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Chevrolet Impala: Problems & Solutions



  • I am new to this site and would please like some information before I get "beat" by a mechanic. I have no idea about cars, whatsoever. I have a 2004 Impala with 55K miles. I have had 2 problems so far. The first is when I start my car, it kind of drags. I thought the started was going out, but the mechanic told me that it was fine.??? Why would it be doing this? Second, yesterday I came out of the library and started my car and pushed the accelarator and it would barely go past 10 mph. Then, the check engine light came on. I took it to Auto Zone and they put it a tester and it read that the 02 was backfiring? Is this major? Am I going to be out of some big money to fix this? HEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLPPPP, any suggestions any mechanics in the Davenport IA area that can help me?
  • hchu1hchu1 Posts: 17
    Hello Michelle, problem number 1, have the battery checked. If the voltage is OK, have the positive terminal check for looseness. I just had to replace my OEM battery because the positive terminal just came off when I tried to loosen it. It detached from the battery case so that the terminal was still attached to the cable. My original investigation was for a no start problem I encountered one day. If your battery is a 78-yr Delco OEM battery they have suspect positive terminals.

    Problem 2, have the catalytic converter checked, it contains a honeycomb material coated with platinum. If the honeycomb breaks it could clog the converter and cause low power, backfire, etc. It should be under warranty. I hope this helps, good luck. :D
  • michelles,
    Take the car to the dealer and have them check the catalytic converter. I have a 2002 Impala and just got a letter from GM advising that I MIGHT experience a problem with the converter (that was described like your problem) and if so return to the dealer for a WARRANTY repair. They advised this was not a recall and stated they were extending the warranty for this particular problem to 10 years/120,000 miles. I had a similar problem on a car I had about 10 years ago and it was also the converter that had gone bad. hope this helps.
  • It is under warranty still. Thank you so much for the advice. I at least can go in and give them suggestions on what I think it may be, so they can at least think I know what I am talking about. Thanks again.

  • Hey thanks a buch for the advice. I really like this site. Hopefully, I will not have to be here to often. Have a great day! Once again, thanks for the advice.

  • Just like others my 2000 impala won't start. Iwas driving and the engine cut off and PS locked up. All the power works but the engine want turn over. Have anybody else with problem ever get this resolved. The worst thing is that I'm in a foreign country with no CHEVY/GM dealership to take it to. Just a foreign national working for the Gov't. S o if anybody has pinpointed the problem it will help greatly .
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    If possible take someone (that might have a little car knowlege) with you when you go back to the dealership regarding your problem.
  • I am having the same sort of problem. Every now and again I get into my car and it just doesn't start. The lights and the radio come on, but it won't even attempt to turn over. Usually I wait a while and it will eventually start up without a problem. I know it isn't the alternator or the battery. I just had my car checked out last Sat. and they said it was all good. Have you noticed the security light coming on periodically? This happens to me. I was told by a friend, that it could be the keys. Apparently there is a small chip inside the key. If it gets out of line with the computer system in your car, the car won't start. I haven't had a chance to get new keys yet, but hope to in the near future. Also...I bought my car from a local person and it didn't come with the owners manual. I just had a tire patched last night, and can't get the "low tire pressure light" to go off. Do you happen to know how I go about that?
  • I don't have an owners manual, so can you tell me what exactly I need to do to reset the tire pressure light? It would be greatly appreciated!
  • the following is two ways too reset,the first is preferred especially since some cars no longer or never did have the special stereo required to reset through them, the first is also 10 times easier!!

    To reset (calibrate) the system: The tire inflation
    monitor system can be reset two ways. With the
    ignition position at ON, pull the interior lamps
    control to the ON and OFF settings three times.
    It can also be reset through the radio using the
    following steps:
    1. Turn the ignition to ACC or ON and turn the
    radio off.
    2. Press and hold the TUNE DISP button on the radio for
    at least five seconds until SETTINGS is displayed.
    3. Press the SEEK PTYPE up or down arrow to scroll
    through the main menu.
    4. Scroll until TIRE MON appears on the display.
    5. Press the 1 PREV or 2 NEXT button to enter the
    submenu. RESET will be displayed.
    6. Press the TUNE DISP button to reset. A chime will
    be heard to verify the new setting and DONE will be
    displayed for one second.
    7. Once the monitor has been reset, scroll until EXIT
    appears on the display.
    8. Press the DISP button to exit programming. A chime
    will be heard to verify exit.
    The system completes the calibration process
    during driving.
    The system normally takes 15 to 20 minutes of driving
    in each of three speed ranges to “learn” tire pressures.
    The speed ranges are 15 to 40 mph (25 to 65 km/h),
    40 to 65 mph (65 to 105 km/h) and above 65 mph
    (105 km/h). When learning is complete, the system
    will alert you after two to eight minutes if a tire is 12 psi
    (83 kPa) different from the other three tires. Detection
    thresholds may be higher and detection times may be
    longer on rough roads, curves and at high speeds. The
    system is not capable of detection at speeds greater than
    70 mph (110 km/
  • It was finally cold enough up here to turn on my heat today, but there was none. The fans work and the air conditioning all works. There just isn't any heat. It has about 43800 miles on it. Does anyone have any easy at home fixes or any ideas what could be wrong. I hate to take it to the dealer for something minor. Thanks for any help.
  • deminindeminin Posts: 214
    A couple of quick things you can check....
    1. Is your coolant level correct in the engine? Check the coolant reservoir and see if you have anti-freeze in the overflow tank. A low coolant level might allow enough to cool the engine, but not enough to flow good through the heater coil.
    2. What is your temperature guage reading? It should be about mid-scale on the guage. If the engine is running quite cool, you may have a thermostate stuck in the open position....a $5 part.
    3. At 43K miles your anti-freeze shouldn't be in too bad shape, but if it appears dirty, a good radiator flush and refill with new anti-freeze might help.
    4. Beyond that, the valve that allows coolant to circulate through your heater coil may be bad....I'm not sure where the valve is on an '04...but that should not be a very expensive repair. .
  • It just cost me $400 to replace the passlock on my 2002 Chevrolet Impala. I am four months off the warrenty. And I just hope that this solves the problem.

    I owned a 1995 Lumina for years, putting over 150,000 miles on it. So, when it came time for a new car I choose the Impala replacement model for the Lumina. And for two years I was happy, no problem, until I ran into this %$##!^& passlock. What crazy engineer at Chevrolet dreamed this up. As some on this board said this keeps the owner from starting the car - the thieves have no problem.

    It began about two months ago. My wife or I would suddenly find the car would not start - no crank - no turnover - lights and radio and all electric fully on. The car started after I called road service arranging for a tow and the guy asked me to turn the key so he could hear it! Took it to the chevy dealer that I had good experiences with - car worked fine no problem can be found - week later same problem no crank no turnover lights work fine - I fussed with it and it started after ten minutes ( I found out on this board that waiting ten minutes allows it to start again - I thought it was because a tapped or moved the shift, the break or sware 50 times). Back to chevy - could find no problem --- then a period of uncertainty - will the car start or will it not -

    Then the securty light started to come on as we drove - that made me suspect the passlock - returned to chevy and paid $400 to replace ---

    now I am wondering why chevrolet is not recalling this defective passlock -- if you have had experience with this post it here - if you know of other posts let us know the boards that they may be on - if enough customers have this problem maybe we can get a recall with a retroactive cover for those who paid for a new passlock.
  • does bendix make delco brakes? the parts guy claims he don't know (what a crock!!!) for some reason they wanna keep it secret, ohh I bet it's because they don't want us to go to a cheaper autoparts store and get the same part cheaper!! ok on to other subjects I have a 2002 impala ls sport with the sport package,sport susension etc. the chevy parts guy said to go with the ceramic fleet brakes (which is what i think may have been on the car to start not sure though) my question is will these wear or warp my rotors at an increased rate? well thanks for reading chris!
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Posts: 870
    I saw someone mention earlier about not having an owner's manual for their Impala, and just wanted to pass this along...if you go to and register your Impala there, you can download a pdf file of your owner's manual. Granted, this is a BIG file, and may take some time to download, but probably worth the effort. I think you can also order a paper copy there as well, but I'm not 100% certain.
  • Hey there,
    The solution to this is simple. Did you get the car like this already? The factory disconnects the door switch at the doors themselves. Unscrew the door indentation with a torx screwdriver and reach into the slot and pull out the wire bundle. Then unwrap the tape and you should see an unplugged wire tap that you just plug in again. That should do it. Also check the bulb first and then the wire that goes to the dome light to make sure that is plugged in. :)
  • For the start problem, I just took care of that, there is a small capacitor in the ignition switch that went bad. A good mechanic needs to replace it but it requires a chevy dealer to reprogram it. So if your mechanic is good, he can remove it and send it to your local dealer and fix it and your mechanic can reinstall it. What type of radio is in your car? If it is a no frills one, then do the following: turn exterior lamp control from OFF to parking lamps 3 X while ignition is in ON. If you have an RDS radio, Then: 1) Turn ignition to ACC or ON and turn radio off. 2) Press and hold the DISP button on radio for at least 5 seconds until settings is displayed. 3) Press SEEK up or down arrow to scroll through the main menu. 4) Scroll until TIRE MON appears on the display. 5) Press PREV or NEXT button to enter submenu. RESET will be displayed. 6) Press DISP to reset. A chime will be heard to verify. DONE will be displayed for 1 second. Once monitor has been reset, scroll to EXIT. 8) Press DISP to exit programming. Done. Make sure ALL tires are at same pressure. :)
  • HI there, I am having the passlock problem too and last night it temporarily shut down my AC and the battery-service engine- and security lights rotated flashing. also accompanied by a clicking. Who do I report this to for a possible recall and can I do without passlock?
  • HI there, I am having the passlock problem too and last night it temporarily shut down my AC and the battery-service engine- and security lights rotated flashing. also accompanied by a clicking. Who do I report this to for a possible recall and can I do without passlock?
  • Why did you get it for free? Did you have a warranty?
This discussion has been closed.