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Chevrolet Impala: Meet the Owners



  • kkc3kkc3 Posts: 6
    I have just purchased a 2000 LS
    Can someone tell me the most common problems with this year?
    So far, from what I've read, there are 3-4 main problems:

    ISS - needs replacement
    Short in Headlight switch causing dash light problems and ultimately headlight failure.
    Something about an upper plenum coolant leak and a
    manifold replacement?

    I am a woman who knows nothing about cars.
    I always drove Fords - minivans for my kids
    This is the first used car I've ever bought.
    What should I expect from the list above, and any other problems I might encounter. Frankly, I'm pretty nervous about this purchase after reading the various Impala boards - especially about the 2000.
    It has 33,000 miles.
    Thank you for your help.
  • Hi
    You are doing a great job by being here reading all the posts. I can see how you might be worried about your impala after reading the forum because we all talk about every little issue.. I just want to say that I've got over 43,000 on my 2001 and so far have only spent 200.00 out of warranty for a leaky gasket.

    I'm not sure if you are within your 3 years or not, but regardless, it wouldn't cost very much (some dealers might not even charge anything) to just have a good inspection done on the ISS and your cooling system.

    I'm not saying that the headlight thing will not happen, but I don't think its a very common issue.

    In any case, if you have your ISS and Cooling system inspected (for leaks) and everything is ok, then at least you know where you stand from day one. That and change your oil every 3 months, and I think you'll find that your Impala will last a long long time.

    Take care and I hope you enjoy your ride
  • kkc3kkc3 Posts: 6
    Thanks for your encouragement. Where would I go to have this stuff checked? Another dealership?
    Any mechanic?
  • Drivinisfun - I was looking at the 2003 Impala. Of course, I would want the bigger engine, spoiler, and most of the toys. However, I would not want a sunroof. After a few years, they start to leak - and it is too easy for a breakin.
    Any positive or negative info would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Sugar Cookie
  • Hi Everyone !

    My name is Neil and I am 47 years old with two daughter's (9 and 12) and have just purchased a 2003 Impala LS in Berry Red with all option's except XM radio, Sport Package and Sunroof. My other car is a 2000 Buick LeSabre Limited. Hope to meet some of you in the various forums here.
  • spark1espark1e Posts: 18
    I'm a new owner too. 01 LS 20k mi, like new, love everything about the car. Except the noisey Goodyears. Will not be sad when they're worn out and I can put some good tires on it. Would not be without XM radio!
  • I bought a used 2001 Chevrolet Impala LS with 9,000 miles on it for $16,300. I bought it in February of this year, 2003. It will only be a short time before I have 12,000 miles on it and will need to service it. I think there's 11,300 on it now.

    Is there anything specific I should ask when I get this car serviced? Should I take it to the dealer where I bought it for service or does it really matter?

    Your suggestions are appreciated!
  • To: Mr. Poetryman

    You said you didn't like the Goodyear tires. What kind of tires are you thinking about putting on your LS?
  • Hi Colleen :)

    You do not need to take your car to the dealer to have it serviced. If you take it to a quick-lube place, such as Jiffy Lube or Expressway, they will do all the maintenance required on the car. They will also tell you what else needs to be done that they can not or will not do, such as brake repair for example. I have a 2000 Buick LeSabre Limited that I have only taken to Expressway since I have bought it, and they have serviced it to perfection. I will be be taking my Impala to the dealer, only because they threw in 3 years of free oil changes with the deal I got on the car. They basically did that because it is the same dealer that I bought my Buick at and it's kind of a loyalty reward.

    I did not say I disliked the Goodyear Tires, that was spark1e's comment (Post #130 Above). I will be picking up my car tomorrow, and I will let you know about the tires once I put some mileage on the car. If I do decide to replace them, I would most probably go with Micheleins. I have them on my LeSabre and I am very satisfied with the ride. Feel free to ask anything else, I will try to help you out.

  • Mr. Poetryman or anyone that has knowledge on this......My 2001 warranty is going to expire 10/00 (that's when it was built). What is your opinion on warranties? Should I get a warranty? If so, which warranty is honored at most dealerships or shops? Which warranty actually pays? Hmm......I'm just not sure if I should spend $1,000 on a warranty......any thoughts are appreciated. Time is running out. Thanks.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Posts: 870
    Warranty - Replacing the intake manifold will cost you $800; wouldn't take much more (intermediate steering shaft) to make your money back on a warranty.

    Tires - FWIW, my original Goodyears lasted about 45k miles, and they still had enough tread to be considered legal/safe.
  • mrpoetrymanmrpoetryman Posts: 38
    Colleen, I would suggest checking out the Warranty section here at Edmunds. They have some expert advice, right on the site.

  • spark1espark1e Posts: 18
    Colleen, the Goodyears (1 of them) make a strange noise on each revolution, which you can hear inside the car. Heard it on test drive in rear, after dealer serviced the car and rotated tires front to back and delivered to me I now hear the noise from the front. Cannot see anything weird on the tread, must be internal. Had identical noise on a previous set of Goodyears.

    I'll probably get Michelins, or maybe Continental Contacts.
  • t_tookalookt_tookalook Posts: 29
    I had Goodyears on my SUV and I had trouble with four out of five. On one the belt seperated and the others made 'funny' noise. I won't have them on anything again. This was since they were new. They will be changed shortly on my 2003 Imp to a Yokohama Avid V/H4-245-60. This tire has good write ups and my son has run them on his vehicle.
  • boltzieboltzie Posts: 5 of yesterday. I did have some initial problems with some rust specs on the driver's side door and front fender. The dealer stated it came from the rails of the moving truck. The car was taken to the body shop and most specs were removed, but some were still present. I figure if I want it done right, I'll do it myself. Also, there is some rust under the driver's seat around the welds. I checked a few other cars on the lot and all had the rust under the seat.....what's up with that?

    Anyways, here is some info:

    2003 Impala LS / Galaxy Silver Metallic
    7 Miles when I left the lot
    Cloth interior....neve got used to leather
    Factory CD Stereo

    So far, so good.

    Several of my friends who are mechanics have recommended that I do the first oil change at 1000 miles. I'm kind of curious how the automatic oil change light comes on with respect to mileage.

    Any recommendations are appreciated.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Posts: 870
    Congrats on the new Impala!!

    I've got 53k miles on my 2000 Impala. I too changed my initial oil earlier than required (somewhere around 500 miles as I recall). Just bought my wife a new Accord, and they don't suggest changing oil initially until 5k miles, and actually discourage you from changing it earlier. Some argue there is "break in" oil put into the engine initially; others say change it early, because there'll be more metallic bits floating around in it due to initial break in.

    Anyway, my experience with the oil change indicator light is that you'll run 5-6k miles before it suggest changing oil. Obviously yours may vary depending upon where you live and how you drive. I switched to synthetic (Mobil-1) at @ 3k miles, so I don't worry about running 5-6k miles on the same oil. Not sure I'd want to run standard "dino" oil that long, although I've been told today's oils are more than up to that task.

    Info is in your manual as to how to reset the oil monitor. If you don't change your oil yourself, at least learn how to reset the monitor, and do it each time you get your oil changed. Rare for the Jiffy Lube guys to know/remember to do something like that.
  • I am an owner of a 93 Lumina (was new and I really enjoyed it for the most part). Have the opportunity to buy a 2003 Impala Base model, 3.4 with many options that take it up a notch for a decent price. It was a trade in from Budget Rentals with only 17K and more than 2 years left on the warranty . I like the way it drives (so Lumanesque), felt OK after reading reviews in the AAA magazine, but after finding the "problems" discussion group, I'm extremely nervous about buying this car. I was going to buy it next week but I'm really concerned about what I've read concerning the manifold, ISS, etc. I can't afford new cars often, so I need this one to be reliable and long term.
    Need some honesty here from you guys! Should I take the plunge, or look at other options? The concern here is the repair record and potential problems. Would it be better to look at a new 2004? Won't have the options the 2003 has and I can't seem to find any significant improvements on the new model.
     Also, what is the website for recalls on GM vehicles?
    Thanks, Jo
  • geezr2geezr2 Posts: 7
    Hi.I had to chuckle when I read your post.I wonder if you were looking at the same car we just bought.(We live in Waterloo Ont) I know it's highly unlikely,but we bought an '03 base Impala from a Chevy dealer here,which was a GM auction daily rental buyback.It has 17k,and even tho it has lots of warranty left,we opted for the 4 year ext. just for the peace of mind,if nothing else.It's white,with a navy blue interior,and although it doesn't have all the options we wanted,it was a good deal,imho.

    After about 2 weeks of ownership,we are very pleased with the car,eapecially since the weather here has been dreadful.The day we picked it up(Jan.5th) it started snowing,and it's been bitterly cold and snowy ever since,and the Impala has been perfect.I don't know what mileage were getting,but the gas guage has only dropped to the 1/2 tank mark,even tho it's been used only for stop and go driving in very cold weather for 2 weeks,roughly 250 km,so far.

    As for the typical problems that have been mentioned on this forum,they seem to have been more prevalent on '00 models(the first year thing) and if you're considering an '03 or new,I wouldn't worry too much.We also keep our cars for a long time,and we are pretty confident that this one will age gracefully.

    Since you posted your message late last year,you may have already made your descision,but FWIW,I'd say go for the '03 and save big bucks over new,even with the 4 yr ext warranty,and all taxes in,the total was under $18k allowing 3k for our trade in,which we were very glad to be rid of!

    Good luck with whatever you decide to buy!
    Ric :o)

    Ooops! almost forgot the site that lists recalls,you asked for.
  • bh0001bh0001 Posts: 340
    I live in Guelph and work in Waterloo. I have a navy blue '01 LS that I absolutely love. It kills me to have it covered in all the salt and crap from the roads.

    My mileage averages pretty consistently around 10.5 litres per 100km.

    I'm always amazed at how quickly the car warms up on really cold days. One day last week the DIC was reading minus 22 outside and the heater was blowing hot within 4 blocks of my office after sitting outside all day. Fabulous!
  • geezr2geezr2 Posts: 7
    That's nice to hear.I wish ours was an LS model,but when you buy a daily rental,you have to take the base I guess.Even so,it's comfortable,roomy,quiet,has enough pep,and a great sounding CD player.Now if I could just get a break from this crappy weather,so i could get the darn thing washed! Oh yeah,does the LS have a lit glove box? I can't believe this car has no light in the glove box;even my 14 year old base Taurus has a light in there,as well as a dome light,which I miss in the Impala.When I get out a CD from the little console under the arm rest,it's hard to see in the dark without a dome light. Quibbles aside,this is a nice straightforward solid car.

    Ric :o)
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