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Chevrolet Impala: Problems & Solutions



  • arbyarby Posts: 8
    If you are not getting heat inside the car, and your temp gauge is not up to normal after reasonable warm up time (gauge should be about in the middle at 190-200 degrees) your thermostat is not restricting flow enough to raise the temperature. Replace it with the exact degree that it came with-probably a 195 degree. If you put in a lower temp thermostat you could encounter all kinds of other problems. The engine and transmission were designed to operate at certain temps. If you have an LS with tachometer you might notice that the RPM's will read higher at 50 mph until the engine reaches full operating temp. This is because the torque converter won't shift into lock-up until it is warm enough. Installing a thermostat with too low temp could keep that from working, thus causing excessive engine/trans wear and bad gas mileage.

    If your temp gauge is at or above normal reading and you still aren't getting heat inside the car it means either the thermastat is not opening enough to allow flow, or you have a clogged heater core. Suggest you have the system flushed and a proper new thermostat and fresh anti freeze installed. Arby.
  • Sounds like mine! lol Only I could add about 10 more things to the list.
  • About 2 weeks ago, the turn signals of my 03 Impala stayed on, didn't blink, I turned the hazard light on and off a couple of times, then the turn signal came back to work, and they have been worked fine after that. The day before yesterday (Monday), I dropped the car to a Chevy dealer for oil change, asked them to check it out to see what caused the signals problem. The guy at dealer first says - well, because the problem can not be replicated, the technicians won't figure out why. I say - I saw on the internet, some people also got the same problem, and their dealer found out there was a bad wire ground at the hazard switch. The guy says - OK, you can leave the car here, but we are busy, so it will take some time, won't be done till end of tomorrow (Tuesday). In Tuesday afternoon (1:00PM), I called the dealer to check the status,

    that guy was on the phone, I left him a message, asked him to call me back. One hour passed, no response, I went to the dealer. That guy was on the phone, pretended didn't see me. I standed there for about 15 mins, finally he says - what I can do for you, I say what the status? He says - Oh, I just about to call you, it will take longer, how about come back end of tomorrow? I say - are they working on it? he says - no, haven't looked into it yet, they are busy on other things. I asked - how about the oil change? Answer - no, can you wait for another day? I said - forget it, give me my car, don't waste my time.


    I am really mad, they let the car sleep there for two days without even look into it, even didn't do the oil change, and no update to me on what's going on. I have been a die hard GM fun, but now I think the Impala will be my last GM car, when the lease is up in 1.5 years, I will go for a Ford. The other car of ours is a Ford, the dealer experiences are a lot much better.
  • Part is $15 at the dealer, you can replace it yourself if you have half hour to kill. Dont even need to remove the entire Instrument Panel face, just from the drivers door to the radio/center stack.


    The problem is fixed when you replace the hazard switch itself, it contains the turn signal elextronics inside of its housing, and it protrudes about 3 inches back from the button you press from the front. I replaced mine when I had the problem you are having and it fixed it immediately. Girlfreind's 2000 Malibu had the same problem , same fix - just a different part number.


    When you buy it at the dealer, explain you need to purchase the button/switch, NOT THE RELAY!! The relay is a seperate part and generally not the cause of this problem. They may try to sell you both parts at the same time, but you wont need to buy the relay which is a seperate part and part number.
  • Why go Ford, Considering resale value and quality I finally decided to get a honda Pilot. Daughter's Civic is great! Wife's Malibu and my Impala are both problems. Wife's Malibu had pistons replaced at 21,000 miles. Impala eats front AND rear rotors like a teenager eats chips. Tired of the hassle. 2001 Impala LS with 75,000 miles on it only worth about $6000 Kelley Blue Book.
  • Purchased used 2000 Impala LS two months ago to replace a 1998 Buick Regal which my 17 year old son totaled. Impala runs as well as the Regal, except for the slight oil burning smell. (Any ideas?) I drove the car in foggy weather and had a hard time turning on the fog lights. Only solution was to pull the light control out. That allowed me to turn on the fog lights. This brings up the question of whether the regular lights were on or just the running lights.


    Middle Age Guy
  • Foglights cannot come on unless regular lights are on, they will not come on if running DRLs. The sensor that changes the system from DRLs to regular lights (and turns on the rear lights) takes time to activate. I have been in shade when I started the car and it took forever to go to DRLs. Then again, I have had the opposite occur and it took a long time for the regular lights to come on. Driving in and out of shadows is when this effect is best seen. If there wasn't a time delay built into the sensor everybody's lights would be flickering all the time as they sent down the road and passed through shadows.


    Foggy weather may not be dark enough to activate the regular lights. Fog seems to account for the few times I have had to turn on my lights manually.
  • rdavierdavie Posts: 1
    The cruise control buttons on the steering wheel of my 2003 Impala have a thin layer of black paint and are lettered in white paint. The leds underneath the buttons shine through the white paint but do not shine through the black paint. The black paint has worn in spots from my fingers and finger nails when I adjust the cruise control, causing the light from the leds underneath the buttons to shine through unevenly.


    My vehicle is past the 36,000 mileage warranty. The service manager at the dealer had no constructive suggestions on how I might repair and/or replace these buttons. Can anyone help?
  • scheckscheck Posts: 8
    I've had my 2004 Impala for about ten months, but I still struggle to find a truly comfortable driving position for my right foot. The distance between the gas and brake pedals is greater than any car I've ever had. Also, I'm not thrilled with the soft center padding of the cloth seat, with the outer padding being very firm. I've used seat covers, pillows, foam and everything else trying to get more comfortable with no success. When I get in my wife's car ('03 Vibe), I'm always comfortable.


    Other than the two issues, I really like this car. Can anyone relate to what I'm saying. If I can't do something to get a little more comfortable, I'm going to take a bath on a trade.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Switch replacement is straightforward BUT requires disarming and removal of the airbag module before removal of the steering wheel. Not a DIY project.
  • bh628bh628 Posts: 100
    Having had a very difficult time finding the right car for me, I can relate to your situation! I actually have the opposite issues--most seats were too hard, and I didn't like the position of the other pedals. But I am quite tall and have other needs.


    I don't know what part of the country you are in, but is there a good "Relax the Back Store" near you? Many of them are staffed by former physical therapists (I think the chain was started by one), and they might be able to give you a little expertise.


    When I was considering the type of seat to look for, I went to their store. They had a bucket seat set up so that you could try it with different types of cushions. The store manager would also go out to a car with me, and help me problem solve. The manager told me of only 3 cars that he never sees, needing help for seating comfort--BMW, Volvo, and I forgot the last one.


    They let me try every cushion in the store, after I brought my new car around. I knew the Impala was the best fit, after I rented one for the weekend. And I knew which cushion would make it more comfy, by my prior testing.


    There are many types of cushions and foam. Some are more dense than others. You might want to look for a denser piece of foam/cushion that is only big enough to fit in the soft center, so that the whole seat is firm for you.


    If you don't have a "Relax the Back" store, there are probably similar stores. Just ask around--your doctor, or a physical therapist. Places for people with back pain are all over, and there are lots of products--even if you don't have back pain! There are places, found in the phone book, you might find that sell foam--all kinds--and you can have a cover sewn on for cheap. It would be a shame to have to lose money on your car.


    I think the reason the Impala is more comfortable for me is that I've spent most of my life in Chevys! Even so, I didn't like the position of the pedals on the Malibu, and it's one reason I didn't buy one. I don't know what to suggest to you on pedal position. Maybe if you get the seating issue changed, the pedals won't be as much of a problem. You might also considering adjusting the seat differently.


    If you are considering getting a different car, you might consider renting one for a whole weekend. I learned a lot from the rental, and even more the second day, about the comfort and features for my needs.


    Hope this is helpful to you. I hope you'll report back with positive news...
  • arbyarby Posts: 8
    I can't get comfortable in my '03 LS either. Same problem with the cloth seat. Center of seat bottom "gives" too much, and the seat back is too curved. My wifes '00 LS with leather seat is much better. It has a relativly flat surface and I noticed the underneath structure is totally different. I'm considering buying a leather driver's seat to use as long as I own the car, then re-install the cloth seat at trade time. Sell the leather on ebay. Arby
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Posts: 870
    I've never really paid that much attention to the placement of the brake/accelerator pedals on the Impala until after reading these posts - I made a point of tilting my steering wheel all the way up at a stop light today just to take a look, and realized I regularly only use the very lower right-hand corner of the brake pedal. I bet I almost never put my foot square onto the brake pedal - whether that's because the pedals are too far apart or what, I don't really know; that's just what I've realized I do. I know I've never had any problems getting my wires crossed between the two pedals, so they must be relatively far apart.
  • From my experience with the exact same problem I would have to say it is a GM design flaw. Ive been under my dash and had the cold air vents below the wipers opened and cleaned the drain. It drains fine. My 98 Grand Prix has the same problem during hard rains. Its very sad. I have a solution you can try if it is still happening. When I leave my car before shutting it off I turn the control to max a/c then turn the fan off and it does not leak in. The reason is because when the heat/ac runs on any other setting the vent opens to bring in fresh air. When the setting is on max a/c the blower motor shuts out the fresh air vent and re-circulates the air in the car so when it rains hard the water does not backflow from that cold air vent into the floorboard. Its rediculous to have this kind of problem on an automobile that costs thousands but so far this is the only way to prevent this from flooding and you may want to try this.
  • I guess it is all relative! With my size 13 EE shoes, it is nice to finally (in my 05 Impala LS) be able to reach the gas pedal without having to worry about catching the brake pedal at the same time!
  • scheckscheck Posts: 8
    Thank you for your suggestions. While we don't have the store you mentioned, I've found a man who does restore/modify auto seats and he has good references. He's willing to remove the center part of the seat and replace the foam with something more to my liking. His estimate was $90 -$120.


    I haven't scheduled anything since my wife is now driving the Impala with her own seat cushion invention. We'll see how long that lasts before she wants our Vibe back.


    I've talked to a couple of dealers about trades, but we would just be pounded by doing something now. I will have the seat re-done before giving up.


    I checked again with my dealer about adjusting the throttle/gas pedal so that I could rest my foot on it when up to a relatively steady speed. They again said that is controlled by the computer and there is nothing they can do. I understand some Bonneville owners have the same complaint.


    It sort of reminds me of the time I had a Pontiac Sunbird and you could not use the visors without hitting the rear view mirror. That's GM for you.
  • bh628bh628 Posts: 100
    Regarding the pedals, there are many ways to use them. For me, the placement is great for the way I use them. However, I don't feel comfortable making these suggestions, especially on a permanent web posting, and neither of us posts their email address. Could be questions of liability, who knows? But I am sure you will figure out a different way of using them. Good lucck.
  • Help! I've just leased a 2005 Chev Impala Sedan. I love the car, but my rear and drivers side windows get really icy when I drive on the highway. I've been to the dealer once about wind noise and they said they fixed it, but the problem (noise) is still there. Is there anything I can do? Would an auxillary heater work or some special kind of window coating? I live in North Dakota (it was -18F today) and it isn't safe to drive with Window like this.


    Thank you,


  • Why did you have to pay if it was a recall???


    I refuse to pay.

  • arbyarby Posts: 8
    Update. i called my dealer parts dept to price a leather seat. Seems the seats come in numerous pieces, and assembly is required. It's also expensive. The parts guy hooked me up with a guy that does custom interiors for street rods. He was well aware of the problem. He has a new GM pickup that he has had to modify the seat a few times to get comfortable. He told me that in the past couple years GM discontinued making their own seats, and that they buy them from an independent supplier-I think he said Lear Corp. This explains the big difference betwen the seat in my wife's '00 Impala and my '03. Anyhow he put in pads where I wanted more support, and the result is a fabulous improvement. Well worth the $'s. Anyone else with a similar complaint should find someone who can rework these lousy seats.
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