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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
153,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. underhood fuse block was corroded (poor design) (1 reports)
1996 Chevrolet Lumina electrical problems

electrical problem

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1996 Chevrolet Lumina Owner Comments

problem #1

Jan 042012

Lumina LS 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 153,000 miles


I bought this car last year in the fall - mid October I think - don't remember. At any case, I bought it as a replacement for my 1994 Taurus which I had less than a year, and suffered from unforeseen severe under-body rust. I'm going to post some remarks on that later. I bought this car in the same city I live in from a guy pretending to be a private seller, who was actually a salesman from a dealership in the Detroit area (thank you google). Bought it for $1,200, and for the price, it has been the best car I ever owned. I've replaced the timing chain cover gasket, a rim, tires, and ball joints.

Anyways, to get to the point, this car is notorious for tail-light, side marker, and console lighting failures. The failures are always sudden and last for a undetermined amount of time. The last failure was at night, and this is when I realized the tail lights were not working. The issue started in January. At the time, I only noticed the failure of the console lighting, which was intermediate and usually only went out for a short time. It would happen in "episodes" they would turn off randomly, and would stay off for 5 - 15 minutes. The alternator recently failed, and I replaced it easily and the issue seemed to be no more, so I surmised the console lighting was a symptom of a failing alternator.

Well, last night, I was at MSU and when I turned the headlights on, the console lights did not come on. I checked the switch, jiggled it. Turned it on and off multiple times, did not make a difference. I checked the interior fuse panel, all fuses checked out.

So, I decided to drive anyway, periodically turning my interior lights on to monitor speed. I stopped at a gas station along the way and discovered my tail lights were not lit.

This problem lasted for a duration of one hour.

When I got to my destination, I did research and found out that the under hood fuse blocks were highly susceptible to corrosion, and tomorrow I am going to fix the problem. From what I read, the driver side fuse block seems to be the core of the issue and it is expensive (somewhere around a 200 - 500 dollar repair) depending on the mechanic, and is usually a half-hour repair that can be done in your driveway. (New wiring and maybe new fuses $20.) I also plan to protect the wiring from further corrosion with a food storage container and duck tape.

- , Lansing, MI, USA

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