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2005 and Earlier Chevrolet Impala



  • I believe the police cars have the base instrument panel (no tach). Maybe they changed with the 2002 version. It should be a easy swap out, however the odometer does not auto-update. For instance, if your car has 10,000 actual miles on it and the gauge from the doner car says 30,000 miles when you install it in your car, the odometer will still read 30,000. The dealer can re-program it for you, the question is will they and how much would it cost.
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,483
    Do not use Fram, Penzoil, or Quaker State filters (all made by Fram), and do not use Penzoil or Quaker State oil (They don't hold up well). Don't use any "no-name" generic filters or oil either. Stick with recognized brand names, except the aforementioned.

    Mobil 1 is an excellent synthetic, available for a decent price at Costco. Mobil 1 oil filters have an excellent rep, as well. Amsoil synthetic oil and filters are considered to be among the best by many "experts", but are pricey.
  • hvan3hvan3 Posts: 630
    I dont' think the dealer can reprogram the odometer. It is against the law to do anything to the odometer reading.
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,483
    I thought it was required when replacing an odometer, to keep it accurate. Or, is it just necessary to document the change on paper, I wonder?
  • jbk5jbk5 Posts: 26
    What's wrong with Pennzoil oil? I'm just curious. That's what I've always used and we've had cars run well over 140,000 miles and still running great when we sold them. I'm not saying it's the best I've just never heard of any problems.
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,483
    I guess it's OK, if you change your oil every 3000 miles or so. But, the prevailing opinion by almost all pro and DIY mechanics that I've encountered is that Pennzoil and Quaker State (both Pennsylvania crude) break down long before other non-PA brands.
    I don't know if they still pull oil out of the ground in PA, or if it's just a certain grade or refinement process.
    Does anybody else here know?
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    If your speedometer/odometer is changed usually because it is broken the last mileage indicated is suppose to be documented and a sticker or paper taped with the information usually in a visible location. Most often it is placed where you open your drivers door just below the lock mechanism. If you replace it with an odometer that already has mileage on it, this information should also be documented. The idea is to give an accurate mileage of the vehicle when it is sold and also for warranty purposes. I believe its the law.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    I spoke to the service manager at the Chevy Dealership where I bought my 2001 Impala LS, regarding motor oils. This Chevy dealership uses Quaker State (peak performance motor oil) exclusively. I have a Quaker State oil container and it states that it exceeds all specifications that are required for a 5w 30 or 10w 30 motor oil. I went to our local auto shop and read the Penzoil label. Also exceeds all requirements.

    Jeff Gordon #24 has been sponsored by Quaker State for the past few years in his Nascar Monte Carlo. Steve Park #1 Penzoil is his sponsor for his Monte Carlo. John Force is sponsored by Castrol GTX in is Mustang Funny Car. I personally believe that all popular name brand multigrade motor oil blends available meet or exceed all specifications that our Impalas' require. Its just a personal preference.

    Its just like gasoline they all have their own additives. As long as you use at least an 87 octane gasoline for your Impala thats all that matters.......
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    I have also heard that for over 20 years.
    They emulsify faster than other brands.
    I used quaker state in my Camaro a couple of times and it literally couldn't take the heat.
    The oil pressure would drop after about 1000 miles.
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,483
    Well, you can use what oil you like. But I certainly wouldn't view a paid sponsorship as some kind of personal endorsement. We don't really know what oil they actually put in their engines, do we? We do know what brand of oil is painted on the side of the car, though. Even if they did use it, they change it every race, along with many of the internal parts, no?

    I'd be more apt to listen to mechanics and shadetree types like b4z than almost anything said by almost any dealership mechanic. Shoot, if it wasn't for warranty repairs, I'd never set foot in one.

    BTW, Wal-Mart brand motor oil (powertech or somesuch) also says it meets or exceeds etc. Are you gonna pour that in your engine?
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    You can find a 100 different mechanics, and some will tell you that Fords are better then Chevys. Some will say Chevys are better then Chryslers. etc etc.... If ALL mechanics believed in one manufacture example FORD. Then ALL mechanics would be driving Fords. Its obvious you had a bad experience with your car. I know Camaros/Firebirds and Corvettes from the late 60's to the early 90's had poor engine reliabilty with the 350's that they used at the time. The California Highway Patrol (CHP)bought several Police package Camaros in the late 80's and most didn't make 6 months before the engines self destructed. They were probably using Mobil oil and that caused all the problems. Ya thats it!! Articles were in Motor Trend and Car and Driver at the time about Chevys 350 engines not being up to snuff. For years (CHP) refused to buy from General Motors because of the costly engine problems they had experiences with their Camaros. Many of the oils that stores like Wal-Mart etc sell are made by larger companies such as Mobil, Quaker State, Castrol etc. They just brand it with a different name, and make it to their specifications. As I stated earlier my General Motors Chevrolet Dealership uses Quaker State. Quaker State is the only oil company that offers a 10 year 250,000 mile warranty if you use their products in your new vehicles. As I stated I don't prefer one oil over another. If you are going to drive 50 miles to another GM dealer because you like the color of the label on the Mobil containers then I guess thats your perogative.
    I am no expert on oil, gasoline or any other part you need for your car. I do know that large companies like Fram, Quaker State, Penzoil wouldn't be in business for years, today if their products weren't bought by many satisfied customers. Its obvious you had a bad experience with your Camaro. Because they no longer make Camaros what does that say for them. Camaros major competetor The Mustang was there since 64' and sales are going stronger then ever.

    If you go to Google and type in Pennsylvania Oils, read all the sights (I read several) I didn't see one negative comment about Pennsylvania oil products, as you state. Some sights compare to Alaskan crude and state that Pennsylvania oils are superior in many ways.

    Maybe you should be less patriotic and just demand oil from Iraq....
  • jbk5jbk5 Posts: 26
    Well I think everyone has made their point regarding oil. I was only wondering why garypen doesn't like Pennzoil. And despite his explanation, I think I will still use it. I'll let anyone know if my oil pressure goes down!! And since I actually have a Monte Carlo SS and not an Impala (as my parents do, which I have driven a lot), I will be able to tell because I have an oil pressure gauge. Hope nobody minds me participating on this board even though I have an MC, hey it's almost the same car!
  • atbearatbear Posts: 322
    Well I went by the dealer today to get my extra bracket for my exhaust and I saw an 03... The Rocker Panels are grey plastic!!!! Can y'all believe they would do that??? it's the cheapest looking thing I've ever seen..... I'd be pissed it I would have waited for an 03 and got that... I can't believe they did that... and I was petitioning for body colored side moldings.... HA!
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,483
    You guys go ahead and put whatever you like in your crankcase. All the evidence really is anecdotal. But, personally, I will avoid something that so many people have recommended to avoid. Even if there's the slightest doubt, I will not take that chance. I don't care if these brands are recommended, especially by people who are paid to recommend them. After all, plenty of doctors did cigarette ads back in the 50's.

    As for Fram filters, and Quaker State and Pennzoil filters which are simply repainted Frams, I would not ever put one on my engine. Ever. They are absolute crap. Poorly designed and shoddily constructed of cheap materials.

    The can can be crushed in one hand. The filter element is too small. The bypass doesn't work. End the element end caps are CARDBOARD. It also says something to me that Pennzoil/Quaker State is willing tp put their names on that garbage.

    Finally, Quaker State owns Slick 50, worthless snake oil that may actually do more harm than good for your engine, that is more suited to late night infomercials like its formulaic cousins, DuraLube and ProLong. Again, what does that say about the company?
  • hvan3hvan3 Posts: 630
    There's really no difference what brand oil you use as long as it's a major brand name. Same can be said about gasoline. Here in Southern California, I use Arco gasoline because it's the cheapest compare to Chevron, Texaco, or Mobil.

    It is highly unlikely that my Impala will break down because of the brand name I choose for oil and gasoline. Good grief. Go ahead and spend premium money on whatever brand you choose. Chances are my Impala will last just as long has yours regardless of what major brand name I use.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    I think you guys may be reading too much into my Camaro experience.
    This is one type of car and one type of engine that runs at an extremely hot temperature.
    If my Impala were ever even get close to 220-230 degrees I would be at the dealership so fast it would make your head spin.
    In fact, if my Impala were to even got to 200 degrees I would run to the dealer.
    This is how I discovered that my upper intake manifold was warped. I had been smelling anti freeze on and off and noticed that while at a McDonald's drive thru the temp was slightly abve the halfway has mark.
    I had never seen it this high before.
    Our Impalas and Monte Carlos will never run as hot as my Camaro.
    It doesn't make a whole lot of difference to me what I put in the Impala. Because it will never stress the oil.
    But the camaro gets Valvoline HD Racing 20w-50.
    The only dino oil that I have tried that doesn't cause my oil pressure to drop.
    That is my experience from almost 70 oil changes and after trying Quaker, Pennzoil, Castrol GTX, etc. in the Camaro.
    The quickest oil pressure drop occured with Quaker State.
    In 1992 i drove from SC to Chicago and by the time I had gotten to Kentucky, (less than 400 miles) the oil pressure ahd already dropped.
    That's all I've got to say about that.
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,483
    I still wait for my preferred oil brands to go on sale. I certainly don't believe in wasting money. They're all priced around the same, anyway, so money really isn't the issue.

    As for gas, I definitely do notice a difference. I recently switched to 76 here in CA, as they don't use MTBE. What started out as a purely environmental decision turned out to have the pleasant side effect of boosting my car's performance. (XJS, not Impala. I haven't tried the it in the Impala yet.)
  • garywgaryw Posts: 116
    Ok - here is an update to last weeks discussion and solicitation for input. I used GMBuypower to find a black/neutral LS since I prefer the lighter interior. Its a tough call to pass up the exhaust/strut brace/gauge changes in the Sport app. pkg., but I prefer the lighter interior.

    Here is the final offer:
    MSRP: $26,840 (neutral lther, sunroof, upgraded stereo)
    Sale Price: $21,265 (w/rebates/holdbacks)
    My GM card rebate: $4000
    My trade: $9000
    Final price: $8265

    I am adding the tailight covers for $250 and may add 17-inch rims. Anyone know if the 1996 SS rims will fit this car?
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Awesome price. I paid $21,087 for my '01 that had a MSRP of $25,505.
    Impala SS rims will not fit those are RWD rims not FWD.
  • garywgaryw Posts: 116
    B4Z - any recommendations on wheels/tires. I really like the 17-inch Borbet Type VM's at Tirerack.
  • atbearatbear Posts: 322
    Don't feel bad garyw, you did the right thing!! The LS has the same strut tower brace and exhaust system as the Sport! It's just the Sport has a chrome exhaust tip... The instrument panels are different, and I'm trying to upgrade my LS to the Sport Instrument cluster right now....
  • jbk5jbk5 Posts: 26
    Does the LS sport instrument cluster have a voltmeter and oil pressure gauge like the Monte Carlo SS?
  • atbearatbear Posts: 322
    No the LS doesn't have Oil Pressure or Voltometer guages... Nor does it have a 140mph speedometer like the Sport Package.... I'd like to get one from the Sport Package to put in my car so I'd have those 3 features...
  • garywgaryw Posts: 116
    ATBEAR - at lunch I went and looked at an LS w/sport pkg. and saw that the gauges were not white faced (I thought they were). Other than that the changes are barely noticeable. The carbon fiber does nothing for me. Thanx for setting me straight on the strut brace. And I can throw a chrome tip on the exhaust for $100.

    The rims...its all in the rims for dressing it up. I just have to find a good deal on some. I wish the 96 17's fit so I could keep it factory fresh. Oh well.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    There is also another Borbet thats pretty nice.
    One of the guys on here but ICW's on, but they were 18's.
    You can also go to and look at some of the impalas there although I lot of them are too blingbling for me.
    I am not a big fan of a lot of chrome.
    I prefer the polished, silver or machined face like my '01 LS.
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,483
    Does blingbling cost extra?
  • Yuo get one Blingbling with each case of Quaker State.
  • bsappbsapp Posts: 21
    always wondered what those things were and now I know. Thanks.....

  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    blingbling always costs extra.

    There is even a Spring Break event in Daytona called, whatelse......."SpringBling".

    Who was that great philosopher who once said, "I got my mind on my money and my money on my mind?"
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,483
    I thought blingbling was the sound your engine made after using it. Hiyo!
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