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Question DetailsAsked on 2/25/2013

I have a 1991 Chevy Lumina. After driving a certain distance, and turn off the engine to go into a store, etc., the car will not start.

I have a 1991 Chevy Lumina. After driving a certain distance, and turn off the engine to go into a store, etc., the car will not start until maybe 15 20 minutes later, after the engine cools down.

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3 Answers


Try finding auto mechanics in your area who have experience repairing older cars. Some of them even specify which makes they have the most experience with. Then just pick up the phone and call a few independent repair shops to narrow down your search.

Do we need to tell you to forget about taking it to a dealer? They're much more interested in selling you a new car than in repairing your Perfectly Good old friend. And the dealer is highly unlikely to even have a mechanic who is much older than your car. ;~)

Also, there are websites where you can find advice from other owners of the same make and model car, like this example: It's not unusual for the responders to be really good mechanics (or at least amateur mechanics who love their cars). Use a search engine to find more of these sites.

Answered 7 years ago by Oleron


Some GM products had a problem with the starter solonoid getting hot being close to the exhaust, check to see if the factory heat shield is in
place first, if not install one, otherwise the solonoid on the starter may
need to be replaced assuming it has power in the start position with a

Answered 7 years ago by apttec55


Things that commonly cause this -

1) starter solenoid overheating - generally will not even try to crank engine till cools off enough

2) starter overheating or lubrication gone on starter linkage, causing seizing - when you try to start car it will either go CLUNK or heavy CLICK but without engine turning over, or starter motor will buzz or whine like it is turning fast but not turn engine over at all

3) battery overheating, which reduces its ability to provide power - solenoid may chatter when trying to start and not crank engine over, or may crank over slowly but not enough to start engine

4) vapor lock in fuel system due to a line or filter getting too hot, causing gasoline to turn to vapor which then blocks fuel flow - engine will turn over but not start

5) low oil or coolant, or other cause of engine overheating - causes so much friction engine cannot be turned by starter motor until it cools off enough for hot metal to shrink and restore needed operating clearances. Usually engine will smell very hot and may smoke a bit if you open hood right away after it has stopped, and if you have gauges instead of idiot lights then oil level gauge would be very low or temperature gauge would be very high. Also, check oil dipstick for correct level, and coolant overflow reservoir for correct fluid level.

6) Electrical connection getting hot and expanding enough to break connection, then makes contact again when cools off. This type can be murder to find, though rare.

7) probably a few others I can't think of right now. You need a good experienced diagnostic mechanic, not a computer jockey right out of school - and plan on it being out of service a couple of days, because he is going to have to go through the fail and restart sequence a few times probably to find the cause. Bad news - because this is a track it down situation with multiple possible causes, going to take a couple hundred $ just to diagnose unless he guesses lucky right off the bat - plus from $0 - hundreds of $ repair cost and parts depending on problem.

8) Your toughest decision - car is worth maybe $1000 - 2000 depending on mileage (assuming 75,000 miles normal condition and 40,000 miles excellent condition respectively), so sinking a lot of money into it would not make great sense economically, unless you are certain it is in great shape otherwise so you are better off keeping it running rather than getting a new car with perhaps its own problems.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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