1997 Chevrolet Lumina 3.1L 6 cylinder from Albania
Decent car, but typical Chevy unreliability
Tranmission completely came apart at 60,000 miles, no warning whatsoever.
Really liked this car when I bought it - in fact, I had driven a rental car the same as this and liked it so much I went out and bought this car.
Car drove fantastic until one day on a highway trip the "check engine" light comes on and goes off a few minutes later. Manual lists a few things it could be, such as gas cap not on tight, etc. Well, checked those things and everything looked good. Came on and went off again, manual says if it does this to get it checked out whenever convenient for emissions. All of a sudden, a loud noise and high revs from the engine, in a construction zone with no shoulder! Luckily I was able to coast up to the next exit, and coast down the ramp into a gas station.
No transmission at all. The dealer codes say that the check engine light codes were overheating of the transmission - funny how the manual doesn't warn you of that.
After a complete transmission overhaul the tranny was beginning to go out again less than 15k miles later.
Other than that, this was a comfortable car with good gas mileage and decent power, and looked good too.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 29th December, 2004
21st Aug 2006, 01:51
These transmissions should not easily overheat, especially when in overdrive mode at highway driving. If it overheats like this I'm pretty sure that you have been running low on oil. Smaller amounts of oil means hotter oil, and your trans will slowly but surely die. Unfortunately many of these transmissions leaks oil, my old Corsica does that and I add oil about three times a year. You must regularly check your oil level not only on your engine, but also on your transmission. Also service the transmission every 3 years with new oil and filter.
These transmissions can either pack in at an early stage or go on forever depending on your maintenance effort. You should ask yourself why your transmission went at 60.000 while my transmission is still going strong at 230.000.
12th Nov 2007, 04:55
At 251,000 miles my tranny still shifts beautifully. I like my Lumina work car better than I like my everyday car.
16th Jul 2008, 14:53
I have a 92 Lumina 3.1 with 230,000. The transmission still shifts great, car runs great, and I beat the heck out of it. I LOVE MY CHEVY.
3rd Jun 2010, 05:46
My parents had a 1997 Lumina LS with the 3.1. I used this car a lot, very comfortable, great for road trips, fast and powerful on the highway for a sedan. Good suspension; feels like a full size Cadillac.
Bought it used, had the car for about 7 years, very reliable, apart from oil changes and brake pads the only problem was rust around the rear wheel wells. Not bad for a used car!!
Head gasket failed at about 270000 kms, but I figure the car had ran its course and my family had definitely gotten our moneys worth out of the car by that time. Much better than a Taurus or Intrepid for sure, way better investment.
Parts are really cheap too.