Can I put a trailer hitch on my car(3.1L engine), and if so, what would be the towing capacity?
You can but I would not. The car has no towing capacity.
Do you want to tow a small trailer?
Or do you only want the tow hitch, so that you can install a bicycle carrier?
If it’s the latter, I say go for it
Agree! A very bad idea.
But what if he just wants to install a bicycle carrier . . . ?!
I know a lot of people that install a tow hitch for that reason alone
Since this is what he asked… I don’t think a bicycle rack is being considered.
Is it the car or the van (Lumina APV)? Not that it matters much, I’d only put a bike rack on the hitch. It must not have the towing package from the factory, I’d want that.
Before you go too far on this project take a look at the undercarriage for rust. I had a Lumina sedan, same engine and liked the car a lot. But when I traded it in (2009) the rust was creeping in. If you live anywhere there is salt on the road in the winter I would bet your do not have a lot of solid material to tie a hitch to.
If the car is still in good shape, keep an eye on the intake gasket, this engine had a bad habit of leaking. If caught early and fixed, the engine just keeps on going.
It’s definitely possible for a body shop to install hitch and you could probably tow a small utility trailer for a short distance at lower speeds, like to haul a load of stick to the nearby dump using surface streets. But I wouldn’t do that myself with that car. Too much chance of expensive to repair transmission damage. Especially why you can rent a pickup truck for $50 a day or less to haul stuff like that. What does the owner’s manual say about towing stuff with this car? If it says “not recommended”, then if you value your car and your wallet, don’t do it.
From the 1993 Lumina Owner’s Manual
"Weight of the Trailer
How heavy can a trailer safely be? It
should never weigh more than 1,000
pounds (450 kg). But even that can be
too heavy. It depends on how you
plan to use your rig. For example,
speed, altitude, road grades, outside
temperature and how much your
vehicle is used to pull a trailer are all
important. And, it can also depend on
any special equipmenthat you have
on your vehicle. "
Personally, I don’t think I would attempt to tow anything with a 25+ year old front wheel drive car.
Sure you can. You can put a trailer hitch on a bicycle if you want. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
It probably will not happen but it would be interesting to know what the OP wants to tow.
Backing it down the boat ramp seems worrisome