Not-so-known Facts about Chevrolet Lumina
- Did you know that the Chevrolet Lumina was used by GM to refer to a variety of nameplates released in North America? The list includes the first-generation Chevrolet Lumina that was sold as a coupe and sedan from 1990 to 1994, the second-generation Chevrolet Lumina sedan that was sold from 1995 to 2001, and the first-generation Chevrolet Lumina APV, which is a minivan that was sold from 1990 to 1996.
- Also sold in other countries, the Chevrolet Lumina is used to refer to the Buick Regal sedan (fourth generation) that was sold in the Philippines and the Holden Monaro (third generation) and Holden Commodore Ute (fourth-generation coupe utility) sold in South Africa and the Middle East. Another nameplate that was referred to as a Chevrolet Lumina is the Holden Commodore (third- and fourth-generation sedans) sold in South Africa and the Middle East.
- According to the chief designer of Chevrolet, the styling of the Chevrolet Lumina (1990-1994) was actually based on a blueprint that was already seven years old during the time this model was introduced. This is probably the reason behind the negative reviews about the Lumina model released during the early 1990s; some critics thought that the car featured a not-so-modern style and was basically a mix of straight and curve lines that didn't blend together.
- A performance version, the Lumina Z34, was released in 1991. This car features a standard FE3 sport suspension, a five-speed Getrag 284 manual transmission, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, and a dual exhaust system. These performance enhancements were accompanied by a more stylish exterior and interior that included one-of-a-kind front and rear fascias, a louvered hood, sport bucket seats, and a rear spoiler. As for exterior colors, the Z34 was available in light blue, black, red, gray, and white.
- A popular Chevy sedan, the Lumina was actually featured as a background vehicle in several movies. The list includes the 1997 neo-noir flick Truth or Consequences, N.M., the 1990 car racing film Days of Thunder, the 1994 dark satire Serial Mom, and the 1992 comedy Beethoven.
- Several TV shows also featured the Lumina as a background vehicle in some of their episodes. These shows include Banshee, The Sentinel, Trailer Park Boys, Third Watch, and the original Melrose Place.
Common Chevrolet Lumina Problems
Looking for a new or used Chevrolet Lumina? Before buying one, get to know first the common problems encountered by Lumina owners. This vehicle is built to last a long time and provide a comfortable ride for many years, but just like any other car, the Lumina has been the center of several recalls over the years. The following are some of the common issues associated with the Chevrolet Lumina:
In July of 2000, GM released a recall that potentially affected 713,435 1991 Chevrolet Lumina units. This was due to faulty engine cradle bolt retainers that easily corroded when exposed to road salt. Lumina owners living in states that use lots of road salt were heavily affected by this issue. When the cradle bolt retainers corrode, the engine cradle bolts will pull through, causing the front part of the cradle to give in. With not enough structural support, the steering intermediate shaft can separate from the steering gear. As a solution, dealers were given instructions by GM to provide affected motorists with replacement parts.
About 742 1991 Chevrolet Luminas were possibly affected by a recall released last 2007 due to faulty fuel pressure relief devices. According to Delphi, the manufacturer of the said components, a number of Delphi fuel pressure regulators were assembled without a retainer and o-ring. Without these components, the fuel flowing through the regulator can easily leak, creating a fire hazard in the process. To address this problem, Delphi provided affected car owners with free replacement pressure regulators.
In 2009, Sabersport released a recall that potentially affected 16,270 1991 Chevrolet Luminas. The recall was due to faulty aftermarket bumper and corner lights sold by Sabersport. According to the manufacturer, several corner and bumper light kits didn't have the necessary amber side reflectors. Without the right reflectors, road visibility is greatly reduced, putting the driver at risk of an accident. A full refund for faulty Sabersport bumper and corner light assemblies were provided to affected vehicle owners.
General Motors released a recall last 2002 due to air bags that didn't come with a check valve pin. Without this pin, the pressure at the onset of air bag deployment can increase, putting the passenger at risk of getting more serious injuries in case of a crash. Affected car owners were provided by GM with replacement passenger air bags free of charge.
Tips on How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Chevrolet Lumina
Whether you have an old or new Chevrolet Lumina, keeping it in good condition is a must. It will not only guarantee a good performance, but it will also add more years to its lifespan. Here are simple tips that would help your car run longer and would allow you to get the most out of it:
- Don't hold out on your fluids.
When your engine needs an oil change, then get to it, because delaying something as important as an oil change will jumake matters worse. Instead of only having to replace the oil, you might end up replacing the entire engine as well. That goes for your transmission fluid and engine coolant too. Don't think for a second that you're saving money by not replenishing those fluids at the right frequency. It's quite the opposite actually. As any car part has its own function, so does these fluids. And the continuous use of contaminated and degraded ones will not only endanger the life of your car, it can also endanger your life too. So, don't hold out on your fluids and see to it that they get replenished on time.
- Mind your car's exterior.
Your car's paint job isn't just for show. Yes, it makes your car look nice, but it also has an important function: protection. Because the paint is your car's first line of defense against the elements, it must be well taken care of. That means parking your car under the shade or using a car cover to lessen its exposure to direct sunlight and to keep it protected from the harmful effects of rain and snow. You should also be careful with things that may nick your car's paint. Scratches and dents may seem minor at first, but in reality, they could pose a serious threat to your car in the future. They could become a breeding ground for rust that may cause your car's metal parts to begin corroding. And once corrosion has started, it will be hard to keep it under control. So, don't get too complacent. One household item you can use as emergency solution for nicks is nail polish.
Your driving style can affect your car engine's performance and condition. Therefore, you should know when to speed off and know when to slow down. If you're driving along busy streets, you know that you'd be stopping a lot, so avoid driving aggressively. Not only will you be causing unnecessary strain on your engine if you do, you would also be risking the quality of your brake pad and tires in the process. Drive smart and drive responsibly. By not overworking your car unnecessarily, you will surely have less car troubles, which means less unnecessary trips to the mechanic as well. Not only would your car be saved from early retirement, you'll also save up on those costly repairs too.
Chevrolet Lumina: A Chevy of Unparalleled Distinction
Despite being the last one among its sisters to feature a W-body, the Chevrolet Lumina proved the saying
save the best for last, as it rivaled the popular leading sedans such as the Ford Taurus and Honda Accord in terms of efficiency and reliability. Despite its phasing out in the US by the early 2000s, the Chevrolet Lumina has left its mark as a distinct auto in the sedan market and will continue to be a framework for future vehicles.
1990: Replacing the Chevy Celebrity
Introduced as a replacement to the outgoing Celebrity, the Chevrolet Lumina was initially offered with a four-door sedan style. Despite its immediate impact in sales, it was still criticized by the press as being late in the competition with the Ford Taurus. Despite the remarks, Chevy introduced a new coupe body style, which was taught to be a quasi replacement to the Monte Carlo that temporarily stopped in 1988. Aside from this new body type, a high end performance Z34 Lumina was introduced in 1991 as a sports version.
1991: The sportier Z34 Lumina
The Z34’s upgraded 3.4-liter dual overhead engine distinguished it from the trim based Lumina. Coupled with either a four-speed automatic transmission or an optional five-speed Getrag transmission, Chevy owners were able to satisfy their need for speed with the car’s 200 horsepower and 215 foot-pounds of torque at 4,400 rpm.
In terms of aesthetics, a rear spoiler, hood louvers, a ground-effects package, and dual exhaust pipes, were equipped to give the Lumina a sporty look. Not only focusing on the exterior, the new Lumina received refurbished seats with sport bucket types and featured sportier analog gauges. Adding more features to its uniqueness, the interiors of the Lumina also included unconventional settings, such as a dashboard that angled towards the lap and distinct power window switches.
1995: Setting the trend
Despite having the shortest lifespan among GM W-body cars, the Chevrolet Lumina was redeemed when it was the first to receive a major redesign. The second generation was considered a trend-setting age for the Lumina as it featured a distinct independent suspension and a DOHC 3.4 V6 engine, which makes it the only Chevy model to receive one. This engine upgrade boosted capacity to 215 horsepower. The car also became popular to law enforcement agencies and taxi companies because of its reasonable performance and reliability.
1997: Production end in the US
By 1997, the Lumina line had started to phase out, as it was slowly replaced by the Chevy Venture. A year later, the Chevy model shifted its focus into offering a safety-conscious sedan with standard features that include driver and passenger airbags, automatic Daytime Running Lamps (DRL), and a child protection package. In 2001, the Chevrolet Lumina’s production ceased in US, two years after the production in Canada stopped. While the models were discontinued, the production of the Chevrolet Lumina continued in certain Asian countries and in Latin America.