Last post on May 04, 2012 at 7:16 AM
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Chevrolet Lumina, Sedan
Oct 21, 2002 (10:40 am)
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?
#463 of 857 Re: To #448
Oct 22, 2002 (11:45 am)
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!
#464 of 857 Son of oil and coolant loss
Oct 29, 2002 (7:23 am)
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.
#465 of 857 Timing belt on 3.4l engine
Oct 29, 2002 (6:37 pm)
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.
#466 of 857 Just sold my Lumina Euro 1990 yesterday
Nov 05, 2002 (6:58 am)
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.
#467 of 857 Re: Timing belt on 3.4l engine
Nov 05, 2002 (7:09 am)
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.
#468 of 857 I can't find anything except 3.1L engines. :(
Nov 05, 2002 (5:04 pm)
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.
Nov 06, 2002 (7:21 am)
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 alt.autos.gm 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.
#471 of 857 4T60-E solenoid problems...
Nov 06, 2002 (10:08 am)
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!