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Chevrolet Impala: Problems & Solutions



  • bh628bh628 Posts: 100
    Thanks for the followup, Arby. Good to know there are options, if needed.
  • bh628bh628 Posts: 100
    I'd like to hear about experiences from owners who added an alarm. I just got a new base '04 in December. The theft deterrent, which qualifies me for the insurance discount, is the one for the radio and the one that disables the car from the gas line (something like that). If I use the key fob to lock the car, I can still open the car without setting off any alarm. I didn't get the alarm option.

    I've considered adding an alarm for content protection, but would love to hear feedback from other owners. I wonder if that comment about "bugs" from adding an alarm, from one owner, is usual.

    I am not sure how much protection a car that has it's alarm going off would give, so many alarms go off on their own, and people don't pay attention to that.

    And what kind of alarm system did you add? Someone told me they have good car alarms at Best Buy, but someone else told me to go to a place that sells car alarms.

    Thanks so much!
  • Have a check engine light on, a 2000 Impala, 82k, 3.8L. Went to Auto Zone, talked to someone who I thought knew his stuff. Said the code referred to Bank # 1, Sensor #2. Said I would find it on the same side of the engine as the number one cylinder. He said the other side of the engine also had one and there is a third O2 sensor elsewhere. I assumed there was only one, the third in his explanation, in the exhaust system. Looked at the Haynes book; says there are two O2 sensors on the car, one upstream from the catalytic converter and one down. For this code Haynes says "Oxygen sensor heater circuit malfunction (downstream sensor)". Is the Auto Zone guy all wet? He also said for the age and mileage he suspected the sensor (I know he sells them) and not something in the system itself. I live in central New York, i.e. salt, corrosion, harsh weather conditions. His reference book did say to check the fuse and the wiring for corrosion. The sensor is $76.00. I would like to know more. Any help out there?
  • danzigdandanzigdan Posts: 50
    This probably isn't going to help, but I think someone else on the forum has dealt with 02 sensor issues. I for one looked at buying a 2000 Impala with the 3.4 engine and the only problem the owner reported was an 02 sensor, and that car only had 68k.

    Either way 68k or 82k seems too short for the life of an 02 sensor.
  • lostwrenchlostwrench Posts: 288
    The best way to lower the moisture level in the air inside a car is to run the air conditioner. Air conditioner-on. Heat-on. Fan-on.
  • hknoepflehknoepfle Posts: 45
    Hello - I have a 2002 LS and was wondering if anyone out there knows if either of the 12v accessory/lighter plugs are 'hot' all the time. I plug in my cell phone charger overnight and my phone doesn't seem to charge. Thanks
  • I have a 2000 Ls and it has 75k and I ahave the same situation witht he check engine light. I am being told by another "shade tree mechanic" it may be the O2 censor, and since the car has 2 both may need to be replaced. Hopegfully this helps some.
  • Hi,

    I just came across this forum today---about 4 years too late judging by the date stamps. Anyway, I have a 2002 Chevy Impala LS. Like you and some others, I have this odd popping sound that occasionally, and annoyingly, seems to be coming from the dash. Like you, I thought a rock or pebble had hit the windshield, but when it happened a 3rd and 4th time I realized there was something else going on.

    Recently I brought it to the dealer for some unrelated work, and I happened to mention the noise, but the service advisor stated that in all probability the dashboard would have to be taken apart, and that would be very expensive. I decided to wait on investigating what the problem might be, but as time grows on I am getting more and more concerned about what the problem might be. Note that there is no predicting when the problem will happen, but it does appear to be happening more and more.

    I've tried to correlate the problem with the temperature, but it seem to occur when it is cold and relatively mild as well.

    Any ideas?????

  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    P0140 = HO2S Circuit Insufficient Activity Sensor 2

    Sensor #2 is the one after the catalytic converter, used to monitor catalyst efficiency.

    Here's the Readers' Digest version of the diagnostics. Any competent tech should be able to diagnose and correct it:

    Document ID# 475350 2000 Chevrolet/Geo Impala
    Circuit Description
    The PCM supplies a bias voltage of about 450 mV between the HO2S signal and low circuits. When measured with a 10 megaohm Digital Multimeter, this may display as low as 320 mV. The oxygen sensor varies the voltage within a range of about 1000 mV whenthe exhaust is rich, down through about 100 mV when exhaust is lean. The PCM constantly monitors theHO2S signal during Closed Loop operation and compensates for a rich or lean conditionby decreasing or increasing injector pulse widthas necessary. If the HO2S 2 voltage remains at or near the 450 mV bias for an extendedperiod of time, DTC P0140 will set.

    Conditions for Running the DTC
    • No TP sensor, EVAP system, misfire, IAT sensor, MAP sensor, Fuel Trim, fuel injector circuit, EGR Pintle Position, ECT sensor, CKP sensor, or MAF sensor DTCs present.

    • Engine run time more than 200 seconds.

    Conditions for Setting the DTC
    HO2S 2 signal voltage remains between 425 mV and 475 mV for up to 90 seconds.

    Action Taken When the DTC Sets
    The PCM will illuminate the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) during the second consecutive trip in which the diagnostic test has been run and failed.
    The PCM will store conditions which were present when the DTC set as Freeze Frame/Failure Records data.

    Conditions for Clearing the MIL/DTC
    The PCM will turn OFF the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) during the third consecutive trip in which the diagnostic has run and passed.
    The history DTC will clear after 40 consecutive warm-up cycles have occurred without a malfunction.
    The DTC can be cleared by using a scan tool.

    Diagnostic Aids
    Check for the following conditions:
    • Corroded exhaust flange bolts -- Using a Digital Multimeter, ensure that continuity exists between the engine block and the heated oxygen sensorshell. If resistance is excessively high, replace corroded exhaust flange attaching hardware as necessary. Refer to Exhaust System Replacement in Engine Exhaust.
    • Poor connection or damaged harness -- Inspect the harness connectors for the following conditions:
    - Backed out terminals
    - Improper mating
    - Broken locks
    - Improperly formedor damaged terminals
    - Poor terminal to wire connection
    - Damaged harness

    • Malfunctioning HO2S heater or heater circuit -- With the ignition ON, and the engine OFF the HO2S voltage displayed on a scan tool should graduallydrop to below 250 mV or rise to above 600 mV. If not,disconnect the HO2S and connect a test lamp between the HO2Signitionfeed and heater ground circuits. If the test lamp doesnot illuminate, repairthe open ignition feed or sensor groundcircuit as necessary. If thetest lamp illuminates and the HO2Ssignal and low circuits areOK, replace the affected HO2S. Refer to Heated Oxygen Sensor (HO2S) Replacement .

    • Intermittent test -- With the ignition ON, monitor the HO2S signal voltage while moving the wiring harness and related connectors. If the malfunctionis induced, the HO2S signal voltage will change. This may help isolatethe location of the malfunction.

    If the DTC cannot be duplicated and is determined to be intermittent, reviewing the Failure Records can be useful in determining when the DTC was last set. Also refer to Testing for Intermittent and Poor Connections in Wiring Systems.
  • 2001 LS with 34000 miles. Front rotor on drivers side gets very hot while driving, compared to other rotors. Car also pulls to left when stopping quickly. Metalic grinding noise coming from wheel.
    Changed calliper, but has not helped. Pads and rotor seem fine.
    Any ideas as to what might be causing this problem?"
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    I believe that popping noise in the dash is common with most of the Impalas.....I have a 2001 LS and my son a 2003 LS we experience the same thing.....usually getting into the car when very cold and then driving and inside the car starts to warm appears to come from the dash or the front upper roof liner area........I wouldn't be concerned and certainly wouldn't spend the money to check it out......its probably to do with materials expanding and contracting that are brittle and pose no concern other then the annoying noise...good luck!
  • Hi,

    I didn't expect to get a reply back so soon! Thank you very much for responding. It is comforting to know that I'm not the only one experiencing this problem, and that the problem doesn't appear to be anothing major.

    Thanks again!
  • wyoimpwyoimp Posts: 87
    My ("Our" actually, wife the drives to work, I walk) 2001 LS continues to be great!
    I have upgraded to Sylvania Brite Lites - incredible difference in light!
    Switched to Mobil 1 after after the first year. Have used nothing else, also use the larger Mobil 1 oil filter (One for the late '90's Blazer V-6) fits with no problems and works well!
    Still have the original pads, rotors, and calipers. Never have had any problems. Vehicle is used in short distance stop and go traffic. Went to change the front pads. Still have more than half left. Brakes should start sqealing when 1/8" of pad is left. No unusual wear on the rotors. Boots look fine.
    Normal maintenance
    Change oil and air filter every 3 months
    Change fuel and cabin filter every year
    Change oil every 6 months
    Replaced all four tires at 27,500 miles
    Driver's side high beam wouldn't work
    Fixed under warranty, pinched wire
    On Star won't work
    Haven't got it fixed yet
    Excellant vehicle, runs well, handles well, warms up quickly in the winter (Wyoming).
  • wyoimpwyoimp Posts: 87
    Someone earlier asked about jack points.
    Place jackstands where the tire jacks go. Use a floorjack on the ridge just inboard of the rocker panels. DON'T try to raise the vehicle other than the cutouts in the rocker panels. The rocker panels are plastic and you will bust the plastic fastners holding the panels to the car. $37 for a replacement set of fastners. Yes plastic - doesn't rust.
    Anybody get leaves in the front fenders? Noticed the visible fiber piece (visible when you open the front door)sort of drifted down and stuff has collected at the bottom. Used a Shop Vac to suck out the accumulated debris.
  • middleageguymiddleageguy Chicago areaPosts: 42
    I purchased a used 2000 Impala LS six months ago. Had the first oil change two weeks ago. The oil change outlet put in 5W30 rather than the 10W30 recommended for the V-6 3800 engine. Manual states 5W30 is fine up to 60 degrees. Should this be corrected before summer or sooner?
  • hi. My 2001 impala LS , 39,500 mi, in exc cond., went to dealer & they required replacement of BOTH front tie rods. The left was way out of line, and the right was beyond specs. I was charged about $160 or so for this. There was no mention of any TSBs or recalls or voluntary fixes, etc ... tho I understand from this forum in a brief search that there may be an ISS (??? ) TSB ... tho I don't know what that is ... pertaining to the tie rods.
    Can anyone give me any additional info on this, and on whether I should confront the dealer with this info... the work was done yesterday.
    PS. The transmission was replaced at 37000 miles by dealer "voluntary warranty" after they had misdiagnosed problem 3 days earlier and charged me $250 for cleaning ignition fuel jet nozzles (whatever). While I"m pleased they fixed it, they didn't offer any refund of the $250.
    Thanks for help!
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Depends on where you live, but if it were mine I'd probably rather pay an extra $20 and replace it before summer vs. taking a chance and possibly doing greater than $20 worth of damage. In theory the "5W" and "10W" refer to the viscosity of the oil in cold weather, and the "30" to warm weather, so both should act the same in the summer. Could be there's some quirk about 5W at startup in the summer (before the oil has heated up), I really don't know. I'd spend the $20 just for peace of mind (or maybe take it back to the quick lube place and have them correct the problem).
  • lostwrenchlostwrench Posts: 288
    Hot 5w30 oil is just as thick as hot 10w30 oil. No problem there, however to achieve that thickness with 5w30 oil, more polymers are added to the 5w than to the 10w. Polymers do nothing for lubrication. Nothing.So the fewer polymers the better. On the other side of the coin, 5w is so much better in the engine during cold winter start-ups. The W, as in 5w or 10 w, stands for Winter, not Weight, as so many people erroneously believe. Once the oil becomes hot,(10 minutes?), it is certainly better to have the 10w30 in the engine because of its containing fewer polymers. If I lived in a hot climate, I would use straight SAE30 oil. I did this with my 1968 Pontiac Lemans and got 301,000 miles out of the engine, original pistons and rings!.....Spring is here. Change to the 10w30.
  • nifty6nifty6 Posts: 21
    5w30 was used to in most engines in order to get better gas mileage, thinner oil less strain on the engine. During the summer I use 10w30 and winter 5w30. I am more interested in engine protection not a few extra miles per gallon.
  • lroachlroach Posts: 1
    I have owned a 2000 Impala for about 3 years now. Up until very recently, the temperature gauge was always rock steady at the 170 degree mark (the 10:00 position) once the engine had reached operating temperature. It never went above 170.

    After having a flush and fill done, the temperature gague now varies up to and sometimes slightly beyond the 200 degree mark (12:00 position). Is this normal?

    I wonder whether my water pump is getting weak or if I'm just paranoid. I also smell radiator fluid, but there is no leak that I can detect. Perhaps the heater core?

    Please respond with a copy to my e-mail, and thanks in advance.(
  • blokieblokie Posts: 5
    Hi there,
    I've just bought a 2004 Impala from a GM dealer, and after driving more than 20 ins my legs start to go dead.I have read in this forum that this a problem with these cars. My car is going back to the dealer this Thurs for a new "under seat foam pad" in any ones experience does this correct the problem?
    Also, where can I find a list of tsb's for this car so as to see if there are other problems in case I need to exercise my 30 day satisfaction guaranty.

    Thanks in advance
  • greenonegreenone Posts: 5
    I have a 2001 Impala LS with 90K miles on it. I've been seeing the following problem when driving it cold (<40degrees). The Impala seems hestitant to shift into first gear. When I press down the gas pedal, the engine revs but not much movement. Pressing slowly on the pedal eventually gets it going. After a while it clears itself up and I can start fine from stop. Sounds like the solenoid problem referenced in earlier posts. But I found today that when I turned off the car after having the problem and took it out 10 minutes later, no sign of the problem. It was like something was reset when the car was turned off. Any computer glitches known of related to the Impala transmission? Any help apprecirated.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    Do you know if your Impala had the intake manifold problem looked after.....a few years back 2000 and 2001 Impalas were recalled because of coolant leaks and a modification was done and bolts were used to tighten the intake manifold because of coolant leaks....GM also put a sealant into the radiator to help rectify this coolant leak problem....check past posts on this forum regarding this.....also check with your auto centre to see if they replaced your thermostat when they flushed/filled. if they did they maybe put in a higher temperature one, that maybe why your temperature gauge reads higher....
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    I had a similar problem with my 2001 LS, last summer. In forward gear it just revved then jumped into gear and hesitated.....also when put into reverse it wouldn't go into just revved...I shut the car off and then tried again and it worked ok, but progressively got worse....I thought my problem was the turned out to be the reaction gear in the transmission (broke) and the transmission had to be rebuilt....Lots of $$.....This I learned has been a problem with the 2000 - 2002 Impalas & especially the Police Impalas because of their rough service...I believe in late 2002 the reaction gear was modified or updated to alleviate some of the transmission problems that the Impala has experienced....
  • lostwrenchlostwrench Posts: 288
    Sounds like there is air trapped in the cooling system.
  • greenonegreenone Posts: 5
    Hmmm, I took the car out again this morning. Same problem when starting in "D". Manually Shifted in 1st gear, worked fine. Shifted in "D", revs without moving, then goes into gear. Turned car off and back on, problem is gone. It will run fine the rest of the day until it sits overnight. Is this a problem best diagnosed by the dealer? It's a real shame, I've had zero problems with this car up to this point.
  • sdxsdx Posts: 1
    Autozone diag says I need to replace one per code/light. Cleared code & light came back in a day so I guess I need to get busy. They recommend replacing both noting that if the other goes bad it could damage the new one - agree?

    Any thoughts on dealer parts vs Autozone, etc?

  • raybethraybeth Posts: 1
    Can anyone tell me if GM has had any recalls for Coolant Leaks. I need to get mine fixed but would like to see If there are any recalls first. I understand there a lot of people with the same problem.

  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 613
    there is a recall involving replacement of throttle body bolts and adding sealant tabs to the coolant. I'd need the last 6 of your VIN to see if you are included in the recall.
  • lostwrenchlostwrench Posts: 288
    Well, you asked so: If my choice was to buy parts from either the dealer or Autozone, I would say the dealer.
This discussion has been closed.