I have a 1999 chevy lumina 3.1, earlier today the car made a semi loud tapping sound then some sort of pop from the engine. Then it lost power and would not start, the engine would crank but it seemed like it wasnt getting gas. I had only been driving it 10 miles or so. What do you think could be the problem? Im not very mechanically inclined so im trying to get some opinions before I take it to see a mechanic.

Asked by May 15, 2013 at 05:21 PM about the 1999 Chevrolet Lumina 4 Dr STD Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

7 Answers


That sounds bad. How long did it tap for? Sounds like you lost a rod. Either a bearing locked up, pistion failed or something just as bad. I'm just hoping that the loud pop at the end wasn't the rod going through the block or pan. Did it smoke? Is it leaking oil? Jack it up or use ramps and take a look around the oil pan and the block just above. If it is, sorry about your luck. Just lost a rod last wed on my '94 GP.

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My Guess: Timing Chain. Does the engine seem to crank easily? Pull a valve cover. Get someone to crank the engine. See if the rockers are moving. The engine is known as an "interference" type. When the timing chain pops, the valves get wrecked. So, Timing Chain replacement, plus Head Job, equals Big Job and a lot of Money.

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Yah timing chain is plausible. I've never had one go but that would cause a mess and it would not start. Check the rockers under the front valve cover as mentioned above. If they move the chain may have skipped if they don't it may have broke. I use a ratchet on the balancer bolt (turn it clockwise) to turn the motor over while inspecting parts. Come to thing of it both of my motors that blew a rod still ran, not very good though. Does it still make a noise when you turn it over. Most fuel issues would be silent that's why we are suggesting the major issues.

1 people found this helpful.

...it's the Achilles Heal of the 3.1..... i had mine pop on my pretty little '91 Sunbird Convertible..... pop! .....and she just sat there and cranked, kinda fast, forever..... she was a Beauty... got 27-30 mpg... i had done everything to that car, and cared for it like a baby... but when the chain popped at about 150k+ or so... it's not so much the chain as it is the chain guard.... it's a composite material like a plastic..... it rots after a while, the chain snags on it and that's all she wrote..... i had just recently moved, started a new job, had jack zip for money..... the bird had to go bye-bye..... i bought a '90 Chevy Lumina Euro Coupe V6 for $800..... (i'm a softy for basket cases) I knew the car and engine so I thought I could at least keep it going while I settle in.... as long as the timing chain don't pop..... not a bad car! .....renovating it as we speak..... in fact, last night, simple changing of the fuel filter..... 5 HOURS!!! .....the braided hose fittings dissolved in my fingers..... (old cars rot! literally)..... but asap..... changing out the UDP and Timing Chain.... it has at least 175k on it..... OH! PS. MR. ROLINZ..... if you have to/decide to bring it to a Mechanic to get the Timing Chain done..... question him thoroughly..... make sure he's familiar with the engine and the job..... just Take My Advice and Trust Me on that.....


Wierd. Of my 3 3.1's, 1 3100, 4 3.4 DOHC (they have the timing chain to run the belt) and 7 2.8's I've never had a timing chain fail or skip? 2 siezed 2.8's (starved a main) 1 broken rod (out the side of the 3.1), 5 2.8's with multiple pushrod, rocker and valve issues (quicker to swap the motor than to fix), bearing spun on one 3.4 and dropped a valve on the other 3.4. The two 3.4's, a 3.1 and the 3100 are running. My '94 3.4 died last week at 391699 kms with a siezed bearing 2nd timing belt and original chain??


I have a 95 lumina... It was driving down the interstate going 75 mph just randomly quit i didnt really hear any noises but got it to the side of the road and it cranked over a cpl times and then quit cranking.. no leaks or anything i have checked almost everything. it will crank over once in a while. cranked one time and it sorta sputtered then quit now it wont do shit. what do u guys think it is?

2 people found this helpful.

Wtf have you tried to turn the crank by hand and how hard was it? Have you also took out all the plugs and tried to turn it? Mine done the exact same thing on the interstate and acted like it had no fuel before it gave out. Its cranked 4 times out of the 70 times ive tried to get it to turn over since. 2 cranks right after it died, one awhile later and once at night after i juiced my battery. I think yours is seized like mine.

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