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Bobby Lubbers
Bobby Lubbers is owner of Bobby Lubbers Auto Group, a Chevrolet, Pontiac, Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep dealership in Harper, KS. A graduate of Wichita State University, he has been in and around the automotive industry for more than 25 years, and has been nationally recognized by General Motors for exceptional sales and customer satisfaction. You may contact Bobby by phone at (316) 721-1545, or by email at bobby@bobbylubbers.com
Cars, Trucks, Vans & Automotive
2003-05-01 14:10:00
How about this one?
ANSWER:  This is a very difficult question to answer, and I must tell you that my service manager and I have pondered this issue for a number of days now.  First of all, I must beg a question.  Are you certain that your Lumina has a V8 engine?  In 1993, the Lumina Z34 had a 3.1 liter V6 as standard equipment or had an optional high output 3.4 liter V6.  If there is a V8 engine in your car, we may have an incurable problem since this automobile does not have original manufacturer equipment on it.     The problem you are having sounds very close to similar problems we have seen on 3.4 V6 Lumina Z34's.  Remember my previous articles urging people to see their factory certified service departments?  Well, this is a classic example.  A 3.1 V6 engine has a timing chain on it, and a 3.4 V6 has a timing belt.  Any reference to replacing the timing belt and chain on your car is incorrect, as the car can only have one or the other.  Assuming that you have the 3.4 liter engine, I am not surprised that they are having a problem getting the timing set right.  The 3.4 V6 comes with with four (4) cam shafts where your average engine only has one or sometimes two.  If a mechanic working on this automobile is not properly equipped or trained, and does not correctly note where his belt needs to be in relation to the cam shafts, he may not get the cam shafts positioned correctly to allow for proper engine timing.     Your problem is not incurable, unfortunately it may be quite expensive.  The repair to this problem is going to involve removal of your intake manifold and valve cover gaskets to gain access to your cam shafts.  The tools required to align your timing involve cam shaft markers and holders that will probably not be found anywhere but a factory certified service department.  This engine is quite tricky, and if the mechanic you had working on it before was aligning the cams by sight (like many do) he would never be able to get this corrected.  It would not surprise me to see that the car is operating better in park than in drive, since the engine will operate at a higher and more consistent rpm than it will in drive.  I doubt very seriously that any plug wires have been crossed as this would be evident in most cases even at idle.     I can understand your frustration with this issue, your car sounds like a very well kept automobile, and the Lumina Z34 was a well built and beautiful machine.  I highly recommend that you call your Chevrolet service department and get this problem corrected before it causes irreparable damage to your engine.  If you should have any other questions or require assistance in this matter, please feel free to contact me.  Professional and ethical service shops should stand behind their work, and if they are unable to repair a problem completely will probably bear some of the cost in getting a problem corrected by another shop.  Good Luck!!
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