Chevrolet Impala General Care & Maintenance

inethaterinethater Member Posts: 2
I have an '02 IMPALA LS 3.8L 84K miles on her.

LOW OIL PRESSURE message is comming up. checked the oil..proper viscosity and level

friend told me to put it in neutral and rev to 4K RPMs, message disappeared
he said that my OIL pump is going out.

Is it OIL sensor or OIL pump or maybe something else?


  • revjim64revjim64 Member Posts: 78
    Sounds like the oil pump is worn out.
    Do you change your oil and oil filter every 3-6k miles?

    You may want to try using a heavier oil such as 20/50 or add some "Motor Honey." The thicker oil may buy you some more time. (If the seals in the oil pump are worn out this may temporarily fix the problem and boost the oil pressure) Eventually you are going to have to replace the oil pump.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    If you have low oil pressure, you really don't want to be revving your engine at 4K in neutral. This is asking for trouble IMO.

    By all means, swap out the sensor first before digging into the oil pan. Sometimes the oil pump pickup screen gets clogged up as well. So you might get lucky.
  • inethaterinethater Member Posts: 2
    HAHA, thanks for the advise guys
    eh, yeah i checked my oil as stated...and i changed it too

    aparently in my Engine there is no technical "oil pump" as i have pictured...It is just some gears (they are $23.77 from the dealer)
    I just checked the thing with OBDII and it did not throw any messages or errors, most likely its the sensor (crossing my fingers)shop wanted like 35bucks to replace it. Hell with that, i ll do it myself. Also the sensor is located close to the oil filter.
    here is the diagram for the engine, some people might find it useful..i did. The dealer is not that bad after all.
    oil sensor is 9 bucks at o'relli
  • revjim64revjim64 Member Posts: 78
    Please let us know if the sensor does the trick.

    You would think if the sensor was defective the "Low oil" message would have stayed on even during the high rev.
  • bxdbxd Member Posts: 186
    Maybe the sensor is loosing its sensitivity. Thus the increased pressure of high RPMs causes enough pressure to satisfy the sensor. We are hoping anyway. :)
  • brkimpalainatlbrkimpalainatl Member Posts: 2
    Can anyone shed some light on this subject? I am needing to replace the termistat on my 2001 Impala and it seems that NO parts shop in Atlanta has the Chilton or Haynes service manual for this model.

    I do most of my own work, but this engine is by far one of the hardest to work on. Just try replacing the sparkplugs and wires and you will see what I mean.

    I need to replace the thermistat as it sticks in the colder weather and causes the temperature guage to drop to zero and the fans to come on and run continuosly. By the way if anyone else has this problem, to fix it quickly do the following:

    1 Stop car and turn off engine
    2 Open hood and locate wiring harness directly above battery
    3 Open the connection block, you will hear the fans shut down
    4 Wait 5 seconds
    5 Plug connection block back together
    6 Restart engine, the engine will be hard to start for a moment
    7 Notice the temperature guage rise back to where it should be

    It seems this wiring harness directly interfaces with the BCM unit. I have had the BCM replaced twice now and still have issues, but thats another message posting.


    Keith :confuse:
  • urldrivingacarurldrivingacar Member Posts: 7
    The response I found on vy_Impala
    said, "You have to remove the air filter unit. Take the flexhose off and then you have to remove the breather. Thats the only way to get at the bolts. Its a real pain but its the only way. I just did mine. Good Luck!!!"
    And so I wish you luck, too.
  • bxdbxd Member Posts: 186
    Re: Thermostat location.

    Which engine, 3.4 or 3.8 ?
  • brkimpalainatlbrkimpalainatl Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the information. With having had the BCM replaced 2 times and still having problems, I figure the only other item it could be is the thermistat. Car thermistat works fine in the warm months.

    Honestly I think that Chevy should replace EVERY BCM module in all Impala vehicles for NO charge. They know there is a problem with them but of course they will graceously charge you for their mistakes.

  • bxdbxd Member Posts: 186

    Not a big deal, but it's a therm"O"stat.

    More importantly, are you sure it's working fine in warm months? The engine should warm up FAST, like 5 minutes of driving, and then level off at the correct normal temperature (around 195 depending on your engine).

    Are you sure it's not stuck open and warming up too slowly, which you would have trouble noticing in warm weather?

    Regardless - I think you're on the right track with the thermostat. Make sure all air is bled from the cooling system after a thermostat replacement.

  • lostwrenchlostwrench Member Posts: 288
    Hello everyone: I have waxed my Impala many times over the years and it looks great but if I get wax on those dark plastic door moldings it is a pain to get off. The best solution I have found is using powdered cleanser to scrub off the wax, being careful not to scratch the paint. Does anyone have an easier solution?
  • quietproquietpro Member Posts: 702
    There's a new product out called Ice made by Turtle Wax. It's sold at Walmart and I would imagine most other stores. It's a clear liquid that is applied with a sponge applicator and removed with a micro-fiber cloth (both included). It not only has no residue, it will remove residue from other polishes. You can actually apply it to those plastic pieces to remove the old residue! I've put two coats on my black '06 SS so far and have no complaints. It will "blotch" a little on black paint (like any other polish I've ever used) but buffs out easily.
    Overall, it's a snap to use. I have retired my orbital polisher. :D
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Member Posts: 872
    At one time here someone mentioned using peanut butter (smooth, not chunky :) ) to remove wax buildup from the black moulding. I've never tried it, but I had a co-worker with a Saab that had exterior black door handles that turned white; I suggested she try peanut butter, and she said it actually worked better than anything else she'd tried.
  • rockyleerockylee Member Posts: 14,014
    One of my best friends had a computer module go out on her 2005' Chevy Impala. From my understanding this computer module, due to it's not working has cut out her ABS, and traction control system. The dealer is charging her $800 total for the installation + part, and wanted to ask the edmunds experts if she is getting ripped off ? It just seemed a bit high to me.

    Thanks in advance, for y'alls help

  • kenboilerkenboiler Member Posts: 7
    I just got the 06 Impala. Very nice car. After it warms up, however, there is a steady tapping (very faint) that is noticable when it idles. I took in in for an oil change and asked them to look at it. They tell me it's the fuel injection ports making noise and is no big deal. The noise itself is not the big deal, but I want this car to last. Does this make sense?

  • 3900lt3900lt Member Posts: 2
    I know what you mean, my car does the same (06'3LT). I read about ways to fix it in the manual but it was just a waste of ink. I took it to the shop because it was eventually followed by the engine light. They said the engine light was just due to a high reading of ethanol in my fuel and to stick with Chevron to fix it. They also fixed the common tire monitor problem. Sometimes it would still come on for just a few minutes and its very annoying when it kids around like that. Now it makes this new sound. After high speeds in the freeway, it makes this whirling sound like a toy car at very low speeds. My tire monitor is going crazy again. It's about time to take'er to the shop again.
  • tbushtbush Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know where and to check the power steering unit level for fluid? I have looked and looked, see the unit, but cannot see where to check or refill fluid. Is this an expensive Dealer job?

    Also, my dash lights have gone dark when the lights are on. The radio and overhead information center are dimly lit, but unable to find a blown fuse on either side of the passenger compartment. Any clues?
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Member Posts: 872
    I checked my Haynes manual, and it shows the power steering fluid reservoir as located towards the firewall side of the engine beneath the alternator (on the passenger side). It should be somewhere near the drive belt. I know I took mine in to a local shop when the power steering started making some noise, and my problem was simply low fluid (they topped it off and it was fine)...but they said it was difficult to get to/see the reservoir, so they weren't surprised I hadn't thought to check it sooner.
  • 3900lt3900lt Member Posts: 2
    It was indeed my power steering fluid. I filled it up and now the sound is gone.

    I don't know where the power steering fluid is in your car but I know its in one of the caps up front, mine was to the top left of my engine, check your manual. As for the dim dashboard light, its probably just the resistor switch/knob where you can adjust the brightness. Try looking for light switch inside your car and see if it twists or roll or similar.

    Does anybody have the latest Impala with the service engine and traction light going off and on a couple times a week?
  • katyakatya Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Impala with about 106,000 miles and it's been acting up lately. On long car trips, the temperature gauge will stop registering any heat in the engine (the needle doesn't move at all), the check engine light comes on, and the AC will stop cooling (it still blows, though). This only happens after the first leg - as in the car's had a chance to heat up for the first hour or two but the gauge doesn't "break" until I restart the car for the next leg. After a day or two it "fixes" itself again. It also runs some fan in the engine after I turn the car off to cool down the car, I guess.

    This first happened in late September (I'm in the south so I did need the AC!), then at Thanskgiving. I think it's happened every time I've traveled long distances since then. I travelled at least 6 hours a weekend through all of October, and many weekends since Thanksgiving (though not always with my car now). The car hasn't broken down in all that traveling, but I have no idea if it's actually overheating or not.

    Also, I did just take the car in to try to get this fixed. I spoke with the Korean secretary who I don't think quite got my problem across to the mechanic, so they found some other problem that required replacing a couple of gaskets. I just found out while travelling this weekend that they didn't fix the right problem.

    Any ideas? Is it just a sensor problem, or possibly something more significant?
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Member Posts: 872
    I can't answer your questions about your cooling problem, but here's another one for you...on the gaskets they replaced, was one of them the upper intake manifold gasket? I ask because there was a recall for some 2000 & 2001 models a few years ago; I'd already had mine repaired (@ $800), but was reinbursed by GM when the recall came out. If this was one of the gaskets replaced (and it hadn't been done before) I think you should be able to get reinbursed.
  • enealkenealk Member Posts: 2
    I've changed the oil on my 04 impala, now how do I reset the "time for oil change" indicator in the message window?
  • quietproquietpro Member Posts: 702
    There are two methods, one through the stereo and the other involves a routine with the gas pedal. Your owner's manual will describe either procedure. I have an '06 now and can't remember the steps. Hope that helps.
  • essilemessilem Member Posts: 5
    I've read through ALL the forums searching for a possible solution to my problem and I haven't exactly found what I was looking for...

    My car starts up fine, but many times when I start it non of the guages, radio, A/C, OnStar, Cruise, etc. will work. Turn signals and hazards work fine.

    Took it to the dealership one day when it was actually acting up, and the guy said he wasn't getting any error codes on it at all...which I believe, I was standing right next to him in the parking lot. Checked all the fuses, no issues there. He says it could be an ignition switch, but not sure. I'm reading that it's possible it the bcm.

    By the way, this usually only happens when it's warm outside. I'm from NE OH, so yesterday when it was 80, they didn't work at all. Today it was 35, and everything worked fine.

    Any ideas?????
  • tomc1965tomc1965 Member Posts: 7
    Make sure that there aren't any missing grommets in the fire wall. Sounds like a short to me or a break in a wire.
    Make sure all the relays are working just tap them the next time this happens and see if it magically comes on.
  • evolutionmanevolutionman Member Posts: 4
    My 2000 Chevy Impala had its timing chip go out after the warranty on it expired. Just to replace the timing chip (controls seatbelt warning, airbag warning, and other instrument panel warnings) cost +$400.00 (parts & labor). The computer module item lists for more. Are they charging your friend $800 for the part in addition to labor? If so, they are ripping her off. Negotiate or seek other service shops. Good luck.
  • evolutionmanevolutionman Member Posts: 4
    My wife's 2000 Chevy Impala (V6 eng) has rolled over 135K miles in 7 years and is still going strong. Except for brakes, struts, tires, and the usual wear on it, the original paint is intact w/o blemishes. The car still flies down the road, has a great suspension, and performs well in all things we demand of it. The seals on some of the engine parts are showing small leaks but are repairable. The interior has maintained itself well despite 4 kids and the excesive mileage on the highways. If the 2007/2008 model can hold up to the same high demands, we'll trade the old one in for a newer version. :shades:
  • mavericksmavericks Member Posts: 2
    oh my! I have the exact same problem as you do! I have a 2001 impala ls. one day I was driving and everything was working fine. all of a sudden my radio stops working for no apparent reason... as of today the radio still doesn't work even though the display shows the radio being on. nor does the door chime when you insert the key. A few days after the first incident; after work, I turned the car on and none of the gauges were working I also noticed that the onstar system lights on the rearview mirror were red. that was about two months ago and I still can't figure out what is wrong, they just don't work. At first i didn't know what to do. when you mentioned that it happens only in warm days i realized it's true. i leave home to work at 5 am and most of the time it works on my way to work, but the gauges stop working after work when it's sunny and warm. another problem that i have is the 'service traction system' light come on and sometimes i hear a grinding noise in the front driver axle when i make short turns slowly. anyways i took my car to have it repaired and they had no clue what was wrong with it. they replaced the ignition switch for about $450 but still no luck. myself i tried disconnecting the battery for a few minutes and cleaning the battery's positive terminal as well as the wires and sometimes fixes the problem but after a few trips it re occurs again. on at least two occassions, while the gauges don't work it seems that the cooling fans fail to start which causes the cooling fluid to boil out of it's reservoir, fortunately that happened on quite short trips so there was no damage to the engine. i'm desperate and i know how frustating this must be. at the shop where they replaced the ignition they also ran it through the computer trouble codes scanner and they said that it might be something wrong with the "egr valve" which is the exaust gas recirculation valve being stuck open or closed. i'm not sure if that's truly the problem, i'll get that fixed. in the meantime i hope i was able to help you somehow, if you get yours fixed let me know what the problem was.
  • blueheron507blueheron507 Member Posts: 2
    I would very interested in knowing what if anything was found out about this; I have the same problem with my 01 Impala with 140,000 miles on it. I need to get it fixed.
  • mavericksmavericks Member Posts: 2
    hello, well I haven't been able to get if fixed completely but here's what i've found. the radio not working was because a bad factory-installed amplifier. I bought a new amp on ebay from a 2003 Impala and guess what? it didn't fit. fortunately I found a solution; I was able to get an after-market wire harness online from a car sound site to bypass the amp entirely for about $25 and I think it sounds better this way. now as far the gauges not working, this is what I do; remove the fuse box cover located inside the car on the driver side and find a red fuse labeled "CLSTR/BCM" (your manual also shows where it is), if you don't have a manual it's the closest red fuse to the big gray circuit relay. Start the car and while the car is idling pull out such fuse and put it back in. (you may have to do this two or three times) when you remove it, it resets all instrument gauges and they should all come on. Also if your AC was not blowing cold air while the gauges are dead, this will get it fixed. The problem is, this fix may only last for a few driving cycles so it gets annoying after a while; myself i keep the cover removed for easy access and i keep a pair of pliers in the door compartment. you may also want to leave the the fuse a bit loose (it doesn't really matter how far you push it in) that way you can pull it out and push it in with your fingers. Now, if only the temperature gauge is not working but the rest of them are (speedometer, rpm, and fuel) then just unplugging the positive battery terminal for a few minutes should solve the problem, also solving the related issue of fans staying on a while after you turn the car off even when the engine is still cold. And lastly my traction system would go on for no reason while making slow, tight turns. (for example while parking in a parking lot) the message "SERVICE TRACTION SYSTEM" would stay on for a while and also the ABS light would go on. To prevent this i always hit the traction button and turn the traction system off before I start driving. It will disable traction but your ABS will still work. Hope this helps. let me know if this works for you.
  • mrwaynemrwayne Member Posts: 20
    The gauge clusters are known to go bad after a while. You'll need a new one. The gauge cluster is a computer in and of itself, and a failure in it can cause other malfunctions elsewhere in the car.

    If your fans are still running after the car is shut off, have your thermostat changed. This usually corrects the problem. Also, check the ground wire under the hood on the left side, above the headlight. Make sure it's a secure connection.

    The traction control problem is most likely a broken or corroded connection in the ABS "wires" leading to the front hubs. Many have had the hubs replaced, only to have the problem return. The wires the car came with are too thin, and their connections break easily over time. Dealers charge around $250 to replace the wires. You can buy the wires and do the job yourself for a lot cheaper. The part numbers are:

    Right Side: 10340313
    Left Side: 10340314

    Instructions are included with the wires.
  • jimpala2jimpala2 Member Posts: 3
    '05 should be under warrenty.
  • jjp3jjp3 Member Posts: 1
    My 2002 3.4 liter 6 cycl. automatic Impala with 45,000 miles has a green liquid leak. It has occurred 3-4 times. the leak is on the drivers side front corner of compartment. The cooling system was flushed twice and refilled in April 07 with red colored dexcool. The low engine coolant light is always on but everything is filled to proper operating levels. The puddle that appears is coming from the car and not another source. It usually is about 6 inches accross in diameter. How can I find out what this liquid is and how can I make the low coolant light go off. The sensor may be bad but I am confused as to its location. Is the sensor in the radiator neck or by the intake hose on the engine? I've had this vehicle checked by a mechanic and he did a radiator pressure test that turned out ok. He doesn't know what the problem is.
  • linwlinw Member Posts: 4
    I just got 2001 Impala LS 3.8L 144K,2 weeks ago. When I took the test drive, I felt a noise when I push the brake all the way down. However, when I double checked the noise was gone, so I just thought I felt something that did not exsit. Three days before, when I drove in the snow, the noise came up again when I push brake quickly with a very slight trembling. It seems that I can feel the break pad touch the disc. Is there anyone have the same problem? and how do you fix it. Thank you!
  • quietproquietpro Member Posts: 702
    This was answered in the Impala Brakes forum.
  • kiefk0337kiefk0337 Member Posts: 7
    so my engine fans run too long after i shut my engine off. sometimes up to 10-15 even if engine is cold (ex. walked outside this morning its -12* out. started and shut off my car.. fans ran for 5 min. defrost was off.) i have already replaced the engine fans for different reasons and i also replaced the coolant temp sensor.. still does the same thing. tried a new engine fan relay.. same thing. also my engine temp guage inside the car doest move even after driving 75+ miles.. the only other temp related change that i have made was the part by the blower motor where the wires from the fan speed control come in and switch to the +/- wire to blower motor.. i dont think this could have anything to do with it, im just throwing it out there.. any help is appreciated
  • mitch16mitch16 Member Posts: 11
    You may want to replace your thermostat. It sounds like it's stuck open. It happen to my 01 Impala. The engines, at least the 3.4liter, is sourced from China. the thermostats must be made there to! Go figure! It will cost <$300 to have the dealer fix it. I was going to try it myself but it's situated in such a way that it too much work for me. Replacing it should fix your problem.
  • petshotpetshot Member Posts: 2
    did u find out the problem? i have an 02 also and i am having the exact same problem with the traction system light and the grinding noise.
  • jessicajjessicaj Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Impala ls, and I am having trouble with my engine over heating. When I went to see if I had any coolant, I decided to take the radiator cap off. When i did i had seen that the cap had this orange clay like stuff on it and the hose was clogged with it. Do i need to get a coolant flush or could it be something else?
  • blueheron507blueheron507 Member Posts: 2
    I was having the exact same problem; no A/C. no register of engine temp and the fans would run after turning the motor off. Someone suggested that I remove the positive wire from the battery terminal for about 10 to 15 minutes. This corrected my problem. and it has been running fine for the past month.
  • prncssmelissaprncssmelissa Member Posts: 1
    I have a '05 base, 3.4L, and the engine keeps wanting to overheat. I have a full resevoir of Dex-Cool, but to no avail. I had to put in a gallon of dex-cool a couple of weeks ago (thought that was kinda strange, but went with it, since we've driven the car quite a bit since the last time I had it in for routine maintence). Noticed today that it was going over the middle line of the temp gauge (something that's not normal, at least not for my car. The temp gauge usually stays right in the middle, or below, between 1/4 and halfway). Stopped, got another gallon of dex-cool, filled the resevoir to the fill line, and thought that might do the trick. Not so much.

    I remember my dad talking a couple of years ago about another chevy model he had (I believe it was a trailblazer, but not totally sure) that had a seperate radiator cap from the resevoir cap. Does the '05 Impala have such? Has anyone had this happen to them?

    I'm stressing out. I can't afford a new car right now (nor do I want one) nor can I afford costly repairs. My husband is the only one working right now, as I try to find a job. If anyone has any info, I'm begging for help!


    Melissa :( :confuse: :sick:
  • wesleygwesleyg Member Posts: 164
    The main radiator cap is on the radiator, look in the owners manual and it will show you where its at. Remove this cap only when the vehicle is cold as it is pressurized.

    You will want to carefully check your oil on the dipstick to make sure antifreeze is not getting into the oil from a manifold leak or some such thing. If you noticed that antifreeze is getting into the oil, you must take immediate action or you're looking at replacing the engine which is as you know a BIG problem. Please let us know if you need further.
  • jsannerjsanner Member Posts: 2
    My 05 chevy impala has 2 of the 3 guages partially working.
    Fuel guage is fine, Temperature and speedometer work only 5 minutes of shifting into gears. Read on another link there is a recall on the fuel line itself, could leak fluid or false reading on guage, may cause fire.
    Wiper fluid freezes ever year when temperatures get close to freezing. This is the only vehicle I have ever had trouble with.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Member Posts: 1,079
    Don't get wax on the grainy plastic parts ??? :P

    JK - when I was a young first learning driver, I thought I would do my Grandma a favor by washing and waxing her Lincoln Towncar after she let me borrow it for a date. I ended up getting wax all over the plastic trim and it forever stayed there - she neve said anything, but I am sure she noticed it. I would like to think that she was more grateful that I would be thougtful enought to try and return the vehicle in better condidtion that when I borrowed it in. :D
  • imycheleimychele Member Posts: 1
    Did you find out what this was? We have had many of the issues I have seen on this sight and you are the first one that I've seen that includes the rusty looking substance in the radiator like I have. My 2005 Impala LS says it is overheating but actually is not, the radiator fans wont kick on and it has been having shifting/jerking issues for two years that is only getting worse. It has been so sad since we had decided to spend money on a "new car" and ended up with all these problems. My car has been parked fro twomonths now. Please let me know if you found out what it was and what caused it. I am on low income budget right now and can't afford "exploratory surgery." Thanks.
  • shawtyred90shawtyred90 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Chevrolet Impala and it was working fine until I had got a callback from the Chevrolet dealer for the fire compartment engine to be fixed, after they fixed that a couple weeks after that my battery light would come on chime for 3 seconds then the car would shut off the steering wheel would get stiff to the point i cant turn it and when i tried to crank it back up it want crank it has to sit for a couple hours or minute then it would crank up. I found out it was the fuel pump I had got that fixed the same day i drove it again i had the same problem so i took it too the shop they were like it was the censors to the car. I had got the gaskets a new battery that done under my hood of my car, so it worked for a couple weeks then it started shutting down again the battery light pops up the car shuts completely down, so i found out my fuel pump was no good so i got that replaced but i haven't driven my car since then because when i crank up the car the battery light pops up, the people that fixed my car is really good friends with my family and he keeps telling me too drive the car it want shut off but i'm afraid that it will shut off again in the middle of the road, he says all i need is a regulator to the car because everything under the hood is good.
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