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Chevrolet Impala Lighting/Electrical Problems



  • kjoshnkjoshn Posts: 4
    The way I understand it is that the BCM controls just about everything electical in the car except maybe the engine and tranny. That's why when a new one is installed they need to know the vin number so every option that is in the car is programed in. Anyway, I did know about the doors needing to be closed. I hooked the meter up and laid it on the seat, closed the door and waited. It took about 5 min. to cycle down to 36 m/A's and another 5 min. to start cycling up and down from 36 to 500 m/A's. It stays on 500 for approx. 15 secs. and 36 for 5 secs. I watched this for about an hour and decided it wasn't going to stop. I just checked the battery volts again after 36 hrs. and it's still 12.5 volts. Put the fuse back in, started the car and the clock is keeping perfect time. So all I need to figure out now is it the BCM, cluster gauge assem. or the radio? Any suggestions anyone? For now I'm going to install a switch on that circuit and call it my anti-theft ignition kill switch. :)
  • Update on 2001 Impala Still won't start after 2 days.
    Alternator is good, I haven't had a problem with the clock
    or the radio. I don't really wanna miss with the BCM, but its not ruled out yet.
  • kjoshnkjoshn Posts: 4
    Sorry to hear you still have your problem. Believe me, I know the frustation your going through. I don't know if you read post #1897, but that's the position I'm in now. I did put a switch on the clst/bcm circuit and have not had any drain problems since. When the switch is off the power door locks,power trunk, dome lights ignition switch will not work. I hit the power locks when getting out before I turn the switch off and then use the key to get back in. I'm not a cheapskate and I would have a new bcm installed by the dealer in a second if I knew that was the problem. But before I did all of the above I got socked $450.00 for an altenator by a gm dealer who said it was bad. I knew it was charging and I thought they meant it had a shorted diode or something that was leaving the current backflow so I told them yo replace it. When that didn't work I took it back and they said the old alternator was bad and maybe the battery is bad also or I might have another problem. Needless to say I didn't have much faith in this service dept. and said good-bye. The only other thing I can tell you is that disconnecting that circuit doesn't seem to have any ill effects to the car after it's reconnected. It starts fine, runs fine and everything works the way it should, including my clock and no more dead batteries. So that's the way it's going to be for me until I can find the exact cause of this drain. Good Luck to you
  • mrwaynemrwayne Posts: 20
    It wouldn't surprise me if it were indeed the BCM. Some of them develop minds of their own, and do thing like flash lights and honk horns. After 6 months of weird electronic
    occurrences, I finally had my BCM replaced (and programmed).
    Besides the common security light and no-start problem, the power locks wouldn't work, and, if you're familiar with the 10 minutes of accessory power you have after you shut your ignition off, well, after ten minutes, my BCM would shut down fine, and then a few seconds later, it would come on again for a few seconds, then shut down again. It would continue to do this indefinitely. The new BCM solved all the problems I had. :mad:
  • kjoshnkjoshn Posts: 4
    Thanks for the feedback mrwayne. The problem you had certainly sounds like mine except everything works fine other than my clock loses time (10 -15 mins. in 12 hrs ) when the car is turned off. I guess every BCM has it's own personality. Well, I'm going to bite the bullet and take it to the dealer and have it checked. Could I ask you the approx. cost of the BCM and programming that you paid? Just so I have an idea when I'm quoted an estimate. Thanks again. :)
  • mrwaynemrwayne Posts: 20
    Labor was $173.11. The BCM is $187.45. With tax and misc. materials, I paid $380.50 (this was three days ago). This included installation, and programming (and a car wash). You can order the part directly from for around $97 plus $21 shipping. (The price of the BCM keeps creeping up. Last year it was as low as $84.) If you buy the BCM yourself, then there's the issue of getting it programmed according to your VIN. (So that all of your options can be programmed in). This is an issue that I've never been given a definite answer on. Some will say everything works without programming, others, especially dealers, say it must be programmed. I'd say the safest thing to is go to the dealer and have it done right, and get whatever warranties go along with that, although I can understand many people want to get around spending that kind of money (especially if they don't really have it). Be aware that some dealers try to charge much more. Some people have paid $500-$900 for this same service. The prices I paid were exactly in line with what GM says it costs (including labor time), which is about $360
    plus whatever your state tax is, plus whatever small shop and/or material fee there is. :D
  • Earlier in the summer, I had a similar no-start problem as many folks on here have/had. Pulling and replacing the BCM fuse did the trick to start the car, but now I'm plagued with a few odd problems:
    First, my turn signals had previously malfunctioned from time to time, but could be "fixed" by activating the hazards. Now when they malfunction, it's pretty bad and there's usually nothing that can be done.
    Second, when the car reads that it is dark outside (and the dash lights activate in a different mode), the dashlights are very very faint. At night, I cannot read my speedometer, tachometer or fuel gauge. This is ONLY at dark, though. The radio and other instrument panel related lights are also very faint.
    Finally, I'm encountering some difficulties with my power windows, but only on the driver's side. I can no longer press the button all the way down to roll my window up, but rather must keep it in a certain "sweet spot", which means being held about 3/4 of the way down.
    I'm trying to sell this car soon, and these little inconveniences are not going to help the matter.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Posts: 870
    I can't address the turn signal problem, but have some thoughts on the other two.

    The power window switch is a fairly common problem...same thing happened to me about three years ago on my 2000 Impala. I managed with the "sweet spot" approach for probably six months or so, and then finally one day the switch quit entirely (or course, with the window down). The problem is in the switch, and is easily replaced...but as I recall the part is @ $90.

    On the dash lights, you don't mention trying to adjust the intensity of the dash lights by turning the light switch on the dash - I'm sure you have, but if not it's possible it could be turned down, which would only impact things at night.
  • I had the same thing happen to my 2001. I took it to dealership the first time , and was told it was the BCM, had it replaced. (375.00) Car stalled again before I got out of the parking lot!:sick: Took it to a local mechanic, and he diagnosed it without even looking at it! Turned out to be Crankshaft Position Sensor. It's been almost a year and still doing fine. The cost ended up being 80.00 including labor.
  • bxdbxd Posts: 186
    Any place that tells you a stalling engine is because of a Body Control Module is not a place to go back to. Glad you got your car fixed right!
  • I am in the same position that you are right now! I have different dealers tellign me different things and contradicting one another! I am ready to pull my hair out! I have put over $450 into it allready and still be stranded all the time until the car decides it wants to start...I have a 2000 Impala and I used to love the I am still trying to get peopel to listen to me and get this problem fixed...if you get any usefull information I woudl appreciate it. GOOD LUCK!!!
  • I removed the BCM/clustr fuse and as I expected the car wouldn't start, and everything electrical quit working. But it did not help when I put the fuse back end after 36hrs car wouldn't start and had to be jumped. Any more suggestions? :sick:
  • Well I found out the solution to the problem today by taking it to the dealer and spending almost $700 on parts and labor. turns out it was the Ignition switch and the ignition lock cyclinder the whole thing was bad...I recommend if you can do the work yourself woudl be your best bet because they soaked me for 4 hours of labor at $79 an hour plus parts which are way more exspensive at the dealer!! So far so good..I will repost if anythign arises but if it does I may just loose my mind! Any other problems with the car besides the not starting?
  • I just went through what you have with the turn signals and mine did the exact same thing and I took it to the dealer and they were so familiar with this problem I hardly had to explain is the hazard switch..the turn signals and hazards run off the same switch its really a pretty cheap fix! The switch itself was only $35 as far as labor goes I am not sure because I had other stuff done but I hope this helps!
  • I am depressed after reading about so many others having similar problems as we are with the electrical system. My questions for those who have been there and done that are:

    1. Is a GM dealer the only one who can install and program a Body Control Module (BCM)?
    2. Should we just get the ignition switch and BCM done at the same time since one seems to mess up the other?

    A brief history of our issues with the beloved 2001 Impala with 85K on it:
    --Two weeks ago, the car won't start, although radio works, fan works, etc. Took battery cable off for a minute, reconnected, and car started fine with everything working.
    --A few days later, battery light comes on and AC isn't cooling, stop by Advance Auto Parts, they say battery and alternator are fine. Pulling out of their parking lot, none of the dash board gauges work. Stop for gas, restart the car, and everything is working fine again.
    --A few days later, we take car in for service, and our mechanic cannot find anything wrong using the diagnostic computer. Being the good guy that he is, he only charged us $20 for their efforts.
    --This week, several more incidents of the car not starting, and the battery cable trick is taking longer and more repetitions for it to work.

    Today we figured we should bite the bullet and go to a dealer, but after reading many of these posts, I get the feeling that some of them do not know what the root problem is. Money doesn't grow on trees here, so I do not want to end up trying this and that only to solve the problem after spending a grand.

    Any advice, comments, or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
  • I can tell you from expereience I know exactly how you feel! I went through this for 3 months dealing with what everyone called a bad battery cable and finally paid to have them replaced and to no avail was still in the same spot.....I had the battery tested on top of it, the altenator, and the starter and had 2 different garages fighting with each other on what they thought the problem was and they were both still wrong! I finally had no choice but to take it to the dealer and the place I took it too they do the diagnostics on it and waived the fee for it if I had the work done there...once hey determine what it is you can check around and see if someone else is quailified to do the work.The Bcm if you have to replace it which I didn't has to be reprogrammed...the dealer also told me that the problems will not get better they will jsut get worse and eventually it will quit all together and I believe them on that because I went from having problems once or twice a month to at least 5 times a day!
  • I have no problems with the car except after setting for 2 days the battery will be completly dead, so something is draining the battery and I can't figure it out. I tried removeing the BCM fuse, but it still would be dead after 2 days! I'm looseing my mind. Please Help!! :sick:
  • tcaintcain Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 impala ls with 95k miles and this morning the wife calls and says the the service ,track and battery light are on.took it to wal-mart to get battery and alternator checked and they said the battery was croded.they cleaned it and no more problem .I hop this helps some else.We really like the car no other problem except left front wheel bearing which i changed myself.
  • ok here is the deal I went to put a system in my 2002 this morning (I have a stock radio I’m using a line out converter, if that makes a difference)anyway I go to start the car but the only thing that happened was my cluster went on it lit up and showed me how much gas I had and the message center was on but my voltage wasn’t showing anything I couldn’t lock or unlock my doors (using the power lock) also I couldn’t unlock my trunk keep in mind my car is in ACC at this point also I could put it in gear without pushing in the brake. I have no clue what this could be I checked all fuses and they were ok.i also checked the codes and nothing showed up.and yes the battery is fully charged.
  • Recently, my 2003, with 70,000 miles, impala hasn't been starting properly. The engine won't turn over, and if it does, it quits right after she starts. Then after a few more cranks of the key she's up and running no problem. This also doesn't happen all the time, but enough to make me worry. Also, from time to time the impala will act like someone has activated the unlock/lock buttons on the keyfob. It could be that i'm bumping the buttons as i get in/out of the car, but that seems unlikely.

    Does this sounds like the dreaded BCM or does GM have another way of taking my money?
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