Chevrolet Impala Wind Noise

jaxs1jaxs1 Member Posts: 2,697
I took a test drive of a brand new 2007 Impala LT and I liked it. It a lot of nice features for a nice price including remote starter, a neat folding rear seat with grocery hooks and the car even had a standard AUX input for a portable MP3 player.
It also drove smoothly, was comfortable and the instant fuel economy gauge showed great mileage on the highway of easily over 30 mpg most of the time except on inclines. Almost the ideal car for what I was looking for for long distance commuting (good highway fuel economy, comfort and very low maintenance).

The biggest, glaring problem was very high wind noise coming form the driver's side windows/doors at normal highway speeds (60-75MPH).
I thought the car was a great highway cruiser until I took it on the highway. I actually opened and closed the windows a couple times on the test drive to make sure they were shut properly because it was so shocking to hear this noise in a new car, when my older car didn't have the same problem.
I read the other, now closed forums on the 2006+ Impala and there were several complaint posts concerning unusually high wind noise.
The car has been around long enough that they shouldn't still be having quality control issues.
I wonder why they can't fix this and how common is this?

I also had a few other minor complaints about the car (Rear seat is just OK in room and rear foot room under the front seats is tight for a car this big. Lack of seat-mounted side airbags to protect your torso, lack of stability control etc..), but I could probably overlook those smaller issues if the car didn't have that annoying wind noise.


  • rysterryster Member Posts: 571
    My Impala has several noises (creaks, rattles, tire noise), but wind noise at highway speeds is not an issue on my 2006 LT. Perhaps the sample you drove had misaligned doors. I would try another example and see if it does the same thing.

    The Instant Fuel Economy feature in the Driver Information Center is not a good indicator of gas mileage. I have played with that feature in my LT and found it to be useless. It will indicate 99mpg anytime you are coasting. The gauge will show readings of 50+ mpg when traveling on a flat stretch of road at 35-45mph. On the highway, traveling at 55mph, it will read 39mpg. If I went by the readings on my Instant Fuel Economy gauge I would expect to see 30mpg as my actual fuel economy on a regular basis.

    For the past 4,000 miles the best I have been able to average with the Impala is 22-23mpg. My usual average is 21-22mpg in mixed driving. Even after taking a 100 mile highway jaunt, that tank of gas had a 23mpg average. The Average Fuel Economy gauge is a much more accurate indicator of actual mileage. Mine is always within 1mpg of what I actually get.

    If you test drive again, set the Driver Information Center to the Average Fuel Economy measurement and make sure the vehicle is averaging what you expect it to.

    The Impala gets the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety's highest rating for side impact protection. The Impala's head curtains seem to be just as good as seat mounted side restraints.

    GM has an odd habit of taking forever to work out quirks with cars, and then cancels them just as the car gets as good as it can. I think I read that the Impala will be all new for '09 or '10, so this one will have just about a 4-year run before it goes away.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Member Posts: 2,697
    I thought wind noise was a very common issue, since the 2006+ Impala board here (that Edmunds has closed to new posts) has several posts mentioning the noise that I immediately noticed on the highway.
    The dealer only has 2 new Impalas and the other was an SS that I wasn't interested in. Maybe I'll try to find another dealer with a better selection so I can test drive another to see if that noise is a very common.
    I might need to order an Impala to get exactly the options and colors I want, but I'd hate to wait 2-3 months for it and take the chance of getting one of the ones with the wind noise issues.
    I don't want to deal with hearing creaks and rattles on hours long road trips either, so if creaks and rattles are an unsolvable problem on these Imapalas, then I will probably look elsewhere even if the wind noise can be fixed.

    I'm not surprised that the current Impala will have "only" a 4 year run since it is so heavily based on the previous generation Impala. This Impala is not "all-new," it is mostly a restlye of the 2005 and older Impalas. The basic design is very old.
    This is just like how the Taurus was restlyed for 2000 even though it is mostly the same as the 1996-1999 Taurus under the surface.

    I plan to do lots of highway driving, so I want a car that is very comfortable and quiet on long highway trips, gets good highway mileage and also has very low maintenance costs and requirements since I will be racking up lots of miles every year.

    Is the Impala the best choice for this? There are other cars that get better gas mileage, but they usually are too noisy and uncomfortable for long trips and/or they would need to be in for maintenance way too often at too high cost.

    I thought I saw a crash test somewhere that gave the Impala only acceptable scores on some part of the test. I thought it was the side impact score.

    I also noticed ABS is not standard after I left the dealer and looked up more info on the Impala online. If I had been ready to buy and there wasn't that wind noise, I might have bought that Impala LT without realizing it didn't have ABS since ABS is so widespread now that I assumed it would have been standard. The only cars I would bother to check for it is on the cheapest economy cars that everyone knows ABS is an optional item.
  • rysterryster Member Posts: 571
    The most disappointing aspects of my 2006 LT are the creaks and rattles. Otherwise I would have a much higher opinion of my car. I am not anxious to have the dealer tear into the dash and the door to find the sources of my noises, so I am not sure of how easy it would be for them to be fixed.

    I have felt/fabric shims wedged into my dash in a couple of spots where the top of the dash meets the dash face, and that has helped some of the creaks a little. I still get others depending upon the outside temperature or the texture of the road surface I am driving on. The plastic trim piece at the base of the windshield is very flimsy and poorly assembled/attached, so it is a source of a couple of the constant creaks.

    My LT does not have the ABS option, and the stopping power is just fine. This is the first car I have had since '95 without ABS and rather enjoy it. Chevy made ABS an option on the Impala a few years ago, I believe, to give consumers a perception of lower pricing. ABS is standard on LT3's, LTZ's, and SS's.

    The Acceptable rating the Impala received was in the frontal offset crash. Side impact was rated "Good" (the highest rating).

    I think the 2000-2005 Impala was a much better design. My parents had an '03 that was much more solidly put together than my '06. The styling and the interior of the '06+ is much more attractive, but the overall quality just doesn't seem to be there.

    If you go for an LT, also make sure you can handle the noise and ride that the standard Goodyear Integrity tires provide. I am not too thrilled with them.

    The current Impala is new enough that Chevy has some kinks to work out.

    Only you can decide if it is the right car for you. The Impala cruises well on the highway, but there may ultimately be better and more comfortable options if that will be the main use for the car.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Member Posts: 2,697
    OK, maybe a 4 cylinder Camry XLE will be a better choice. It should be quiet and comfortable enough for long trips and get slightly better highway mileage with much higher city mileage.
  • whale53546whale53546 Member Posts: 1
    My 09 Impala develops an annoying wind noise from the driver side (window?/door?) from 40-45 MPH on up. Did that from the get-go.

    I've had it in three times voicing that complaint, and each time when I picked the car up they've told me they've 'adjusted the door but that they can do that just so many times'.

    It's hard to trouble shoot when in motion, but I'm sure a dealer has ways to shoot air around the seals and see what the problem is.

    Yet, the problem persists. My dealer is highly-rated, but the next time I get a request to rate their service, I'm going to tell it like it is.
  • darkfire666darkfire666 Member Posts: 8
    i have the same wind noice but its not the door its the front window and i to have the same flimsy plastick trim wonder if removing it is a good idea or not
  • kwethington1kwethington1 Member Posts: 1
    I recently purchased an 2008 Impala and have the problem that several of the other writers in this blog do, driver's side wind noice at highway speeds.

    What I do not see is/are any possible realistic solutions to the problem. I do not consider buying the next years version or buy a different brand an answer. I have owned Toyota's in the past, they also have their problems.

    Someone must know how to get rid of it! In my car the area of the window wind noise is about three or four inches long at the top of the window and always in the same place.

    Any possible solutions would be greatly appreciated.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    This company might make wind deflectors that could possibly cure your problem:
  • clamman69clamman69 Member Posts: 3
    I wish I had seen this blog before I bought this car, which I did two weeks ago. I probably would not have bought it. Now that I have taken in out on the highway at 50-60, I too hear an irritating high wind noise from somewhere. Not sure of the source. I have played with open/closing windows one at a time, and the sun roof. I see no change. Otherwise I love the car. But of course that's why I bought it!

    I am wondering how I can deal with correcting this, or if I even can? Should I spend time at the dealer service to try to get them to deal with it? Or do I have to bite the bullet and turn the radio volume up to cover up the noise? Which helps.


  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252

    If you do decide to get this checked out with your dealership, please keep us updated on how your visit goes. We can be reached at [email protected] if you should need anything (include your name, contact information, and the last 8 digits of your VIN with your inquiry).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • clamman69clamman69 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks. I called the GM dealer service department, and asked them if they had encountered any noise problems with the Impala before. Of course they said no - not with the Impala anyway. Anyway, he was nice enuff, and very receptive to looking at my car ant testing it extensively for the noise problem. I put him off until after Thanksgiving, at which time I will turn the car over to him for as long as he wants. The car is under warranty, which should be in my favor. We shall see. This is a disappointment to me. I have owned GM for a long time. In fact, I am driving an S10 right now. And, this Impala replaces a 2001.

  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    Good morning John,
    I'm glad to hear that you had a good interaction with your dealership of choice and look forward to hearing back from you after your appointment post-Thanksgiving. I hope you have a great, family-filled holiday!
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • clamman69clamman69 Member Posts: 3
    It is Thanksgiving Day, and of course I have not done anything on all this yet. However, I did take note of the crazy tires/rims on this car, and I have to wonder if just maybe the noise I am hearing isn't coming from the spinning rims/tires? There is a lot of air space between the ten spokes of the rim. So much space that I can clearly see much of the brake rotor. I think the rims are 18", and the tires are super thin-something new to this old man.

    Just a thought.
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