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Chevrolet Impala Lighting/Electrical Problems



  • pintailpintail Posts: 7
    I have a 2005 Impala and I could tell you how to replace the turn signal/dimmer switch on that car, only because I spent $16.00 on a manual from a auto parts store. Really helpful. You have to be careful in dis-arming the airbag, driver side and passenger side. After reading the manual I purchased, I wouldn't hesitate taking on the job myself. Mine is a "Haynes Repair Manual", spells it all out in there.
    Good luck.
  • revjim64revjim64 Posts: 78
    I replaced the turn signal combination switch on my 2002 Impala. You will need a steering wheel puller. Autozone has free rentals if you need one.
    Turn the ignitin key off. Disarm the air bag by removing the SDM fuse from the fuseblock located at the left side of dash.
    If you turn the key back on and the airbag light comes on you know you removed the correct fuse.
    It is a tricky job to replace the combination switch and you have to fish some wires thru some tight spots. It took me a couple hours to do the job but I probably saved $300. dollars in labor by doing it myself. ;)
  • When I lift the dimmer switch lever, I assume that sends a message to a relay that turns on my high beams, and, is that relay suppose to stay activated until I lift the dimmer switch lever again? I know that while my DRL's are on, I should still be able to signal for passing with my high beams, but they come back down to DRL's again upon releasing the dimmer switch lever. I'm thinking: It doesn't necessarily mean that the dimmer switch itself is bad does it? Could it be just a relay on the drivers end of the dash OR under the hood in one of the two fuse boxes there?
    Right now I have a tiny box on top of the dash by the drivers side defroster vent. I took the ambient light sensor out of it's socket, put it in that box with two 12 V bulbs (false daylight) just to get my DRL's to work. W/O that box, my lights will not come on at all. Plus, it must be out of "PARK" to have any lights. My high beams work as long as I hold the dimmer switch lever up. Grrrrrrrrrr
    Boy, do I need help, thank you,
  • I think you may have a very small "Ambient light sensor" on top of your dash, on the right end of the defroster vent. When it's dark out, try holding a flashlight pointed directly into that sensor. See if your dash lights come on brighter. I have a similar problem and placed a constant light source over that sensor, just to get the DRL (daytime running lights)to work. Mine is a 2005 so I'm not sure if they have the same sensor in the same location. Good luck.
  • Reset the oil light. Real simple. It can be done through the radio, or, with the key on, pump the brake peddal three time within 5 seconds. No need to slam it down, just pump them the 3 times in 5 seconds
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Name-calling and uncivil behavior isn't helpful. Posts that have stepped over that line and their responses have been removed.

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  • I was wondering if you ever received an answer to this post yet? I have just started having the same issues. Please email me at

    Thanks so much!
  • My High beam on my Chevy Impala 2002 are stuck, I dont have enough to go to the shop. Any suggestions how to fix.

  • Hello Karen, I hope you aren't thinking that I was namecalling on here or being abusive to anyone. I know exactly the incident you are refering to though. What I think was a young kid on here, writing to another party and bragging about the fancy cars he drives and so on. I think his remarks were directed at "revjim". The kid called him stupid, and I did, at that time, write back to the kid and told him he has no right to call anyone stupid, especially since he don't even know revjim.
    I don't talk abusively to anyone on here. Please believe me.
    Have a great day...........................................pintail4
  • I have a 2001 Chev Impala. My heat and air settings only work on setting High (5). Both of the lights in my back seat do not light up. My blinker in the front does not blink it just stays lit up when blinker switch is used (Left turn signal in front only). All this has accumulated slowly over the last year. Any ideas on how to fix one or all? I would greatly appreciate any ideas!
  • kdconodkdconod Posts: 53
    Re: your blinker it could be the hazard/blinker switch has gone bad. The hazard switch is GM part #10359031. Costs about $45.

    Here's instructions on how to fix it without removing the dashboard:
  • I have a 2003 Impala that had the same heater problem.
    The switch is a computer chip that is probably fried.
    Mine cost $100 to have replaced.

    I also had a problem with my blinker, but mine just was just faster than normal.
    I only had to replace a bulb.
  • I own an 04 Impala and the problems have started to compound on me at 80,000 miles a new problem every week. It is unfortunate because i love this car. First is my speedometer has stopped working, going up but not coming back down causing it to wrap to the "D" for drive. Turn signal's sometimes work, which i read on one of your post how to fix (and thank you) but this new one scares me a burning wire smell coming from my vents mainly when it is on defrost any idea's would be most helpful. Note i will be fixing it myself if possible due to being a student so detail would be great too. Thanks
  • You may have to change out the combination switch. If you have an Autozone nearby you can rent the steering wheel puller for free. You probably can find an aftermarket combination switch on E-bay that will work just fine. I think the dealer price for the switch is 250-300 dollars. The aftermarket version is about $150.
    Good luck!!
  • 2001 Impala (3.8L). I am experiencing many similar problems to posts here and have read through all of them to get an idea of where to start. Basically none of the posts are exactly what I am experiencing. I am assuming I will have to replace my BCM and possibly my hazard switch. But for those that replaced their BCM then later discovered that was not the problem, please chime in here so I don't waste $$$! From what I read, I may also benefit from buying a new battery...and maybe an ignition switch? please tell me if I am headed in the right direction!

    Here are my symptoms:
    When vehicle is recently turned off, interior and headlights flicker on for a short time, then off for a few seconds,, this repeats until about the time that the lights would normally turn off naturally or when I lock the doors keylessly. There is a clicking sound that comes from the passenger dash which clicks at the same frequency. I do not experience battery drain as some people.

    When vehicle is keylessly unlocked the flickering previously mentioned begins again along with the clicking.

    when car ignition is started, interior and exterior lights continue to flicker as above. The interior lights stop flickering about the time that the interior lights should normally turn off, headlights keep flickering until I manually turn them on by pulling the knob on the left of the steering wheel. For safety reasons, I now always turn the lights on manually. Often the climate control (AC/heat/fan) as well as the information center thingy above the rear view mirror, do not work.

    The information center thingy usually turns on within a minute of having the car started (time varies), when it finally comes on the AC/heater starts working as well.

    Also when the car is on, I get a service engine soon light. There are NO error codes reported from ODB2 readers. Occasionally I also get a HIGH BEAM OUT message (still no ODB2 code), however my highbeams work fine when I use them.

    very infrequently (maybe 5 or so times in the last year) the turn signals stop working. I haven't yet tried enabling the hazard lights to see if that fixes it, because usually they start working within a minute of driving.

    Since this started over a year ago, It seemed less frequent and only happened when the car was well warmed up or it was hot outside. It now is pretty consistent.

    Any pointers are appreciated!
  • I was just wondering if you had figured out what was wrong with you car and he headlights. I am having the same problem and don't have much money to fix it, so looking for all the help i can get. thanks.
    please send reply to
  • shadow5599shadow5599 Posts: 101
    I dont have the problem but I'd suggest to anyone who has strange electrical issues to change the battery as the 1st thing you try. If the battery is closing in on being 5 years old then it needs it anyway.
  • the battery is new, it was replaced about 4 months ago, before the problem even started
  • polymeshpolymesh Posts: 4
    So I had the BCM replaced by the dealer after taking it to a mechanic and he told me that was my only option. He charged me 50$ for diagnostics/testing.

    The dealership charged me about $550 to replace/program a new BCM. It might be cheaper to purchase one somewhere else and bring it to them to program, and then install it yourself (not sure how hard that is since I didn't do that. I was mislead at the dealer to think it was $350 including installation, not so.)

    I think all they need to program it is your VIN number and a key for that? The BCM looks like an old game cartridge for a NEO GEO game system. I kept my old one just in case the new one didn't work. (you have to ask for that)

    After they installed the new BCM, electrical problems all went away. 2 days later, the car would not start and the battery was dead and would not jump.

    One month before having the BCM replaced, I had the battery tested and I was told it was fine. 2 days after replacing BCM, I went to the same place that tested it before and they said it was bad, only putting out 10 volts. It was about 5 yrs old (7 yr battery) purchased from the dealer.

    Got a new 7 yr battery ($100), things have been working great, except now I get an airbag light every once in a while. Plan on doing research on that next as it seems somewhat unrelated... at least I passed inspection before the airbag light started popping up.

    I'm tempted, now that I have a new battery, to put in the old BCM and see if the symptoms went away... let me know how hard it is to replace if you go that rout!

    (about $700 total)
  • revjim64revjim64 Posts: 78
    It is possible that the new BCM is Defective. You can not change the BCM on your own unless you buy a $1200 scan/programmer tool. (This tool lets you punch in the vin number)
    I would have the dealer run a code scan on it to see if the new BCM is bad.

    Another common problem with Impalas are defective "Passlock" sensors.

    If you try to turn the key and nothing happens, than the Passlock sensor is defective. Good luck!! :confuse:
  • I have an 03 impala and it started out like this. The rear defroster stopped working and when i turn on the ac the domes lights came on. Then only the back dome lights would come on now only the floorboard lights come on. If you turn it to the defroster then the lights go out... Any help please?
  • I have an '03 and suspect the headlamp switch is bad. List of problems which lead me to this conclusion are:
    Headlights wont dim
    Windshield wipers dont turn on (the way they should) meaning when I turn them on they dont work but when I hit the Washer button they turn on and stay on-one speed HIGH
    Blinkers sometimes dont turn on and I have to click the hazzard lights to make them function. Once I do this and turn them off the blinker will work again.

    Also my Traction button will not work. It remains off and pushing it does nothing.
    The ABS light stays on too.

    Well with all these problems I have learned to drive my car and rig these necessary functions to work (not correctly but still work) I am a single mother, with no money to spend on a 300 dollar switch (that is how much the headlamp switch costs, not including labor)

    Anyway the other day I am driving and I go to make a sharp left hand turn. All of the sudden the traction light that usually says off is now saying on and the ABS light has disappeared. However the car also made a terrible grinding noise and the break peddle jumped and was stiff. Well hit the traction button, it turns the traction off, ABS light comes back on, problem solved! NOPE. Now my car does this every time I make a left hand turn! I dont know what is going on but I suspect it is serious. Can someone PLEASE help me!?
  • kdconodkdconod Posts: 53
    Re: your blinker it could be the hazard/blinker switch has gone bad. The hazard switch is GM part #10359031. Costs about $45.

    Here's instructions on how to fix it without removing the dashboard:

    That other problems I don't know - sounds like a serious problem. Sounds kind of dangerous and you should really have someone look at it. Paying the dealer $500 for a new BCM is a lot cheaper than a trip to the hospital!
  • revjim64revjim64 Posts: 78
    I had the same problems with my 02 impala.

    You really should replace the combination high/low beam switch.

    You can probably find an aftermarket switch on e-bay for about $149.00 and see if you can find a local garage to install it for a cheaper cost than a dealer.

    I changed out my switch by myself. You have to remove the steering wheel and it is difficult fishing the wires under the columnn assembly under the dash.
    It took me about 2hours to install.

    If you don't replace it you will be driving at night and you will switch from high to low beams and the headlight might go out! This is extremely dangerous if you are driving at night on a busy highway!

    I also replaced my hazard switch too.

    I'm not sure what your grinding noises are. You may want to see if a local garage can chek it out.

    Good luck! :shades:
    Good luck!
  • Thanks for posting the pictures. I'm going to try it on my 2001 when the part comes in.
  • kibbles96kibbles96 Posts: 1
    Hi, I'm new to this, hoping it will be a good source to find help with daughter's new/used car. When we got it, we knew radio caused battery to go dead so fuse was pulled. Since then, running lights wouldn't shut off. Once she got them shut off, no lights at all would come back on. Car sometimes has trouble starting and you have to turn key back & forth in a certain pattern before it will start. Now car wouldn't start & killed battery trying. Anyone out there have any similar problems they found answers to?
    Thanks for any help.
  • revjim64revjim64 Posts: 78
    The problem with the key is probably a bad "passlock" sensor.
    Sometimes there is a delay on the running lights from shutting off.
    I think you need the radio hooked up to program the timing on the light shut off. You also need the radio hooked up for other settings.

    The 2000-2004 Impalas are notorious for electrical problems. Usually BCM's and the Passlock sensors are the main culprits!! :lemon:
  • Hello ppl....iam kinda of new to this.I need help I have 05 temp guage stop working months ago,my check engine light is on,when i step on the gas it takes a while to catch when it past 30mph,as well now tha car shuts off an to start it back up I have to turn the key and step on the gas now.I ran OBD an it told me my oxygen sensor is bad...I dont think a 02 sensor caN TURN YOUR CAR COMPLETLY off..So I look up an see if it was any recalls an it said fuel system pressure relief. I was wondering if this could b my problem...I also look up and could be fuel pressure sensor and timing sensor.I really dont know what it is i can use all the help i can plz....
  • I have a 1995 impala, i bought some clear tail light covers and also adjusted some led lights. The tail lights do come on, also my break lights when pressed , but my signal lights do not work properly when I turn the signal both turn lights start to flash and also when i push the brake my console dims lighter. i don't have any bulbs right now on my front corner lights i was wondering if that was the problem or is there anything that i forgot to do thank you
  • musgrovemusgrove Posts: 6
    I want to thank everyone here who has posted concerning the BCM issue. I had mine replaced today in our 2001 impala. The first sign of trouble was about three months ago when the red picture of the battery came on the dash. Clicking was coming from near the glove box and the glove box light would flash on and off. Our mechanic did a couple of things that cleared the codes. About once a week we would get the battery indicator light, clicking and noticed the low beam lights were flashing on and off.

    About a month ago my wife called and said that the car was doing its thing and I got it to the mechanic while it was acting up. He put it on the computer and absolutely no codes showed up. He said it was not discharging and the blinking went away. I drove it nearly every day including a 360 mile round trip to my dad’s house. It started really acting up about 10 days ago. Clicking, all the lights on the dash flashing off and on, head lights flashing off and on. The glove box light would flash off and on with the clicking coming from that area for 4-5 hours after the car was shut off.

    I was determined to drive the car until I knew it would act up at the dealers place. I could drive it all morning without a problem but in the hot afternoon for the last 3-4 days the light show would begin. The day before yesterday I opened the trunk with the remote and the back-up lights and the headlights started blinking. Turned on the ignition and got the light show. Took it to the dealer while it was acting up and the service rep saw it. Yesterday, after having it sit in the shop all morning he called and said it would not act up for them. I suggested they park it in the hot sun for awhile. He called back yesterday evening and said sure enough it put on the light display for them and the mechanic said it needed a new BCM. They replaced it this morning and went and parked it in the sun for a few hours and everything was working OK this afternoon. He said the mechanic could also “communicate” with some devices after replacing it that he could not before it was replaced so felt pretty comfortable that the BCM was the problem.

    The charges were $170 for the labor, $239.06 for the BCM, $15 shop supplies, and $22.91 for sales tax. Total = $446.97. If this does not fix it I will post accordingly.

    Charlie D.
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