91 Chevy Lumina Stalls after running for 5 minutes

Ranger83
150

Asked by Ranger83 Jul 01, 2010 at 05:13 PM about the 1991 Chevrolet Lumina

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Just bought my son a 91' Lumina with a 3.1 engine.  Starts up when cold and runs fine, idle lopes a little bit though.  After 5 minutes it stalls and won't restart until it cools down.  It's getting fuel and the throttle postition sensor is new.  Any ideas?

29 Answers

Michael McGrail
5,415

When your car is "cold" and you start it, the system runs in a closed loop mode for about five minutes, then switches to an open loop and accepts readings from all the sensors. If any sensor is out of adjustment, they will start showing problems at this point. My question to you is.... When the throttle position we replaced, was it adjusted to match the original "clocked" position? Most GM tps sensors allow for adjustment. If it is slightly out of adjustment, the car will not run (or have a high idle) when the system switched into open loop mode. Not all tps sensors are like that, bu it is worth a second look. I know when I replaced the one in my cavalier, it was a btch making it talk to the computer right.. Honestly though, your problem could lie within any of the sensors you computer talks to in order to control the idle (tps, IAC, knock sensor, MAF/MAP, etc).

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
Tyler Lakeman
65

for all you people looking for help with your cars,(wiring diagram,fuel trouble,can i turbo it,port and polish,ect,ect,ect got to 60degreev6.com,this is by far the best site ive found,good guys,always helpful. but before you ask questions,just look at old posts. dont annoy them with questions they have already answerd a million times

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
Ranger83
150

I posted this on that site too, thanks. Replaced the crank sensor today with no luck, stalls a couple minutes after it starts. Could the egr cause this?

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.
Larry Hanniman
70

check the idle bypass

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
Ranger83
150

Idle bypass: is this a sensor?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Ranger83
150

I have got 3 trouble codes: 22-TPS signal low but the sensor is new and installed correctly, can only go on 1 way 33-MAP sensor signal high and 35-idle speed error Does this help any of you narrow this down a little for me?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Thomas Herring
30

i believe it is the internal tempature switch

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
pubbear
70

yes its the crank sensor its behind the coil packs replace and your on your way again

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
pubbear
70

yes its the crank sensor replace and you will be running good its behind the coil packs

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
BuyAmerican
30

I'd go immediately to the IAC (Idle Air Control). Although the Throttle Position Sensor is probably the most frequently replaced, THINK about it. The IAC essentially replaced the old "automatic choke". It behaves exactly the same way. If the Automatic Choke wasn't either warming up via exhaust heat or a more modern thermal device, the Air mixture to the carburetor would run "rich" and cause fuel fouling. More often than not, there is crud on the IAC or the passageway to the throttle body. Pull it out, give it a good duche with carb cleaner and clean out the passageway with a q-tip soaked in carb cleaner as well. It''ll be loaded with crap. After you've got it clean, replace it in the throttle body. Be careful not to yank on the end that goes in the throttle body. If there was a good bit of crud in there, the IAC will need to reset. Start the car about 3-5 quick times without running for more than 10-15 seconds. That should recalibrate the IAC for you. If it still acts stupid, replace the IAC.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
buccaneerz89
1,015

From what codes you said i believe it's power wire going to the tps. The other two codes are caused because idle has been raised to make car run, thus having a high reading from the map. Would be go to check if the power wire going into the tps is around 5v. I'll post a wiring diagram up to show you how to test with a muti-meter.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
buccaneerz89
1,015

As i said before the power wire aka 5v reference should be 5v.Also you can check the signal wire, at idle the voltage should be around .5v, and wide open should be around 4.8v.

tshort66
20

My 91 lumina is doing the same thing. I am curious as to what it was that fixed this issue.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
turo62
40

Look for a broken or missing rubber vacuum cap on the vacuum port. on the front side of the intake. if it is broken or missing, it will cause certain sensors to misread and it may over fuel the engine. Any substantial leak will do that. The classic symptom is. It always runs for 10 to 15 minutes from a cold start Then stalls out..

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
OHara_Family
120

We bought our daughter a 1991 Lumina 3.1 with 113,000 miles. It was running fine then one day it just stalled out and didn't want to start without pumping and pumping and pumping the gas peddle. I had to hold down gas and break at stop lights just to get her home about a mile. Once home she wouldn't run. She would run for a couple minutes and die which is open loop when running, closed loop is when the sensors kick and it would die. Pulled spark plugs, they were black meaning no spark. Can only be 2 things....99% of the time it's the crank sensor or the coil pack. We tried coil pack first, no go. Then the crank sensor for $13.99 at O'Reilly's Auto Parts and it took 3 times starting and turning off for the computer to read the change and now she's back up and running. Before the coil pack and crank sensor we put on a MAP sensor, MASS sensor, Fuel filter, Spark Plugs, Air filter and no luck. Hope this actually helps someone becaue we did tons of research and found suggestions but noone has put what has actually fixed their Lumina. ;)

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Brian Brennan
10

i just had same problem it was i had bad fuel injector

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Brian Brennan
10

if you have 1 bad injector it shuts the whole bank down i changed every sensor above then found problem the injectors should ohm out at 12 to 12.4 for the 3.1

rigrocker78
40

I got a 93 lumina with a 3.1 and its about to be target practice! it runs great cold and once it warms up it won't run worth a damn. I've changed the computer, egr,ignition module, idle air solenoid, plugs, wires, fuel filter and now it only runs worse! I got 500 bucks in a good shape car I got for 200 cuz it wouldn't run. It has spark from all wires right up to when it dies. The injectors all ohm out at around 13.5 ohms on average. Even when its warm and won't run they all ohm out the same. I also replaced the fuel pressure regulator when I got it as it was leaking fuel thru the vacuum line. Every vacuum hose I can find is in tact. Now the fuel pressure is runnin at 38 pounds. I'm told its suppose to run at 48 pounds after the regulator. Not sure if this will cause all my problems. When cold it runs the same pressure and runs fine. It accelerates fine when cold. Use to accellerate good warm too even with it not runnin right till after I put on a new ignition module after the parts house told me it failed their test on it. I have never been this stumped on a rig! I'm sure all this technology is great when it works but when it don't I don't care for it. I got an old chevy with a dang carburator that'll run every day and its 20 years older with twice the damn miles! I'm at a loss. Any ideas???????

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Michael McGrail
5,415

@ rigrocker78. I think I would be as frustrated as you. Out of curiousity. Did you have the parts store test the new ignition module also? I also take it is not tripping a computer code?

rigrocker78
40

Yes, I hoped maybe I got a bad one and had them test it as well and it passed. I took it to a pretty good local shop to have it scanned aven tho it had no check engine light. They told me they thought it was the computer. So I replace it only to have it also not be the problem.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Michael McGrail
5,415

Yeah. I figured as much. :-( Bad thing about OBD1 is that is really did not monitor much. Personally I do not think it is just one issue, but a combination of issues. Low fuel pressure and rough idle could prolly be associated with leaking injectors. I had a 1989 Trans Am that started turning off when it came up to running temp. drove me nuts. Tried everything. Replaced TPS as it tested bad, but was not it. In my case it ended up being a bad MAF sensor even though it tested good. OBD1 runs in a closed loop set up until it gets a reading from the temp sensor showing the engine is warm. And when it opens up to read all the sensors, it is detecting a fault and shutting the car off. My recommendation, clean all of the sensors with a throttle body cleaner or electronics cleaner (do not use brake or carb cleaner as they have oil in them). Inspect the wiring harnesses and wires... Hopefully it helps to isolate the issue. And if that doesn't work.. Use it for target practice.. LOL

rigrocker78
40

Well its startin to look like good target practice. I got a parts car with a bad tranny good motor. Replaced every sensor and module but for the temp sensors and crank sensors. Even swapped injectors. Still no good. After it warms up it dies and won't start again. Now with the old ignition module in it it will run but cut out a lot after warm instead of dieing completely. But the old module tested bad at the parts house. I can't comprehend how the "bad" one makes the car run the best yet the new one that tests good and the one off the parts car will both kill the engine. On the new one and the parts car module I can keep the engine goin with ether. That's why I thought injectors. I need a new idea. Its gotta be somethin I'm overlooking!

OHara_Family
120

Well, I always complained that I found everyone's questions and complaints and trials and tribulations on this Lumina issue but nobody every replied with what worked so I'm here today to follow up. Our Lumina is running and running great. After replacing the coil packs, alternator (because the code was reading it was getting too much amp), map sensor, maf sensor, crank sensor, inline fuel filter, checking the catalyst converter (which was good), air filter, some cracked vacuum hoses, and all the other stuff mentioned in my prior post. We finally got so frustrated with the code issue because we did the Ol' Paper Clip method to get codes it finally last but not least spit out code 50 or 53. Been so much stuff I can't remember exactly but I'm sure it was 50. We looked and looked everywhere for this code and could find nothing. We decided to purchase the "Chiltons Mechanics Manual" (which by the way is AWESOME) and it showed the codes. It said the computer was bad. Now in these cars if you replace the computer you have to program the computer to the VIN of the car and (not sure about your city) we couldn't find a single dealership or shop around Omaha, NE that had a machine old enough to program one so I started doing research and the ONLY place I had any luck was AUTO ZONE. They have a computer that is a little more expensive ($168) that was just plug n go; already set to automatically program itself. We installed this ECM and sure enough, we are officially rolling. It's been a couple months now and have had not a single problem with the car. Sad part is I bought this car for my daughters 15th birthday to teach her to drive her own car with her permit. I thought learning to drive in a vehicle you will be driving is the best way to learn. Now that we have her up and running her father purchased her a 2004 Neon with 65k miles for her 16th birthday. Geee, what do you think she chose? The Neon of course. I would have to I suppose. Now it's for sale.....LOL. If anyone's interested I will be posting here on Car Gurus. This car is nice and clean with normal Nebraska rust but for a 91 it has little compared to what it should be. It has 115K miles on it now and 70% tread. Here is the link on craigslist IF you know anyone interested. Asking $1600 as it has sooooo many new parts and NADA says it's worth $2300. https://post.craigslist.org/manage/3195111894

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Elaina Hayes
25

Where is the fuel filter located ? I am a single women and own one. Mine just quit one day. It sat at location for a day, the next day it started right up but would die after a mile or so? I was told the coil pks were bad. I had those replaced. Then, the car wouldn't start without spraying fuel starter in the intake. You had to struggle to keep it running but eventually die. Then someone told me to replace the fuel sensor? The little black box that plugs into the top of the engine. It has a fuse beside it. I replaced this myself, yesterday. It cranked fine and seem to run good for about 5 miles. It started dying when I would come to a stop, crank back up, but sometimes hesitate. I ran a few errands doing this, came home and parked it. Today, I attempted to drive it. It cranks right up, idles fine but stalls after a few minutes. I managed to get it back home. PLEASE HELP. I HAVE BEEN TAKEN BY SO MANY MEN CLAIMING THEY COULD FIX MY CAR? ONE BOUGHT USED COIL PKS THAT WASNT EVEN FOR MY CAR WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE!!! I THINK IT MIGHT BE THE FUEL FILTER. WHERE IS IT LOCATED? I AM GOING TO ATTEMPT TO CHANGE IT MYSELF ?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
OHara_Family
120

Take a paper clip and unfold it to make one loop. Put it in the box under the steering wheel. Turn on the car, let it stall then turn the key off. Turn the key just till the lights come on, do not turn it over. Watch the check engine light. It will flash a in sets. If it flashes 5 times then pause for a second then 3 times that's your code "53" or whatever it is. If its anything in the 50's its the computer or "ECM" which is what ours was after replacing part after part after part. Auto Zone has them rebuilt with 1 year warranties. Get the one already programmed because being a 91' no dealerships have a machine old enough to program one. Its a bit more but all we did was install and start it up 2 times and the car acknowledged the ECM and we've had no problems since . She runs like a champ. Good luck.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
chevyboy605
175

yep I have the same ish...runs down the high way good then engine light comes on and the speedometer goes wacky...some times come to a stop sign or lights it stalls out...engine light no matter what is always electrical...basically. I research as well and I think it can be the crank sensor and or coil pack...but will clean the TPS and do the under the steering wheel black box loop test...Is this a loop like a U and insert one side to the other in order to get a light codes? Any thing at this point would be good hey! :)

OHara_Family
120

Yes, paper clip in "U" shape to get code. Ours would run like a champ when cold and scream but once she warmed up would conk out and die then even if u pumped and pumped she would eventually start but chug like no fuel intake and die right back out. We replaced every single part on that Lumina. Finally my husbands dad has been a mechanic for years and he said the code it was spitting was for the computer. Ordered a self installing one from Auto Zone for $160 and voila....she started right up but u MUST follow the proper install procedure before hooking up or it will just fry each one as you install it. Its still running today and purrrring like a kitten. ;) hope this helps. If you have trouble getting a code, shout out and I will tell u how to get the codes. Good luck Lumina friends.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
pappy15445
0

i did the crank sensor -would have bet money on it--no go---plugs,wires , coils new computer.iac is possible as is tps--but,,try first what i will try wednesday on good authority,a trusted mechanic who is usually in my experience on target.-the sensor screwed in below the thermostat gooseneck controls the mixture just as the older choke systems did..if he is wrong i am out about 17 bucks compared to 33 for the iac,and a good bit more for the tps .at this point not a big deal.

trprbob
10

Everyone seems to overlook the fact that the engine has to breathe. If the Catalytic converter is old, it could block the exhaust when it heats up or it could be blocked. If the engine starts at all, it will spit and sputter and have no power because it cannot breathe. If your converter is bolted on, loosen the engine side bolts. You will know if that works. If it is welded in which most will be, I would spend the money and have a muffler guy cut it and replace it if necessary.

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