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Chevrolet Impala Lighting/Electrical Problems



  • Thanks

    The dealership has had the car several times and only got it to act up once. They replaced the amp., BCM, and reprogramed the radio twice. They told me GM wont replace any other parts until they get it to act up again.

    I suspect the problem lies in the radio too. Even when the radio is off, I hear it power up every time I turn on a turn signal.
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    I'm not sure if I followed-up on this or not but my nephew's problem was with the front speaker that plays the door chime. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. Fortunately for him, it was an easy fix. Hopefully yours will be the same.

  • agaboagabo Posts: 1
    I have 2001 Chevrolet impala, and I have problem with engine fan. We just put a new fan, because the old fall a part, and same as in the old one only one side of the fan is working. Temperature on this car have to be constantly check, otherwise the car will overheat. We also lost overhead light, dashboard and trunk light.
    Any body have any ideas how to fix this problem?
  • rclubrclub Posts: 2
    Just got a new 07 LS - Are there any power outlets in the car that turn off when the key is removed? I noticed that the front 12V Power outlets stay live even after the key is removed and the car is locked. This is a problem because I have a sirius radio which plugs into the lighter and stays on all the time. Anyone have any suggestions, other than unplug it every time I Park?
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    Double-check but I'm pretty sure the console power outlet turns off. Of course, you'll have to open the door to cancel the extended power (can't remember the official term). Also, it may be a little bulky having the power cord coming out of the console. I liked it better in my '02 Monte Carlo that had the other power outlet on the back of the console facing the back seat.

    I can't find it in the owners manual but I think I remember reading it there. Good luck!
  • kmo89kmo89 Posts: 3
    i tired that is it possible to have a short in the knob that you twist
  • dwt120dwt120 Posts: 1
    I have 2001 Impala w/ the following problem, security light comes on, head lights and dash lights blink intermittently, radiator fan runs intermittently, fuel gauge giving false reading, and it sounds like relay clicking below steering column. This relay also clicks when I release the brake, but not when I press the brake down, but only when the car is in drive. This problem is not constant and happens intermmittenly. I disconnected the positive battery cable and the problem dissapeared for aproximately 100 miles, but came right back. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    Seems most of those freaky, intermittent things have been traced to the Body Control Module (BCM). I'd research it and see what you can find out.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Posts: 870
    And my 2000 started having some odd electrical problems (random radio searches and such) a few weeks before my battery died...something else you might have checked (probably cheaper than a BCM!).
  • wbowl99wbowl99 Posts: 133
    I've been having the dim dashlight problem at times. Doesn't happen all the time, but many mornings with sun shining bright I can barely see the time or radio station on the display. Has anyone heard if they've discovered why this is happening and have a fix?

    Also, when you start the car the running lights are supposed to come on dimmed, but mine has been starting with brights. It's around 7:30 a.m. so is plenty light. Then a couple nights ago around 5:15 pm with it still pretty daylight (I'm in TN), the brights turned on automatically. Anyone else seen this?
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    You gotta help us out a little with a model year at least. Other details like engine size, options, etc. can often help as well. ;)
  • wbowl99wbowl99 Posts: 133
    Ooops. Sorry. '06 LT with the 3.5L. Has remote start, auto headlights, traction control and other typical options. Does not have tire pressure monitor.
  • wbowl99wbowl99 Posts: 133
    Maybe my mistake. Saw in the '06+ forum where it should be standard. Didn't notice it on the sticker (if it should have been there). Guess I need to read my manal a little closer.
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    Nope, you're fine. Our buddy Frank is mistaken...he can't help it, he's Canadian. ;) Right Frank?

    Anyway, it sounds to me like you're having a similar situation to what I was having when my car was new. What's happening is your light sensor thinks it's night time and has the dash in night mode. This may be because of the angle of the sunlight not getting into the sensor...just a guess. But, with my car, it seemed to fix itself after a couple weeks. It could have been the change of seasons (longer days, earlier sunrise). I even posted in one of these forums that I thought possibly Chevy has sent a programming update via OnStar. Otherwise, maybe the car "learned" much like transmissions learn to accomodate a driver's habits. My guess is it will "fix itself" once you start your day with daylight and not at sunrise. :)

    Regarding the high beams coming on, double-check the turn signal stalk and make sure it isn't pushed forward toward the dash. In the '06+, high beams are selected by pushing the stalk forward into a second detente (not the pull-back, click/click setup of old). If your headlights are set in high beam, they will be low beam during daylight hours because daytime running lights are always low beam. But, once your car senses dusk (or a long tunnel), it will switch to nighttime mode and go directly to the high beams. Make sense? Also, make sure there are no obstructions on your dash near the light sensor. It's the little tinted bubble at the center of your dash near the windshield.

    Good luck! :)
  • wbowl99wbowl99 Posts: 133
    Yeah, makes sense, but at 7:30 it's good and daylight here. Don't have a garage and where it's parked it on the sunrise side of the house. I'm driving into the sun on the way to work. It usually corrects itself right before I get to work. Had the car since Sept and I've noticed it on and off for a while. Have forgotten it before, but I'll mention it to the tech when I take it in tomorrow for a fix on numerous things ... including the FOB problem (YEA!) Got about 10 ft away this morning and had go back to the side of the car before it would lock with the fob.

    Got the turn signal part down too. I was used to the click in my Camero and actually prefer it, but I'm used to the change now. Love that you don't have to actually turn the signal on to change lanes.

    You mentioned a transmission learning driving habits. Help a non-mechanic minded here and tell me more. I've had some harder than usual shifts lately and once when putting it into reverse to park it jerked so hard I thought someone had hit me.
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    Well, I'm not THAT smart on the subject and someone else may chime in here. I'm not even sure the Impala's transmission is one of the "smart" ones but in cars so equipped, to help with shifting smoothness, responsiveness, etc., the computer builds a database of your driving habits and begins to "anticipate" when you're likely to use the accelerator vs. coast and then may delay a shift to a higher gear or shift sooner depending on the situation. From those that have it and have different drivers drive the car after it learns a particular behavior, it can make the car act strangely for the "new" driver.

    Some hard shifting has been noted by other Impala owners. I'm not convinced it's a defect because if you drive a certain way, you can set the transmission up for a hard shift. In your experiences, are you accelerating steadily when it happens or possibly accelerating...maybe slowing down as someone pulls in front of you or looks like they might...then back on the gas? If you're letting off the gas and then getting back into it just as you feel the hard shift, you've likely caught the transmission off guard where it was planning on shifting while coasting but the added power from the engine caused the "slam" into the higher gear. I would suggest making a few controlled steady accelerations, maybe a nice slow one, medium, fast, faster and see if it occurs with steady pressure on the accelerator. If it's shifting fine in those conditions, it's probably fine and the hard shifts may have been just happen stance because of your situation.

    As for the hard shift between reverse and drive, aside from an issue, I can ask for the more obvious things. Any chance you car was rolling during the shift? Is it possible you have a big foot that was on the brake and gas simultaneously? (I've done that one without realizing it). Aside from that, make note of the conditions if it continues i.e. is it cold outside, is the car cold or warmed up, excessive idling, etc.

    Hope that gives some insight. Anyone have any other ideas?
  • wbowl99wbowl99 Posts: 133
    Thanks. Most often it is when slowing down and then getting back on the gas as when your slowing for a light that then turns green. I don't jump back on the gas, but it's probably that I caught it off guard. On the parking, I thought I might not have stopped completely and that was the reason too. I made sure to complete stop before backing after that and it did it once but the jerk was not nearly as pronounced. No chance I hit gas and brake at same time. I'm a she with size 5 1/2 feet. LOL

    Another quick question on trannys. I'm in a rural area and some of our road have slow limits (30-45 mph). Driving that speed consistently, especially on gental rises, the ride gets a little bumpy or has a vibration. According to the techs the tranny doesn't seem to know if it wants 3rd or 4th. They said they could reprogram but I'd lose some gas mileage. Hate to do that because I normally average 25mpg in mixed driving. Has anyone on the forum had this problem before?
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    Figured I'd start a new thread so the subject would match the info.

    For that slow rolling terrain, if the constant shifting is a nuisance (as it is with several), try shifting into third. This won't hurt anything except mileage (a little) and you can learn your route much like those smart transmissions do and shift back into Drive once you reach some of the more consistent areas.

    Regarding those hard shifts, I drive an SS and I have had a couple times where I had a "hard" shift. The result in my case was a lot of tire squealing and a mixture of pride and embarrassment. Some of the folks in the comparison forums criticize the Impala's transmission for being outdated but it is strong and reliable. As you build up more experience with the car, your brain will automatically learn how to avoid those harsh shifts or brace you for them before they occur. Good luck with your Impala and those tiny little feets. ;)
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Posts: 870
    One other thing I/ve heard of with "smart" transmissions is if you have various people driving the same car it will sometimes make the car drive differently from one time to the next. I've heard of parents who drive sedately and let their teenage son (or daughter) take the car out Saturday night, and then on the way to church Sunday morning the folks find the car to lurch and such, supposedly because the kid drove the car hard the night before and the car adjusted to that driving pattern. Could be an urban legend, but just throwing it out there as a possibility.
  • wbowl99wbowl99 Posts: 133
    I'll try your tips and see if it makes a difference quietpro. If my son weren't away at college majority of the time I suspect nosirrahg was right. :surprise: I remember 21, too. ;) I used to not be so nice to my cars, but I've taken it pretty easy on this one so far. Guess that's why I'm getting better gas mileage than some mention here. Lowest I've had is 23 mpg one tank when weather was bad for a while and it was slow going.
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