1997 Chevrolet Lumina LS 3.1 from North America


Dependable in a "plain brown wrapper"


The alternator failed at around 125,000. My neighbor was handy with cars so he was able to diagnose it for me and make the repair free of charge! All I had to do was buy the alternator.

General Comments:

This was purchased as my first car in the late summer of 2001. I first considered the Monte Carlo, but liked the more traditional set-up of the Lumina with its column mounted gear selector, four doors, and more compliant suspension tuning. My car was the LS which is in between the base Lumina and the sporty LTZ. The only real benefits of the package were the upgraded velour interior and the nice aluminum rims. The only additional options on my car were the rear window defroster and trunk net. It lacked convenience options such as an automatic trunk opener, key fob to lock and unlock the doors, and power seats. I was suprised to read that other owners complained that the suspension was a bit too spongy as I felt it leaned a bit on the firm side, but was never really uncomfortable. While the car was always very dependable over the four years that I owned it, I became bored with it after about the first year. The car was definitely basic transportation, I often likened it to driving a rental car every day. I also never achieved very impressive gas mileage at only around 18 miles per gallon in mixed driving (heavily in-town). While I would never buy another Lumina or any other Chevrolet, I would recommend it for a first time driver or someone who only needs basic transportation, but if you want a car that is a little interesting, don't consider this one. I find my Buick Park Avenue far more pleasing to drive and would definitely recommend the similar Buick Century over the Lumina.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th November, 2006

1997 Chevrolet Lumina 3.1 from North America


Very good car, and very reliable


I had to change the water pump.

General Comments:

I bought the car in 2005 in mint condition with just 117000 KM. At 140000 km I had to change the water pump. Everything else is OK. Now I have 153000 km and it is running great. It is a reliable car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th September, 2006

1997 Chevrolet Lumina 3.1 from North America


Fantastic car ever!


Had to replace gas pump. When your car reads that it's running low on fuel. It probably is. My suggestion immediately stop and pump gas.

General Comments:

A wonderful car that takes good beating. Runs good and is a gas saver. I would recommend it to everybody. Excellent color and interior. Made for every age.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th March, 2006

1997 Chevrolet Lumina Base 3.1 liter V6 from North America


Reliable, Wonderful car


Alternator (Replaced from a salvage yard for only $35.00, new was over $130 and get this, the used one still works).

Coolant thermostat stuck open.

Service engine soon light and low coolant light stays on.

EGR valve replaced at 165,000.

171,000 catalytic converter is whining.

Transmission starting to show age (slipping a little).

Water pump at 140,000. Easy swap.

Driver seat cushion wears out quickly. (replaced last year, and already needs replacing again).

General Comments:

I bought this car used from a family 4 years ago. Since then, the car has really been reliable. It has plenty of power, can break traction (Spin the tires a little), and corners like a small car.

There is plenty of room for long trips and can seat 5 comfortably, 6 tightly.

Gas mileage is great for a car this size (19 city, 29 highway).

My only major complaint with this car is that when something goes wrong, it is usually difficult to change out. Example, the location of the battery is under the water bottle, which is under a removable frame support. Why there? HUH?

Another difficult part (really impossible) is the coolant thermostat. It is located behind the front exhaust manifold collector. I gave up trying to replace it, I did not want to remove the exhaust system.

You have to unbolt the engine mounts in order to roll the engine forward to replace the rear spark plugs. Not too big of a deal, but still aggravating.

The trunk rails hang so low when the lid is closed, that it crushes anything in its way... forget stashing a body in there... just kidding.

However, I really love this car, and will drive it into the ground. Very dependable, fairly easy to replace the brakes, change the oil, and just regular maintenance. I have thoroughly enjoyed this car. So much that when this one finally goes, I will buy its replacement, the Impala.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th October, 2005

17th Mar 2006, 22:43

I am the one who wrote the above opinion on the car. Here is an update. It is now March 17, 2006. We bought the car with about 131,000 miles on it. It now has 181,000 miles. It is still running, doesn't burn a drop of oil, and is reliable.

Three things have gone wrong, however.

1) The catalytic converter is still whining. Is started late summer, but through the winter (as long as it was cold outside) it was quite. Now it is getting warm again, and it is whining with vengence.

2) The mass air flow sensor is starting to go out. The car idles rough at times, but a mechanic diagnosed the problem... I haven't changed it as yet, because it hasn't totally died yet... a new one is $100.00.--yikes!

3) Tonight, the parking lights, dash lights went out. I recently added a tow hitch to the car to pull a small trailer occasionally. I think the extra wiring was too much, so I spend a day of it tomorrow and try to track down the fuse, or relay that is out.

Still the best car I have ever owned.

5th Apr 2009, 07:17

My Lumina has treated me pretty well also. Just a note:

"Example, the location of the battery is under the water bottle, which is under a removable frame support. Why there? HUH?"

I believe they put it there so as to make it much more difficult to steal.