1998 Chevrolet Lumina LS 3.1 from North America
Great inexpensive, reliable all-around family car
One front wheel bearing. Replaced for less than $200.
Intake gasket leaking coolant, not extensive, never repaired.
Transmission failure soon after we bought it, however, mechanic said previous owner had added something that dissolved seals and clutches burned up -- fluid was all black, not normal. I've seen car dealers put brake fluid in a trans to make it shift smoother, and suspect something like that. The vacuum sensor on the trans had failed, and I suspect someone decided to "fix" it the cheap way. Since we paid $2900 for the car, I didn't feel too bad about rebuilding the trans for $1800.
Passenger power door lock no longer works. (must operate manually)
This car renewed my faith in American cars -- all we do is change the oil, top off other fluids, and it just keeps motoring. A/C still blows cold, everything works (except passenger power door lock), gets almost 30 mpg on highway. Very quiet, little wind noise. Parts are inexpensive.
Our main complaint is the steering -- very vague, car wanders a little. I found that if I put more pressure in rear tires (36) and less in front (32) it's better. I think it's from the rubber isolation mounts in the front suspension, which makes the car very quiet and smooth, but steering response suffers a little. It's not just high miles, I've driven new rentals that were exactly the same.
The gold paint on ours is still in excellent shape, despite parking outside at work every day.
Unfortunately, the car was totaled when rear-ended recently.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 30th June, 2008
30th Jun 2008, 12:39
I'm not at all surprised to see this kind of mileage out of the Lumina. These must have been some extremely well built vehicles. I see an incredible number of very old Luminas (going back to the late 80's) in my area all the time. There are probably more older Luminas around here than any car with the possible exception of the full-size Olds and Buick models.