Question about Chevrolet Lumina

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I have a 1990 Chevy Lumina with a 3.1 when I start the car and give it gas it will die then if I unplug the alternator and start the car it will run and drive up to only 25 mph and then start bucking and kind of back fireing

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  • Chevrolet Master
  • 8,582 Answers

Here is the procedure for extracting the trouble code:


1998-95 VEHICLES EXCEPT 1994 3.4L AND 3.8L ENGINES

See Figure 1
Listings of the trouble for the various engine control system covered in this manual are located in this section. Remember that a code only points to the faulty circuit NOT necessarily to a faulty component. Loose, damaged or corroded connections may contribute to a fault code on a circuit when the sensor or component is operating properly. Be sure that the components are faulty before replacing them, especially the expensive ones.

I have a 1990 Chevy - jturcotte_1300.gif

Fig. Fig. 1: ALDL connector - 1988-92 models


The Assembly Line Diagnostic Link (ALDL) connector or Data Link Connector (DLC) may be located under the dash and sometimes covered with a plastic cover labeled DIAGNOSTIC CONNECTOR.

  1. The diagnostic trouble codes can be read by grounding test terminal B . The terminal is most easily grounded by connecting it to terminal A (internal ECM ground). This is the terminal to the right of terminal B on the top row of the ALDL connector.
  2. Once the terminals have been connected, the ignition switch must be moved to the ON position with the engine not running.
  3. The Service Engine Soon or Check Engine light should be flashing. If it isn't, turn the ignition OFF and remove the jumper wire. Turn the ignition ON and confirm that light is now on. If it is not, replace the bulb and try again. If the bulb still will not light, or if it does not flash with the test terminal grounded, the system should be diagnosed by an experienced driveability technician. If the light is OK, proceed as follows.
  4. The code(s) stored in memory may be read through counting the flashes of the dashboard warning lamp. The dash warning lamp should begin to flash Code 12. The code will display as one flash, a pause and two flashes. Code 12 is not a fault code. It is used as a system acknowledgment or handshake code; its presence indicates that the ECM can communicate as requested. Code 12 is used to begin every diagnostic sequence. Some vehicles also use Code 12 after all diagnostic codes have been sent.
  5. After Code 12 has been transmitted 3 times, the fault codes, if any, will each be transmitted 3 times. The codes are stored and transmitted in numeric order from lowest to highest.

The order of codes in the memory does not indicate the order of occurrence.
  1. If there are no codes stored, but a driveability or emissions problem is evident, the system should be diagnosed by an experienced driveability technician.
  2. If one or more codes are stored, record them. Refer to the applicable Diagnostic Code chart in this section.
  3. Switch the ignition OFF when finished with code retrieval or scan tool readings.

After making repairs, clear the trouble codes and operate the vehicle to see if it will reset, indicating further problems.

Posted on Mar 24, 2011

  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Mar 24, 2011

    I have lost you on the chat, but I will continue to work with you here. Next I will post the meaning of the trouble codes. Please let me know if you have questions.

  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Mar 24, 2011

    Here are the codes. If you don't have it solved before this, please let me know what code you get out of it.

    code - code definition
    12- diagnostic mode
    13- 02 sensor or circuit
    14- coolant sensor or circuit/ high temp indicated
    15- coolant sensor or circuit/ low temp indicated
    16- system voltage out of range
    19- crankshaft position sensor or circuit
    21- throttle position sensor or circuit- voltage high
    22- throttle position sensor or circuit- voltage low
    23- mixture control (m/c) solenoid or circuit (carbureted models)
    23- manifold air temperature (mat) sensor or circuit (1990 and earlier models) 23- intake air temperature (iat) sensor circuit (fuel-injected models)
    24- vehicle speed sensor (vss) or circuit
    25- manifold air temperature (mat) sensor or circuit - high temperature indicated (1990 and earlier models)
    25- intake air temperature (iat) sensor or circuit - high temperature indicated (1991 and later models)
    26- quad driver module circuit
    27- quad driver module circuit
    28- quad driver module circuit
    29- quad driver module circuit
    31- park/neutral position (pnp) switch circuit
    32- baro sensor or circuit (carbureted models)
    32- egr circuit (fuel-injected models)
    33- manifold absolute pressure (map sensor signal voltage high
    33- mass air flow (maf) sensor or circuit - excessive airflow indicated
    34- manifold absolute pressure (map) sensor signal voltage low
    34- mass air flow (maf) sensor signal - low airflow indicated
    35- idle speed control (isc) switch or circuit (shorted) (carbureted models)
    35- idle air control (iac) valve/ circuit
    38- brake switch circuit
    39- torque converter clutch (tcc) circuit
    41- no distributor signals to ecm, or faulty ignition module ( carbed models)
    41- cylinders select error- mem-cal or ecm problem ( fuel-injected models
    41- cam sensor circuit (3.8 engine)
    42- bypass or electronic spark timing (est) circuit
    43- low voltage at ecm terminal l (carbureted models)
    43- knock sensor circuit
    44- oxygen sensor or circuit - lean exhaust detected
    45- oxygen sensor or circuit - rich exhaust detected
    46- power steering pressure switch circuit
    48- misfire diagnosis
    51- prom, mem-cal or ecm problem
    52- calpak or ecm problem
    53- egr fault (carbureted models only)
    53- system over-voltage (ecm over 17.7 volts)
    54- mixture control (m/c) solenoid or circuit (carbureted models)
    54- fuel pump circuit (1986 and later models)
    55- oxygen sensor circuit or ecm
    55- fuel lean monitor (2.2l engine)
    61- oxygen sensor signal faulty (possible contaminated sensor)
    62- transaxle gear switch signal circuits
    63- manifold absolute pressure (map) sensor voltage high (low vacuum detected)
    64- manifold absolute pressure (map) sensor voltage low (high vacuum detected)
    66- pressure sensor or circuit air conditioning

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  • Master
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Have the alternator checked. It maybe shorted out in the stator

Posted on Mar 23, 2011

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  • Master
  • 1,915 Answers

Alternator is locked up (it happens, but not normally).

Posted on Mar 23, 2011

  • mike mountain Mar 24, 2011

    You should be able to see if it is locked by observing the belt when it is idling-if the belt is not squeling or even smoking, check the voltage at the battery and the back of the alternator, you should get readings near 14.0 volts at edle.

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1 Answer

My 1990 lumina starts but when you give it gas it acts like it dies but when you let up on the gas it comes back. i have changed the brain box, the eec, and the exhaust senser, nothing worked.


have you replaced the map sensor or try unplugging the map sensor and see what it does also check the vacume hose or conection to the map sensor also try unpugging the throtle position sensor with either one unpugged you wont be able to drive it but you can see what it does parked

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My 1990 chevy lumina will start up for few seconds then die. it wont stay running for more than 5 seconds but will starts up every time. when i give it gas it dies immediately


Sounds like low fuel pressure. Check your fuel pressure. If you have the 3.1 liter engine and just turn the key to the "on" position you should have around 41 - 47 PSI. When running it should have about 31 - 44 PSI. If you have the 2.5 liter engine you should have 26 - 32 PSI of pressure when running. I hope this helps and good luck.

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Runs good up to 35 miles'''' then wants to die ,giving more gas


ignition moduel were bad so were cats, dont rule out fuel filter or pump

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heres a quick test you can do start the car and with it running take off the positive battery cable. let me know the results.

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do you here a whistle sound when you give gas when gas is giving you feel exhaust coming out of tailpipe maybe block catalytic convertor exhaust block no power let me no HOPE IT HELP FIXYA OUR POST THANKS PIERRE

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