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2005 and Earlier Chevrolet Impala



  • My 01 base impala with 3.8L engine hasn't been very reliable. It needs to get the ISS lubed(steering clunking), had the intake manifold leak, front end creaks during acceleration. This with only 15K miles. With all the problems I wish I hadn't made this purchase. You would think with old tech designs like the 3.8L and a proven platform that dates back a long number of years that problems wouldn't exist. But not with GM. Besides John Cline's impala how are the rest of the impala's holding up?
  • I am now up to 135,000 miles but DID have to have an ignition switch last week. Strangely, the symptom was it was lighting the ABS light! Also, the driver's door power window switch failed.

    Still pretty amazing reliability, if you ask me.
  • txguytxguy Posts: 57
    You have an '01 with only 15K miles? Man! You need to get that car broken in! ;-)

     My '01 LS is over 65K. I'm adding another 400+ miles on a trip tomorrow and I have a trip to New Orleans and back this weekend that will add 750 or so miles. I have had the intake manifold replaced under warranty and did the recall thing with the new retainers and sealant. My regular commute is 55 miles one way. It goes every morning. Still no leaks, no rattles, no problems. I'm running Mobil 1 synthetic oil on a 4,000 mile change interval. Because we are forced to use reformulated gas here, I use BG44K or Techron fuel additives on the oil change interval to keep deposits off the valves. I do change the Dexcool every 2 years or 24,000 miles not the 5 years GM touts. Otherwise I follow prescribed fluid and filter change intervals very closely. I have the front wheel bearings repacked annually just in case moisture gets in when I drive through water after one of those thundershowers we get here. My Imp is terrific and so far, rock solid.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    I have had more problems than you.
    My last repair was right side front wheel bearings. $556.00!!
  • Hi All,

    Been a long time since I've visited or posted to the forum.

    Just a quick update on my 2000 LS.

    85,000 kms and most recently I've had replaced

    2)currently in shop because some power steering hose blew and that is on order from calgary for the part.

    I also got all four brake (pads) changed and a tranny fluid change.

    Even though I liked the Impala and chose it over the Honda Accord, I now know that was a mistake. Having gotten married this summer, my wife has 2002 Accord SE and I can honestly say (not being a Accord fan before), the Accord is by and far the staple of the American/Canadian Family Car. The fit/finish is uncomparable to the Impala and the service at the Dealership superb compared to any GM dealer I've ever been to. Look at the lineups at teh GM dealerships compared to Honda or any other Import Dealership, that says it all.

    After this winter we will be trading in the Impala for either another Honda or Toyota.

    Take care Folks!
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    You may have a point but why are so many Honda owners buying extended warranties? I have never had an extended warranty on a GM car and never needed one. As far as fit and finish my 03LS has no apparent defects and has not needed any repairs yet. I have replaced one GM alternator in 25 yrs. PS: My neighbor said the Honda dealer wanted to charge her $250 for a PCV replacement!
  • larryfllarryfl Posts: 214
    I can't let this one go by.

    I won't argue the fit/finish difference in the cars, Hondas have always been known for that. But I agree with Pluto5, we've had zero problems with ours.

    However, you are comparing a first-production-year, 3 year old car with somewhat higher than averarge miles that has only had an alternator and a hose go bad - other than standard maintenance (brakes, fluid changes) to a nearly new car that has been refined for - what - 15+ years?

    Our 2002 LS has been flawless in 18,000 miles, if you want to compare similar years and miles (although I'll agree the GM dealer didn't win any awards from us when we did take it in the one time for it's 7500 mile service).

    I can tell you from my past experience with japanesse cars that @ 3-4years and 60+K miles, things start to break on them, too.

    Having said that, I can apreciate personal preferences and have no problem with someone liking a Honda over a GM car - I happen to like GM the best (I know that's a shock).

    If the Honda better suits, then Go For It and Good Luck!
  • garywgaryw Posts: 116
    My response to the Honda/Toyota/GM comparisons is always the same. Honda/Toyota make wonderful cars, heck - we just bought an '03 Odyssey, but they are boring.

    When it comes to soul and expression the GM and the Big 3 win. For some of us there is nothing like the burble of the GM exhaust. Even the Mustang or Dodge RT series of cars have that "feeling".

    Accords/Camrys/Maxima et al just don't fit the bill. Just my 2-cents plus inflation :--)
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    I put a new alternator in my Camaro every 2 years and a new radiator in every 3 years like clockwork.
    So much so, that i can predict when they will go bad.
    My sister has never put one in either of her Hondas. One of which as 156,000 miles.

    GM trannies are better though, and they also have thicker sheetmetal too.
  • Hi Folks,

    Sorry, didn't know I would stir up so much passion!

    Don't get me wrong, I have really liked the Impala, heck thats why I bought it! I like the raw power but now I know what they mean when they say the Imports have "refined" V6's compared to the really can't compare the tech.
     But I've had nothing but problems with it since day 1 which were covered under warranty repairs, including:

    1) went back 3x to get keyless remote fixed
    2) window power controls fried out so they had to get a new system installed
    3) new Traction control system
    4) new blower motor for heating interior
    5) Air bag module changed twice under warranty, and guess what, light comes on and off still
    6) air bag housing on driver seat kept coming out, finally after swearing at dealer they fixed it ( hey how many times does it take?)
    7) Door jamb was out of alignment
    8) Poor driveability on occasion which as never cured or diagnosed

    and on...and on...and on...

    I have a huge stack of service orders from GM...quite ridiculous and time consuming...

    Guess it comes down to not wanting to waste my time at the dealership waiting.

    As for the hose yesterday, the mechanic which I've known for along time said it was due to poor design and placement of the Power Steering cooling line... shrugs, I'm not engineer, just take it as I get it.

    As for the alternator, he could not believe it went after such a short amount of time, *Just right after the warranty* and even tried to convince me to harrass GM to cough up the bucks, but I said no thanx, I don't really want to deal with the service department, I've been to sooo many gm service depts I have found one thing, they all don't know what they are doing.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Have you had:
    warped rotors
    migrating door trim
    right rear power window go out
    crank shaft sensor causing rough start, non start
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 1,945
    I raise my hand. Me too, me too! I've had the identical issues with my w-body ('00 Intrigue)along with the ISS issue,ignition switch replaced, battery replaced twice and the dash pad replaced. I guess there is more in common with these cars than I thought! Though not perfect, I would buy mine again. Oh, I forgot, no more Intrigues, they're history. :(

    2010 Pilot EXL-RES, 2013 Accord EX

  • I came back from the dealer for my 01 impala and the noise I am experiencing is not from the cradle. The tech said it needs new control arm bushings and I will have to wait a week until they have the parts in stock.
    I can't remember if any of you guys have had this replaced before?? I think b4z might have had this done.
    Also, I got the ISS lubed and the steering feels much tighter and smoother.
  • Could have been worse.

    Yes thats mine.
  • Ouch!

    I'm sorry! Glad no one was hurt (assuming that was the case)
  • Lancaster, PA. No one was hurt, just my pride :)
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372

    Same color as mine.

    Give us an update after the adjuster comes by.
  • the lower arms were replaced on our 2k LS at 7,000 miles or so. This was the begining of the engine cradle noises with our car.

    The tech thought it was the lower arms causing the noise, he was incorrect.

    Most of the long time folks here know the story of the engine cradle issues with the current Impala
  • What do you mean by "the beginning of the engine cradle noise"? Did the change of the lower control arm make the noise worst or the same?
    I am quite suspicious that a lower control arm bushing has gone bad so early. I did some internet research and the lifespan of something like this is 5-7 years unless the part was defective from the factory.
  • We bought our 2k Impala in sept of 1999. The popping noise started around 7k miles. The tech at the dealer thought it was the lower A arms.

    After replacement of the lower A arms the car started popping again the next morning. Back to the dealer the car went 2 days later

    This was very early in the discovery process that some impala's had a problem with the engine cradle to body mounts.

    Our impala was never fully corrected. GM paid ALL costs to replace the OEM engine cradle at 43k miles on the car with the latest design cradle. A full 7k miles beyond the OE warranty.

    The cradle popping noise returned at 46.5k miles. Before the car turned 47k miles it was traded off (Nov 2001) for a Ford F-150 Super Crew truck. We still have the Ford.

    We actually still miss the Impala, but would not buy another till there is a serious redesign.
  • And I bought my Impala LS in October 99.

    135,000 miles.

    No front end issues of any type.

    You cannot judge a car by a single example. Not yours, not mine. But each of us is free to buy whatever we choose!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,023
    At least it sounds as though GM treated you right, and that's impressive. Even with the most reliable of vehicles, there's the occasional one that has a fault, sadly. But personally, I would take into account the customer service you received.

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  • Hello to all. I wanted to get in on the popping noise discussion. I have an 03 Impala base and it has been disappointing. Purchased new in Jan 03.
    At 11,700 the left front wheel bearing went out,and the right side transaxle shaft seal leaked. Thought it was fixed, but still seeing tranny fluid in the driveway. Took it back and the shaft itself was cracked. Replaced.
    At 22K warped rotars. Machined. Now at 23K I have the popping noise from the engine cradle. The dealership has lubed the intermediate shaft, and still have the popping but the steering is much better. The dealership has ordered a cradle lube kit and once that arrives they keep the car for 2 days while it "sets". Also, the interior pops and rattles, not to mention the gas mileage is no where near the 32 hwy MPG posted on the sticker. Any suggestions??
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Having driven both the 03 base and LS I concluded that they are really two different vehicles. I would buy the base for a fleet/taxi vehicle but the LS for a personal vehicle.
  • You shouldn't be having cradle issues since your car has the newer cradles with the reinforced welds. Would you describe the noise more so as popping or creaking. The sound I hear is more like a creaking door but that is only heard during acceleration from a stop in drive or reverse. When do you hear the sound?

    Pluto5 you can buy a base model with the 3.8L engine and have all the necessary goodies like traction control, ABS, sport suspension, aluminum wheels without spending the extra $1500. I didn't need the fog lamps, tach, spoiler and floor shifter the LS has.
  • I would describe it as a clanking / popping noise. Metal on metal. It occurs when you turn left or right. I do not hear it during acceleration. You can occasionally hear it at slow speed over a bump, say a speed bump at the mall. I'm concerned because of all the problems I've already had with the front end and beginning to wonder if they are all related. I can deal with the rattles in the interior, but taking it back to the dealer time after time for things that shouldn't go wrong is getting old. Quick!!
  • Hi Guys,
    Currently own as a family car a '97 Lumina which I gotta say has been almost bulletproof, so thinking of a replacement I naturally thought Impala. Now after reading all these posts I'm not so sure. I am looking at a leftover '03LS.
    Do you feel all the bugs are worked out? Like engine cradle,iss,leaking manifolds and other groans.
    Would you buy again ?
    If so, I can buy a leftover that stickers for 26,000. for 20,400.
    Is this a good deal given it's the end of September ?
    I know it's a lot of questions, but I'm sure I came to the right place.

  • A friend of mine has an 02 LS 40K mileage and she loves it. No problems whatsoever. I purchased mine (03 base with traction control and ABS), because a co-worker had an 01 base, and was rear-ended by a semi on I-75 and walked away. Even drove the car home. He also had no problems with it either. Car had close to 30K on it when it was crushed. Based on that info, I thought it was a good vehicle for what I was doing as a field rep for an insurance company. Unfortunately, for me it's not working out that way. My impression is that the Impala is basically a good car. I think I got a bad apple.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I have both the 97 Lumina base and the 03 Imp LS. I enjoy driving both and definitely recommend the 03 LS. Both models had been in production several years before I purchased them and I definitely think any bugs have been worked out. The only thing I've replaced on the Lumina is fluids and an alternator. Nothing but oil changes on the Impala which are easy to do yourself.
  • I certainly do not fault GM or Chapman Chev in Tempe AZ for the treatment we recieved on our impala repairs.

    Our imapla was at the border line for the AZ lemon law. I could have pushed the issue with a lawyer, but i choose not to.

    As a mechanic/shop owner for decades I looked under the impala when new, I told my wife of 30 years,: "if we have trouble it most likely will be the aluminum sub frame"

    On the funny side about this time of year we recieve computer generated letters asking us if we are interested in replacing the Impala from Chapman Chev. We traded the car off in nov 2001

    The following week we bought our Impala we also bought a new 2000 Silverado 1500. Zero trouble with the truck....still own it. Heck it is paid for!
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