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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
17,000 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1996 Chevrolet Lumina cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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1996 Chevrolet Lumina Owner Comments

problem #8

Jan 012005

Lumina 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles


The intake gasket rotted. Therefore, antifreeze leaked into the oil. This has happened to me twice. The same exact problem.

- Enfield, CT, USA

problem #7

Jan 272005

Lumina 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My daughter brought a used 1996 Lumina.she drove it about a month before it started acting up. She lost heat and car would go to overheat and stall. When she got it checked she was told that the intake gasget was shot. This allowed the antifreeze go into the engine. As a result the seller won't do anything about it. She would have to pay more than she paid for it to repair it. So we are very dissapointed with the car. I would never buy one again as I found this is a very common think in Luminas for several years running.

- Waterville, ME, USA

problem #6

Mar 052004

Lumina 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles
I just paid over $700 to have a mechanic replace the intake gasket on my 1996 Chevrolet Lumina. I have heard that this is a common problem on my car and engine type. That would lead me to believe this is a design flaw. I would like to know if there is a possible recall for this, or what action I should take to be compensated.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #5

Sep 172003


  • miles


While driving the plastic intake manifold failed which caused coolant to leak inside the engine and resulted in the vehicle overheating. The dealer was notified.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #4

Nov 242002

(reported on)


  • miles
Vehicle was serviced about 2 yrs ago because it started losing power and was running rough. The power window on driver side stopped functioning. Brakes grind when wet even though they have been replaced. Noticed around this time that the car temperature gauge sometimes creeped up above normal. It seemed to be losing anti-freeze. The heater stopped working. I refilled the anti-freeze. It seemed to take care of the problem but it slowly returned. Vehicle was also very slowly losing oil. Last month (10/02) I started home from work. The car suddenly overheated. Strong fumes came into through the vents, burning my eyes. I had to stop repeatedly to let the car cool so that I could get home. I work only 3 miles from home. When I got home, the oil stick contained oil halfway up the stick. Started over flowing from the oil cap when I restarted. Smoke was heavy from the back. Had someone check the car. The car is not functionable. Will not turn over. Replaced the starter but didn't help. There is oil in the radiator, water in the oil. Seems to be fuel in the anti-freeze. Appears to be a blown head gasket or more. Have found out that this make and model year was recalled for motor problems previously paralleling these same problems.

- Nashville, AR, USA

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problem #3

Feb 052002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Coolant is leaking unto engine, causing vehicle to run hot/rough/ vibrate and tick. Consumer found a technical service bulletin ( tsb ) on problem, and dealer found no problem. An independent mechanic confirmed that coolant was leaking into engine and it was being ruined.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #2

Dec 012000


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Driver's side rear window went down would not go back up-no problem with this window before-driver's side front window-sluggish, often loses power......driver's side window knob pushed in cannot retrieve it.....engine began over heating in Nov...antifreeze put in...antifreeze mixed in with engine oil..engine froze up-had to be replaced.........antifreeze part just shatterted as car coming out of parking space--fluids lost-engine lost power---mechanic reports new transmission needed estimates $2,500---mechanic reports that this or similar failures of transmisssion common on this vechicle and that transmission experts are aware of this and have frequent complaints.....all these events occurred in last 6 months in addition to the need of brake hub bearing on left rear estimated cost $5,000

- Painesville, OH, USA

problem #1

Jan 102000


  • miles
Blown engine head gasket, antifreeze contamination. Could be due to head bolts that were not sealed at the factory

- Derby, CT, USA

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