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Chevrolet Impala Steering/Suspension



  • oldharryoldharry Posts: 413
    They do still lube those ISS's. While my '05 Impala is still in warranty, I bought the GM kit (about $9 wholesale) and did it myself. It took me about 40 minutes to:

    Secure the steering wheel so that the clock spring connector did not get dammaged.

    Remove the shaft, extend it, put in the lube, and the rubber stopper, and work the shaft in and out.

    Remove the stopper.

    Re-install the shaft.

    The new lube is a white translucent gel, the old was a clear gel. The shaft compressed and extended much more easily and smoothly in my hands after lubing.

    The problem disapeared completely. Before lubing the shaft stuck then moved as the u-joints changed overal length of the shaft while flexing. This felt like something was loose or broken.

    The car had 25 k miles when I did the lube, it will be a while till I know how long it lasts.

  • fox76fox76 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info! I will try it. I have had the car to the dealer twice now. The first time they made it worse after replacing the steering gear. After the second drop of, they said they replaced a wheel bearing and the popping was gone. My dad thought that sounded like bunk. Sure enough the popping is still there after I picked it up yesterday and it is right back at the dealer again for the third time. I think this is ridiculous and will definitely try the PB Blaster all of you have suggested. That is if I dont take the car back to where I got it!! Thanks again!
  • I own a 2005 impala. I bought the vehicle used with 32,000 miles on it and when I test drove it, it ran and drove like a dream. Me and my wife were excited about the car, and after several 1000 miles I began to notice the slight click, crunk, crunch, however you may want to describe it, you know its there.

    The car now has 42,000 miles on it and the steering issue has been driving me insane for months. I took it to chevy, and being a little out of warranty, they informed me they charge 100$ per hour to repair it. I put it off.

    Finally, today I found this forum and saw the PB Blaster recommendation. I left work and went to auto zone, and by chance got the last can of PB Blaster.

    I took off the panel under the steering columng (very easy, 2 thumb tabs pressed inward and it pops right off). If you do this the boot around the steering axis isnt very hard to push down, in my 2005 model anyways. Once I pushed it down nicely and adjusted the steering wheel a bit, you can see the hole in the shaft, and the joint.

    I emptied about a quarter can into that bad boy, all over the joint, and down the shaft. Started the car up, and the problem is GONE.

    The pb blaster WORKS. THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH. This has been driving me crazy for months, I cant believe it worked.

    It doesnt not crunch or click when breaking, or steering at low speeds anymore, hell it feels like a sports car now!

    Thanks guys !

    To anyone else with this problem, BUY A CAN OF PB BLASTER AND LUBE IT UP , IT WORKS !
  • Anyone out there have a gm parts list, or manual, or something ??!!
    I need help getting the actual GM part numbers for the front
    and rear struts on a 2006/2007 Impala SS . I've contacted some of the suggested GM direct-parts guys on the internet and they seem too busy...nothing yet. Can anyone help..??
  • I am now being told by my local GM dealership that the
    front struts in a 2006 /2007 LT and SS have the same part
    number and therefore are exactly the same...How can this be when the SS has the firmer sport suspension(F3) and the rear struts are different. Are there any GM parts pros out there that can help...I've got a real dilema here...!!
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    I'm LMAO at the moment after reading your post! If I hadn't had the same experience, I'd swear you were some marketer posting a bogus message here to try to sell a product. But it's so true, it is SUCH an annoyance, and then you spray this stuff on it and the problem is GONE almost instantly. This may be the one case where something sounds too good to be true, but isn't.

    To be perfectly honest with you, had I read the post a few back from the person that went to their dealer and bought a greasing kit and took the ISS apart and such, I'd probably go that route over the PBBLASTER. Even though the PBBLASTER fix is incredibly easy, I worry about what effect it might have on the car down the road. I can't imagine it causing a problem, but if mine comes back I'll probably at least investigate the GM grease kit option. But so far mine has held up for two months without returning, and I didn't put anywhere near a quarter can in mine! :)
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    Sorry I can't help you with the part numbers but I thought I'd ask if you're having problems with your suspension. My front suspension is driving me a bit crazy because it's so loose now. I've taken it to two different dealers and they both say it's fine but I know better. I haven't been able to find another SS on the lot to compare it to but I'm going to try again next week.
    Good luck and please keep us posted!

  • fox76fox76 Posts: 4
    On my third trip in to the dealer (than heavens for warranty), they finally got it. I am not sure if what they told me is the problem is the same thing everyone has been saying just with different words, but I have not heard a pop in a while and I am loving it. They said the noise came from the cradle bolts. They lowered the engine cradle and lubricated mounts. The service rep said that the bolts were not loose but were flexing? That sounds like the same thing to me! Happy Holidays to all!
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    When the 2000 Impala first came out, lots of folks complained about a "ticking" sound coming from the aluminum engine cradle when turning (mostly noticed at low speeds, and probably with the windows down, like you'd encounter in a parking deck). I think lots of folks worried about this cradle and how well it would hold up, so they were overly anxious about it. Anyway, mine did it back then (and probably still does), but 100K miles and almost 7 years later I've had no cradle-related problems. Good to know there's something that can be done to eliminate it (it can be annoying), but by the same token know that the cradle isn't about to fall (at least not in the near future).
  • hosterhoster Posts: 4
    Took in my 2004 LS (13k miles) with mild noise and popping sensation from steering column when I would turn, especially when accelerating. The problem was fixed using bulletin 01-02-32-001G "Lube intermediate shaft" and replace "279 WA40" with part # 26098237.

    I also noticed, especially after a cold start, that the car would not accelerate as it once did. It seems like it would stall for just a second before jetting off. The dealer found a PCM update to improved performance. They used "J6355 powertrain control module with sps".

    These solutions completely fixed both problems! :D
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Anyone have any idea what "279 WA40" is? I've known part of the intermediate steering shaft fix involves lubrication, but I haven't heard about replacing anything.
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    Maybe it's a cap on the grease fitting? Didn't the shaft have a cover that was hard to get off?
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    There's sort of a rubber sleeve on it, but it sort of accordians down to expose the shaft. I've pretty much eliminated my ISS problem with the PBBlaster treatment, but it'd be nice to know what parts they're also replacing as part of the process.
  • fox76fox76 Posts: 4
    My popping is back. It has only been about 1K miles since they fixed it by tightening the cradle bolts. Guess I will be going back soon! So either it really is not the cradle bolts (that fix masked the problem) or they need to figure out how to keep those darn bolts from "flexing". I am glad to hear that after 100K you have not had any cradle problems.
  • ianmcdcaianmcdca Posts: 1
    I`m new here and I realize that this is an old post, but my `02 3.4 has the same pop/knock/squeek/creek. I had the ISS done so thats not the issue. It`s not the struts. Had the control arm bushings replaced as well as the stabilizer links and bushings. Had the mechanic tighten the cradle and what do you know! Gone...for 2 weeks. Came back. There is a fix. I`m doing mine this week.

    Check out this link for the TSB.

  • bena8837bena8837 Posts: 26
    I'm sorry but I was just reading the messages about problems with the popping of ISS on 02 Impala and I have the same problem and have had it repacked twice but doesn't last long. My question is, what is the PBBlaster treatment?
    Is it something I can buy and where can I find it?

  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    PBBlaster is definitely something you can do, and you can buy a can of it at most auto parts stores. I will say that my ISS clunking has started to creep back again, so don't think PBBLaster is a one-time cure, but it did seem to solve the problem for several months (and even now I'm just starting to feel some clunking when turning occasionally; nowhere near like it was before). It isn't strong enough at this point to annoy me, but if/when it does I'll give it another shot of this stuff and see if it goes away again.

    Basically all you have to do is look under the steering wheel and there's a panel that clips in the front and hooks on the back (towards the firewall). The under dash light on the driver's side is on this panel too, so it will drop down when you disconnect the front clips. If you twist the light it will come out of the panel, which A) keeps the panel from hanging on the wires, and B) actually provides a handy mini-flashlight to use while you're doing this.

    Once you lower the panel, you'll see a big rubber sleeve that covers the steering shaft. If you pull down on this (sliding the top portion down towards the floor, sort of like taking off a sock), you expose the ISS, which looks like a basic universal joint. All I did was spray the PBBlaster on (and especially down the middle, there's sort of a hole there that runs down the shaft) this area for maybe 10 seconds, then slipped the rubber sleeve back up, replaced the light fixture and cover panel, and that's it. Admittedly the rubber sleeve on mine was kind of stiff, so it takes a fair amount of effort to hold it out of the way, and it would help if you had a straw (like you get w/WD-40) to pinpoint the spray. Since you'll be using one hand to hold the sleeve back, and the other to spray the lube on, it really does come in handy to position that light in advance so it's shining where you need it.

    Give it a shot; it may not be the final fix, but at least it has lasted several months for me. I don't remember what the PBBLaster cost me, but it's probably $3-4 for a standard sized can. And you'll only use a small amount of the stuff, but it's good to keep around for rusty bolts and such.
  • wheelmanswheelmans Posts: 1
    I've had this same problem for several months with my 05 LS. The dealer lubed the ISS a couple months back and brought my car back in a few days later. He told me that GM was working on a new design for the ISS and to call back in a month or two. I called back and scheduled for 10 Jul to replace the ISS. I'll post back with the results. I have my fingers crossed. I'll check to see if this might be part of a recall or something. I have an extended warranty so it's still covered.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Too late for my 2000 model warranty-wise, but depending on what exactly they replace and the cost involved it might be worth looking into if you have good results with it. PBBlaster worked for a time, but I've noticed recently my problem is back. I'll probably hit it again with PBBlaster and see if it helps, but promise of a long-term solution sounds good.

    See if they can show you the difference between the old design and the new - heck, maybe even take a digital camera and shoot some pictures and post them here; there'd obviously be several other folks who'd be interested in seeing them.
  • Hey, I have an 04 Impala and have the same clunking sounds, almost feels like the engine is knocking around but I can tell it's in the steering. Have 39000 miles and just had to replace the rear pads and rotors. Rotors were so corroded, rusted inside with big chips broken out of the steel. Car started to
    have break judder when stopping - very annoying. It cost me $361 and they said I need the front brakes done too.
    Today one of the wheels started humming at 20mph 2 days after getting new brakes. Am I in for it now or what?

    missy rissy
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    FWIW my ISS continued to get clunkier and clunkier since July; this evening when I got home I hunted down my can of PBBLaster and gave the ISS a good long spray of the stuff. I don't know exactly how much I sprayed in there, but I tried to send most of it down the interior of the shaft that runs from the universal joint-looking piece under the dash downwards. If I had to guess, I probably sprayed 2-3 fluid ounces down there; also sprayed a little around the U-joint itself just for the heck of it.

    Just got back into the car to run a quick errand, and the clunkiness is totally gone, and the steering is much less vague than it had been. One of the reasons I finally sprayed it again is I'd noticed the car had begun to drift a little, and I remembered before having the same problem that went away with the application of the lube.

    One suggestion; it's kind of awkward to get to the ISS under the dash, but what I did this time that seemed to work pretty well was to open the driver's door and then basically stick my legs under the car, so I ended up sitting on the ground.
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    I thought I would post about an ISS issue I had. I'm a previous owner of an '02 Monte Carlo SS and am familiar with the ISS problem. With my '02, the diagnosis was the ISS but not serviceable issue, only a maintenance/annoyance as far as the dealership was concerned.

    On my '06, at approximately 25K miles, my ISS started clunking but this time it got progressively worse. It was bad enough by the time I took it in (at 27.5K) that it would clunk while braking and when initially accelerating from a stop (as well as any other car movement below 35 mph). I had resigned myself to being told it was a maintenance issue and figured they would only lubricate it but as it turns out, they replaced it as defective. I didn't get to talk to anyone in the service department, something I'm not real happy about, but I am pleased that the problem was resolved with a replacement. The ISS problem had been progressing for so long now that I had learned to live with it to a degree and now that it's fixed, the car feels SO much better to drive. I don't know if this is a new problem regarding the ISS or if mine was worse than normal but I definitely wanted to share since it's usually not a replacement. Hopefully this will help others out there! :D

    By the way, can anyone tell me if while replacing the ISS, is it likely that the steering wheel could be set out of alignment. I now seem to have to hold the wheel about 5-10 degrees to the right. The overall alignment seems the same but I'm pretty sure the wheel is off. I don't want to make a fool of myself if it's in my head but I'm pretty sure they messed it up. Thanks!
  • cnwcnw Posts: 105
    Ron, Not sure what the procedure is when they replace the ISS, but it is definitley something they could have screwed up. If I'm not mistaken, the ISS is a splined shaft, and in replacing it they probably got it off by one tooth. One way to check is to turn from center, straight ahead to the full left and right position (lock to lock, as they used to say). It should take an equal number of turns (and fractions of a turn) in each direction. Clark
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    That's what I was by one spline, so to speak. If so, would the wheel end up definitely off? In other words, if the wheel were installed correctly, would the wheel turned lock to tock end up in comparable positions at something like 9 o'clock to the left and 3 o'clock to the right but if installed incorrectly, it may now turn to 10 o'clock to the left and 4 o'clock to the right? That seems to make sense but I want to make sure I'm following you. Thanks!
  • cnwcnw Posts: 105
    You've got it! Good luck with the dealership service department.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Just FYI on PBBlaster...I doused my ISS with it again back in early October, and now in mid/late November my clunk is back. The first time I tried PBBlaster it lasted for maybe 6 months, but the longer I drive the car the shorter the time period that this fix works.

    I may actually be getting ready to sell my 2000; not because of this or any other particular problem, but because I've got two kids approaching driving/college age, and to avoid multiple car payments I may get something new soon so I can pay it off before the kids cycle through.

    I glanced back at some more recent posts but didn't see this info out there; is there anyone who has had their ISS replaced/repaired outside of warranty that can give me a rough idea of what it would cost to fix? If it's not too dear I'd probably rather get it fixed before I sell it, especially if I end up selling it myself.
  • I've got an '06 LT3 that I have scheduled to go in the shop next week for the intermediate steering shaft problem. It's making the clunking noise when turning and also when going up and down my rather bouncy gravel driveway, there is a lot of popping in the steering wheel and column. However, over the last few days I've noticed a vibration that you can feel in the floorboard after you get up to about 60 mph and it seems to be getting worse. You can here it as well. It almost sounds like a bad tire, but I'm not feeling anything at all in the steering when it does this. In fact you can let go of the steering wheel and it holds straight and steady. Any ideas if this could also be related to the steering shaft issue or maybe a tire out of balance? I would think a tire issue would cause the steering wheel to vibrate as well. Thanks.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    You might take a close look at your rear tires; could be one of those has developed a problem (or thrown off a balance weight) and if bouncing somewhat (but you wouldn't feel it through the steering).
  • axinutaxinut Posts: 11
    I have a 2008 Impala with about 14K miles on it, :) I think mine has the ISS clunk. :( It has been making a clunky sound that seems to be coming from the left side of the car. I noticed last night that the noise seems to be coming from the steering column. It seems to be more pronounced when I put my foot on the brake pedal or take it off of the brake pedal.

    I would have thought after eight model years they would have corrected this issue. So I guess I will be off to the dealer in the next week or so to get it corrected.
  • wbowl99wbowl99 Posts: 133
    I've had a vibration almost from when I first got my 06 alnog with noise and clunking. Selling dealer's service said what they felt was normal and they could not replicate the noise and clunking. Then last week at 28K it started a new noise and bumping feeling when I would turn to the left and I could also feel it in the brake. Took it to a different dealer who replaced an outer tie rod and the steering shaft. When I first got it back I could feel a rubbing when I turned to the left, but that seems to have gone away. The steering is a little tighter now, though.
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