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Chevrolet Impala Lighting/Electrical Problems



  • cwilcoxcwilcox Posts: 2
    Can you or anyone for that matter tell me how to replace it or is it something that has to be done by a mechanic?
  • My 2002 Impala has just begun a very annoying problem. Three times now over the past 2 weeks I have tried to start it and it acts like no power is going to the starter. No clicks like a dead battery, nothing... The radio plays, all electronics come on inside the car, but it will not even attempt to start. Each time, while waiting for the towing service I have continued to try to start it and it finally starts. I have taken it to the dealer twice now. First time, they replaced the battery and the car started fine for two weeks, then stranded me again yesterday... Same problem. After more diagnostics at the dealer today they now say that they don't know how to fix it because they can't duplicate the problem. Has anyone else had the same problem and figured it out?
  • pcameronpcameron Posts: 7
    Go back through the letters to this site and you will see that many have had the same problem. Your dealer must be playing dumb. In my case, the dealer replaced both the ignition switch and the BCM module. They interact, and the ignition reads your key, and thinks you are stealing the car, and your BCM module shuts down the starting process. If you have to pay, try replacing the ignition switch first. (The dealer likes to get the trouble code from your computer before fixing, but sometimes it does not show, sometimes it does. This is such a chronic problem, they should be fixing it for free (my dealer did, on extended warranty).
  • pbaranellopbaranello Posts: 36
    Someone hit it right on the head. The 4 way flasher and the turn signal are the same unit.

    IF you have an extended warr. or it is a recall they will do it for free.

    Th relay craps out, the temporary fix is: if this happens while driving just tap the emergency flasher button and the signals will work again for a while.
  • I have an '02 Impala. Friday afternoon I went outside and noticed that the trunk was opened. I closed it. 2-3 minutes later, it popped back open (I could hear the auto switch release it) and I could hear the "ding-ding-ding-ding" warning tone inside the car. Closed the trunk again and started the car up, just to see if something needed to be reset. During the startup, I heard the trunk release open 10 or 11 times, in rapid succession. Turned the car off and closed the trunk. It popped back open again and "dinging" inside the car. After a few minutes the "dinging" would stop and then start back up again a few more minutes later. Disconnected the power cable from the trunk latch release. Trunk didn't open anymore but still got the "ding-ding-ding-ding" warning tone AND the "Service Engine Soon" message. It finally ran down my car battery.

    Help, please?
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    Any chance your FOB has the trunk button stuck? Might be worth a shot to pop it open and remove the battery. Otherwise, sounds like it could be a Body Control Module (BCM) problem. I've been seeing lots of those in the forums. If your car is OnStar equipped, you may want to try them. They will be able to tell you if any computer fault codes are stored. Hope you find a solution...
  • nc_2_vanc_2_va Posts: 1
    Which relay is it, there are two DRL/EXIT LTS and EXT LTS. So if it's the relay how does tapping the emergency flasher fix a blown relay. I tried tapping it and it worked for a while, I didn't think a relay worked like that. Anyone else had this problem and fixed it?
  • pbaranellopbaranello Posts: 36
    It is not a relay you can fix. It is not a lone relay. The Turn signal module is the same module as the 4 ways; EMERGENCY FLASHERS.

    This unit is mounted high in the dash board.

    You know where your 4 way flashers are, right ..???

    The relay does not fail, it just gets dirty or worn and it works sometimes when the directionals fail, if you tap or depress the 4 way flasher button.

    To change this module yourself is a project, have Chevy change it. And fight with them, because this is something that should not fail in 4 years..!!
  • I have an 2001 LS 3.8 V6. Did you receive a letter from GM saying regarding your Converter? I a recall that is not a recall.

    So my suggestion would be have them check to make sure that your converter is not clogged. GM should replace it for free.

    My other suggestion is the alternator. That is exactly waht happened to me when mine went out in the back woods of Florida on a Sunday.

    Good look!!! :blush:
  • bosompalbosompal Posts: 5
    The message center reads Security and stays on. Sometimes it reads security and door ajar switching from one to the other. Sometimes it reads nothing but when that happens the AC doesn't blow cold air. It seems to change from one of the above mentioned after car is turned on and off. Any suggestions?
  • bosompalbosompal Posts: 5
    Took car to Dealer. It was the BCM. Cost = $412.00. I will send bill to GM and try to get them to reimburse me. Good Luck to Me!! :mad:
  • kane1138kane1138 Posts: 1
    I had this damn problem... Had 1000 of work done only to have my car break down twice in between getting it fixed- The people at Pep boys very honestly told me without trying to convince me it was a fuel pump which they could have easily convinced me of... It sounded like the car wasn't getting any gas when I turned it, but the car failure was very sporadic... We now think that it's a security issue and my car doesn't recognize it's own key??? I guess that's electronics for ya... Hey chevrolet, if you are listening, I'll buy foreign next time...
  • mrwaynemrwayne Posts: 20
    What year is the car? What was the mileage when you first started seeing the light come on?
  • revjim64revjim64 Posts: 78
    Is it cranking over?

    My ignition would die once in a while. (I would turn the key and nothing would happen.)
    Turned out to be a faulty PASSLOCK sensor!

    Chevy's are Junk!

    So far my 2002 Impala needed

    a BCM, Manifold gaskets, Passlock sensor, and ISS.
    This car is a "money pit." I will probably have to get a
    catalytic converter next!!

    GM built better cars in the 60's,
    Time to by [non-permissible content removed] cars!
  • bosompalbosompal Posts: 5
    It's a 2003 w/ 37000 mi when this problem arose.
  • csancsan Posts: 5
    I had a reply about this earlier. I had the same problem and basically in order to get a recall people need to call GM directly (1-800-222-1020) --> See message #1703 for details.

    Good luck. The good news is my car is working fine now *keeping my fingers crossed*
  • mrwaynemrwayne Posts: 20
    Then it seems that this newer model BCM that came out for the 2003 model year is just as unreliable as the older model I have. It's a shame that this exact part is still used today.(P#10350647) GM should have recalled this model and supplied a much more reliable one long ago. Before I bought my 2001 Impala 3.8, I owned a 1991 Cavalier, which, even though it didn't have anywhere near the bells and whistles the Impala does, over the course of its 142,000 miles, it NEVER failed to start. My Impala needs to be reset if it sits more than 2 hours. (Or it won't start).
  • And we can't get it to happen at the dealership. I realize that intermittant problems are the worst. And of course, I have no idea if this is happening in daytime rain (I'll probably get a ticket) - but I know it's happening at night. And I have made two hour trips with no problems, but sometimes it happens every two miles.

    At first, the headlights just went off for no reason. When I hit the stalk on the steering column, they came back on, but went off again a few miles later.

    Then they started going off when I switched from low to high beams. Last night, I had no headlights at all unless I held the stalk pulled toward me the entire time I was on the road.

    The problem occurs when I have the headlight switch pulled out (on) or when it's on automatic. The dash lights all stay on the whole time, as do the parking lights. This is a headlight issue only - and appeared at first to be happening only with high beams, but now it's all the time.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • batistabatista Posts: 159
    I too am experiencing an intermittent no start at times.
    It happens once or twice a week and just today after it started up normally the odometer disappeared. All I see is the gear selection. So I turned it off and re-started and it re-appeared.
    What's the solution a new BCM or a new ignition module?
    I appreciate any suggestions you may have.
  • revjim64revjim64 Posts: 78
    I have an 02 Impala. My wife said the headlights blacked out on her when she used the highbeam switch.
    It doesn't happen very often, but one time is all you need to have a wreck.

    I shot an e-mail to the Lemon law website to see if they can get Chevy to recall and replace these crappy combination switches.

    I think there is another post on this site where someone else also has this problem.

    My 02 Impala is a total lemon! BCM problems, Passlock problems, Noisy steering shaft, intake manifold leaks coolant, and the car eats up brake pads!

    Time for a Ford or Nissan?
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Either I'm an exceptional driver, or I got the one Impala that doesn't have brake wear problems...I've got a 2000 model that just hit 95k miles yesterday, and I'm still running the original brake rotors (front and rear), and I've only changed the pads once (at @ 45k miles). Very early on I had the front rotors turned (under warranty as I recall), but that's the only brake problem I've had. I actually took the car in to my Chevy dealer last month with plans to have new brake rotors/pads put on it (figuring it was about time), but they called back and said I still had plenty of brake pad left, and the rotors looked fine too.

    FWIW I bought the pads at AutoZone and replaced them myself, which was a fairly easy task (once I got my jack stands and such together). They weren't that expensive (maybe $40 per axle), and I think they have a lifetime warranty.

    The last GM car I owned ('84 Buick Skyhawk) had to have new brake pads about once per year, so I was a little worried about brake performance when I bought the Impala, but I've been very happy thus far. My previous car was an '89 Toyota Celica, and as I recall it performed about the same as the Impala is now, under basically the same driving conditions (commuting to work @ 12 miles each way, with a mix of city and highway driving).

    I'm hoping to drive the Impala a couple more years...I might have to get new pads in a year or so, but hopefully I can just get the rotors turned and won't have to replace them.
  • I'd like to find someone who has had this headlight issue and had it fixed! What was the diagnosis, and what was the repair? Parts and labor cost, too, please.

    It's a shame we put this much money into what becomes essentially a big gamble.

    Good luck on the brakes thing.
  • revjim64revjim64 Posts: 78
    I used the lifetime Autozone brakes too!
    I think Autozone is great!
    No problems exchanging the lifetime brakes (Duralast MKD814)
    I got 75k on my 02 Impala. I think I am on my third set of brakes. (Including the original set)
    The brake jobs are easy to do and the rotors are easy to change. Rotors are reasonably priced (about 30 dollars each)
    I don't think it's worth having the old ones cut. Check out Autozone or National Discount Auto for replacements.

    I do heavy stop and go city driving on a daily basis.
    (Very little highway driving and tons of traffic lights).
    Thats probably why I'm only averaging 20-21 mpg.

    I am glad that you are having good luck with your brakes and that you are an exceptional driver!

    One thing good I can say about my 02 Impala is that I have 2 of the original
    Uniroyal Tiger Paw radials still on the car. The stock tires held up great. I will probably change them out before winter.

    I am glad that you are having good luck with your 2000 model. I think I just got stuck with a lemon.

  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    I had planned to have my rotors turned when I replaced the brake pads last time, but I couldn't get the caliper bracket loose, so I couldn't remove the rotors. They weren't in bad shape, so I just replaced the pads...40k miles later no problems, but when you replaced your rotors did you have similar problems, and if so how did you remove the brackets? I don't have an air compressor, and didn't have a big enough breaker bar to break the bracket loose. Thinking about buying an electric impact wrench and seeing if that will do the trick.
  • revjim64revjim64 Posts: 78
    I just used 3/8 drive rachet and put a pipe over the handle
    for leverage to get the caliper bracket bolts off.
    I used a C-clamp to compress the piston back.

    Seemed like a pretty easy job.
  • I had the same problem with my 01 LS. You need to change the turn signal stalk. When my headlights would go out, I would keep turning on and off the brights, and eventually the low beams stayed on. The replacement was done under warranty.
  • Since I first posted a week ago the problem has become more erratic. Not only do the headlights go off while on the road, sometimes they won't go on at all. I've had to drive holding the stalk in "flash" position because when I release it, I can't get any headlights to stay on. Sometimes I have no dash lights - so I hope I'm driving in "D" and not "3".

    I took it to the dealership this morning. I had used a spare key thinking that if there were an issue, I didn't want to have to stop and restart the car as that may make the issue go away. I had lights, I had dash lights, but I could not get the brights to engage. I left the car running at the dealership until they could "test" it. Sure enough, it's the Multi-Function Headlight Switch.

    From the looks of it, I will have to pay. I'll be back to post the parts and labor costs, and I will continue to update to let you all know if it did, indeed, fix the problem for the benefit of someone else who may encounter the same issue. I should have the car back tomorrow.
  • revjim64revjim64 Posts: 78
    My 02 Impala is demonstration early symptoms of Headlight
    "combination switch" problems. If it goes out I am going to atempt to change it out myself. I've done a couple on the earlier model Chevys.
    Does anyone know if you have to pull the steering wheel off to switch this out?
  • I didn't get to see the particulars of the multi-function headlight switch repair, so I don't know if they pulled the steering column or not.

    Now I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know the price or part. I had purchased the extended warranty, and it covered everything. I did "hear" that the warranty got hit for around $400 (and it was around 2 hours labor), but that's unofficial.

    Believe me, I will be back if the problem with the headlights going out is not fixed.
  • tessmillertessmiller Posts: 10
    Okay, I have a 2000 Impala LS with 72000 miles on it. I have owned it for two years and I love the car...however. It stalls on me on occassion. And it seems to happen more if the weather is warmer or if driven hard all day....maybe that is just my imagination. It just goes out. No battery or security lights....maybe after a few minutes it will start and run properly with never a problem again OR it will do it again and again. Fuel pump? Fuel Filter? :sick: We replaced the ignition module on it because we thought maybe that was misfiring. We have it put on a computer by a mechanic(not dealer) and didn't diagnosis anything. Ideas? We are making a big trip with it in the next couple of weeks and would like this taken care of!
    Thanks! :)
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