1998 Chevrolet Lumina LS 3.8 from North America


Solid car with good acceleration and passing power


A/C needs to be replaced.

Multiple engine issues and has leaked oil since I've owned it.

ABS causes the brakes to almost cease functioning when they kick on... GM dealer said it was working the way it's supposed to.

Master switch replaced at 205, 000 for nearly $500... caused the windows and turn signals to function intermittently.

Headlights seem weak, even with new bulbs and multiple adjustments.

Replaced alternator twice, fuel pump, water pump, some other major and minor engine repair.

General Comments:

Bought as a previous police car, complete with the spotlite and 3.8 L engine.

Except for the unsafe ABS, handle's well in the snow with good tires.

MPG averages 21-23 mostly on highway.

Solid, reliable car which has made scores of long trips without problem or complaint.

Paint has held up well, but garaged for the last 6 years.

Engine runs smooth and is generally quiet.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th June, 2010

1998 Chevrolet Lumina Base 3.1 from North America


Built like a tank


Water pump leaking at 50,000 miles (easy fix, 20 minutes and a $30 new pump).

Rusted rotors and worn pads at 20,000 miles (been in storage for 3 years).

Broken ball joint at 45,000 miles from deep pothole (1 foot deep).

Broken rear passenger side brake cylinder at 22,000 miles (due to rust).

General Comments:

I got my 1998 Lumina with 10,000 miles from my great aunt who passed away.

The car has been through hell with me; I rear ended a Buick after sliding in the ice my first winter, spun out on the expressway sliding into the wall, the car was side swept while parked in front of my house by an SUV, and crashed into the side of a minivan rushing out of a gas station in 2007.

Despite all these incidents, the radiator and A/C still work along with the powertrain! I couldn't sell the car due to its low value now, but I've always changed the oil, the coolant, ATF, power steering and brake fluids, and maintained the brakes and tires. I've also changed the passenger axle, and both tie rod ends and balljoints. It now has 65,000 miles, and is still running as new as the day I got it.

The Lumina is a basic family sedan, very plain. But it is durable and sturdy (safe) for a first time driver.

The fuel mileage leaves a lot to be desired however, I average 21.5mpg mixed driving.

The car feels heavy, but is smooth and quiet at speed.

The ABS is the biggest weakness in this car; anytime slip is detected in snow or ice, it doubles or triples the stopping distance. My overconfidence coupled with the ABS performance led to my accidents.

If you drive this car during the winter, get snow tires or disable the ABS by unplugging one of its wires by the windshield fluid tank.

Also, while it is easy to change the water pump and oil on this car, it takes a lot of work to change the spark plugs, thermostat, and battery.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th February, 2010

1998 Chevrolet Lumina Sedan 4D 3.1L V6 from North America


Spacious piece of flaming trash


Alternator - 48,000.

Water pump twice at 50,000 & 120,000.

78,000 - Wiring harness to alternator had a short; fried alternator.

Lifter rick - began around 48,000 and has gotten progressively worse.

62,000 - Cylinder 4 misfire - on-going.

63,000 - Overheating, head gasket blown.

63,000 - Following replacement of head gasket and flushing of oil and cooling systems, the overheating continues.

65,000 - Misfire cylinder 3.

80,000 - Radiator leaking, replaced plug.

Currently the car is inches from the junkyard. If I had any money at all, I personally would dump it.

If I have to drive in heavy traffic, frequently stopping, I have to run the vents on hot to keep it from overheating and shut it off as often as possible even in winter. Also anytime I'm pulling a grade in weather above 70F degrees, vents on hot.

I have had so many engine problems with it in the last few years, I forgot to mention the electrical problems.

48,000 - Airbag light; unable to diagnose problem all circuits test in correct limits. Took out fuse to ensure they wouldn't just randomly deploy...

32,000 - Headlights burned out... this would probably not be a problem except that they then burned out 15 more times over the course of 8 years; sometimes together, sometimes one at a time.

40,000 - Left rear turn signal stopped working/worked intermittently. Replaced everything possible between turn signal lever in the car all the way to the light, still worked only sometimes... then mysteriously started working fine after about two years. Within a few months of that however it would not blink, only stay on. Replaced signal interceptor. Fixed problem.

55,000 - Tail lights stopped working, signals work great though. Changed all connectors worked again, still occasionally I will notice that they aren't working. I keep a very close eye on them as they and the constantly burning out headlights have caused me more than a few traffic stops... Clearly there is an electrical problem here...

General Comments:

When it was young and fresh, pieces of the interior started fall apart, visors, radio buttons...

This car ran fine from 2000-2002; four years from manufacturing is not nearly long enough. This is another throw away car from GM, as long as America is willing to finance cars with 6 year loans and jump into a new car every three years, this will never change.

It was very nice to drive before the misfiring began in the two cylinders 3 & 4. Now it is harder to get on the freeway with this thing than in my 4 banger 85 OLDS Cutlass Wagon. Suffice to say there is a lot of "come on, come on, please don't hit me, please don't hit me."

This car has been treated very well, full synthetic oil, regular changes and checks of all fluids. Clearly it is an ingrate.

The car is very spacious though, and I like the ride; lots of trunk space.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 25th January, 2009

5th Apr 2009, 07:10

I had the same prob with the #4 cylinder in mine. Computer reads as O2 sensor, but it actually stopped when I changed the fuel filter and I haven't had the problem since. Hope this might help on that one.