now its a big job?
    after looking at it he called me and said he doesnt need to replace the whole compressor for $800 it Just needs the comp clutch thats attached to coils which is $300 but since the 3.4 is a tight engine he need to let out the freeon and take it out to replace now adding $80 to the job
    anyone who has had this prob please let me know if this sounds good
  • amazineamazine Posts: 11
    I was looking for another Lumina after having owned a 90 coupe. I just love these cars. I got a great deal from an estate sale. The car had 65,000 miles on it and wasn't driven in awhile. I knew about the intake gasket problem. Sure enough 5000 miles later my temp gauge shot up, and I knew what it was. Took it to my mech and told him that I cooked the gaskets. Told him "might as well change everything on it while your under there." 4 days later and a 550.00 for new gaskets and tune-up I'm still in love with this car. I still came out (I think) ahead as far as what I paid plus the tune-up.
    Now my question is that I swear that my 90 coupe was alot more quicker and more responsive. Besides finding a 3.8,what can I do to make the car more reponsive and faster? I don't trust buying chips off of ebay unless someone has done this and it has worked for them. Any suggestions would be greatly appericated.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I don't think there's anything you can do with the 3.1 but enjoy the ride.
  • tassitassi Posts: 13
    My car just hit 100,000 and it's been a great car but now the engine is making a whining sound when I accelerate. Seems when I really get on it the engine seems to slip. when I say slip I mean it will accelerate and then for a split second stop and then go back into acceleration. Does anybody know what this could be? I had my plugs and wires replaced about 10,000 miles ago. I would appreciate any info. Thanks.
  • well if your description is accurate it points to trans problems, first check the fluid, is it full, not burnt? You should have it check by a trans shop and scanned for error codes relating to trans performance, then post back. Does the engine rpms flare up for a second, or does the engine seem to faulter, this is the crux of the diagnosis.
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