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2005 and Earlier Chevrolet Impala



  • matteo2matteo2 Posts: 17
    I have a base impala 2001, 1700 miles, I hope i do not run into any of these problems
    you people have been having, so far so good .
  • I can't say the Impala is a better police car than a Crown Vic, just different. The Impala works better for my town because it is a old town with short narrow streets. The Impala maneuvers better through crowded streets and sharp turns. The biggest downfall has been if you are bigger than 602 250 you can have a hard time getting in and out of the car. All of our cars have cages and I am sure it is not that bad without the cages. The 99 Crown Vic are slightly quicker straight ahead, but throw in some cornering and the Impala will be the winner. As a far as maintenance of the two vehicles only time will tell. The Ford had intake manifolds crack on 2 out of 4 and ball joints and tie rod ends replace between 60k and 70k.
  • shaminoshamino Posts: 60
    I was wondering whether any 2000 impala owners have had their rear wheelhouse liners replaced?
    I printed a TSB indicating that debris might collect in front lower portion of the rear wheelhouse opening.

    Another problem that I have is during cold mornings. The car starts good, and once it warms up I hear this "pop" or "creaking" sound from the drivers door panel. My impression is that once the interior of the car warms up, the trim pieces or door panels expand? Causing the pop sounds?
    Has anyone else experienced this problem?
  • crosley4crosley4 Posts: 295
    The wife and I were chatting on the drive home (yep we car pool)....... she is starting to wonder about resale value of the Impalas if these cradle related problems get bigger instead of resolved.

    All cars have some problems here and there.

    The more middle aged group here will have certain things pop into their minds when a car model is mentioned.

    Corvair= unstable, air cooled, oil leaking engine.

    Vega= major engine problems, rust in the main body like crazy in the snow belt.

    Pinto= fire when rear ended.

    Gm 5.7 diesel engines in the 1980's= lots of diesel motors dead or dieing.

    You get my drift here I am sure.

    Will it be : 2000/2001 Impala= frame / cradle , steering trouble?

    I am just thinking out loud I guess. Our 2k LS has the minimum cradle trouble so far.

    30 k miles on it now.

  • mcdillmcdill Posts: 180
    Thanks for the kind words , I do have the 2001 police impala / camaro brochure , it is a normal size brochure , it has a picture of the police impala , in several veiws , but it is mainly information ,, and a pretty good bit of info , is there anything imparticular any of you wanted to know ? , and as a counter point , the old caprice , before the LT1 , 92 + had the TBI 350 , it would do 0 to 60 in about 8.8 seconds , and 100 in 25 seconds , top speed 133 now if you compare these times with any crown vic since 1992 to present , the crown vic was slower than the older technoligy caprice most of those years . In the MSP police vehicle test,the 2001 vic ran to 60 mph in 8.7 , 1 second off from the 92 350 powered caprice , not to mention the LT1 , and 100 for the vic was 24.6 , 92 caprice 25 seconds to 100 mph , so ford really hasnt come a long way with performance , considering a 205 hp 1992 caprice , can give a 2001 crown vic with 235 hp a run for its money.thanks--------------mattmcdill
  • this was taken straight out of

    Impala Durability Testing

    Chevrolet selected the Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle
    Show to demonstrate the power and agility of their
    police package Impala. They also selected this show to
    announce a first in law enforcement; a long-term, real-
    time durability testing with fully instrumented Impalas
    in actual police service.
    Police car enthusiasts across the Midwest gather for a
    weekend of shows and cruises at an annual event
    organized by Chicago police officer Greg Reynolds. The
    show attracts restored, daily driver, DARE and in-
    service police cars of all makes, models and years. For
    example, this year’s “best restored” police car was a
    1971 Plymouth Fury with Streamwood, IL, police
    markings. The “best-of-show” was a 1956 Ford from the
    Harwood Heights, IL, police.
    In addition to the static car show, past events have
    included a real EVOC course open to vintage police cars
    and in-service cars, alike. This year, Bruce Wiley,
    Manager of Chevrolet Special Vehicles, provided a half
    dozen police package Impalas for all to drive on the
    half-mile, 15-turn EVOC course.
    Some of the Impalas were unmarked, 9C1 package cars
    while others were fully-equipped, complete with radios,
    MDTs and prisoner partitions. Not only did drivers
    compete against one another in their own police cars,
    the new Impala was pitted against the best police cars
    ever made.
    Was Chevrolet really ready for their V-6 FWD Impalas to
    run against the 440 cubic inch, big block V-8 Dodge
    Monacos and the LT-1 powered Caprices? In heads-up, no
    holds barred competition? Wiley said, “Yes.”
    Cars running the EVOC course were divided into classes
    based on their decade. The times got quicker with each
    era. Nostalgia aside, the big block V-8 powered
    monsters were beat by the small block V-8 Sedans of the
    1980s. That was a surprise. However, it was no surprise
    that the LT-1 Caprices from the 1990s were faster than
    all the other generations of police Sedan.
    The shock came from the new Impala times. Against a
    field of V-8 powered, rear drive cruisers pushed hard
    enough to frequently smoke their tires, the Impala set
    the fastest time of the day! In fact, the average time
    for the drivers who ran the Impala was equal to the
    fastest time from the LT-1 Caprice.
    The consensus was clear, the Impala 9C1 is the fastest
    and best handling front drive American police car ever
    Performance is one thing. Durability on the street is
    another. In a year’s time, the Impala has also started
    to build a reputation as the most reliable and durable
    FWD police car ever made.
    Dodge and Plymouth introduced FWD police cars in 1982.
    Chevrolet and Ford joined the effort in 1984 and 1990,
    respectively. Each FWD attempt has been better than the
    previous car to the point where the 2000 Impala took
    five of the six test phases over the V-8 powered, rear
    drive Crown Victoria including acceleration, handling
    and ergonomics in the Michigan State Police evaluation.
    The Impala is gaining increasing acceptance among
    police officers and fleet managers alike. The usual
    reaction is concern over how small the car appears from
    the outside, followed by surprise at how roomy the car
    is from the inside.
    By far the largest user of the Impala for uniformed
    patrol is the New York City Police. They purchased 600
    in 2000 and have rolled over the contract to buy
    between 700 and 1000 of the 2001 Impala. Not only are
    these Impalas used as precinct cars, they are also used
    by the NYPD Highway Patrol, complete with the unique
    McDermott multi-level light rack. The Highway Patrol
    Bureau had long been the stronghold of powerful, rear
    wheel drive, interceptor-class, traffic enforcement
    But the legacy of poor durability from earlier FWD
    police cars of all makes haunts the Impala. So
    Chevrolet took the opportunity of the Emergency Vehicle
    Show to discuss the first, real-time durability testing
    of its kind involving four fully-instrumented 9C1
    Impalas. These police package cars have been fitted
    with sensors, instruments and on-board computers to
    read and record what it is like to be on duty with both
    an urban police department and a state police
    The on-board computers record engine oil temperature,
    transaxle oil temperature, power steering oil
    temperature, alternator loads and battery loads. Other
    sensors detect g’s of acceleration, g’s of deceleration
    (braking) and g’s of lateral acceleration (cornering).
    Perhaps the most important sensors on the FWD car are
    the ones linked to the front suspension. Literally all
    the forces and loads acting upon the front suspension
    and steering components are measured and recorded.
    Every jounce. Every pothole. Every railroad track.
    Every curb. The sensors pick up the low level vibration
    from smooth roads and the harsh vibration from rough
    While the drive train and suspension monitoring are
    going on, another set of sensors will record the forces
    exerted on the driver’s seat. For the first time,
    Chevrolet will be able to measure what happens to a
    seat other than fabric wear. Seat comfort, and the
    resulting back support and health, is a major issue
    among many police officers.
    This is the first time this kind of information, and
    this detail of information, have been collected from a
    police vehicle. “We have never known how a car actually
    performed in the field, other than by word of mouth,”
    said James Boerkoel, Chevrolet Manager of Specialty
    Vehicle Activity. “At the end of the study, we will
    have real-time data.”
    Chevrolet has four of these fully-instrumented Impalas
    in police service. Two are with a northern state police
    force; one is at its Academy’s EVOC track where
    instructors and recruits alike are trying to kill the
    car. So far, they haven’t. The other Impala is in a
    major metro area doing median-jumping traffic
    enforcement. Later, this traffic unit will move to the
    far north part of the state to allow recording of
    vehicle performance under frigid conditions.
    The other two test cars are in-service with the Mesa,
    AZ, Police and the Detroit Police. The Mesa car is at a
    satellite post near GM’s Desert Proving Grounds, to
    experience extremely hot conditions.
    For Chevrolet to get a true understanding of the worst-
    case urban police environment, they had to have an acid
    test. That is where the Detroit Police and its 9th
    Precinct come in! This precinct has the most calls, the
    heaviest traffic volume and almost non-stop action. The
    Impala assigned to the 9th PCT is a true “squad” car,
    it literally gets run 24-hours a day. One shift brings
    it in, removes their gear out and without shutting the
    car off, tu
  • mcdillmcdill Posts: 180
    HEY man, thanks for posting that , that was the article I was talking about in, thanks again, I wouldnt have know how to do that.thanks---------mattmcdill
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Read some of my recent posts describing the saga with the Intermediate Steering Shaft. Suffice to say, it looks like some civilian Impalas built between 9/99 and 4/00 (So far)have pontentially defective intermediate steering shafts. The problem occurs slowly and progressively over time as the car racks up mileage. The symptoms of this problem are severe clunks felt at the steering column and steering wheel assembly during low speed turns, specially towards the right. Also the clunks are felt coming down to the break pedal if you are applying the brakes while turning the steering wheel. The steering feels loose, imprecise and not tight and crisp as it should be. The problem poses a safety risk as the integrity and performance of the steering system is compromised by the intermediate steering shaft failure. GM doesn't currently have neither a TSB or Recall in place, so dealers are still clueless unless you tell them what to look for. The intermediate steering shaft was developed by GM to enhance steering feel and improve on center feel. Early production '98 and '99 Oldsmobile Intrigues are also notorious for the premature failure of the steering shaft part.

    My steering shaft was replaced last week after the car was 16 days out of service. the new shaft completely cured the clunks and returned the tight and crisp feel that the Impala steering normally exhibits. Other here in the forum have also expressed the same problems. Cabello is having his Impala LS at the dealer as we speak to have his mysterious clunks resolved as well.

    So far, 2001 Impalas seem to be free from this malady, but only time will tell.

    BTW, my new steering shaft will be in probation period for the next 6 months, if I decide to keep the car.
  • mcdillmcdill Posts: 180
    As you know , where I work we have truck rental place , ( ryder ) to be exact , and Ive noticed on some of the 99 and up ford econoline vans e250 , 350 , superduty , that they have a steering clunk like you describe , I can feel it at low speeds , and it feels like every quarter turn that it is " bumping" or something like that , you can feel it thru the steering and brake, even though its not an impala , I thought you would like to know since most of theses trucks only have like 20 + thousand miles. thanks-----------mattmcdill
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Posts: 870
    I'm not really sure how to relate the following information in this forum, except to say that one of the reasons I've been stalling to take my Impala in for "teo syndrome" diagnosis is that I've been searching for a 3rd vehicle to add to the family that can provide some hauling capacity (i.e. an old truck or SUV).

    I finally found it last week; not 100% what I was looking for, but it will serve the purpose. I'm now the proud owner of a 1982 Ford (I know, I know!) F-350 XLT Lariat long wheelbase; dark brown over tan with 158,000 miles on a 400-V8. No, I didn't exactly need a one-ton truck, but I ran across this one FSBO just up the street. VERY straight truck (w/automatic and working air, all the chrome, etc.) that spent most of its life in southern California before a brief stay in southern TX (all by the original owner) then on to Arkansas sometime in 1997 when my neighbor bought it. Weighing in at 4,700 lbs (the truck, that is!), I'll be happy if I can get my gas mileage to average above single digits! Needless to say, this will NOT be my daily driver to work; just a knock-around weekend vehicle.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Posts: 870
    As I was cleaning some trash out of the bed of the pickup mentioned above Sunday afternoon, a couple of 9-year-old boys from the neighborhood rode up on their scooters, and asked if it was my truck, how old it was, etc. One of the kids asked if I drove a Corvette, and I said "No, why?". He pointed up to the open garage, and said "Then what kind of car is that?"; referring to my Impala. I told him it wasn't a Corvette, but that the Impala was designed by the same guy that designed the current Corvette. That seemed to impress them - if only I'd had time to pull out the brochure and pin set; I'd be the celebrity of the cul de sac!
  • jijcojijco Posts: 49
    mcdill-Thanks for the info on the web site/article. It can be useful to me in addition to just the Impala article. Also, thanks for the info on the brochure. Probably nothing new, I'm just a technoid/info freak that like to collect articles/data on the Impala, and other subjects of interest.

    Chevyrog1-Thanks for printing the article, at least most of it. It saves time explaining about it. It ends with Chevy saying that 8 police Impalas or in the field with onboard computers monitoring every conceivable parameter of the car in extreme weather and police duty conditions that would not be replicated in mere factory testing, in addition to the officers' input and realtime modification to correct and improve the car, and also for development of the next police vehicle. It seems to be holding up, including the police engine cradle. The tests end this August, with approximately 35K miles on the vehicles. At that time, I might email either Chevy, the mag or the Michigan State Police(if I can find the web address) for input. I also got the web site for my local PD, so I may contact them regarding performance/durability of the Impala for police patrol here. I don't think they are using it yet for marked car, but there are several motorized officers driving subsidized private vehicles that have Impalas. Not all have police packages, in fact, maybe only a very small number out of the few ones here. They must be special ordered, especially in LS trim. It helps getting cooperation from them since I am a former officer, and just found out my big boss is one of the Police Commissioners. Are Security Department at Ala Moana Center has a very good repoire with HPD :) I'll keep you all informed. Jacob
  • duraflexduraflex Posts: 358
    There are about 60 or more known people who post on this forum.

    There are probably 300 more that lurk or just read.
    (in talk radio, the ratio is 20 to 1)

    How many have had the cradle worked on - 4?

    Steering shaft -3?

    I wouldn't call that a major problem or something to effect car value -
    especially when there's a fix that resolves the issue.

    You write that you have 30,000 miles. Have you actually had a major problem?
    If so, was it resolved to your satisfaction?
  • duraflexduraflex Posts: 358
    I don't really know the Bonneville but some cars have a diversity antenna
    system that employs 2 antennas - one in the windshield and one in the rear
    glass. Some of these systems work almost as well as a stick antenna.

    Did you check your antenna plug(s)?

    Lots of today's auto glass has some distortion. My rear window has some
    in about the same place as yours. Look at almost ANY make windshield
    in almost ANY make car from an oblique angle and you will see ripples or distortion.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    The information that you gave is very interesting. I am sure on any road course a smaller car has a big advantage for manouverability. The big lumbering Fords would definetly be at a disadvantage. You mention that the consensus Impala is the fastest and best handling FRONT DRIVE american police car ever. I hope so!! every other front drive police attempt has been dismal Chevy Citation in the early 80's, Ford Taurus etc... I am not sure what you mean when you said the testing indicated that the Impala beat all the big V8s including the ones from the past. I am sure on a road course the lightweight Impala with modern suspension and better tires would outperform the big block cars from 30 years ago. I just sold a magazine on Ebay ( I wish I had kept it) that showed times for the Police 440 Plymouths from the late 1960's. The magazine articles were from that time. Testing was done on Police 375hp cars would run 0-60 5.6 seconds, 1/4 mile 14 seconds, and top out at near 150mph. 1962 & 63 the Police Highway Pontiac Catalinas with 421 CI would run 0-60 under 6.5 seconds, on skinny nylon tires. Police Chevys from the early 60's offered 283's with a powerpak, 327's and 409's with the 340hp engines. Most of the 409's were used as Highway Patrol vehicles. Early to mid 70 Chevy Police Belairs were the 350 and 400 CI blocks. Its important to have these tests but in reality Police vehicles aren't chasing police vehicles. A fully equipped 9C-1 Impala would not catch a civilian Impala LS 3800 in the same test, both 200 horsepower the police version 500 pounds heavier.

    Testing of the civilian 3800 I have seen road tests of 0-60 7.6 seconds.(I believe Car & Driver magazine) California Highway Patrol (CHP) tested the Police Impala last year their best time for the Police Impala 0-60, 8.62 seconds. Top speed as mentioned governed at 124. As most cruisers have roof lights 117mph. I know most Police Departments are scaling back on Police Pursuits because of Public concern (liability) but I still believe the Impala needs more power as a Highway Police vehicle, where they need quick acceleration and top speed because they would never catch a fleeing supect driving a Civilian Impala 3800, Honda Accord, Camry,Maxima,v6 Taurus and dozens of other cars that can top out at over 130. Most people would say that you can't out run a police radio, but if you have no help ahead you might as well shut off your roof-lights. Most of these little rice burners today would outrun most any Police
    Vehicle. Ford Chevy or Volvo, with the exception of the Police Camaro that they only sell about 200 a year, and will be phased out next year. I am a Chevy fan, and the civilian 3800 seems adequate for power, but lets see the 4000 pound Police Impala with more than 200 horsepower, to give the police at least an equal opportunity to keep up to cars just off the showroom floors. Hopefully this current Police Impala will after time show that it is durable, but come on Chevy lets offer a 4.8 or 5.3 V8 for our departments that need an advantage on the open road to catch these fleeing suspects, and tip the playing field back to our Police.
  • cabellocabello Posts: 101
    LG Motorsports has the dual muffler borla cat back exhaust for around 725.00 total including shipping. He could not tell me how it would sound though.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Thanks for the info. Sounds like that diversity antenna is the system I have (if there was an owners manual with this preowned car it would certainly make things easier - gotta pick one up). When I can get at it in the daylight - read that this weekend - I'll crawl around and ck it out.

    Thanks again

  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    I am afraid I have to disagree with you on this one. The problems reported with the engine cradle and intermediate steering shaft are real and possibly more widespread of what you and I would tend to believe. I wish some of us that have had problems in this area are part of a 'minority' of whining and complaining owners, but responses from local area dealers seem to indicate quite the contrary. While it is statistical impossible at this time (and unfair if you will)to say that the engine cradle and steering clunk problems are just affecting a handful of Impala/Monetcarlo owners it is indeed a good place to start to gather vital reliability information.

    I am, personally, not complaining about the fact that GM/Chevy did not fix my car or that they breached the terms of the limited warranty, etc. My valid complaint is that why I had these problems in the first place? My car has been obessively pampered (No a scratch, ding or dent on the exterior)with oil changes every 3K miles, tire rotations every 5K miles, premium gas, driven carefully, strictly dealership serviced, etc, yet I have had TWO MAJOR repairs within 11 months and 13K miles of ownership?? Yes GM fixed both problems...that's not my argument. My problem is why the A/C Compressor and steering shaft failed prematurely in the first place???
    We have to stop making excuses for so-so quality control. The Japanese keep gaining on market share because their products don't have major items repaired withinh the first 2 or 3 years of ownership. This is the BIG PROBLEM with domestic automakers...they do a great car and yet they fail in the execution of critical quality control elements. GM asked me $23K for my car. I expect in return flawless quality, nothing less. Again I am anal about quality because that's one critical aspect of my profession. Subpar quality no longer has a place on any industry specially the automotive. Some people have different approaches to quality. For some it is OK if an engine has to be replaced within the first year, for others it is OK if the tranny fails and for others it is OK if the radio burns out. For me any car should go up to 80K or 100K with minimum or no problems other than regular wear and tear and maintenance.

    Before the Radio 'Bypass' solution was discovered, you were at almost at the end of the rope with your Impala. You were ready to trade it in because the premium stereo failed to meet your expectations. Remember when I kept tell you.."Hey Dura, aside from the radio the car is great otherwise?" Then you had your temporary engine cradle noises and you also complained openly about them.

    So my A/C compressor problem and intermediate steering shaft problem while now fixed, did enough to sour me on the car and lose confidence in its long term reliability. Yes GM fixed them fine, but it should have never happened in the first place... or Am I expecting tooo much from a GM product????

    The engine cradle is also in the back of my minf and rightly so. GM can't fix it it is gives up the ghost any time in the future. GM has quitely repurchased a number of these cars deemed to be unfixable. Toon1's story is one of the many out there that confirm that the front end problems in these cars are no piece of cake. very unfortunate indeed. Crosley's concerns are valid regarding resale value. If GM admits openly (Which they haven't done yet)that the engine cradle and intermediate steering shaft are maladies affecting thousands of cars, then expect resale value tobe eroded. Just ask any Oldsmobile Intrigue owner about resale value on their cars prior to GM closing down the division.

    I am not picking on you Dura, you are a good friend...but we can't cover the sun with one finger, that's for sure.
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