Question about 1998 Chevrolet Lumina

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I have a 99 Chevy Lumina sedan with only 73,000 miles on it and it is driving me crazy. About once every 2 months it won't start. All of the dash lights come on and the radio works but it just won't engage. If I leave it sit for a half hour it will start fine and go for another couple of months with no problem. It has had the starter and ignition switch replaced but still does it. This has been going on for five years and it doesn't get any worse. Oh, and it isn't the key, I tried a new never used key once when it wouldn't start and it didn't work. I'm about ready to dump it but I hate to get rid of a car with so few miles. Any help is appreciated. Thanks

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  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Sep 04, 2010

    when you used a new key, do you mean a factory key that came with the car? The passlock keys have different resistors in them and have to be matched to the car by the dealer or a good locksmith.

  • jwginmich Sep 04, 2010

    Yes, the key I used was a new factory key that had never been used.

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  • Chevrolet Master
  • 7,795 Answers

OK, you should try using that new key again, and make sure it works sometimes like the other one does. Have you tried messing with the shifter when it doesn't start? Like maybe shifting to neutral and see if it will start from neutral? I'm attaching your wiring diagram. It is quite simple indicating only a few things can stop it from cranking.
I'm assuming when you say it wont start that it will not crank or even click. Do I have that right? If so, and assuming your new starter and ignition switch are good, only the wiring from the battery, the shifter interlock, the theft system, or the solenoid could be bad. Among these, the things that I have seen as intermittent failures are corroded battery terminals, shifter interlocks, and anti-theft systems.
Please try messing with the shifter and checking the battery terminals. I will do a little more research on your anti-theft system.


I have a 99 Chevy - fd0d9ad.gif

Posted on Sep 04, 2010

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Sep 04, 2010

    After reviewing your anti-theft system, and if nothing else you try will work, I recommend the fix at this webpage: http://vats.likeabigdog.com/
    I have installed this fix successfully in the past. It's not hard, but you need to understand a little bit about electronics and you need an ohmmeter and a soldering gun to do it. Let me know if you have any questions.

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