My daughter bought a 1990 Chevy Lumina from a family member that has around 60,000 miles. The power steering pump went bad and was replaced the day she drove it home. She had the oil changed and it ran good for a couple of weeks then it stalled and would not start up. Had the car towed to a reputable chevy garage and they put in new plugs and wires and said they repaired a ground wire that had probably caused the problem. No such luck. Since that time the car was put on the diagnostic machine and showed nothing wrong so the mechanic started the process of elimination. He pressure tested the fuel pump and said that wasn’t the problem. He thought he had it figured out with something in the transmission that he eliminated because it wasn’t necessary for the car’s age and year, but I took it out on the highway doing 60 mph for about 15 miles and it stalled on me but did start up and I went to the shopping center. It sat for about 2 hours and did not want to start back up. Finally it did, but it stalled back out and would not start at all period. We took it by tow truck back to the same garage and then they “figured out” it had a bad fuel injector. Supposedly, it was fixed. We picked it up and were told to put fuel injector cleaner and a full tank of Premium gas in it, but due to the age of the car, we shouldn’t expect it to run like a new car. To say I was extremely disappointed with both the mechanic’s attitude and his inability to fix the car is an understatement, because it broke down within 5 miles. The car has broken down more than she has been able to drive it, and I am beginning to think the relative knew the car was a lemon and that is the reason for the low miles. Does anyone anywhere have any idea what might be causing the problem?
When it stalled on you and would not restart, would the engine crank (go rrr rrr rrr) and just not catch, or would it just go click click or not make any noise at all?
Did someone determine that it isn’t getting fuel and that’s why they are focusing on the fuel pump and the injectors? Or is this just a guess?
Do you have the maintenance records from the relative who owned it prior to your family member? Was this family member the only person who owned the car? Has it been in any accidents?
When it is running, is there any smoke coming out of the tailpipe? If so, what color is it?
When it is running, does it sound like it is running well, or does it sound rough/uneven?
Was the car stored for a long time before your daughter bought it, or was it being driven regularly? If it was just sitting/stored, were any special actions taken before it was left?
Sorry for all of the questions, but they might help folks here to help you get the to heart of the problem. I hope we can help you.
I don’t like to say this but I wouldn’t want my son or daughter driving that vehicle. I don’t think they are very reliable. Perhaps though once this problem is solved things will work well for some time.
You need to determine if the trouble is due to a fuel or ignition problem. Usually spraying some starter fluid into the intake will show what kind of trouble you are having with it. If the starter fluid gets the engine running briefly then the fuel system should be checked for a problem. Possibly a intermittent fuel pump relay is the cause. If the starter fluid makes no difference then the ignition system should be looked at.