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)

General Comments:

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.

1998 Chevrolet Lumina from North America


I've loved the 45,723 miles I've spent with it


The transmission went bad after about 100,000 miles on it.

Compressor went bad at about 190,000.

Some things (like the clip to hold the visor) have fallen off.

General Comments:

This has been a fairly reliable car. It handles decently, and accelerates well too. My dad used to drive it as a company car, and at about 165,000 miles it was mine, and still is now at almost 211,000. It gets decent gas mileage still today.

I don't think I would recommend this car to anyone, because you couldn't find very many of them under 100,000 miles, but it has been dependable for me.

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

Review Date: 21st June, 2008

1998 Chevrolet Lumina 3.1 V6 3.1 from North America


Cheaply made throw-away car


Car has less than 90,000 miles on it and its already headed for the scrapper. White paint started peeling off around 60,000 miles. New brakes 72,000. New tires 75,000. "Chg Oil" light was always constantly on even after oil is change. Many cheap plastic interior parts broken a long time ago. Interior seats have worn very, very badly. Engine started "ticking" when cold 63,000 miles. Sound always went away after car warmed up, but I should have known cuz that's what bombs do, they tick and blow up. Now at 86,000 miles motor is knocking.

General Comments:

Never buy a former rental car. They get driven hard and treated badly, which shortens the life of the car. My grandmother bought this car from Hertz with something like 30,000 miles on it. I got it from her at 50,000. Everything went to sh*t before 100,000. We took good care of the Lumina, but to no avail. The car looks like its 10 years older then it really is. First the interior which looked like hell by 60,000 miles. Paint coming off in large chunks by 70,000 miles. Motor started making noise at 60,000 miles, which turned into a knock at 85,000 miles. We took good care of this car, but it simply crapped out on its own. Which sucks because this car has sentimental value to me and I wanted to keep it forever. These are cheaply made cars, meant to be rented out and thrown away. If you got one with low miles, sell it while its still worth something.

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

Review Date: 2nd March, 2008

3rd Mar 2008, 08:54

I must say that ex-rental cars are something you should never buy. Sure you save money up front, but you pay it back when it needs brakes, tires, transmissions and engines!!!

My Lumina lasted forever until I was rear ended by a dodge ram... needless to say it was totaled! It had 200,000 kilometers on it and was all original, but I pampered it from day 1!

The interior did suck as far as quality goes, and the paint came off and it rusted everywhere.

Oh well, on to my next Chevy, a 2007 Monte Carlo!