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2005 and Earlier Chevrolet Impala



  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    I simply don't have the time to deal with a car that is in the shop.
    I can drive the Camaro, but it is not suitable for clients and has no a/c.
    The other thing that bothers me about the car is
    the poor paint quality.
    I have multiple chips on the hood and front end.
    The roof has been etched by tree sap and bird droppings. etc. etc.
    The Impala is an excellent highway car and is very comfortable.
    I will keep it until the family vacations are over
    (we are all very tall).
    If I take clients in the CTS I will just have to pull the seat up until my knees touch the dashboard.
    My other choices are Avalanche(without body hardware) for 28K out the door and Marauder also at 28K out the door.
    The CTS will be about 32K with discount.
    But the '04s with the 255hp engine are a revelation.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    I test drove a Marauder. Be aware that rumors are rampant the car will soon be discontinued. Ford hasn't confirmed those rumors, but they ain't denied them either.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    It will be discontinued. I think 2004 will be the last year.
    Ford has not seen foot to put any money into the development to get more low end torque.
    The 5 speed auto from the Aviator would solve the low end torque issues but it has a completely differnet computer system, harnesses, etc.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    I don't think the lack of power was the only issue with this car,its huge, its heavy, and it ain't cheap.. but even with a larger engine and more torque would not compete with current Altimas and Maximas with their 3.5 engine....only a few nostalgic Ford lovers showed true interest in the car....Same with the current retro T Bird...sales are way below expectations it will also probably be discontinued within a year or 2........ the 1994-1996 Impala SS cars were not big sellers.....I believe they sold only 56000 total in 3 years...and GM realized they could make more money making pickup trucks at that Arlington Texas plant....I am surprised that GM isn't using the the current Impala platform in NASCAR as all the other brands racing are converted 4 door models.....INTREPID, GRAND PRIX, AND TAURUS for 2003....The Impala is a hot seller and currently outsells the Monte Carlo 3 - 1...using the Impala body would inspire the sportyness of the Impala now that they offer the Impala SS again..Come on CHEVY lets race the Impala!!!!!
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    The lower production of the Impala SS was not a sign that it was not a hot seller.
    '94 production was limited by wheel manufacturer.
    '96 production went to December '96.
    The Imapla SS was a huge hit and dealers sold every one they could get their hands on.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    I saw the spy pictures of this car in late 1992 when word was that John Moss was given permission to spruce up the aging Caprice..It made its debut in 1993 and I saw my first one at the at the Toronto Auto show....I was impressed with the the cool black grille black paint and sporty 17" wheels.When I looked inside I couldn't believe it was the same old Caprice with digital dash no tach, it had bucket seats with a console but was auto shift on the column..It had the SS emblems but it was obvious little money was spent on the interior of this car. I couldn't wait for the first one to arrive at one of our local Chevy Dealers...I was very fortunate to be able to take one out for a spin....for a large heavy sedan with a detuned Corvette engine it had lots of torque, probably a 1/2 second faster to 60 then my curent Impala LS..certainly a very stiff ride compared to my 2001 Impala LS.. I saw magazine road tests between 6.5 - 7.8 seconds to 60.. but again little attention was made to the interior which is very important to me..the car turned a lot of heads but most everyone that I talked to indicated that Chevy didn't go far enough (as they usually do) to make this car a stunner in all was obvious this would be a short production run....B4z you are right they sold everyone they produced...but GM decided that making money (which is why they are in business) was more important then making important upgrades to this car that it so desperately needed in this car competetive there is a very thin market for cars of that size and weight as is the same with the Marauder...the sporty, powerfull midsize sedans is where the action is today in 2003.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    That is why I am looking at the CTS.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    This is one of the more objective reviews of the Imp IMO:
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    No posts on the Impala thread in 5 days?

    That has got to be a record.

    Check engine light now on the Impala.

    One more thing for me to check.
  • abmultiabmulti Posts: 1
    I believe my ISS is going bad.Am out of warranty (2000). Does any one know how difficult it is to change this out my self? I can get a new ISS for about $90 and was thinking of doing the grease kit as well for $30. The dealer's time is approx. 1hr. to do grease.Also, where can I get a write up for the procedure to change this. As to the problem of coolant going bad (acidity)and leaking the manifold,it is worth while to change coolant every 2yrs. or 25kmiles.The coolant question has me puzzled as,if the coolant is going acidic and causing leaks in the plastic manifold then i would think that EVERY 3.8 would have to eventually have the manifold replaced.No? Or is there some other possible factor with the intake plastic going bad.
  • txguytxguy Posts: 57
    The leaking manifold is due to heat warping the plastic. The failure rate on the thermoplastic manifolds must be high. When mine was replaced I had to wait a couple of days because the parts warehouse serving the Houston area had 15 on back order.

     The new coolants do break down and cause problems with engine interiors but it's with metal parts and seals. The Dexcool should be changed every 24 months to avoid that problem.

    My '01 LS is pushing 55k miles, no squeeks, rattles or any other signs of age. It looks great and runs even better!
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Body color moulding makes a big difference
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I hope there are more substantive improvements than the making the body trim the same color as the paint. The window trim and grill are still black so what's the big deal? Are there any safety or performance improvements?
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    My understanding is that minor changes to the 2004 Impala and LS...same engines and horsepower (Impala SS 240 hp but you knew that)...a couple new colors, new style sports cloth seats and leather .....and the 2004 Police Impala fuel shutoff will now be 129 mph with an engine oil supercharged engine available for the Police Impala, same 200hp 3800...A lot of cities in the USA ordering the Intrepid Police squads. Over $1200 cheaper then the Impala and top speed 135 mph...Intrepids have the same problems as the Police Impalas loss of three inches in the front seat travel to accomodate the prisoner cage in the back seat..Officers over 6 feet 2" complain of lack of leg room in the front...Our Ontario Provincial Police used Impalas for two years and I understand they cancelled a large order of them and ordered Crown Vics nephew is a police officer and tells me at very high speeds the Crown Vic is more stable then the police Impalas....During the past year on ebay I have seen several used Police Impalas for sale and most have the ticking cradle problem...I thought the Police cradle was stronger, but I guess not strong enough...The Police Impala needs more is the slowest to accelerate to 100 mph (Crown Vic & Intrepid 2 seconds quicker)...The Police Impalas are much more efficient fuel economy wise then the Crown Vics but maitenance costs are much higher....Kansas city police chief said the Crown vic costs 2.7 cents per mile maintenance costs, the Police Impalas over 5.7 cents per mile.....the front ends are very prone to high repair costs.....
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Thanks for the info.

    As a layman it is hard for me to understand that the largest auto company in the World can't design a proper front suspension.

    Mine now bangs away on bumpy roads.
    Just like my Intrigue did.
  • vcjumpervcjumper Posts: 1,110
    You have to realize that the W-body is a fairly new design and these suspension issues will probably be fixed in the near future.
  • dgonzalez13dgonzalez13 Posts: 110
    My base 2000 Impala is still running strong, and smoothe. Swapped out the tires last year, new brakes and rotors last year too. But after 2 rear end collisions and 2 sideswipes to the front passenger side it has always been driven away as if nothing happened (while the Volvo and Jeep Liberty were towed). I can put up with the little creaking noise from the front end till I get a new 2004 Impala, but if the new one creaks like this, I will return it as quick as possible. Anyone know of the complete list of ADD/DELETES on the 2004 Impala's compared to the 2003, or 2002?
  • mihasimihasi Posts: 2
    Sounds stupid, but up to now I'm not sure should I use Syntetic or Regular Motor Oil. The same vagueness with gas. 81 / 89 /91 octane?
    Please advise.
  • dgonzalez13dgonzalez13 Posts: 110
    If you own it and plan to keep it for 5 years or more, Synthetic oil. Whether you own or lease, you can use the low octane gas with no problems. Just stay away from cheap watered down gas places, using them for more than a fill up usually turns on my check engine light. The problem disappears after filling up and burning through 2 tanks of name brand gas.

    Synthetic and lowest octane gas seem to be working for me. Good luck with your car.
  • bearmerbearmer Posts: 37
    There hasn't been a successful unibody police car. They aren't strong enough for the abuse they get. Changing the cradle or the suspension won't help. Consider climbing a curb at 20 mph. The front cradle mounts don't give any strength to absorb the shock load from the wheels. They just give stiffness to the front clip. No matter how creative they get, the rear cradle mounts are attached to the floor pan sheet metal. Even if they add a lot of metal to the area, the force is all applied locally. A box frame is what's needed to remove the forces from the body.
  • drivinisfundrivinisfun Posts: 372
    Found a very eager buyer during the weekend for my '01 LS. They loved the car and within 20 minutes or so the deal was sealed! I am glad because the car is going to a new loving home and I know the new owners will take good care of it just like I did for 27 months and 21.9K miles. The car is an absolute cream puff....looks showroom fresh inside and out. The person that bought it from me could not believe how had I managed to get the doors and side panels of the car free from parking lot door dings and scratches. I had all the maintenance records and they did not want to see them....they said that the car was practically in brand new condition and had no doubts about the degree of care it had received. They are getting the last 10 months remaining in the factory warranty.

    Sold it for $13,500. I think I did really well on the sale. These cars are retailing in my area between $13K and $14.3K. I was asking $13.9K so I gave them a nice $500 break for them to take it right away. I will be signing over the certificate of title over to them this week to complete the deal (Car was already fully paid off).

    I really enjoyed my Impala and had troublefree service from it. This car has not a single squeak and rattle...tight as a drum!.

    I am looking forward to my next car, a '04 MINI Cooper S.

    I'll be around from time to time to answer questions about the Impala as I had a fare share of experience with these wonderful cars.

    Thanks to all. This discussion thread has been great and informative.

    Best of luck to the rest of you holding onto their Impalas.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    You did really well. 13.5k is excellent for a '01 Impala LS private party sale.
  • hvan3hvan3 Posts: 630
    My LS is now near 37K miles. Last week, I had my battery replaced. It was such a pain in the butt. You have to remove the bar that sits on top of the battery. Then, when I removed the cable from the battery, the metal terminal (+) came loose from the battery. Thus, it took me about 15 minutes to remove the metal nut away from the cable. I returned the old battery to Pep Boys, and the guy at the parts counter told me that the AC Delco batteries are known to have the metal terminal come lose from the battery.

    My Impala LS car history:

    1) About 2K miles, engine had a slight hestitation. Had the ECM software upgraded at 13K miles. Problem fixed.

    2) At about 31K miles, had my ISS lubed. Problem fixed.

    3) At 32K miles, had my front brakes replaced

    4) At 36.7K miles, had my battery replaced.

    Overall, I"m still very satisfied with my Impala!!
  • mihasimihasi Posts: 2
    Where can I get some Repair Manuals. On-line versions?
  • discgolferdiscgolfer Posts: 72
    I also replaced my battery this weekend. Just over 3.5 years, 48,000 miles. The girl at the register at Pep Boys said they only wanted $5.95 to do the work, but when I went to the service area, the guy said they were REALLY busy. Not wanting to wait, and figuring that changing a battery is easy enough, I went home to do it myself. Same thing. Ended up having to remove the cross bar, and also finagle the old battery out, sideways, on its end, and there was no handle to hang on to. It was a bit of a pain, but I was able to complete the job in about 20 minutes. It really was a pain, considering it was only a battery. Hardest battery I ever had to change...
  • ehennessehenness Posts: 92
    I have a minor correction. There indeed have been many successful unibody cop cars. Every Chrysler Corporation car (except the 1960-1967 Imperial) was unibody since 1960, and they had well over 60% of the police market for many years, and were a strong contender for police sales until the Diplomat/Gran Fury were discontinued in 1989.

    Also, Chevy's Nova was unibody, and it was a successful (in performance, at least, maybe not by sales volume) police car.

    I think you mean front drive cars, given your later points (which are correct). You can and did have unibody RWD cars. The FWD cars are also unibody, but have other problems (as stated)--the whole drivetrain is out front and can be damaged more easily. Ford had a lot of problems with this very issue in the police Taurus--ask the city of Baltimore. They dropped the police package with the redesign for 1996. Chevy's had more luck with the Lumina and Impala, though there are still some problems.

    Suitability often depends on use. One department may find Impalas or Intrepids to be the perfect car, while others need and want the Crown Victoria.

    One note on the Impala--apparently the transmissions are not holding up on the cop versions. The Greater Boston Police Council (which coordinates buys of equipment) went with some 2000 and 2001 Impalas. They were well-received, and one department gave a glowing report to the Impalas, and another department bought 5 based on that. In the time it took to deliver the cars, the first department's Impalas hit 60,000 miles and beyond, and the bottom fell out. When the second department asked again, the first said they were sorry that the second had ordered the cars--the first department had so many problems that put cars out of service that they'd had to put unmarked detective cars on patrol, and they'd since ordered all new Crown Vics. These are now in service and they have no Impalas any more.

    The second department is now having the same troubles now that their 5 Impalas have over 60,000 miles. The main trouble is transmissions, not front ends though. The department mechanic says they are constantly having problems that take them out of service. He said they are much more troublesome than the department's older Crown Vics, with close to double the mileage on the Impalas. He even commented that one unmarked (former patrol) '89 Crown Vic seemed less troublesome, and it had over 120,000 miles.

    I'd post a link to the newspaper article where I got this info, but it's no longer there and they don't archive. It was in the Medford Transcript, at

    Just food for thought, since the civilian transmissions are generally considered quite good.
  • mrgeneseomrgeneseo Posts: 4
    Hi. New to the board, and I would like to ask about the Impala transmission. Is the difference between the success between civilian and police transmissions that the actual transmission is different, or just that the police ride them a lot harder and differently than a regular driver?
  • ehennessehenness Posts: 92
    Wish I knew. I couldn't get any sense of that from the article (and the PDs involved had bought the cars for patrol--I don't think they got any new Impalas for unmarked units. They just hand down the old patrol units when they get new ones).

    The first town mentioned is suburban to rural and the second is much more urban (more traffic lights, more traffic, more stop and go, more idling, more calls to respond to), which makes it even tougher to say what's going on, since they aren't quite using the cars the same way.

    The writer did contact NYPD, since they have a huge fleet of Impalas, but he was unable to get in touch with anyone who could comment in time for the article's deadline. I'd have been interested to hear what their experiences have been.

    I would hope that GM used a beefier version of the transaxle for the cop package Impalas, but I can't say that for sure.
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