Chev '92 Lumina with 3.1 engine stops running..starts but stalls when you apply the gas. After cooling down it runs just fine!


Asked by Jun 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM about the 1992 Chevrolet Lumina 4 Dr Euro Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

This car runs just fine most of the time.  Sometimes on hot days it will run for hours, then after re starting
will stall every time you apply the gas.  Open the hood, let it cool down and after 10 -15 minutes It
works just fine again for days......  Help

11 Answers

Tony Johnson

It seems to me that your intercooler might need a lookin at if thats not the problem then check all your fluid in the engine

try changing the fuel filter


that car doesn't have an intercooler, those are for turbo chargers. it sounds like fuel pump failure or clogged fuel filter,


I have a '90 Chevy Lumina 3.1 Euro Coupe. I have owned several 3.1 vehicles. You have an old car, and ljust like when we get older, things begin to rot, breakdown and fall apart. Before you go replacing anything. Give it a real good inspection... especially the vacuum lines. give them a little tug at their connections or even remove them from their connection and inspect the ends real good. They can look like they're connected just fine, but may have split underneath. Follow the lines everywhere... and at your cruise control device... everywhere... also listen carefully... sometimes you can hear a HISS... and that hiss will change when you move things around. Some of the vacuum lines are covered with a black flexible conduit... the plastic vacuum lines inside of them can crack... so flex them a bit and listen carefully... other than that, you can use a vacuum gauge to test the vacuum on your system running hot, cold, etc... but most people don't have a vacuum gauge laying around. The change in temperatures can make things operate and/or fail intermittently. Check All your wiring. Look at your spark plug wires and make sure they haven't any damage from the cooling fan hitting them... and make sure nothing is loose. After your thorough inspection... Oh, wait... this is kind of important... get a Haynes Manual... it will tell you how to read the codes in your computer and decipher them. Then you can find out if there are any specific codes pointing to failing devices. Ok, after your thorough inspection... if it was me, I would suspect the Crankshaft Position Sensor. Your symptoms are characteristic of a failing CPS. It's an inexpensive part, moderately difficult to change, one 10mm bolt holds it onto the block... you access it from underneath the vehicle. The Knock Sensor is just above it... you may want to change that too since you'll be in the neighborhood. With these sensors and all others, be careful, you're old car, has old plastic, that will be brittle... some may fall apart in your hands... be very careful removing the connectors. When troubleshooting in general come up with a list of things that might be causing the problem... put them in order of what you can test and/or replace the easiest... and/or what's the most expensive.... for instance the dificulty level of changing the Ignition Control Module or All the Spark Plugs is about the same... but what's more expensive? If you suspect either one is causing your problems, what are You going to replace first? The $100+ ICM or the $15 plugs? This is just an example... given so you don't waste a lot of money and time replacing things you don't need... i' have a lot of experience fixing many, many, different types of electro-mechanical equipment... i have wasted a lot of time and money over the years... and i expect i still will... it's inevitable... we all do it... the hope is to keep it to a minimum (Ha!!!!). So that's where you can start. When I have to do serious troubleshooting on a car... I like to give it a complete inspection, and sometimes a tune-up. If it's been a while, i'll replace the plugs, wires, air filter, fuel filter... check all the fluids, change the oil, replace dry rotted vacuum lines, clean the throttle body, etc... for one thing it's good for your old car... and while you're doing all that, it's forcing you to get your eyeballs and hands all over the engine and you may discover your main problem in the process. For instance, changing your oil brings you down to where you can see your starter, and all the wires connected to it. That's also where your oil pressure sensor is located, your fusible links are there as well... ...and like i said... change in temperatures can cause opens and shorts at loose connections... especially on an old car where plastic connectors are beginning to get dry rot and brittle... trust me on this... don't just look at a connection... tug it and/or twist it a bit... I hope this helps you... i'd at least change the CPS... you're old car will appreciate it... even if it's not the problem... it's a cheap way to ensure it's not going to fail soon and leave you stuck... Ps. your oil pressure sending unit is also a switch for your fuel pump... if it fails your fuel pump won't work... many have done the difficult job of changing the pump when it's the OPS that's bad... or intermittently failing. Your Knock Sensor, if it's bad, or failing, or has a bad connection... will not allow your Ignition Control Module to work... the ICM depends on a signal from the KS in order to operate... there are relationships between the various sensors, the computer, and the devices that run your engine, that have to be considered as you are troubleshooting... keep all this in mind... do what's easiest, and/or cheapest, first... the easy path is the right path... Trust Me... good luck! john b.

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I hate that this stupid forum/message board, whatever... doesn't do paragraphs... and that it just bunches all your words and sentences together. I had the above all neatly typed and spaced so that it would make for easy reading... and look what it does... One Big Huge Run On Paragraph... I'm gonna go hit the "feedback" button over there in the lower right corner and see if I can recommend some changes. But first i'm going to end this paragraph and start a new one and watch what happens... END PARAGRAPH START NEW PARAGRAPH... there should be a spaced above this sentance... but i bet when i post this... it'll be all bunched together... END

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2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Thanks... Changed the fuel filter and it was quite restricted....I plan to test the fuel pressure as I am told a few pounds of lost fuel pressure and the pump will shut down. Remember the car will run just fine at idle...Its when you apply the gas that it stalls out. Thanks to all for suggestions...


always go with the simple stuff first. also check the trottle body for carbon build up ,take a rag and spray it with carb cleaner & wipe all that black stuff out.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Tony Goldense

i would check fuel pressure. if you can keep a fuel pressure tester on the car and drive it till it dies watch the pressure your fuel pump may be overheating. if you keep steady fuel pressure it may be your spark control module overheating. simply also check for spark when it dies.. keep it simply its an old car..


My 92 Lumina did the same thing mine turned out to be the ignition coils they would measure in the good zone but after heating up the would they would be out of specks since I replaced them I haven't had a problem since. there should be 3 of them located on the front of the engine you may have to buy a special socket to replace them all in all about $100.00

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Jeff Kuchinka

Rucko, was right on, I had the same problem for weeks, car shutting off when it got hot, I replaced crankshaft sensor and then decided to clean the air mass flow throttle, runs great again, took it for a 2 hr drive for the first time in weeks with out breaking down,,

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