Chevy Lumina Electrical/Lights

sebastianjsebastianj Member Posts: 1

I recently bought a 1997 Chevy Lumina Sedan and I love it!!! The simple and stupid question of mine is How the heck do I change the headlights. I got the right low beams from Wal-Mart yesterday and I was trying to pull the headlights out (I do have the manual and did it like it said) but it just didn't work. I just can't get them out.

Another question of mine is, when I try to switch the cooling switch to the normal blowers, it doesn't work. The lumina only shoots air out of the floor vents and the one right beneath the windshield. Also I don't think the A/C works.

I don't really know where to start on those problems and I AM THANKFULL FOR ANY HELP!!!!


  • ppost02ppost02 Member Posts: 4
    :confuse: I have a 97 Chevy Lumina that has been having intermittant problems starting. When you turn the key on the dash lights up but when you try to start, nothing. Won't turn over or anything. It may act up once and then be fine for the next 6-10 times, then it might act up 4 or 5 times in a row. The engine temp or outdoor temp doesn't seem to have any affect on this problem. The "Security" light on the dash has been coming on intermittantly also. It doesn't flash but might come on one day and stay on a few minutes or for the entire 45-min drive. Then I may not see it for days again. I took it to a local garage about a month ago and they thought the starter had a dead spot and replaced the starter ($300). It was okay for about 2 weeks and then starting acting up again. I called a dealer garage today and they say it sounds like the ignition switch ($375+). I think it may be the ignition module. Any ideas? If anyone else thinks it may be the ignition module do you know where it's located? :confuse:
  • jasper60103jasper60103 Member Posts: 22
    Hi ppost02.

    I have a 95 lumina 3.1 with 165000 miles. I think we have the same problem.
    My problem started about a year ago. I figured the starter was going out and I had it replaced.

    The problem still persisted, though intermittently and infrequently.
    Never could reproduce the problem at the shop.
    My mechanic noticed oil leaking from the manifold and assumed oil may be seeping in the starter and causing this problem.
    Lumina's are notorious for the manifold gasket leak. Anyway, I had the manifold gasket replaced, but still the problem occurs once in a while.

    He replaced the starter (again) under warranty, but the problem still does occur intermittently. I still can never reproduce the problem at the shop. It only happens once in a while.

    I've been living with it ever since. Would be nice to get this fixed.

    Also, I found a work around. Turn ON the ignition switch, pause for a moment, then crank the starter.
    It starts up every time without a glitch.

  • tharmantharman Member Posts: 1
    I also have a 97 Lumina with the exact same problem, started about 5 years ago. They changed the starter because of a 'dead spot' but it still happened occasionally. Getting much worse the last couple of months. But of course, never happens at a shop or when a mechanic is around. It usually starts right up if I get out, go back inside and come back to try again.
  • ppost02ppost02 Member Posts: 4
    I gave my key a thorough cleaning, first with a pencil eraser and then with alcohol and also swabbed the key hole with alcohol and it's been working fine ever since. What I don't understand is, when it was acting up it also wouldn't start with my remote starter. If the problem has to do with the key, the key doesn't have to be in the ignition to start it with the remote. (I forgot to mention this in my original post). Unless something went screwy from the previous time it was running (the Security light?) Also, I have not seen the Security light come on since I've cleaned the key. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it continues to work and I'm glad I cancelled my appointment with the dealer!
  • ecalkinsecalkins Member Posts: 1
    So does anyone have an answer for this problem. Sounds like there is probably more than a few lumina's out there with the same problem. I have a '97 and it's really becoming annoying waiting for it to decide to start. Who said that the key had anything to do with it and why?
  • ppost02ppost02 Member Posts: 4
    It's partly the key, but mostly related to the "Passkey" security system. Here's a good article that tells you how it works. ticle.pdf

    Here's part of another article that tells you some things to check to see if it is the "Passkey" system or a broken wire. (Which I was told if it's a broken wire it would not start at all.)

    Don't let a common GM Passkey problem keep you from starting the car. On a tilt column, the tiny white wires going to the key pellet contacts eventually break.

    Find these wires coming out of the steering column harness at the bottom and disconnect the pigtail. Measure the resistance across the wires going to the ignition switch key contacts with the key in. If the circuit is open, the white wire is likely broken.

    Next measure the resistance across the key pellet. Attach a universal gauge tester to the harness pigtail leading to the Theft Deterrent Module. Simulate the same resistance level as was measured at the key pellet. If there are no other faults, the engine will now start and your diagnosis is confirmed.

    Michael L. Martin, ASE Master Mechanic
    Martin's Garage, Maugansville, MD

    Good Luck!
  • ppost02ppost02 Member Posts: 4
    :sick: I've had two months of working fine after giving the key a good cleaning, now my Lumina is acting up again. It's now at the GM garage and they just called to tell me they are replacing the ignition switch and I'll also have a new set of keys. $297+tax. According to the mechanic, you may be able to try things that will "fool" the system for a while, but it will eventually stop working altogether. School starts in two weeks and I don't want to be fighting with this problem any longer. A new vehicle is not an option at this time, so I guess I have no choice but to fork over the dough and get it fixed. :mad: I'll wait a few months and post again to let you all know if this truly fixes the problem.
  • lonewolf75lonewolf75 Member Posts: 2
    Hi, this is my first enter in this site, i need help,
    somebody can say me why my car turn off during is running, Could be spark plug trouble?, or I appreciate is somebody give me guide, can be something worst?? Any recommendation??
  • jewelsiejewelsie Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Chevi Lumina approaching 111,000. This has been a maintenance-free car with little problems. However, a couple of weeks ago my "Security Light" is on and stays on. The car still starts w/no problem. I had a similar problem when I first got the car, I switched keys and the light went out. I don't have any extra keys now. I also tried re-setting the Theftlock auto stereo code, but it looks like someone else has already done that. How would I get the code to disengage the Autotheft feature? Any advice on this? Thanks.
  • lawrencegagaslawrencegagas Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1995 Chev Lumina. When accelerating there seems to be a hesitation. If I depress the foot pedal to the point of going into passing gear, the car accelerates. Then when I let up, the car has a surging feeling, and if I try to accelerate slowly it doesn't respond immediately or at all.
    Unless I push the pedal all the way down.
    Any suggestions? Thanks, Larry
  • ytown1ytown1 Member Posts: 2
    Hello, My 95 Lumina has a miss with violent jerking above 45 mph. When I'm cruising above 45 and give it just a little gas as normal acceleration, it starts missing. If I baby the gas, I can accelerate without the miss. Also, if I'm above 45 and slow down quickly, the check engine light comes on. If I baby it back down to below 45 by easing the gas, the light won't come on. So I think a sensor is picking something up. Just bought the car and should have checked it out better. Someone cut the OBD wires and did some splicing so I can't get the code out. Ideas on what could be causing the miss are appreciated. Thanks, Tom
  • k179k179 Member Posts: 2
    hi my car will crank but will not start the shop where it was serviced at said it is my theft deterrent module is there any way to fix my car with out taking it to a dealer the prices are kind of high
  • k179k179 Member Posts: 2
    larry what did you do to fix your problem with the 95 lumina my car was doing the same .
  • protecprotec Member Posts: 1
    I have a 95 lumina my dash lights wont work so i want to pull the headlight switch out i cant seam to get it out has anyone done it.
  • jasper60103jasper60103 Member Posts: 22
    hi my car will crank but will not start...

    I had a similar issue recently with my 95 Lumina, except my car would not crank at all. FYI. The anti-theft system should disable the starter.

    Anyway, my problem was the ignition cylinder went bad. I took it to a private mechanic. It was still pricey to fix.
  • jasper60103jasper60103 Member Posts: 22
    FWIW, my 95 Lumina was mise firing badly. Turns out it had a bad ignition coil and a vacuum leak at the intake.
  • ytown1ytown1 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info jasper60103. My miss also ended up being a bad coil. But, the light still comes on when you slowing down from above 45 mph. Don't notice any missing and it seems to run fine though, so, I'll just live with it I guess.
  • crystalmalicecrystalmalice Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 chevy lumina, nothing really pressing going on with it. I just need to know how to replace the tail light bulb? Any who can help? It would be much appreciated. Thanks.
  • gomacgogomacgo Member Posts: 3
    We took our 2001 Lumina, V6, out today, parked it, but when I went to restart it...
    nothing, except the key-in-ignition dinger. And it sounded weak and barely audible.
    No headlights, no interior lights, or dash lights. Like someone had cut all power from the battery.

    I installed a new battery, and the lights worked fine, the dinger was it's usual annoying self, but when I went to start it... nothing, and then it acted like it had before the new battery. It has no security system for the ignition, just the radio.

    Anyone know what I'm up against?
  • smadd38smadd38 Member Posts: 1
    My mom has a 1997 lumina. WERE IS THE FUSE BOX!
    Boy do I feel dumb asking this question.
  • fsk816fsk816 Member Posts: 1
    Was on the freeway and car stalled and wouldnt start back up.Now it Starts for a second ,Then stalls.And sometimes it sounds like its not getting no fire at all.And then when I take the key out and put it back in it starts up for a few minutes and stalls .It is getting fuel because I can smell it.Any help please.
  • gomacgogomacgo Member Posts: 3
    Open passenger door. On side of dash pull out "Fuse Box" cover.
    There may be an additional fuse box in the engine compartment.
    Open hood. Look to your left/middle. There maybe one on the right side as well.

    Hope that helps!
  • gomacgogomacgo Member Posts: 3
    My 2001 did something similar.

    I drove it about 5 miles, shut it off, then went to start it about 5 minutes later.
    Nothing. Like someone had removed the battery! I got a jump, drove it about 2 miles and it died.

    Found out it was the positive battery terminal/cable.
    I don't see how it could be that sporadic, but after the dealership replaced the cable, car has been ok.

    Hint: I was SURE I had it tightened when I replaced the battery, but they said it was loose. All I can figure is, I stripped it and the bolt came loose.
  • old1960old1960 Member Posts: 2
    I note that the messages above are old. I have a 1999 Lumina and Have- HAD- a similar problem.
    My neighbor, a mobile mechanic came to me when I was trouble shooting the problem. My problem also included blowing a fuse and a wire getting very hot. When the problem occured I would start the car with a screwdriver at the starter. The mechanic told me Lumina's have problems with the harness at the transmission. I tugged on it and set it a certain way and the problem went away, I mean gone. I looked at the harness connections this past weekend and this is what I found:
    -There is a wire harness that runs to the transmission with two separate connections. One has around four wires in it and the other has two. The one with the 4 wires were exposed and possibly grounding. I respliced them and taped them up.

    Hope this helps.
  • wzbzjmnwzbzjmn Member Posts: 5
    That sounds good, however, where you also getting a surge and hesitation at higher speeds? Did you get any codes? I have a 1991 Lumina Euro 3.1 and it's driving me nuts. The problem is obviously intermittent, sometimes it's just fine and last week I barely made it off the freeway. I am getting a code 42 which is a short or ground to the EST circuit. Maybe that's the wiring you found. This is great because you know the mechanics would have had me spending $1000.00 before fixing a short. which is 9 times out of 10 the problem.
  • old1960old1960 Member Posts: 2
    I did not have problems with hesitation or surging. The car ran perfect other than the starting problems which was a hastle. Especially in the rain at night. You could also have your ignition module tested at the local auto parts store. This could also be the problem.

  • rshepardrshepard Member Posts: 2
  • rshepardrshepard Member Posts: 2
    i'm working on a 2000 lumina and the battery is dead every morning. i trouble shot it down to something in fuse #10 which is either I/P Electronics Battery-- Chime Module, Electronic Brake control module (EBCM), theft-deterrent Module, radio, DLC. I do not no were these component are located. I got this far by disconnection neg battery termanl hooking up test like between battery post and cable pulled fuses out till test light went out. now i have test light in # 10 fuse slot was going to unplug things until light went out. any one have thoughts?
  • gonzygonzy Member Posts: 3
  • gonzygonzy Member Posts: 3
    I own one Lumina sedan 1998 and drain the battery in a couples of days if the car is not in use. I found that the fuse 41 to power drop circuit have more than 1.8 amps while car still park and switch off. If I disconnect this fuse the car do not drain battery. My mech. toll me that this switch goes to the circuit that turn off lights indoor if you forget and let it on. Where are this circuit located and How can I replaced or if any know which is the problem. Thanks
    I the same car (year/make) with the same prob. . Did replacing the EST work for you. HELP, THANKS.
  • jonboy85jonboy85 Member Posts: 3

    I own a Chevy Lumina 1994 4dr sedan. Recently, I've noticed that when I turn the wheel to a certain degree, left or right, the corresponding turn signal will stop blinking until I turn the wheel further or tap the switch to 'jolt' it back into action. The hazard flashers work just fine. Any ideas?

    Thanks! :)
  • jonboy85jonboy85 Member Posts: 3
    Sorry, not completely sure what the EST is. I'm not very mechanically-minded. Just know how to do basic maintenance on the car. Is the EST the switch mechanism in the wheel housing?
  • whitelightniwhitelightni Member Posts: 1
    I own a 1998 chevy lumina LS 3.8 L engine. I have recently replaced the back-up lights located inside trunk. There are visually and mechanically two bulbs in this compartment. The tail lights are separate. When I turn on the lights only the tail light portion and two squares(right where bulbs are placed) of the middle trunk white bar are illuminated upon reverse. I have installed the specific bulbs. Why doesn't the whole bar and ends red portion light up? What is the deal? I can see that the white bar is my back-up light when in reverse(BUT ONLY TWO SPOTS LIT) but the end lights are not lit either and I have see other Lumina's at night with ALL RED LIT, while a few with my issue. Also I have seen a FULL WHITE BAR LIT on other lumina's when in reverse. What do I have to do to make the lights work properly. Could this be fuse/electrical short related??? If you have experienced this problem please comment
  • throbinson75throbinson75 Member Posts: 2
    I have a '97 Luminia 3.1l that I just had the back end apart for because of a few lighting issues.

    1) Brakes - I read it may be the turn signal switch and when I saw what was involved for replacing well, looking to add LEDs into the trunk lid, at the ends where its red open plastic and no lights. Basically... the brake lights don't work, yet the driving lights and turn signals do. The middle/3rd light works as well so from what I read it's common that it's the turn signal switch since everything else out checks out.

    2) Neither backup light works, bulbs look find but sockets look rotted so have to get bulbs and clean them out and see. The one bulb broke trying to remove it.

    My question is about the brake light issue... does anyone have any other ideas what it could be? Wiring seems fine otherwise, bulbs work, middle brake light works.... if indeed a signal switch (which again looks brutal to fix) does the wiring to the 3rd brake light have enough power to power a pair of LED cluster lights?

    As for the post from Whitelightni...

    I just had the whole unit off that houses the backup lights. I've never seen the whole unit end to end light up on any Lumina. The backup bulbs go into an enclosed plastic unit the blocks the light from escaping outside of the 2 white squares. If there is a lumina with the whole trunk lid unit lit, I think it was custom.
  • throbinson75throbinson75 Member Posts: 2
    Hey I just made a post about the backup lights and my brake lights... but wanted to make sure you got a notice for this so replying direct as well.

    I just had the whole unit off that houses the backup lights. I've never seen the whole unit end to end light up on any Lumina around here (Ontario). The backup bulbs go into an enclosed plastic unit the blocks the light from escaping outside of the 2 white squares. If there is a Lumina with the whole trunk lid unit lit, I think it was custom.

    I have the whole unit off the car trying to sort out wiring and to get water out... mine got cracked before I bought it. But on the '97 model... it's just a solid white plastic box glued in place. one side lets the light out, the other has a whole to twist the light into.
  • elpopeelpope Member Posts: 1
    :confuse: Here is my issue with my 97' lumina 3.1. At times my car has a hard time starting.. but it starts. When i put the car in reverse all of my lights dim ( head lights, dash lights and interer lights). Everything goes back to normal when i put the car in drive. At times my radio will turn on and off randomly and i hear a whining with the accelerating of the car running thru my stereo system. I replaced my radio and it stopped for a while but it came back. Needless to say my amp blew. At times while im driving when the radio turns off my car will shut itself off with it. I am at a loss with my car. Does any one know what can be going on? :cry:
  • pamela888pamela888 Member Posts: 2
    About two months ago my car would start intermittently, I noticed security light on, then it wouldn't start at all, security light flashing. I had the ignition cylinder replaced and got my new pass key. The car ran fine for over a month, then once in a while wouldn't start, then would. Security light not flashing. Had battery checked, its fairly new and it was fine. Now car will not start at all. My son in law came over yesterday and ran a wire from the solenoid to battery ( I had key turned to on position) and it started right up. He cleaned connections from purple wire going to solenoid as they looked rusty. He had me start the car many times and started great. A few hours after he left went out and car again won't start. Tried it today same thing, It will make one click noise, all lights on dash come on and thats it.

    I hate to put more money into it as I have spent well over $2000 in repairs over the past few years, major repair being having gaskets etc replaced due to oil leakage.

    I spent almost $200 for ignition cylinder and key replacement.

    As the car started fine with the "hot wiring" does that rule out starter issues? Any ideas where to look next?
  • goobygooby Member Posts: 2
    I have a 98 Lumina that has a brake light failure. The center brake light works, but the lateral brake lights are both out. My novice technician and I went to the salvage auto parts place to find a replacement turn signal switch and found that most of the similar Lumina vehicles had the same problem. There is a defect in the turn signal switch retainer clip that holds the two outside plates together. When the clip wears out, the plates separate and so do the electrical contacts for the brake lights. The brake light wiring runs through the steering column into the signal switch and then back to the brake lights on the sides of the vehicle.
    The solution is to spend $55 on a new signal switch. It is tough to replace and requires some know how and safety steps including pulling the fuse to the airbag for the steering column. A technician can remove the airbag, steering wheel (requires a wheel puller) and other retaining gear. Once you get to the turn signal switch, check to see if the plates are separated and then commence replacement of the switch. Take care to disconnect the battery (not easily done since the battery is under the washer fluid tank) before you start.
    This is really a poor design for the signal switch and Chevy should recall the problem due to it being such a safety issue. Good luck with that though.
  • pamela888pamela888 Member Posts: 2
    What a mess. Advanced Auto checked my battery that is still under warranty and it was low, they charged it and I told them the postive bolt is tight but cable loose, They recommended a spacer and longer bolt which we put on and the battery began sparking with car off and melted spacer and positive section of battery. They gave us a new battery but there was melted metal on wires and cables. Took car to mechanic and got a new starter and he installed the battery. Just got car back today and went to drive it to the store and the steering wheel turns completely around when parked. Has NEVER done this before . Now have to wait till after the weekend to call the mechanic and see what the heck went wrong.
  • babylacbabylac Member Posts: 1
    I have to go backyard with you on this one. Since we know that the Lumina of any year is not going to bring in a good resell or trade value, I want to save you 54 dollars. Go to your nearest dollar store and grab a trash bag clip. I you cannot get one,use the tie that comes from opening a loaf of bread. First, push the wires into the turn signal column and verify that all the stop signal lights are illuminated. Next, tie and fasten the clip to the turn signal preferably closet to the steering column just below where the wires separate from the plastic guard. Make sure it is fastened very tightly. This will solve the dilemma for the lifetime of the vehicle. Mine has been working since I discovered the discrepancy. Try it if have not already replaced the whole unit.
  • msc698ccmsc698cc Member Posts: 1
    Its in the side of the dash on the passanger side,atleast in my 97 thats where it is. chevy is not known from changing much. :shades:
  • crazycanuck44crazycanuck44 Member Posts: 1
    My headlights are not operating on my 1997 Chevy Lumina yet the bulbs and fuse are fine.

    This occurred 6 months ago for one day and has been operating fine ever since.
    The problem reoccurred yesterday and I have no idea what else to check to rectify the problem.
    Please advise
  • andy11bartonandy11barton Member Posts: 1
    I know it's been a long time and you didn't get any replies on your problem, but I was wondering if you ever found a solution. My 93 Lumina is doing the same thing, but only with the right turn signal. If you have any possible solutions it would be awesome if you could let me know.

    Thank You Very Much,
    Andy :)
  • dave443dave443 Member Posts: 1
    i have a lumina same problem also though it was starter....found a relay behind glove box ,replaced same problem ,so i bi passed it bi hooking the two large wires together ,solved the problem ,just turn key and feel for the one that clicks
  • dentaljentdentaljent Member Posts: 1
    Can't afford another car so I have to revive this one, would appreciate any and all help as we are stumped.
    About two months ago if I let my car sit for >12 hours, the battery would be dead. Jumped it off a few times and then noticed considerable wear on serpentine belt, uneven, harsh wear. Replaced that. Replaced battery, which was under warranty and even paid to get better one. Car still died. Alternator or starter right-no it's not either of them and the battery is good too. Since the serpentine belt was replaced, the Tensioner started making that loose sound. Was told replace it and the harmonic balancer looked off, so I replaced the tensioner(sound is still there???), and harmonic balancer should be done later today. Today after having AAA come out and jump it yet again this morning I have A NEW CLUE!
    When I take key out of ignition, the ward chime(really irritating) still dings, can't make it go off now??????????????????????????
    so I disconnected the battery until I take it to mechanic later today.
    Anyone have Any Clue?????
    any help appreciated!!!!!
  • rafa63rafa63 Member Posts: 1
    My Father Has 1991 Chevy Lumina 3.1 litter. Two weeks ago this car stated stalling while driving on the road. The engine will crank up and will idle normally; it will even rev up OK. But once you take it out on the road, it will start to miss fire and stall. Wait a few minutes and it will crank up and run again, until one day it just will not start. After a few local mechanics (three of them), new spark plugs and wires, new ECM, new ignition coils, new fuel filter, fuel pump pressure test, and computer scan, the engine will not start up.
    To make this story short, I drove up to my Father’s house, a two hours drive; I checked the car and did what a friend of mine suggested. I cranked the engine three times, for 2 seconds each time. This procedure will reset all of the sensors and modules to the car computer. A few minutes later I cranked up the engine and eventually it stated up. I let idle till normal operating temperature. Doing nothing else, I stated moving the wires near and around the engine. There it was. The wires that are close to the engine, these wires run from the computer to near the fire wall, and connects to the ECM.
    I cleaned as many wires from oil and grease and used some elect wire tape, replaced most of the elect wire conduit with new ones and placed many wire tie wraps. The computer under the radiator water reservoir tank was missing two hold down bolts. After all was repair, the engine was crank up and stated. Drove the car the next day for about 20 miles, and it is running like new. These cars have many years on them, and most of the elect wires and connections are loose, dirty with oil and grease. A good inspection and test of the wires would give you a hint if there is a bad connection, or bad communication between sensors, modules and computer. I hope this helps….Rafael Ponce
  • khaenumkhaenum Member Posts: 1

    Got a question for y'all. What exactly would cause a 98 Lumina without the key in the ignition or the doors open, for the door open chime to sound and the lights to continuously run.

  • g_money123g_money123 Member Posts: 3
    smadd38 said:

    My mom has a 1997 lumina. WERE IS THE FUSE BOX!
    Boy do I feel dumb asking this question.

    there are three fuse boxes... two under hood (one each side above the wheel wells), and one on the side of the dash assembly in door jamb area when you open the passenger side door.
  • g_money123g_money123 Member Posts: 3
    fsk816 said:

    Was on the freeway and car stalled and wouldnt start back up.Now it Starts for a second ,Then stalls.And sometimes it sounds like its not getting no fire at all.And then when I take the key out and put it back in it starts up for a few minutes and stalls .It is getting fuel because I can smell it.Any help please.

    could be a clogged fuel line, fuel filter or the fuel pump. to eliminate those three disconnect the air intake after the filter and spray carburetor cleaner into the intake manifold... cran over engine, if it starts keep sprying to keep vehicle idling. If this works and engine runs then your problem lies in one of these three parts. most likely the filter or the pump is bad.
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