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Chevrolet Lumina



  • Please read safety info available for Lumina and
    the Lumina APV.
    Many recalls and service bulletins.
    After I checked it out I was reminded of :

    (12) The windshield wipers quit working
    now and then. About 5 times total.
    --- no cost -> I didn't know it was a recall.

    Do you think GM tried to contact me ? H&LL no !

    I will NEVER BUY another GM.
  • jkobtyjkobty Posts: 99
    I would not say that Lumina is a POS. Maybe your Lumina was a POS, but I would not generalize to all Lumina's. My Lumina has been quite reliable.
    The only problem it ever had was a small leak in the power steering fluid case, hardly what I consider to be a major problem. It took the dealer only 15 minutes to replace it. The engine is still very smooth and the transmission is very smooth. No other leaks whatsoever. And the fuel consumption rate is excellent. Almost like a 4 cylinder car.
    Did you buy your Lumina used or brand new? maybe it was abused by the previous owner.
  • jpstaxjpstax Posts: 250
    Ditto. My wife's '98 LTZ has 28,000 miles and has not had one single problem (so far).
  • To sand11: Either is a good choice. I have a92 Lumina that has been great and was going to buy another; but the Impala's looks appealed more, so I bought it. BTW both cars were demos, the Impala had 4100 & the Lumina had 5900 at purchase time. The Lumina has 100000+ & still going strong, and Impala has almost 9000. Truly love it.
  • I have a 96 Lumina with 95,000 miles....I have only done routine maint.(ie: oil changes, brakes and tires). Its very quiet, handles well and is comfortable. My only complaint is the lack of power...but this isnt a big deal to me. Either its a great car or I've been very lucky. I'm currently looking to replace it with a more upscale car...time for leather and climate control :)
  • mpflampfla Posts: 2
    Unfortunately I also had a pos '95 Lumina. I have always bought American but traded this one in with 47K on the odometer for a new Honda Accord. I had the 3.4L engine which I found out later is high maintenance. The 3.4L option was replaced I believe in 1997 or 1998 with the 3.8L engine. This was definitely the fastest family car I ever owned but not worth the trouble.

    1) A/C quit working. $900 repair.
    2) Vents never worked right. Air would stop coming out of the vents when gas applied. When the air was off, hot air came out of the vents.
    3) Altenator replaced twice - the altenator is next to the exhaust manifold in the engine compartment causing to burn out.
    4) 3 Batteries. - Not enough room in engine compartment with 3.4L engine so undersized battery was standard. No room for regular size battery.
    5) Ground wire to tranaxle stud came detached leaving me stranded since car would not start.
    6) Oil seal around oil pump leaked. This repair requires the removal of the cylinder heads. $1,400 to fix. Upon trading in the car I think the leak had returned. The car was using 1 QUART of OIL every 1,000 miles.
    7) Both rear wheel brake cylinders leaked early on causing unbalanced braking.
    8) Driver's power mirror stopped working.
    9) Passenger side power door lock stopped working. Could not use key to unlock either.
    10) Windows fogged up being that there was a water leak somewhere.
    11) On many occasions the transmission would not shift into overdrive. Turning the car engine off and restarting seemed to reset the computer so it will shift into overdrive. Dealer not able to diagnose anything wrong with the transmission though so this problem remains.
    12)There is a support bar below the engine that collects the little bit of oil that always drips out when the oil filter is changed. Most of the oil change places missed cleaning out this gulley after changing the oil. Many times I had the smell of burning oil after an oil change. Bad design since most quick lube places seemed to miss cleaing out the dripped oil.
    13) When brake applied quickly, sometimes they would go straight to the floor for a second and then just as you thought you were going to be in a wreck, they would come on at reduced power. Did this about once or twice a week for the last 3 weeks.
    14) GM repair service where they could care less about the customer problems.

    Problem 13 just started, but considering all of the other problems, did not even bother taking to the garage to have this checked out. Started thinking about unloading this car ASAP since this could be dangerous. First time that I have lost big on a car and it stings. Unless GM wants to write me a check for $3,000 for my losses, I don't think I will be purchasing their products anymore. Many of the above items were covered by warranty, but lost in trade-in(could not bring myself to sell to private individual)and some of the above repairs.

    I have a 1989 Ford Mustang 5.0 sitting in the driveway with 105k+ miles and have not done anything but routine maintenance to this car.

    This is the first car that I have owned that did not make it to 100K miles. My brother's Honda has 200K miles with original clutch, A/C, starter and just replaced his first alternator. This swayed me toward Honda and he says I won't be back(American).
  • jkobtyjkobty Posts: 99
    Well, that teaches you not to buy a car in its
    first year of production, especially if it is an american car. 96 model onward Lumina's do not seem to have the problems you described. My Lumina
    is still running great after 70K kms. I have the 3.1L engine.
  • x19x19 Posts: 1
    My wife purchased a New 1995 Lumina before I knew her. On the way home the care left sit - she had it towed back to SUTLIFF. A week later it was fixed, but the same problem re-occured 3 times after that leaving my wife sit several times. She tried calling the Roadside assitence number, but it said the system was down. The car had all 4 window regulaters replaced, wiper motor replaced, turn signal switch replaced, many emission parts replaced, trunk seals replaced, mouldings relaced, new brake system, belt/bearing, any many other parts all before it had 25,000 miles on it. Yes...25,000. We tried to unload it 14 months after it was purchased, but it lost over 50% of its retail value by that time. This was the LS model and was always driven by my wife who had it sevicesd every 3,000 miles. Our dealer SUTLIFF CHEVROLET in PA said the best they could do was sell us another one - giving us wholesale price for ours ($7,000) less than 2 years after we paid $18,000. The car was never wrecked. The owner of Sutliff is a real looser - he never followed up when he said he would. Sutliff said their was nothing they could do short of selling us another car. We went to GM directly and they basically said too bad. Our Lemon law for PA (which GM never tells you about) is only good for the first year. Buy Japanese - Sutliff Chevrolet and GM will never get any of our money!
  • Why didn't you go to another dealership? The warranty should work at any Chevy dealership.
  • jkobtyjkobty Posts: 99
    This engine seems to be quite troublesome.
    I think that was why the discontinued it for Lumina. You either have 3.1 or 3.8 now.
    But some cars still use it. Base Impala 2000 is
    3.4L and Pontiac Grand Am is 3.4L. I wonder
    if they have the same problems?
    If you do get an Impala, get the 3.8L just to
    be on the safe side.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I believe the engine in Pontiac Grand Am, Olds Alero and Chevy Impala is different. Borrowed from some mini-van, not from older Luminas.
  • afs11afs11 Posts: 87
    I had a Monte Carlo Z34 (I know this is a sedan topic) with the 3.4 215 hp engine. I was always scared that the transaxle might drop out.

    My uncle has a '98 Buick Park Ave Ultra with the 3800 & charger. It is a much superior engine. alot smoother & quieter.
  • The timing belt in my wifes '96 Lumina with 3.4 engine broke at 45,000 miles. The dealer said that this is very common with this engine. My question is should I expect it to fail again in about 40 or 45 thousand miles ???
  • mpflampfla Posts: 2
    I have heard this is a common item to break also. That is one of the few areas that I didn't have any problems with. There is a plastic shield on the top of the passenger side engine compartment that comes off with the the removal of 2 screws to check the condition of the belt. Mine had 47K miles and the belt looked like new.
  • jkobtyjkobty Posts: 99
    I believe the 3.1L engine in my 97 Lumina has a chain and not a plastic belt. It is not likely
    to break.
  • After a lot of car research, I purchased a 1 year old 1998 Chevrolet Lumina LTZ. Here I'll share a bit of what I learned in the process of selecting and driving this car.

    First, please be aware that the LTZ is what makes this Lumina a great car for me. With the LTZ option package you get four wheel anti-lock brakes, the sport suspension package, and the 3800 Series II V6 engine, the same engine that is standard in the new Bonneville and Monte Carlo SS. And, if you shop around a bit, you don't have to pay much more than you would for a standard Lumina.

    Second, the Lumina finishes as a "best pick" for safety in the Insurance Institute for Highway safety crash tests.

    Third, it looks like the "Lumina" namplate has graced two very different cars during the 1990's. From my research, it looks like the early 90's vehicles had some problems, the redesigned 1995 Luminas got better, and it seems the reliability ratings got much better within the past two years. Please do your own research. I did way too much to be able to quote exact sources now.

    Fourth, this car is fun to drive! I holds the road *very* well for a larger sedan. Road noise is there but not annoying. And, the 3800 V6 provides the feeling that you have a lot of power at your disposal. (And no one can tell because the LTZ styling is so subtle.)

    Fifth, the visibility one experiences from the driver's view point, in my opinion, is superior to many modern sedans. Some of the very round new sedans make it difficult to see the front of your car and the corners. Parking becomes a guessing game of how close your car really is to the next nearest car or wall. At least with the Lumina you can look out over most of the front of the vehicle.

    The only minor annoyance I have experienced is that the gas guage is all over the place. When I am driving up hill, you "gain" a lot of gas, the opposite happens when I drive down hill. When I last filled the tank the guage read one-quarter full, but I only pumped a half tank of gas to get it to read full.
  • jkobtyjkobty Posts: 99
    I think Lumina is truly one of the best family sedans out there. I wanted to get the LTZ as well but I needed to buy a six seater car, and the LTZ comes as a five seater. I also know what you mean about the gauges. I even think that the odometer is not accurate enough. When the odometer says
    100 for example, you are probably going 110.
  • Car is still going strong at 62,000 miles in 19 months. Will need 2nd set of brakes and a new set of front rotors in 1/00. For the $$, it is a strong car.
  • hi folks, got a 97 lumina with 60k on it. just got a new "used" tranny last week- old one died...
    "used" tranny has sloppy shifts in mid-rpms, firm shifts at lower rpms ( under 3k) and at full throttle, what i call "whiplash" shifting- whole car bucks... old tranny acted exact same way... tranny seems to get confused and rpms tend to hang on freeway after i let off gas. they installed a new flywheel, and said " check tranny for slippage" on top of reciept... heh this car just has to last me til i get a newer Ford ;-)
    thanks for any input
  • Buck531Buck531 Posts: 14
    I bought my 98 LTZ a year and a half ago with 8300 miles on it. now it has about 23k and I haven't had that much trouble with it. I just have a few questions I really don't want to ask the dealer. 1. How accurate is the Change Oil light that comes on. I let it go last time and it went to 5000 miles before It told me to change my oil.
    2. When I'm driving on the road about 45 and up and I'm cruising for a while when it's raining and push on the brake, it will go to the floor and feel real "spongy". Has anyone else noticed this or should I take it to the dealership. But don't forget, it only happens when it rains.

    Another thing is: When it's cold out side and I'm backing out of my house for the first time in the morning, the car feels "loose". As in, i'm hearing a rattling in the front end of the floor board like the struts are shaking around when I drive over bumps.

    These are just annoying and wondering if I should take it to the dealer to have it fixed. Thanks everyone!

  • Have a '98 with 62000 miles on it. The brakes do feel mushy during rain. I thought it might be that the rotor is exposed behind the wheel and the rain water needs to wick off as the brake pad touches the rotor. It is very scary the first time you hit the brakes, esp. approaching toll booths in NJ. As for the rattling, I experience that only during the colder months too. Had a '95 Lumina that did the same thing.
  • cookie1cookie1 Posts: 68
    While cruising down the road at any speed, I hear a high pitched squeal coming from the front of the engine area. It is not the vents nor A/C and when I step on the brakes, the noise disappears. I believe it is the semi-metallic pads rubbing on the rotors, but my GM dealer did not hear this since it only happens about 5 times a day over 70 miles of driving. What can I do and what is it? Any help? Other dealers say to replace the brake pads, but my selling dealer wants to hear the noise first before doing anything. I'm telling them to keep my car until you hear the noise and still keep it until you fix it! Any ideas??
  • cookie1cookie1 Posts: 68
    I went back to my selling dealer and requested that my brake pads be replaced even though they did not hear the noise. About time a dealer does something about customer service? So far in one week, no brake noise. First week in about 2,000 miles that this has not happened. Hopefully this takes care of it?
  • ltzltz Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with my brakes when it rains, they do not grab. (scary feeling) I also have the rattling noise under the front end area of the car when it is cold out. Has anyone found out what is causing these problems? Please reply
  • resharesha Posts: 1
    I need to find a driver side seat. Everyone that I speak with says that its my brackets but they are not broken the metal that is attached to the cushion of the seat is whats broken. Could someone please help me find someplace that I can get a seat. I've called the dealer and they say even the manufacturer does'nt sell them.
  • Hey All,
    I own a 1990 lumina 3.1 V6, 4 door sedan. I must say for my first car it is the best. I have had no major problems with my car so far. Its been three years and only the power steering went out, and cost me 150 dollars. I believe that luminas are the best all around, and i will be driving mine for many years.
  • I just traded a 1996 Chevrolet Lumina with 62000 miles on it for a 1997 Nissan 200SX. I just wanted to add that no matter what you see in these postings, always do a lemon check on a vehicle before you buy one. I found out my Lumina was traded 5 times in 3 years, it was in a serious accident, when I got rid of it the door panels, front and rear drivers side, were falling off, the trunk popped open on it's own, it was leaking oil and coolant to who knows where, the tranny was going, and the cv joints were almost to the point of needing to be replaced. So the moral is even though the Luminas are rated to be excellent cars and I have no doubt this one could have been had it not been in a wreck and had been cared for before I got it, always, always check on a car before you buy it!! Plus, ask questions of your dealer if they want to sell a car they will provide you with the answers you want, if not walk away, there most likely were thousands of the same car you can find somewhere else.
  • jkobtyjkobty Posts: 99
    I also hear the rattling under the front of the car near the wheel well when it is cold outside.
    I thought my shock absorbers are failing or maybe the joints. I will probably not worry about it since it seems to be common in the cold weather.
  • I had a 1995 lumina with 92,000 miles and traded it on a 2000 Chevrolet Impala. This lumina was solid,very dependable,did'nt have any oil leaks,and the motor was so smooth you could'nt feel it running. In fact the only reason I traded was to get another solid Chevrolet thats a step up for my growing family.
  • zlumzlum Posts: 1
    I just got a Chevy Lum 97 of only 22,000 mileage. But car inspector said both front brake pads have to be replaced in order to pass the state inspection.
    After replacing the brake pads, I still don't feel any different from that before when I brake. It seems not be possible this car (in very good condition) had just run for 22K miles need brake pads replaced. Did inspector cheat me?
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