Chevrolet Impala Starting/Stalling Problems

neustkgneustkg Member Posts: 35
edited July 2015 in Chevrolet
Thought I would post this here as the Impala can have the same engine.

I have a 2000 Grand Prix GT w/3800 V6. Has about 89,000 miles. It seems to always start when it is cold. After it warms up completely, if you turn it off (to go into a store, etc.), and try to start it again, it sometimes will not start (happened about 3 times in the last month). It turns over, but won't start (sounds like it is flooded). It will sometimes eventually start after numerous tries, but will always start when the engine cools completely.

We took it into a decent local shop, but they told me it hasn't thrown any codes. They said it could be the crankshaft sensor, ignition module, or fuel pump. They don't want to just start replacing parts as each repair can be costly with the fuel pump being the most expensive. We were hoping that it would start failing more often, especially when they had it (it always started for them) as they can't really do much as long as it always starts for them. We thought the car problems were consistent (always starts when when cold, sometimes won't start when warm, but will eventually start when engine gets cold), but it threw us a curve the other day when the engine stalled while my wife was turning into our development. Luckily, she was able to coast it a half mile to our driveway. Again, after it cooled, it started.

I have heard that a bad battery or one that will soon fail (or one that is defective) can possibly cause this (the battery in the car is 4 years old), so I might take it to a shop and have them check it and maybe replace it anyway as this would be the cheapest fix that I can do myself.

Has anyone had this problem w/the 3800 V6? Any advice? I'm hoping that if the battery doesn't do it, the car will start failing so the shop can fix the problem.

See Also
How To Diagnose Problems If Your Car Won't Start


  • quietproquietpro Member Posts: 702
    I had a similar problem with my '94 Mercury Cougar. In my car, I believe it turned out to be the Mass Airflow Sensor or a component of the intake system. What I believe happens is that as the parts wear, they don't function up to full specs. What you might be hearing is the air being pulled past the components in the intake (between the air filter and intake manifold). Think of it as the type of sound of blowing across the top of a bottle. You are only hearing it intermittently because the outside temps are affecting the way the components are adjusting to get the fuel mixture optimized and the mass of the air being pulled through the system. Start making note of the outside air temps when this occurs and see if they are close to being the same. Mine only happened on cold mornings as well.

    In my particular case, the car seemed to run fine although I had engine ping at high rpms. I had assumed it was just the age of the car that was causing the ping but when I happened upon the intake air issues and fixed them, the ping was fixed as well. If you aren't noticing any real problems other than the noise (and this is indeed the problem), I wouldn't worry too much about it. It may never amount to anything other than a minor annoyance.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Member Posts: 872
    I had a 2000 Impala with the 3.8l engine...invariably when I had quirky electronic problems come up, they'd be followed by a dead battery...and when the battery was replaced, the problems went away. Can't say for certain that's your problem, but I had my car 8 years and I replaced the battery 3 times...first one lasted right around 3 years, 2nd one maybe lasted 2 years, and the 3rd one about the same. I just sold the car a few weeks ago with a battery that was about a year old, so I don't know how long it will hold up. Don't know what the problem was with short battery life, but I'd definitely get the battery checked, and if it's bad (or going that way) replace it and see if your other problems persist or not. I never had stalling issues, but had weird things going on with the radio controls and such that went away once the battery died and was replaced.
  • neustkgneustkg Member Posts: 35
    Well, I plan on going to Sears Automotive today to have them check the battery. It is 4 years old, and batteries tend to need replacing (for most of my cars) around that timeframe anyway. There's a good chance the cranking amps may be low enough that it won't start on cold winter day between now and late march, so it that's the case, I'll replace the battery.
  • kiefk0337kiefk0337 Member Posts: 7
    it was the engine fans.. one of the bearings was going in the engine fan i just replaced the entire thing (houseing everything) cost about 150 from advanced auto and took about 1- 1/2 - 2 hrs
  • ike12ike12 Member Posts: 2
    This intermintent starting issue and now with it stalling when it gets hot i be inclined to think you have a crank sensor. I had the same problem with a differant gm vehicle. im also a mechanic in central ny and i have seen that problem with those morors before. sometimes it can be a problem with the the security system. if that was the case it would just be an intermintent no start wouldnt matter if the car was hot or cold, but it wouldnt stall if it was in the security system. anyway my advise is change that crank sensor and ill bet your problem will go away.
  • neustkgneustkg Member Posts: 35
    Thanks for replying.

    Since I changed the battery (the old one was pretty much done for), I haven't had the problem in about 2 weeks (since Super Bowl Sunday). I'm pretty much sure the battery wasn't the cause of the problem and hope I'll see a code next time the car won't start. I am leaning heavily towards crank shaft sensor, too, but my shop advised against changing it until it fails and they witness the problem or see a code (just in case it might be fuel pump or ignition module).
  • cessna175cessna175 Member Posts: 4
    Iv'e had the security problems with my 01 Imapla but a new ign sw cured that. Now it cranks but no start sometimes. The Tech II scan tool showed low voltage to ign module and a crankshaft position sensor fault. I replaced the ign module and it worked for 5 weeks. Thought I had it fixed. Now it'll sometimes crank but not start. No ign from coil packs. I have power at 60A underhood fuses and power thru 15A DFI MDL fuse. Last time it wouldn't start I tapped on the IGN RELAY with a MAG light and it started. Swapped relay with foglamp relay but it still doesnt always start. The CRK PSN snsor is next but it's a [non-permissible content removed] to get at. I'm actually looking at a 2008 Malibu and this can be someone else's problem.
  • cessna175cessna175 Member Posts: 4
    It just so happens my son in a Chevy auto tech, 12 years in the business. He helps me keep it going. My '93 Silverado has 213K miles on it, thanks to him. The itermittent ign has him baffled too. Everytime I have him look at it, it works OK. The last time it would not start, he came right over and put the scan tool on it and guess what, no DTC's, Diagnostic Trouble Codes. He says he's seen camshaft sensors go bad but not too often crankshaft sensors. It was my idea to replace the ign module for troubleshooting. 200 bucks! He didn't want to replace it unless he knew it was bad. However, my wife said I'm not driving it til you do something cause it had quit twice while we were driving it. Replace something! That's how we used to fixed the airliners I worked on. The CRK POS SNSR is $59 and he said he'd put one in for me since the ign mdl didn't fix it. I'll let you know. Randy
  • neustkgneustkg Member Posts: 35
    If it is crankshaft pos. sensor, it will be around $250 to replace at a reputable shop (non-GM). I'm looking at that type of replacement, too, but the shop wants to make sure it is the crankshaft pos. sensor and not cam pos. sensor. Since replacing the battery, it died on the road (in motion) twice. The shop got an intermittent crankshaft sensor code, but want to make sure it isn't that and another thing, etc.
  • neustkgneustkg Member Posts: 35
    Had the above sensor replaced along with the fuel filter (which probably needed to be replaced). I am hoping this does the trick and the problem wasn't something else, like camshaft pos. sensor (knock on wood). Cost me about $330 and I'd like to not spend another $250 or so for the cam pos. sensor.
  • cessna175cessna175 Member Posts: 4
    My stalling 2001 Impala problem went away when I traded it for a 2008 Malibu the other day. No problems with that Impala for 95K miles til last summer when it began to act up. It quit in Wisconsin the other night 100 miles from home. That was the last straw I guess. At least it was 40 above and not 40 below that night. Waited 30 minutes and it started right up. Stayed in the right lane all the way home cause it kinda shakes your confidence in your car. It's at my son's dealership right now in the back row. If it acts up there, he'll have to fix it. One last thing, on our last trip home, at Powers Lake Wisconsin, the Check Engine light came on!! At least it set a fault so they can troubleshoot it.
  • kiefk0337kiefk0337 Member Posts: 7
  • 323456323456 Member Posts: 1
  • anunezanunez Member Posts: 3
    i have a 2000 chevy impala 3.8 having the same problems were you able to fix your problem if so what was your outcome thanks for any help
  • neustkgneustkg Member Posts: 35
    I was actually going to post a final reply, but I wanted to give it time to make sure no other problems surfaced.

    In early April, we had enough as the car stalled while my wife was turning into our development. She was able to coast it the half mile to our driveway. We took it to our shop and told them to just replace the crankshaft sensor (they wanted to wait until it actually threw a code). Cost us about $325 or so and hasn't had the problem since. But remember, it could have been a cam sensor, too, and we wouldn't be able to get a refund on the cranshaft sensor. We were pretty sure it wasn't the ignition module.
  • anunezanunez Member Posts: 3
    thankyou for responding so you changed both sensors on your car

    did your car have the check engine light on during the problem?

    thankyou for your time and help really thankyou !
  • neustkgneustkg Member Posts: 35
    Actually, only changed the crank sensor.

    Since the car NEVER gave a check engine light, therefore, no code, the shop didn't really want to throw parts at the car, but we told them we were tired of messing around and needed to give it a try, so we had the crankshaft sensor replaced (but DID NOT replace the camshaft sensor). We guessed right because it could have been the camshaft sensor instead, or maybe both.

    Cost around $300 for the part and labor. We also had them replace the fuel filter as we hadn't changed that in a while (but I doubt the fuel filter caused any of the problems).
  • YM60YM60 Member Posts: 1
    I have Chevrolet Impala 3.8 l LS 2004 with 60000 miles.
    Every few days or weeks i have starting problem. The lights and all the other things is ok but no starter !!! after a while i am trying again and the engine starting normal.
    sometimes everything is ok for weeks and sometimes it is not starting day after day.
    If somebody experienced the same problem i will thank him for his answer.
    Yoram Malkiman
  • tim135tim135 Member Posts: 2
    I have been experincing a problem with my impala not starting about once a week. everything seems fine but go to turn it over and nothing. have to jump to start it. took it in the mechanic said every thing checked out from the new battery to starter and alt. drains were all in acceptable range even after the 20 min. sleep mode. keyless entry dosnt work and havent been playing the radio out of fear that might cause it.
  • tim135tim135 Member Posts: 2
    I am also having this problem if you find out anything let me know please
  • cessna175cessna175 Member Posts: 4
    I've since traded the car and got a new Malibu. The SES light faulted a crankshaft position sensor. That was replaced and it solved the problem.
  • hauntedcarhauntedcar Member Posts: 1
    Hi,I bought a 2005 impala,3.4, a few months ago and I am sorry I did.I had the intermediate shaft replaced(common problem)felt like the steering wheel was coming apart at times.Then the service engine light came on..took it back to dealer and they couldnt find the problem.Had fuel injection cleaned.Then security alert came on message centre at times,while driving.Then my car just wouldnt start at times.Maybe a few hours later it would start..maybe not.Took it back to the dealer and they couldnt find a problem.see,the car would start messages either.
    I paid for a scan that turned up nothing.Someone suggested i remove the car starter.that was in it when i bought the car,(not factory).I had the dealer remove it.
    2 weeks later..all fine...THEN, light came back on,service engine light,and
    as i was in a parking lot waiting for it to decide to start ,someone suggested that i turn the key to acc and leave it on for 10 mins ,then start the car.IT WORKED.
    The next day I took it to the dealer ,put it on scan,they said wires in bcm came up.
    I am also having ignition switch replaced.Sure am seeing alot of this problem.Should be a recall for sure.Will update if it works..or not.
  • ja33ja33 Member Posts: 23
    At 36,000 miles my 2001 Olds Alero started having passlock starting problems. At first it was every other month and then after 2 years it happened with every other turn of the key. Since I am not the least bit mechanically inclined, I tried any and all procedures suggested on the internet except cutting wires, or installing a new switch. Eight months ago I decided to clean the grooves on my ignition key with a squirt of 3 in 1 oil. THE CAR STARTED RIGHT UP. I did it again for the next 3 days to gain little confidence in the procedure. THE ALERO CONTINUES TO START EVERY TIME

    Now once a month I oil the key, push it in and out of the switch slowly a couple times. When starting the car, do not jam the key in quickly and turn. Take your time. It seems to be a very sensitive switch, and needs a little TLC to prevent dirt build up. Try it. A little 3 in 1 oil squirt might save you a $500 repair bill. I told my GM dealer mechanic about this solution. He said "Yeah, it might work"

    Other Olds owners have tried this easy solution with favorable results. Try it and see if it works. I would appreciate hearing your results-good or bad. Don't use any special ignition key lubrication from an auto parts store. Just plain old 3 in one oil. Ja
  • gary_williamgary_william Member Posts: 52
    I cannot turn the ignition to start the car. the steering wheel is not locked, either (it turns freely in either direction). Is this a transmission lockout module problem, an ignition module problem, or a steering lockout module problem?
  • impala4impala4 Member Posts: 2
    Hi I have an 2003 impala, it started stalling a year back, at that point of time it used to be once in a couple of months, but of late ie, for the last 3 months, it happens weekly stalls while driving and doesn't start immediately, may be after 45 minutes it would, took to the mechanic ther was no code. It would give check engine light when ever I had this problem. Finally got the transmission , powersteering fluids changed and spark plug system changed costing $800, now after changing al these and spending so much , it is again giving the same problem , yesterday didn't start from the parking lot and today stalled while driving and again didn't start from the parking lot. I f any oone can help
  • neustkgneustkg Member Posts: 35
    I had a very similar problem. but in my case, no check engine light. I researched the problem and it looked like a high probability of the problem being the crankshaft sensor. Replaced that and problem went away.
  • impala4impala4 Member Posts: 2
    mechanic actually reset the crankshaft sensor code.......
  • kiefk0337kiefk0337 Member Posts: 7
    only occationally i have this problem... more often on cold days than warm. after the engine starts it whines for about 30-45 sec. at a high pitch almost like a train horn loud.. annoying. sometimes after the high pitched noise it will stay the same volume but lower a few octives.. the noise is for sure comming from the engine but its so few and far between that i can not pin point it. it still happens when the defrost is off so im guessing that it is not the compressor it was more frequent in near 0*F temperatures but it has been close to 40-50 and it is still doing it.. also my engine fan is running alot more than usual after im done driving. temp is normal on dash. im clueless any help would be great thanks kenny
  • kiefk0337kiefk0337 Member Posts: 7
    ok the noise has been absent since i post that except for today it came on once i was able to get out and pop the hood before it cut out. but it was still short, it sounded like it was coming from the non belt side "the driver side" of the engine. i also figured out that the low pitched noise was not the same as the high pitched or not coming from the same area.. i could not figure it out but both noises were going on at the same time. still baffled
  • rickosauverickosauve Member Posts: 3
    Does anyone know what emission code 420 controls, and how can it be repaired?
  • cobcob Member Posts: 210
    P0420 is Catalyst system efficiency below threshold. I assume there maybe a problem with your catalytic converter. There was a recall for converters on these cars especially from 2000-2002 you will notice a drop in power and poor fuel economy when it fails.
  • titaniumkidtitaniumkid Member Posts: 1
    My 2003 Chevy Impala LS engine misfires when accelerating or in cruise with drop in RPM, flashing check engine light, and lurch. No computer readouts except misfires all cylinders. Changed coil, harness, spark plugs, alternator, and catalytic converter twice - no help. Condition is intermittent.
  • twhaley1twhaley1 Member Posts: 1
    I was having the same intermittent trouble as you my car finally threw a code when I was a few miles from autozone, it turned out to be a crank shaft sensor was bad and the part was only $25 to replace but the labor is what cost you because it is buried behind the pulley. but since i got mine replaced i havent had any problems. :)
  • tim1981tim1981 Member Posts: 1
    i had this problem one day while i was at turned out to be a corroded battery terminal that caused this.....we only found this out because we tried to jump it and nothing would work out for it so i went to take the battery out and the terminal ( metal disc the cables screw into) was so corroded inside they fell out.....i went and got a new battery and it worked like a suggestion is check your terminals for your battery
  • dpolite11dpolite11 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 2001 chevy impala and one day it just started cutting off on me every time i got to a stop light, i made it home but when i was about to leave 30 mins later the car wouldnt crank. i was told it was my fuel pump so i got my fuel pump changed and that didnt solve the problem, i then changed many other pieces that did not solve my problem. one day i finally got it running and a couple days later it just cut off on me and wouldnt start again i came to it the next day and it started right up with no problem. a couple days after this it would just cut off on me while i was riding or slowing down. i took it to gm and they ran the diagnostic test and told me it was my fuel pump that i just changed. the car is really starting to make me mad because i cannot figure out what the problem is....any suggestions?
  • jschoenauerjschoenauer Member Posts: 1
    +My 2002 started doing the same thing when the engine was hot. Felt like either a transmission bucking, or a fuel pump sputtering, or a coil not firing a plug. I could hardly get the car up to speed when accelerating from a stop, and there are no codes thrown. I still need to get it checked, but have seen similar descriptions on the web and in most cases, it's a Torque Converter Clutch (TCC).

    I'm going to have it checked next week.
  • gigglefacegiggleface Member Posts: 2
    thats exactly what my 2002 impala is doing with the not accelerating and acting like its not getting enuff gas we had it on the diagnostic machine twice the first time it said a miss fired in cylinder one after we changed the plugs and wires it still was acting crazy we put it on the diagnostic machine again it threw us the code of the egr sensor changed the egr sensor still doing it. I was ready to put a for sale sign in it but I just bought it thanks for your help if you get yours fixed before me let me know if that worked I will do the same for you.
  • gigglefacegiggleface Member Posts: 2
    i also found this bit of information so when u go to have it checked u can let the person know hope it helps both of us

    Occasional problems on this vehicle are failures of the Torque Converter Clutch Solenoid, the 2-3 Shift Solenoid and the Transmission Valve Body. A sticking valve in the Transmission Valve Body or a faulty solenoid can cause erratic shifting or the check engine light to come on. The Transmission Valve Body can become dirty and plugged. The cost to repair the Torque Converter Clutch Solenoid is estimated at $40.09 for parts and $312.00 for labor or $331.50 for labor on vehicles with California emissions. The cost to remove and clean the Transmission Valve Body and repair the 2-3 Shift Solenoid is estimated to be $27.80 for parts and $487.50 for labor or $507.00 for labor on vehicles with California emissions. All prices are estimates based on $65.00 per flat rate hour and do not include diagnostic time or any applicable taxes
  • cobcob Member Posts: 210
    My 2004 Impala with 137,000 miles is getting the valve body repaired to fix the 1-2 shift solenoid and the code P1811 hi pressure fixed that causes the trans to shift hard thru all 4 gears. It also need the accumulator piston replaced which causes the vehicle to slam into gear from a stop sign. Total cost is estimated at $1300. The 4T65E transmission is in almost all GM large FWD cars from the late 1990s until now and they still will not take credit for poor engineering and cheap components. There will never be a recall on these because the new GM will blanme it on the old GM(bankrupt) and deny any resposability just like they did on the 2007-2008 impala rear suspension. I hate to put the money into a car but a car that doesn't run right along with $1300 cash will buy you another used car with a whole new set of problems.
  • djolle01djolle01 Member Posts: 1
    Was having an accelerating problem about 2 years ago, it ended up being a burned out, plugged up catalytic converter and it was throwing the EGR sensor code.
  • gpaul1gpaul1 Member Posts: 2
    try your MAF senser that was the prob with my 03 it costs about 610 at a dealer ship but it comes with a 12month 12000 mile waranty
  • determinedmom1determinedmom1 Member Posts: 1


  • ctp2001impctp2001imp Member Posts: 1
    Every time I go to start my 2001 Chevrolet Impala, it takes at least three tries before it cranks. its giving me what I remembered being a pf420 code below threshold. I replaced my o2 censor before the cat converter but no cigar. I also believe my alternator is falling behind because the brightness of all of the interior and ext lights fluctuates as well.

    I was told it was probably a crank sensor but wanted a second opinion before I go spending that money.
  • nick2006matrixnick2006matrix Member Posts: 42
    I assume you meant P0420 in your post. I did not see any mention of the crank sensor in this information:

    They mention a faulty cat or a faulty O2 sensor. The sensor after the cat is reading the same as the sensor before the cat.
  • sheldon7sheldon7 Member Posts: 2
    There seem to be several causes for this problem. I had the problem of randomly dying every few weeks while at idle or really low load driving. I think I fixed it with a new Idle air controller. In addition, this was also causing a bad (slow) shift into first gear for the first shift on a cold or coolish day and then the transmission would detect it and up the pressure. The idle was just too low sometimes and caused both problems. I had tried cleaning the MAF sensor, but while it may have helped it came back eventually.
  • swright1188swright1188 Member Posts: 1
    Like many post here I'm having an issue with stalling. At first it was very seldom and now it seems to happen at least once whenever I'm driving.

    When I initially start the car there's no problem with it turning over. The problem occurs when I'm at a complete stop like at a stop light or when I'm almost stopped (like rolling up to a stop sign). When I attempt to restart the car it turns back over with no problem, usually on the first try and will normally run for the rest of my drive. I have noticed just recently there's a bit of a struggle to accelerate at times and the rpm gage doesn't seem to reflect the speed that I'm going. Where do I even begin??! In dire need of some conformed advice!
  • bmopalabmopala Member Posts: 1
    My impala was doing the same thing, random dying on me, wouldnt start all the time. I am a mechanic in the army i know a little about troubleshooting and following wires. This was the worst headache of my life, my car was throwing crankshaft codes on both sensors, both o2 sensors and egr fault as well. i changed the crankshaft sensors both of them the 7x and 24x i changed the o2 sensors and the camshaft sensor as well. still nothing has changed i have a mexican jumping bean when leaving from stop signs and when barely pressing on the gas. i was late for work one day when my car wouldnt start for me at all, i got out got under the hood and was looking around i found a stripped wire on my Igntion module. Fiddled with the wire had my b uddy start the car it started right up, went straight to NAPA Auto Parts(wont go anywhere else to find the right part right away) Got a new plug. Changed the plug out, and havent had a problem with starting since. Still have a jumping when i start out from stop signs and lights. Changed the O2 sensors out tonight, while plugging everything back in i pulled on the egr plug(drivers side of ICM five wire plug) car shut off. Plan on changing that plug ASAP.

    As to most of the posts on this thread it seems like you all have the same problems just different ways of explaining them. if you are still having problems in these areas i would start by checking all your connections to you ICM there are three plugs one for you egr one for your crankshaft sensor and the other one is for i forgot but its the two pin on the passenger side check all of the wire since they are so close to the engine any jumping of them whiole driving could have melted the coating away and shorted them or the plug itself went bad from years of heating up cooling off heating up cooling off chevy didnt think about cooling of this engine very well. I have changed my two small fans over i went with the most expense fans i could buy from napa the bill is a little high but in the long run its better to have a cooler engine with this chevy fail burning out all of the electronics. If you want to upgrade your fans to keep it cool just go into your local napa and ask them for your year radiator with the police package, its def worth it gotta say i love mine and wont trade it for anything. i hope this helps some of you that are so frustrated with these problems i will be posting if i find anything else out after i change my egr vavle plug to the ICM. if anyone has any other questions feel free to ask i dont mind experimenting on my car to help you all out.
  • izzandrewizzandrew Member Posts: 1
    i just recently bought a 2006 impala and didnt have an issues with it until a month or so ago. i had to have the fuel pump replaced and it was still having problems starting, so i got the mass airflow sensor changed as well.. it worked fine for about a week and now it stalls at random times and it wont start unless i try 5 or 6 times and sometimes i even have to pull the fuel pump fuse and start it then put it pack in to get it to start... i work at a GM dealership but the mechanics have absolutely no clue as to whats wrong because the car has no check engine lights and no hidden codes anywhere... i need help on figuring out whats wrong with it... some friends who know about cars say it could be a fuel pressure regulator but my mechanic says it would be more constant, and others say it could be a faulty fuel pump that got put in.... im still paying off the car so any advice on what to check would be greatly appreciated!
  • aberger1aberger1 Member Posts: 1

    My 2003 Impala was stalling while at highway speeds, not starting when the engine was luke warm and occasionally the engine seemed to be out of sink with its various components (which I originally thought was the transmission since I slowly lost power and I had to up the RPM"S to keep it going). It was the Crankshaft Position Sensor aka the CKP. I had it replaced and I have had no problems since.

  • alleycat58alleycat58 Member Posts: 1
    Ok so my 2003 impala 3.4 v6 is doing the same exact thing. Runs great, starts cold, gets warmed up on a hot day and wont start after like a short trip into the grocery store. When it cools down it starts right up. So after reading several posts on different sites i tried a few things. Put alittle gas in the air intake and it started for a few seconds. I pulled the MAF plug and it wouldnt start. Tried several different things with the ignition switch and no start. After reading some comments about overheated crankshaft sensor i took a garden hose and ran cold water behind the crank pulley for about a minute. Started right up. Changing crank sensor tomorrow.
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