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2005 and Earlier Chevrolet Impala



  • hunter39hunter39 Posts: 375
    I had some slight ticking back at the 3k mile but am 9600 now and I'm still crazy about this car, no problems whatsoever, not one thing. The ticking went away. Except for the amp which has been taken care of (I'm not sure why others can't keep the plug up inside the trunk, mine is still there!) I'm very happy with the car.
  • henerhener Posts: 14
    As with any purchase an informed consumer is a smarter consumer. I certainly don't want to buy a car that has problems, been down that road and it's not pleasant. I feel that the info and discussion here are invaluable as to making a purchase and other sites on Edmunds have also been eye opening. When you buy a new car you are sort of a guinea pig but with the advent of the internet that need not be the case. Will you be able to buy a perfect car, probably not but you can bet your bottom dollar that there are people at Chevrolet who are on the net and see the pros and cons in the postings. Hopefully this will give them incentive to take care of the customer as maybe the case for Teo, and just maybe it will give them the incentive to correct problems. I will continue to look at the Impala but I'm looking with a jaded eye now and if I do decide to buy one I'll know what to expect and that is a much better position than finding out after the fact. I'll look at the Bonnie but value was the main selling point for Chevy. When you cross into the mid to high twenties there are plenty of fine cars out there.
  • crosley4crosley4 Posts: 295
    THe aluminum cradle is an interesting issue. Some cars have no problems with the cradle and others have minor to serious problems .

    Our LS seems to be in the middle. Noise at the cradle mount bushings is all. No cracks have been seen by me or a couple of guys I work with that weld steel and aluminum on a regular basis.

    I know of 2 ppl that have not bought an Impala because of the info posted here at the Edmunds bbs.

    They both bought Import cars or cars built in the USA with Import names I should say. ((-;

    I still have not done the amp bypass deal. I need to set up a time and just try it out. Been too busy lately.
  • jijcojijco Posts: 49
    Preach it bro! exactly how I feel. Though we love our cars, we can deserve expect at least what you stated, and GM must provide, or lose more of their longtime loyal, and also prospective first time/new buyers. And it's true, we cannot recommend the car wholeheartedly, no matter how much we like it unless fixes for the chronic problems in many, though not all of the cars, are found and effected to customer satisfaction. I would like to see this, so I can continue to tell people who ask, that this is a truly exceptional car for the price, and otherwise, without having to add the caveat, but... JACOB :)
  • hank64hank64 Posts: 37
    I stopped visiting this board about a month ago because there wasn't much news any more about problems - particularly the clicking problem, which I have had for some time now. What a surprise I found upon returning!

    I have been waiting for GM to come up with the official click "fix" before taking the car to the dealer. But now the clicking has stopped by itself and in its place I FEEL (no sounds...yet) a mild intermittent clunking as I turn the wheel at slow speeds. This occurs mostly on right turns - much as Nosirrahg describes in an earlier post. I also get that same feeling through the brake pedal when braking and release braking at very slow speeds.

    I figured that probably a stressed cradle weld had broken and now something was loose, causing the clunky feelings. The recent posts here seem to indicate the problem is in the intermediate steering shaft. But would that account for the braking feel also? And has anyone else had the the clicking sounds disappear simultaneously with the arrival of the clunks?

    Right now, I have the new clunking problem, an ongoing stalling problem at idle that occurs once or twice a month, a recurring "service vehicle soon" warning light that never leaves a code, and a relatively new (last three months) engine stuttering problem upon accelerating after a start up. The latter occurs about once or twice a week at completely random times - as far as I can tell.

    I think the Impala is a great car, and I can live with the listed minor flaws, but not the clunky stuff. That literally and figuratively feels dangerous.

    I am going to take the car in next week and begin what I hope is not going to be a long drawn out process. Any suggestions?
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Today, my car has been 11 days out of service for the steering clunking problem. Since GM hasn't provided dealers with a TSB or Recall notice about the problem, the diagnostic process took longer than it should have. If you pull out the Oldsmobile Intrigue forum archives here in Edmund's, you'll find a plethora of owner references to the steering and brake pedal clunking problem in their '98 and '99 Intrigues. The universal symptoms (and as confirmed by the dealer tech)appear to point to the Intermediate Steering Shaft component. When this part fails or is about to go south, the clunks are felt progressively traveling from the steering column and the brake pedal at low speeds and when turning to the right. As the car racks up more miles, the problem is also felt when having the wheels straight and making turns at any speed...and yes it feels like the front end is going to fall apart, quite an uncomfortable and literally dangerous feeling to say the least. It is yet to be determined what build dates and VIN sequence numbers are affected by the defective steering shaft, but based on a few responses here, we have Impalas built as far back as 9/99 and the most recent one with a build date of 4/00 (Shamino's) that have reported the same problems. If your car falls withing the range of those build dates, then don't be surprised if the you begin to feel steering clunks coming overtime.

    It would be interesting to know if Impala owners with vehicles built prior to 9/99 and built after 4/00 have had this issue (Specially 2001's with more than 5K miles). The problem seems to manifest itself typically between 10K to 20K miles. And contrary to what other 'gurus' might tell you, steering problems are SAFETY concerns and the steering shaft is no exception.

    Take your car to the dealer and if they give you a hard time about it, request for the service manager to test drive the vehicle with you, so he can feel and recognize the clunks. Also, bring printouts of the posts found in the Impala forum that reference to the problem. Be very polite but firm about the problem. If the dealer claims that GM doesn't know about the problem, tell them that a number of Impala owners have reported the same problem over the internet. If you help your dealer with the diagnose of the problem, it will save your time and their time...again don't be afraid to let know your service manager about your problems and unsatisfaction with nagging problems in your car. Its your money after all.

    Ironically, my Impala has been virtually free from engine cradle noises and engine related problems. Based on my experience with the 3800 engine, this powerplant seems to be very sensitive to fuel quality discrepancies. Ever since I switched to 89 and now 93 Premium fuel, the engine runs solid and like a champ. No stutters, rough idle, no hesitation, no check engine lights, no shutdowns, no problems. I don't know about the quality of fuel you folks up in the snow belt get, but seriously try different brands of fuel to see if the problem goes away. Still, take the car to the dealer as engine problems do compromise the safety and durability of the car.

    Some posters have said here that their engine cradle popping noises have dissapeared as well over time..hummmm that sounds too akward, better have that cradle check while they replace your steering shaft.

    Good luck.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    How many of you who are pictured and quoted in the 2001 Impala brochure (Teo, Nosirrahg, et al) are experiencing the various suspension related problems.

    Just a thought - but if it turns out that the majority are - perhaps you could collectively approach GM/Chevrolet management from the perspective of offering new quotes for the 2002 brochure based on your continued experience. (Partly tongue-in-cheek, guys)

    Perhaps a joint request for engineering response would solicit some answers to this forum and the general buying public about where Chevrolet stands in its efforts to fix the well known suspension problems.

    Best wishes to you all. BTW - I picked up my Bonneville last night and I absolutely love it. This in no way diminishes the Impala's attractiveness - but really - this Bonneville is a wonderful car. I'm so glad to at last have something technologically up to date and good looking - can't describe the feeling of satisfaction it imparts.

  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Actually, the fact that I came up in the 2001 sales brochure (And quote on the Chevy website) has been of great leverage in pursuing GM to replace the car. Rest assure, GM doesn't want an unhappy Impala owner that appears in their sales literature to be 'badmouthing' the car...something to consider in the day and age of the internet.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    What do you folks that have adolescent aged kids do about letting them sit in front? Now that we have the 'depowered' airbags in the front (dash and both seat bolsters) 2 of our 3 kids (80-90 lbs and just over 5 ft tall) are possibly big enough to ride there but I'd like to know what others think and have done. Our other cars have not had passenger side airbags so this is a new issue for us. It's one of the reasons I have held off for so long in getting a car with a passenger airbag.

    Thanks for your comments and suggestions

  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Service Manager just called me a few minutes ago. The Intermediate Steering Shaft has finally arrived at the dealer and it will take his mechanic about 2 to 3 hours to install. He still needs to keep the car one more day to make sure that the repair takes care of the problem (And wash and detail the car while he is at it). I will be picking up my car tomorrow morning and gladly returning the keys of the Metro to Enterprise.

    In the mean time, the GM District manager will be flying into Miami later this afternoon and my Service Manager will meet with him personally to ensure my continued satisfaction with GM and Chevy. He still told me that it is very likely that GM will replace the car anyway, so for sure sometime tomorrow afternoon I'll have an answer on the results of today's meeting.

    I'll keep everyone posted on the results of this saga.
  • tomaso7tomaso7 Posts: 91
    I have a 2001 LS with only 700 miles on it. I have documented most of your postings and if anything even happens to my car - they will be printed and presented to the service manager. Thanks for your postings. BTW I understand you were in the Impala brochure - but not in Canada! How about scanning and show us Canucks what it looks like. Thanks and blessings!
  • I took my car in yesterday, it's ready today. I'll let you know the outcome, when I pick it up.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Go to

    and then download the Acrobat PDF format US brochure. Look for me on page 16.
  • jeffreyw1jeffreyw1 Posts: 145
    I personally love the taillights on the 2000/1 Impalas. Before I even thought of buying an Impala, I was looking into to purchasing a 2000 Camaro. It turned out that I could afford the car, but not the insurance. So, I looked at the Impala. I have always been a huge Corvette fan and the taillights on the Impala screamed 80's Corvettes. I couldn't get the Camaro so I got the best of both a sedan and a feature from a Corvette. In fact, that's what led me to purchasing an Impala and the fact that the Impala had a 3.8L engine that was the same size of the one that was in the Camaro I was planning on purchasing. Rather ironic isn't it?

    My 2001 Impala AS has just over 1500 miles on it. I purchased it the last weekend of September, 2000. Yes, the car only has over 1500 miles. I look forward to driving it when there is better weather. I drive an '86 Silver ado to work during the week so I don't place a lot of miles on the Impala.

    May all enjoy their Impalas. Toe, I am sorry to hear the about the problem you are having with your Impala. Maybe Chevrolet will be able to repair it. May all have a great day and enjoy the ride!
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    John Cafaro was responsible for the design and looks of the Y2K Impala. He also was behind the Corvette C5 redesign, hence the familiar similiarity in the tail light design (Huge and tall tail lights and rear ends). Cafaro was born in Manhattan and he is a somewhat famous designer that works under the misdirection of Warren Cherry GM's VP of vehicle design. I don't know if John Cafaro is currently involved in a new vehicle project.

    Just FYI Mr. Greg Bellopatrick was in charged of the engineering and inplementation of the Y2K Impala and Montecarlo cars. Mr. Bellopatrick owes us some answers regarding the engine cradle problems and the now recently discovered intermediate steering shaft non-sense.
  • ON my website I have a page dedicated to the townhall users and the quotes from the book are shown also loook here

    anyone can send a picture along and I'll put you on there
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Posts: 870
    Just wanted to report that I'm still experiencing BOTH the earlier "ticking" sound from the engine cradle (we assume), as well as the "clunking" sound/feel from the intermediate steering shaft.

    I've also noticed when braking from highway speeds (like exiting an expressway) that I feel a bit of a shimmy when applying the brakes fairly strongly (in a straight line, or in a curve). Feels like warped rotors, but since I haven't had my wheels off the car yet, I'd like to think that's not the problem. (I know, almost 15k miles and no tire rotation; but I'm not in a big hurry to prolong the life of the tires that came on the car - the sooner they wear out, the quicker I can trade up to the Michelins.)

    Think this shimmy could be part of the progression of the steering shaft issue?
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Mine didn't make it to the 'shimmy' stage but it could well be a symptom of something brewing in the front end. Certainly, the intermediate steering shaft could make things worse but also the cradle needs to be inspected.

    My suggestion to you is to get your car serviced as soon as possible. By delaying bringing the car into the dealership, the problem will only get worse not to mention your own safety and of those around you.

    Heck the Metro did suck, but at least it provided me with solid transportation while the Impala was waiting to be repaired.

    Again, don't delay these repairs any longer.

    BTW My car will be ready to be picked up sometime tomorrow morning.
  • crosley4crosley4 Posts: 295
    I think you will miss the Geo......

    happily you will missit.

    Our LS was built in 8-99, 29,700 miles now. No steering clunks or clikcking. Only the popping of the mounts for the frame cradle to the main body shell.

    I saw a 2001 silver Impala LS tonight on the expressway. A guy in his mid / late 20's. I noticed that he was one of those "lane changers " to get 4 feet further in heavy freeway traffic....

  • hank64hank64 Posts: 37
    Teo -
    Thanks for the input on the clunk problem. I am wondering if the new intermediate steering shaft you are having installed is different from the original (new and improved?). If it isn't, should we expect the same problem to recur after enough mileage has elapsed? Also, from your recent posts you indicate that outside of the clunk problem, you have not had any real problems. If so, why would GM be willing to "..likely replace the car..." based on this problem alone?

    Nosirrahg -
    Do you think we are the only two in the "Both Clicks and Clunks Club" or have you heard of others experiencing both problems? And do you know of any evidence that indicates the two problems are related or not related?

    Build date of my LS: 11-18-99
    Mileage = 14,000 approx.
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