A Chevy Lumina too hot to handle -- please, help!!!

Asked by Jul 19, 2010 at 10:01 PM about the 1994 Chevrolet Lumina Minivan Passenger FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hi guys,
I found this forum and am very impressed with the knowledge you guys have, so decided to ask for your advice.  My wife and I are in the midst of a dilemma, trying to decide what to do.  To fix, or not to fix ... that is the question!

A few months ago our 1994 Chevy Lumina mini van blew the head gasket.  Our mechanic suggested to trash it, but we have grown rather fond of it, so we probably made a mistake getting it fixed.  After the repair it never ran the same.  Now it's always running hot after about 20 minutes.  Before the repair the fan would turn on while the temperature gauge was still in the first quarter of the dial.  

After the repair the fan doesn't blow until it passes the three quarter mark, and stays on for only a few minutes -- just enough to bring the gauge down to the half-way point of the dial.  The engine is running so hot the freon leaked out of the AC, and I'm afraid there may have been damage to all the stuff in the engine compartment.  

Our mechanic doesn't know what else to do.  He already changed the fan control and the thermostat, which was a waste of money, because that changed nothing.  The last suggestion I had was to get an engine wiring schematic -- but I would not be able to read it -- another suggestion was to go to a Chevy dealer and see what they can do for this old mini van.

We are retired and on a fixed budget, so we cannot afford to make a another mistake.  Getting your input is really important to us, since we don't know enough to make an educated choice.  We would be most grateful for any help you can provide us.  Thanks and God bless.

5 Answers


If your mechanic is stumped then I am not sure what more we can help you with. If it is running hot either both fans are not running as they are supposed too, or there is a leak in the coolant system.. First, make sure the primary fan comes on when running the AC. The fan motor may be bad. From what you said, it sounds like the secondary fan is coming on. Make sure the correct thermostat is being used and replace the radiator cap if it has not been changed in the past few years. Inspect the radiator for any leaks or cracks, and inspect the block for signs of any oil residue around the intake and heads as that can be a sign of a coolant leak. Any leaks in the coolant system will cause the coolant to boil prematurely and make the engine run hot. If it is just a fan issue, you may want to have your mechanic wire the main fan so that is comes on automatically when the car is started.

2 people found this helpful.

The V 6 should of had the heads replaced . If the gaskets where only replaced and no work was done to the heads this could of caused cooling issues. If the correct head to intake gaskets were not used this could also cause over heating. With the radiator cap off start engine, if fluid and air bubbles are coming from radiator. That is a result of a leaking head. Witch would cause overheating. Also is your check engine light on?


My check engine light isn't on but I'm having a similar problem I need help finding out what causing my fans not to kick in.. My car keeps running hot I had a bad thermostat I replaced it they bled it right got all the air out. I never blew any gaskets. My thermostat went bad and now my fan isn't kicking on like it suppose to but when u rewire it straight to the battery the fan kick on my heat will warm up for a second and go right back cold and the temp gauge will go all the way up... My fan worked before he changed my thermostat though they can't figure out what's wrong any suggestions.

1 people found this helpful.

How do u fix a fan on a 94 Chevy lumina

1 people found this helpful.

If your fan or fans are electric (not driven by a belt) they are turned on by a relay that is closed by the computer after it detects the coolant temp has reached 180 degrees. If the A/C is turned on that should turn on both fans. If the fans don't turn on it's going to be , 1) Bad fan motors check by direct connection to battery. 2)Faulty temperature sensor.There may be more than one.check by grounding wire connection with key on temp should go fully hot on gage. 3)Faulty fan motor relay or fuse. If all theses things are ok and the fans still wont come on it's in the wiring some where. Hope this helps.

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