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Chevrolet Impala Steering/Suspension



  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Posts: 870
    FWIW my ISS continued to get clunkier and clunkier since July; this evening when I got home I hunted down my can of PBBLaster and gave the ISS a good long spray of the stuff. I don't know exactly how much I sprayed in there, but I tried to send most of it down the interior of the shaft that runs from the universal joint-looking piece under the dash downwards. If I had to guess, I probably sprayed 2-3 fluid ounces down there; also sprayed a little around the U-joint itself just for the heck of it.

    Just got back into the car to run a quick errand, and the clunkiness is totally gone, and the steering is much less vague than it had been. One of the reasons I finally sprayed it again is I'd noticed the car had begun to drift a little, and I remembered before having the same problem that went away with the application of the lube.

    One suggestion; it's kind of awkward to get to the ISS under the dash, but what I did this time that seemed to work pretty well was to open the driver's door and then basically stick my legs under the car, so I ended up sitting on the ground.
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    I thought I would post about an ISS issue I had. I'm a previous owner of an '02 Monte Carlo SS and am familiar with the ISS problem. With my '02, the diagnosis was the ISS but not serviceable issue, only a maintenance/annoyance as far as the dealership was concerned.

    On my '06, at approximately 25K miles, my ISS started clunking but this time it got progressively worse. It was bad enough by the time I took it in (at 27.5K) that it would clunk while braking and when initially accelerating from a stop (as well as any other car movement below 35 mph). I had resigned myself to being told it was a maintenance issue and figured they would only lubricate it but as it turns out, they replaced it as defective. I didn't get to talk to anyone in the service department, something I'm not real happy about, but I am pleased that the problem was resolved with a replacement. The ISS problem had been progressing for so long now that I had learned to live with it to a degree and now that it's fixed, the car feels SO much better to drive. I don't know if this is a new problem regarding the ISS or if mine was worse than normal but I definitely wanted to share since it's usually not a replacement. Hopefully this will help others out there! :D

    By the way, can anyone tell me if while replacing the ISS, is it likely that the steering wheel could be set out of alignment. I now seem to have to hold the wheel about 5-10 degrees to the right. The overall alignment seems the same but I'm pretty sure the wheel is off. I don't want to make a fool of myself if it's in my head but I'm pretty sure they messed it up. Thanks!
  • cnwcnw Posts: 105
    Ron, Not sure what the procedure is when they replace the ISS, but it is definitley something they could have screwed up. If I'm not mistaken, the ISS is a splined shaft, and in replacing it they probably got it off by one tooth. One way to check is to turn from center, straight ahead to the full left and right position (lock to lock, as they used to say). It should take an equal number of turns (and fractions of a turn) in each direction. Clark
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    That's what I was by one spline, so to speak. If so, would the wheel end up definitely off? In other words, if the wheel were installed correctly, would the wheel turned lock to tock end up in comparable positions at something like 9 o'clock to the left and 3 o'clock to the right but if installed incorrectly, it may now turn to 10 o'clock to the left and 4 o'clock to the right? That seems to make sense but I want to make sure I'm following you. Thanks!
  • cnwcnw Posts: 105
    You've got it! Good luck with the dealership service department.
  • Just FYI on PBBlaster...I doused my ISS with it again back in early October, and now in mid/late November my clunk is back. The first time I tried PBBlaster it lasted for maybe 6 months, but the longer I drive the car the shorter the time period that this fix works.

    I may actually be getting ready to sell my 2000; not because of this or any other particular problem, but because I've got two kids approaching driving/college age, and to avoid multiple car payments I may get something new soon so I can pay it off before the kids cycle through.

    I glanced back at some more recent posts but didn't see this info out there; is there anyone who has had their ISS replaced/repaired outside of warranty that can give me a rough idea of what it would cost to fix? If it's not too dear I'd probably rather get it fixed before I sell it, especially if I end up selling it myself.
  • I've got an '06 LT3 that I have scheduled to go in the shop next week for the intermediate steering shaft problem. It's making the clunking noise when turning and also when going up and down my rather bouncy gravel driveway, there is a lot of popping in the steering wheel and column. However, over the last few days I've noticed a vibration that you can feel in the floorboard after you get up to about 60 mph and it seems to be getting worse. You can here it as well. It almost sounds like a bad tire, but I'm not feeling anything at all in the steering when it does this. In fact you can let go of the steering wheel and it holds straight and steady. Any ideas if this could also be related to the steering shaft issue or maybe a tire out of balance? I would think a tire issue would cause the steering wheel to vibrate as well. Thanks.
  • You might take a close look at your rear tires; could be one of those has developed a problem (or thrown off a balance weight) and if bouncing somewhat (but you wouldn't feel it through the steering).
  • axinutaxinut Posts: 11
    I have a 2008 Impala with about 14K miles on it, :) I think mine has the ISS clunk. :( It has been making a clunky sound that seems to be coming from the left side of the car. I noticed last night that the noise seems to be coming from the steering column. It seems to be more pronounced when I put my foot on the brake pedal or take it off of the brake pedal.

    I would have thought after eight model years they would have corrected this issue. So I guess I will be off to the dealer in the next week or so to get it corrected.
  • wbowl99wbowl99 Posts: 133
    I've had a vibration almost from when I first got my 06 alnog with noise and clunking. Selling dealer's service said what they felt was normal and they could not replicate the noise and clunking. Then last week at 28K it started a new noise and bumping feeling when I would turn to the left and I could also feel it in the brake. Took it to a different dealer who replaced an outer tie rod and the steering shaft. When I first got it back I could feel a rubbing when I turned to the left, but that seems to have gone away. The steering is a little tighter now, though.
  • cnwcnw Posts: 105
    I had a clunking/clicking noise whenever--with the car in "Park"-- I put my foot on the brake pedal or took it off. I have bucket seats and the noise came from the console area. Also discovered I could hear the same noise when I depressed the shift-lever button to take it out of "Park". After having parts replaced by dealer, discovered thru some folks on this forum that it is the normal sound for the solenoid that engages/disengages the interlock associated with the transmission and shifter linkage/ brake pedals, etc. All part of the safety stuff to prevent shifting out of Park without having your foot on the brake. You may be exoeriencing the same thing. Clark
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    FWIW, my sister (owner of an '06 3LT) just had a tie rod bushing (I believe) and (just before her warranty expired) a rear trailing arm replaced. The trailing arm had broken, at least that's what she was told, and was causing a clunking sound in the rear. Since most of the problems in the Impalas seem to be systemic, you all might want to file that away in the back of your brain in case you start experiencing similar symptoms. I've noticed some clunking in the rear when driving through a parking lot with bad pavement (for example) that I think may be the same problem. I hope to have mine checked out this week while I'm home for Christmas. My selling dealership seems to be better at addressing concerns than the one I use near my home. I'll post any results if I get them.
  • cnwcnw Posts: 105

    Just saw your post regarding the "clunk" noise coming from the rear when going a rough pice of pavement. I have also noticed that but discounted it as just a quirk of the rear suspension. I should have suspected something, because I only hear it in a right turn as the right rear crosses a pice of concrete that drops approximatel 2 inches. Yes, the sound is repeatable and predictable in that same corner. I need to get under the car and do some checking and then pursue it with the dealer. Thanks for the heads-up. Have a Merry Christmas with your family. Clark
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    Funny you should mention the right-rear because that's where my sound is coming from.

    Here's another tip for anyone else who suspects a problem: fold down your rear seats and test your car. Any noise from the rear suspension is MUCH louder with the seats down. I discovered this by accident since I have my seats down to aid in hauling around a lot of "stuff" during the holidays. My symptom is more like a crunchy-squeak sound as the springs are flexed. So far, the best way to repeat this is to go over speed bumps slowly. I still have the proper 1 1/2 bounce but that first "1" is very noisy in the right rear.

    Thanks for the input, Clark!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours as well!

  • Hi all,i have a 06 Impala LT with the 3.5 V6. Love the car for the most part but i have this annoying little rattle/clunk from the steering column. You can't hear it as much as feel it in the steering wheel. When turning wheel and accelerating from a stop or just stopped and release the brake and apply it again quickly,you can feel slight movement in the column. It's not like a loose steering wheel and doesn't seem to affect anything,just an annoying little feeling. The car has 21,000 miles on it and i purchased it used at 19,000. I love the car really and this about all i can nit pick at. Thanks all in advance.
  • tom108tom108 Posts: 1
    I have an 02 with over 100,000 and it does the same thing. I think it has since early on. I did change the ball joints but that didn't fix it.
  • It's too bad because i really like the car but this little clunk drives me crazy. That and lousy range on the remotes, but what are you gonna do. The remotes should work from more than 20 feet,but 1 annoyance at a time i guess.
  • rysterryster Posts: 476
    The steering column noise is most likely the Intermediate Steering Shaft (ISS). This is a relatively common issue on the Impalas. The dealer may be able to fix it by either replacing the ISS or lubing it. Most people that have it fixed say it comes back eventually. My '06, at 21,500 miles, makes a noise sometimes but I just ignore it.

    The remote range issue can also be addressed by the dealer. I believe that Chevrolet has issued a Technical Service Bulletin for the issue. Last time I was in for routine maintenance, a gentleman in the waiting room was having his Impala fixed due to range issues with his remote keyless entry.
  • Thanks for the reply. I will check with my local dealer on both issues. At least i can go in and listen intelligently.
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    See my post (#84) regarding the ISS. I had mine replaced under warranty and that hasn't been the usual. Mine started clunking at around 25,000 miles and got progressively worse.
    Both of your issues, ISS and remote range, should be fixed under warranty. There is a TSB for the remote range that involves replacing the receiver and issuing new FOBs so you DEFINITELY want to get that done before your warranty expires.

    Good luck and keep us posted on your experience!
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