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2005 and Earlier Chevrolet Impala



  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but can't you tell a '00 Impala from a '01 by the rear license plate area? The '00 models are body color in this area, while the '01 models have a black plastic section there that ties in with the black rub strip that runs around the car. I THINK all the '01s I've seen have had this, but I can't confirm 100%. I do think this extra black section helps balance the back end a little, and makes the tail lights blend in a little more.
  • iusecadiusecad Posts: 287
    maybe you'll consider an archaic Crown Victoria if your Impala is DOA? ;)


  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    My '00 Impala started the clunking a few months ago; only on right turns when applying the brakes initially, now pretty much anytime - even when applying the brakes while travelling in a straight line.

    Mine was built on March 14, 2000; VIN 310600 - currently has @14,500 miles. I think one of the earlier posts mentioned a build date of Sept. 1999, so I don't think we're talking a limited problem. Back when the brochures first came out for the 2001 models, I mentioned my creaking noise to my sales guy when I dropped by to pick up my box of brochures, and he asked then if I could feel anything in the steering wheel or the brakes; even went out and sat in it and turned the wheel to see if he could feel anything. At that time he said they'd had a couple come in with this problem, and they'd ended up replacing the intermediate steering shaft.

    Mine is to the point that it is easily noticeable, so I don't think I'll have a problem with them reproducing the problem. My biggest problem is finding the time to take it in. Knowing they'll keep it for awhile, I also hate the idea of getting stuck with a Metro for the interim as well. I've also been looking for an old pickup to knock around in; I'm hoping I'll find something soon so I'll have the truck to drive while the Impala is in the shop.
  • Sweetpolly, have you tried to have this problem serviced? If so, what did the service department say?
  • jijcojijco Posts: 49
    I agree that the Impala is the best value out there in this price range, for this type and size of car. It's just that if GM/Chevy could fix the problems, we could heartily continue recommending it to others, but as now, all we can say is that it's a great car, but... I like all the gadgets, like the automatic lights, and being able to turn off the ignition without turning off the stereo or windows, other accessories, etc. Still, that stereo lacks. When you try to get the front imaging, you lose bass. It sounds alright to some people, even me, per se, unless you've heard better, which I have. I still intend to swap the speakers and put in my other amp. I just want to make sure I can find the right inter connect hardware so I can keep the original equipment intact when I remove it. The tire pressure monitor may be a luxury to some but it came in handy last week to alert me to a slow leak I had(car had been sitting in driveway from Sunday evening to Tuesday afternoon when the monitor went on.) As far as the engine cradle, if the 2001 does not have the problems, did they use the police package cradle? If myself, or anyone else had the problem, we should ask, no, demand that it be replaced with the police unit, which should be stronger, even if we have to pay the difference between the two(unless the amount is ridiculous.) Still don't know if it is a defective design, or manufacture flaw , or both, and if the police cradle is affected, but I know that the police cradle must be stronger, if they knowingly reinforced the stock one. Like I said earlier, that alone proves they knew there is a deficiency in the stock unit. Hmmmm..... JACOB
  • I dunno what happened. Sometimes the submit button doesn't work. I added a confirmation message so that you know if the submit button registers. Can you please re-submit again?

    Everyone, I am considering making another page where owners who have had no problems can stand up and be counted. Take a look at the "What's New" section and let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    What a great name!!LOL!! I am surprised edmund's hasn't censored you yet.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    If you haven't checked out a Bonneville SE, you ought to at least take one out for a drive - it is VERY similar to Impala LS but not flawed in the suspension or radio as many here have noted.

    Like you, I also have been impressed with the ride, looks and features of Impala LS but am picking up my Bonneville tonight. The interior is very similar and the engine/tranny the same. Styling is nice IMO on the SE model whereas the upgraded SLE and SSEi (far more expensive) are overdone.

    Pricing may be a couple grand more. Mine is a 2000 preowned and will be a fraction of the new cost.

    Check it out - it's a very good alternative. Both of these cars are a real pleasure to drive.

    Good luck in your search.

  • jeffbogjeffbog Posts: 63
    ...from the Impala. I hear a lot of complaining, from a few, but is the front end problem widespread, I think not (but it sure looks that way from this forum). So far Teo, you have managed to push tpken and hener away. Give your dealer a chance to repair the problem. Has anyone out there replaced the steering shaft and had the same problem resurface (in an Impala, not an Intrigue)? As far as the A/C compressor, you were unlucky. How can the A/C compressor reflect badly on the Impala when it is used in most of GMs larger cars. I still can't believe you are pursuing arbritation before the car is serviced unsuccessfully. And I can't believe you would get a replacement/buy back of your car unless they/Chevy are just getting tired of hearing you rant.

    tpken: good luck with your Bonne. My wife is definitely leaning toward one when she replaces her car this spring. FYI - a friend of mine bought an SLE about 6 months ago. 8000+ miles, no reported problems.
  • cookie01cookie01 Posts: 369
    I've been reading, and reading... and sure, I feel really bad for those who have the problems.

    My Impala, built Sept 99, but purchased Jan 00 hasn't had one single problem...

    No ticks, No pops, no nothing. So here it is...

    Of course, I leased my car. So if it starts doing dumb things close to the end of the warranty.. I won't have to keep it. I said a long time ago. I've been burned on first editions of cars before. I had a first year model Stratus and it was TERRIBLE. Teo's problems are mellow compared to what I went through with that car, before and AFTER the warranty. (I had it 4+ years). So, the lease. I figured,,, it's more like dating, rather than getting "married" to the vehicle.

    I'd say to Hener and anyone else. If you really like what you see, hear and feel in an Impala. Lease one. If it has nasty problems... it's gone! If you love it (which so far I do) you can buy it at the end of the lease, or get the newer model...

    Every make and model has problems. When they make the perfect car, please e-mail me and I'll start saving my pennies.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    And I certainly don't want to push anyone away from what I still consider to be the best looking and most value packed car available in America - a new Impala LS. However, these forums provide an excellant way for car shoppers to find a variety of opinions and suggestions when comparing one car to another. When signing the dotted line for a major purhase like this, it's great to be fully informed. Car buying has never been so consumer friendly as today.

    Thanks again for the good wishes, Jeff. Best also to you and your wife as you both consider her next ride. BTW - if my wife had not gone with me when I drove the Bonnie - I'd still be looking but leaning toward either Bonnie or Impala LS evenly. She was insistent on buying that Bonnie that day - oh the price we pay for marital harmony (heheheheh).

  • 00impala00impala Posts: 474
    For some reason?? some of the Earliest 2001 models mostly LS's DO NOT have the grey moulding around the rear plate area, they are identical to the 2000's, but have the OnStar antenna as the only visual clue, I know that Jeffry1's is a 2001 (WHITE LS) and the pic's he sent me a while back do not have the Grey Moulding, and it is a for some reason they were slow in getting them all to have the added moulding..I like my 2000 LS with Silver around the plate..
  • 00impala00impala Posts: 474
    Has anyone ever seen an Older "Custom" Corvette with 2 additional taillights? 3 on each side.... They look terrible to me, imagine a New Corvette with 6 tailights....Nahh better not do that......:( I like the Impala the way it is..More "Vettish" to say the least. And Didn't the Guy who created the 2k Impala work on the C5 (New) Corvette?
  • woo_bywoo_by Posts: 28
    how can I tell what the build date of my Impala is?

    I have a 2000 Impala base, bought 5/00, now with ~11800 miles

    had the clicking problem in the front end early on, but it's either gone away or I don't notice it anymore (I think it's gone away)

    currently have a slight tremor in the steering column/wheel when I press the brakes at speeds over 40 mph - not that noticeable

    my radio/CD/cass sounds great (other than weak AM reception)...bass is great...
    is the weak stereo thing only with the LS or with certain speaker packages?
  • 00impala00impala Posts: 474
    You can easily get a general idea of the build date by looking at the I.D. plate attatched to the in-side of the drivers door near the door latch /catch, that will have a month and year such as 05/00, in your case maybe an earlier month in /00 or maybe ?/99.. a few folks have emailed GM and aquired the actual DAY within the month, I have not done that..anyone care to share you to e-mail and what to ask? Thanks Don
  • blckthreeblckthree Posts: 153
    My 2001 Impala does not have the grey around the license plate area either, it is black, just like the car. I have not looked close at any of the others, but I would rather have the car color than the grey of the molding strip. For that matter, Chevrolet should put the same kind of molding on the Impala that is on the LeSabre, it is the same color and smooth, easy to clean, and it can be waxed. It has a build date of 07/00.

    Tried the amp bypass today, there was a difference, but not enough of a difference to leave it rigged up like that. Without the bypass, I have noticed that at a higher volume level, there is more bass than there is at a lower volume level. Also there is better bass with the CD player. I put it back the way it was, didnt like the plug hanging down, and had this fear of being in the middle of a long trip and having a wire pop out and being really unhappy, crawling back in the trunk when I should be driving.

    Also, the engine cradle issue.. the 2001 still has the aluminum engine cradle. Whether it has been re-enforced or modified, I dont know. I never looked at the 2000 cradle, and never had any popping or noise with either my 2000 or my 2001 Impala.
  • Happy with the second far. We went with the base on both cars. The 2001 is rather equipped though, both very attractive vehicles. Who knows if/when the 2001 will click clunk ping pang or twang. I'll put some photos up as soon as they're not coated in salt. We take them through the car wash every other day minimum (brushless).

    On a sweeter note. My teenage son is driving now, a used dependable vehicle. He recently went to the city to eat. It just so happened, we went to the same city to take in a flick. We were in the turn lane for a left turn. My son happened to be through eating, sitting in his vehicle scanning some tunes when he noticed a vehicle in a turn lane coming towards him. He had no clue it was us until we spotted him and pulled over to speak to him at which time he told us that he had been sitting there admiring the shiny black vehicle waiting to make a turn, thinking, "wow , what a fancy [non-permissible content removed] car and wondering what make it was". Nice compliment :-) This same boy, learned to drive in the first 2000 Impala. It was awful. The vehicle was brand new and a brand new permit driver was in the home ! How awful is that? I was a passenger a lot. Lucky him :-)
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    I don't believe my mission here is to turn people away from the Impala. Actually, the purpose of these forums is to inform fellow owners of good and bad experiences with the car. I think it is important to detach from the emotion of having the car and recognize objectively the good and the not so good about the car. True fans of any vehicle can recognize both and not feel offended in any way.

    That said, I still believe the Impala is a heck of a value and a great automobile but it has some problems that require GM to step up to the plate and solve quickly before they go out of hand. The engine cradle IS A CONCERN whether that sound logical to you or not. The use of Aluminum for that type of application is new technology beign applied by GM on these cars and problems are bound to happen. Current owners and future owners should be fully aware of the fact that GM can't come up with a permament fix for the clicks and creaks some people have been experiencing. If after gathering all of the positive and negative facts you still want to go ahead and buy the Impala, that's your personal choice. If a buyer interested in the car prefers to put on hold their purchase of the Impala, more power to them. Again, the purpose of this forum is to INFORM others in a fair and balanced way about good points and negative issues, not to sugar coat facts.

    Yes, there is a very good probability that GM will eventually replace my car. And no, I am not in arbitration. I am working directly with GM in this case....customer service, my dealer, my service manager and the District Manager. The Service Manager is very customer oriented and believes and supports the fact that GM should stand behind its product and do the right thing to keep the customer happy. This 35 year GM employee veteran seems to understand that it is more valuable to keep customer loyalty ($$$$) than dragging him along with a problematic product or the costly and painful process of arbitration and lemon law after which a customer is lost for good even if the customer wins the case.

    I do consider myself very lucky, becuase GM and my dealer are really pulling strings along the way to keep me happy with the car...I say that's highly unusual in most cases. Neither GM or my Service Manager opposed to the idea of getting the district manager involved in my case...after all this dude has been empowered to make buyback or car replacement offers on the spot.

    The dealer has had plenty of opportunity to get the car repaired. It has been 10 days since I dropped her at the dealer and today the parts hasn't arrived yet. The car probably will stay there until the end of the week or until the District Manager shows up at the dealer to look at the car and make a final decision. My service manager has been extremely attentive and a tru gentleman. My attitude towards GM and my dealer has been conducted in a strict polite business like attitude. It is incredible to see the results when you treat people correctly and politely...the world suddenly moves around you!.

    For those of you that have had flawless Impala experiences all I can thankful and enjoy your cars. My problems sure they could be minimal, but to me there are SIGNIFICANT. I paid a good chunk of money for this automobile and I expect no Major repairs at least during the first 2 years of ownership. Quality is the name of the game and GM is not the only one that makes cars in the real world. I am anal retentive when it comes to quality (That's my job actually)and to me a new A/C Compressor and a steering shaft in the first 11 months of ownership are not indicative of a high quality car. Yes machines do brake, and cars new or old brake too, but quality and durability is what sets apart some vehicles from others. With this I am not implying that the Impala is trash. If GM replaces the car with a new '01, I will take it and give it a second chance because I believe that I will not have the same problems in another Impala, unless of course, the engine cradle starts to act up.

    I get my money's worth, nothing LESS. My hard earned cash goes to the company that can provide a quality product and quality service, simple as that.

    And again I am not ranting or barking at GM or Chevy...I am conducting a business transaction called CUSTOMER SATISFACTION with ultermost respect, courtesy and following their own established procedure. Under those terms I believe GM will go out of its way to make a customer happy? Is that so wrong?

    If people don't demand quality products, don't expect companies to provided them to you. GM knows that their lack of quality during the past 30 years have cost them much loyalty and much of the market share they once held. I hope they still understand and listen to their customers.

    Last, leasing doesn't provide a safe heaven should you have a defective or lemon vehicle. If you have a lease car that spends more time in the shop than in the street or a car that has known safety defects, would you still keep that car? The same principles apply are making payments on the car, you are entitled to enforce the warranty and any customer satisfaction remedies including legal remedies such as arbitration and lemon law. I have known close people that have gone to arbitration or lemon law on leased vehicles. leasing did not provided instant or easier relief when their vehicles proved to be troublesome. They had to take the same long and costly curve as if they had purchased the cars to recover all their deposits and monthly payments....after all who has to get stuck to a lemon for 3 or 4 years? Sorry, having myself leased cars in the past I can tell you that it doesn't make much of a difference when faced with problematic cars....relief takes as long as if you had bought it in the first place.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    As an intrigue owner i have had just about everything that moves replaced in my suspension, and i still have a clunking over bumps.

    Perserverance wins out everytime. Its your money and you deserve to get your money's worth.

    If you don't get your money's worth then you should take it elsewhere. I think the fact that GM's market share is 28% tells you that a lot of other people have done just that.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    It looks as the engine cradle really is a novel a application for aluminum at GM. But the very same aluminum is used successfully for engines. 60 years ago the WWII era Soviet battle tanks already had aluminum diesels. The cradle must be very simple in comparison.

    Hard to believe GM cannot fix the cradle cracking engineering-wise. This rather looks as an organization issue. Long development / testing lead time results in fixes only after two years or so after start of production. Like the Malibu / Alero brake rotors etc.
  • hunter39hunter39 Posts: 375
    I had some slight ticking back at the 3k mile but am 9600 now and I'm still crazy about this car, no problems whatsoever, not one thing. The ticking went away. Except for the amp which has been taken care of (I'm not sure why others can't keep the plug up inside the trunk, mine is still there!) I'm very happy with the car.
  • henerhener Posts: 14
    As with any purchase an informed consumer is a smarter consumer. I certainly don't want to buy a car that has problems, been down that road and it's not pleasant. I feel that the info and discussion here are invaluable as to making a purchase and other sites on Edmunds have also been eye opening. When you buy a new car you are sort of a guinea pig but with the advent of the internet that need not be the case. Will you be able to buy a perfect car, probably not but you can bet your bottom dollar that there are people at Chevrolet who are on the net and see the pros and cons in the postings. Hopefully this will give them incentive to take care of the customer as maybe the case for Teo, and just maybe it will give them the incentive to correct problems. I will continue to look at the Impala but I'm looking with a jaded eye now and if I do decide to buy one I'll know what to expect and that is a much better position than finding out after the fact. I'll look at the Bonnie but value was the main selling point for Chevy. When you cross into the mid to high twenties there are plenty of fine cars out there.
  • crosley4crosley4 Posts: 295
    THe aluminum cradle is an interesting issue. Some cars have no problems with the cradle and others have minor to serious problems .

    Our LS seems to be in the middle. Noise at the cradle mount bushings is all. No cracks have been seen by me or a couple of guys I work with that weld steel and aluminum on a regular basis.

    I know of 2 ppl that have not bought an Impala because of the info posted here at the Edmunds bbs.

    They both bought Import cars or cars built in the USA with Import names I should say. ((-;

    I still have not done the amp bypass deal. I need to set up a time and just try it out. Been too busy lately.
  • jijcojijco Posts: 49
    Preach it bro! exactly how I feel. Though we love our cars, we can deserve expect at least what you stated, and GM must provide, or lose more of their longtime loyal, and also prospective first time/new buyers. And it's true, we cannot recommend the car wholeheartedly, no matter how much we like it unless fixes for the chronic problems in many, though not all of the cars, are found and effected to customer satisfaction. I would like to see this, so I can continue to tell people who ask, that this is a truly exceptional car for the price, and otherwise, without having to add the caveat, but... JACOB :)
  • hank64hank64 Posts: 37
    I stopped visiting this board about a month ago because there wasn't much news any more about problems - particularly the clicking problem, which I have had for some time now. What a surprise I found upon returning!

    I have been waiting for GM to come up with the official click "fix" before taking the car to the dealer. But now the clicking has stopped by itself and in its place I FEEL (no sounds...yet) a mild intermittent clunking as I turn the wheel at slow speeds. This occurs mostly on right turns - much as Nosirrahg describes in an earlier post. I also get that same feeling through the brake pedal when braking and release braking at very slow speeds.

    I figured that probably a stressed cradle weld had broken and now something was loose, causing the clunky feelings. The recent posts here seem to indicate the problem is in the intermediate steering shaft. But would that account for the braking feel also? And has anyone else had the the clicking sounds disappear simultaneously with the arrival of the clunks?

    Right now, I have the new clunking problem, an ongoing stalling problem at idle that occurs once or twice a month, a recurring "service vehicle soon" warning light that never leaves a code, and a relatively new (last three months) engine stuttering problem upon accelerating after a start up. The latter occurs about once or twice a week at completely random times - as far as I can tell.

    I think the Impala is a great car, and I can live with the listed minor flaws, but not the clunky stuff. That literally and figuratively feels dangerous.

    I am going to take the car in next week and begin what I hope is not going to be a long drawn out process. Any suggestions?
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Today, my car has been 11 days out of service for the steering clunking problem. Since GM hasn't provided dealers with a TSB or Recall notice about the problem, the diagnostic process took longer than it should have. If you pull out the Oldsmobile Intrigue forum archives here in Edmund's, you'll find a plethora of owner references to the steering and brake pedal clunking problem in their '98 and '99 Intrigues. The universal symptoms (and as confirmed by the dealer tech)appear to point to the Intermediate Steering Shaft component. When this part fails or is about to go south, the clunks are felt progressively traveling from the steering column and the brake pedal at low speeds and when turning to the right. As the car racks up more miles, the problem is also felt when having the wheels straight and making turns at any speed...and yes it feels like the front end is going to fall apart, quite an uncomfortable and literally dangerous feeling to say the least. It is yet to be determined what build dates and VIN sequence numbers are affected by the defective steering shaft, but based on a few responses here, we have Impalas built as far back as 9/99 and the most recent one with a build date of 4/00 (Shamino's) that have reported the same problems. If your car falls withing the range of those build dates, then don't be surprised if the you begin to feel steering clunks coming overtime.

    It would be interesting to know if Impala owners with vehicles built prior to 9/99 and built after 4/00 have had this issue (Specially 2001's with more than 5K miles). The problem seems to manifest itself typically between 10K to 20K miles. And contrary to what other 'gurus' might tell you, steering problems are SAFETY concerns and the steering shaft is no exception.

    Take your car to the dealer and if they give you a hard time about it, request for the service manager to test drive the vehicle with you, so he can feel and recognize the clunks. Also, bring printouts of the posts found in the Impala forum that reference to the problem. Be very polite but firm about the problem. If the dealer claims that GM doesn't know about the problem, tell them that a number of Impala owners have reported the same problem over the internet. If you help your dealer with the diagnose of the problem, it will save your time and their time...again don't be afraid to let know your service manager about your problems and unsatisfaction with nagging problems in your car. Its your money after all.

    Ironically, my Impala has been virtually free from engine cradle noises and engine related problems. Based on my experience with the 3800 engine, this powerplant seems to be very sensitive to fuel quality discrepancies. Ever since I switched to 89 and now 93 Premium fuel, the engine runs solid and like a champ. No stutters, rough idle, no hesitation, no check engine lights, no shutdowns, no problems. I don't know about the quality of fuel you folks up in the snow belt get, but seriously try different brands of fuel to see if the problem goes away. Still, take the car to the dealer as engine problems do compromise the safety and durability of the car.

    Some posters have said here that their engine cradle popping noises have dissapeared as well over time..hummmm that sounds too akward, better have that cradle check while they replace your steering shaft.

    Good luck.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    How many of you who are pictured and quoted in the 2001 Impala brochure (Teo, Nosirrahg, et al) are experiencing the various suspension related problems.

    Just a thought - but if it turns out that the majority are - perhaps you could collectively approach GM/Chevrolet management from the perspective of offering new quotes for the 2002 brochure based on your continued experience. (Partly tongue-in-cheek, guys)

    Perhaps a joint request for engineering response would solicit some answers to this forum and the general buying public about where Chevrolet stands in its efforts to fix the well known suspension problems.

    Best wishes to you all. BTW - I picked up my Bonneville last night and I absolutely love it. This in no way diminishes the Impala's attractiveness - but really - this Bonneville is a wonderful car. I'm so glad to at last have something technologically up to date and good looking - can't describe the feeling of satisfaction it imparts.

  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Actually, the fact that I came up in the 2001 sales brochure (And quote on the Chevy website) has been of great leverage in pursuing GM to replace the car. Rest assure, GM doesn't want an unhappy Impala owner that appears in their sales literature to be 'badmouthing' the car...something to consider in the day and age of the internet.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    What do you folks that have adolescent aged kids do about letting them sit in front? Now that we have the 'depowered' airbags in the front (dash and both seat bolsters) 2 of our 3 kids (80-90 lbs and just over 5 ft tall) are possibly big enough to ride there but I'd like to know what others think and have done. Our other cars have not had passenger side airbags so this is a new issue for us. It's one of the reasons I have held off for so long in getting a car with a passenger airbag.

    Thanks for your comments and suggestions

  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Service Manager just called me a few minutes ago. The Intermediate Steering Shaft has finally arrived at the dealer and it will take his mechanic about 2 to 3 hours to install. He still needs to keep the car one more day to make sure that the repair takes care of the problem (And wash and detail the car while he is at it). I will be picking up my car tomorrow morning and gladly returning the keys of the Metro to Enterprise.

    In the mean time, the GM District manager will be flying into Miami later this afternoon and my Service Manager will meet with him personally to ensure my continued satisfaction with GM and Chevy. He still told me that it is very likely that GM will replace the car anyway, so for sure sometime tomorrow afternoon I'll have an answer on the results of today's meeting.

    I'll keep everyone posted on the results of this saga.
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