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Chevrolet Impala: Problems & Solutions



  • Hi,

    I have a 2000LS which had the change oil light come on. I had the oil changed at a 30 minutes less place, but the message still keep coming on when I start the car. I tried the light switch trick, but that didn't work. Am I missing something here? Any help would be great.


  • 2002ls2002ls Posts: 11
    Brad: Check your owners manual, you will need to reset the oil change monitor via your RDS stereo head unit. Steve :-)
  • Unfortunately, most oil change places are too lazy to reset the Change Oil Light for you. But, you can reset it your self using some controls on the radio. I'm at work so I don't have the manual in front of me, but you should be able to get the steps from there. If not, I'm sure one of these guys can probably tell you six shortcuts for resetting it. I'll be checking back later and if you still haven't gotten instructions, I'll type em straight from the manual.
  • If I give the fuel injector cleaner a shot to fix my potential EGR problem, do I need to follow it with an oil change or is that just a good way of keeping a schedule for that type of maintenance?
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    No connection between the two; just a way to remind yourself to do it regularly. I don't know if the light will go off entirely on its own or not, though - you may need to go to Auto Zone and have them reset the light for you.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    I'm approaching 48k miles on my original brakes. No problems at the moment, but I figure I'm probably due at least pads in the near future. Toying with the idea of putting pads on myself (never done it before, but it shouldn't be too difficult), but also wondering about taking the opportunity to upgrade the brake system (since by the next time it needs brakes, I'll probably be pushing 100k miles, and it won't make sense to spend any extra money).

    Any thoughts/sources for better pads (or rotors, calipers, etc.) to improve the brake system?
  • Maybe 5 months ago I had my brakes changed. With over 60k miles at that point, i was on my second set of pads but still hearing squeaks and sometimes a little shaking when braking hard from over 50mph.
    I had the rotors changed (not turned) as well as the pads changed, and it felt like a brand new car in terms of brake performance. Just your usual medium priced Bendix parts, nothing fancy or expensive. You may want to find out how expensive it can get to go with performance parts if you may not really need them. Do you do a lot of street driving or mostly highway? Are you hard on your brakes? I dont have any mods on my Base Impala, saving my money for the Impala SS, when it (hopefully) comes out. At that point, I would totally consider springing the $$$ for premium parts. Heck, maybe even premium gas!
  • Got a call from the garage, they are charging me 152.00 for faulty sensor that is inside the radiator, which I guess I can live with.

    What I do have a problem with is the 232.00 they are charging me for doing the ISS for the 2nd time. The first time was under warranty. This time he said they are putting on a new one with some new plastic piece to it (?).. anyway I told the service manager that it should be covered by GM since this is the second fix, he told me that GM calls this a "maintenance issue" and that I have to pay for it unless they issue some sort of recall.

    Has anyone else had to pay for ISS after their warranty was up?
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    The rattling sound was not the ISS, it is the calipers!

    Brakes - Rattling Noise

    File In Section: 05 - Brakes
    Bulletin No.: 01-05-23-O11A
    Date: February, 2002
    Rattle Type Noise Coming from Front of Vehicle
    (Install Front Brake Caliper Service Kit)
    2000-01 Buick Century, Regal
    2000-01 Chevrolet Impala, Monte Carlo, Venture
    2000-01 Oldsmobile Intrigue, Silhouette
    2000-01 Pontiac Grand Prix, Montana
    This bulletin is being revised to remove Chevrolet Lumina from the Models
    section and to update the condition information. Please discard Corporate
    Bulletin Number 01-05-23-11 (Section 05 - Brakes).

    Built Prior to the VIN Breakpoints shown.
    Some customers may comment about a rattle type noise coming from the front of
    the vehicle. This noise usually occurs at vehicle speeds under 48 km/h (30 mph)
    and while driving over bumps. The noise can usually be eliminated by a light
    application of the brake pedal.
    This condition may be caused by too much clearance between the front brake
    caliper bracket and the caliper pins in the bottom of the bracket bores.
    Install front brake caliper service kits to both sides of the vehicle using the
    following service procedure. Each kit contains 2 pins, 2 boots, and 2 packets of
    Service Procedure
          1.Raise and suitably support the vehicle. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the
          Vehicle in General Information.
          2.Remove both the front tire and wheel assemblies.
          3.Hand tighten 2 wheel nuts to retain the rotor to the hub.

          4.Install a large C-clamp (2) over the top of the brake caliper and
          against the back of the outboard brake pad.
          5.Tighten the C-clamp until the caliper piston is pushed into the caliper
          bore enough to slide the caliper off the rotor.
          6.Remove the C-clamp from the caliper.

          7.Remove the caliper pin bolts (3) and discard. New bolts are supplied
          with the service kit.
          8.Remove the caliper (1) from the caliper bracket (2) and support the
          caliper with heavy mechanic's wire, or equivalent.
          9.Using a flat bladed tool or punch, carefully tap the caliper pin boots
          from the brake caliper bracket and discard.
          10.Remove and discard the bushings from the brake caliper bracket bores.
          Carefully insert a small screwdriver into the brake caliper bracket bore,
          then rotate and pull the bushing outward to remove.
          11.Remove the brake pads from the brake caliper bracket.
          12.Thoroughly clean the brake caliper bracket bores of all lubricant.
          13.Install the brake pads to the brake caliper bracket.
          14.Lubricate the brake caliper bracket bores. Divide the large packet of
          grease, P/N 18046532; put one-half packet into each bore.

          15.Lubricate the new caliper pin boots. Use the small packet of grease,
          P/N 18046645, only on the bottom internal threads (2).
          16.Install the new caliper pin boots into the caliper pin bores (3) on the
          bracket. Carefully tap boots into bores using a deep well socket or
          17.Install the caliper over the rotor and onto the caliper bracket. Ensure
          that the caliper pin boots are not pinched.

    Important :The leading caliper pin, or top pin, has a bushing as part of the
    assembly. The trailing caliper pin, or bottom pin, is a solid design.
          18.Install the new caliper pin bolts (1). It is important to note which
          caliper pin is designed for the correct bore. The leading caliper pin, or
          top pin, has a bushing as part of the assembly. The trailing caliper pin,
          or bottom pin, is a solid design. Ensure that the bolt boots fit securely
          in the groove of the pin bolts. Be sure not to pinch or tear the boots. If
          the boots are damaged, they must be replaced.
          Tighten the bolts to 95 N.m (70 lb ft).
          19.Remove the 2 wheel nuts retaining the rotor to the hub.
          20.Repeat the above steps for the other side.
          21.Install both the front tire and wheel assemblies. Tighten the wheel
          nuts using the J 39544 kit.
          22.Lower the vehicle.

    Parts Information
    Parts are currently available from GMSPO.
    Warranty Information

    For vehicles repaired under warranty, use the table.

    b4z--I just had this work done on my 2000. No More rattling. (Ken)
  • I was reading this forum and since I am @ work dont have the time to read all the posts...anyway, my problem is that this light comes on all the time. Is there something with the computer where maybe it is detecting a short or what. If anyone know or has a solution, please let me know...thanks in advance. BTW - I have a 2000 3.4l Impala.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    I have the same problem with my 2000 3.8l. I mentioned it to the service rep when I took mine in for the "check engine" light, but they said there were no codes stored for the air bag (the light wasn't on at the time). Naturally, any time I've got the time to take it in, the light doesn't come on. I've been assured the light doesn't mean the air bag will go off prematurely, but it probably does mean it won't work if I had an accident (not sure which would be worse).
  • larryfllarryfl Posts: 214
    My wife's '02 LS has been emitting a mildew odor through the AC for the last few months (Yes, in Florida we have the AC on all year). I took it in to the dealership for it's first checkup last week and, in addition to the oil change and tire rotation, had a small laundry list of issues we've been saving up for it's visit, the odor being one of them.

    All the issues were taken care of under warranty except the odor. The dealer said they have some cars that do this, they knew exactly what the fix would be, but said that Chevrolet REFUSED to pay for it as a warranty repair because "it's technically not a mechanical failure, but is considered an environmental issue". The mildew is formed in the evaporator, which needs to be taken out and "Flushed and cleaned". It apparently normally only happens in California and Florida and is caused by running the AC with the windows down ?!????!

    The fix (probably only temporary) isn't particularly expensive - $120 - but it's the principle of the thing to me. This is obviously a known issue and a design defect - none of our other cars (GM or otherwise) have ever had this problem. DOES ANYONE KNOW OF A TSB ADDRESSING THIS? The dealer said they didn't know of one but I'm not sure I believe them.

    Thanks for any help.
  • otto42otto42 Posts: 33
    Never heard of the theory of running the AC with the windows down, but this is a problem that happens to lots of cars, it's not specific to any particular one.

    The problem is that you get mildew growing in the evaporator and the ducts. If the ducts and evaporator are wet for 3weeks/month, fungus moves in. Period. Happens on any car. Happens on home AC too, except there it's usually called Legionnaires' disease.

    There's a lot of ways to prevent it, but essentially the idea is to dry the ducts every once in a while.
    -Run it with the vent on but the compressor off from time to time. This will dry them out and prevent buildup.
    -Put it on recycle mode (internal air) and spray some lysol in the intake, then immediately shut off the vent after you spray a bit. The Lysol will stay in there overnight, and dry the mess out, along with killing the mildew and preventing it from being in there for a time.
    -Half a dozen other ways using other products besides Lysol.

    The point being that it's not a design defect as such, it's just the reality of an HVAC system. Cars have been doing this since they put in the first AC unit.
  • I agree with your dealer's comments. Mildew smells in the A/C is not a defect in the ventilation system but rather a fact of life with any A/C equipped car here in Florida. See, if you always run your A/C in "Recirc" mode or air circulation, due to our very high year round humidity levels, mildew will start to grow and develop inside the car's HVAC system and air circulation outlet passages inside the dashboard. In Recirc mode, the air always circulates throught the cabin and doesn't get replinished, meanwhile when you use the "Fresh" setting (Outdoor ventilation gates open), the air inside the cabin will always be renewed and therefore chances for mildew to develop will be greatly minimized.

    I have never ever had this problem in my '01 Impala LS because I typically run the A/C in the "Recirc" setting for no more than 30 minutes and after the car has reached a comfortable temperature level inside then I switch to "Fresh" mode and therefore the cabin air is continously refreshed.

    I hate to tell you this but your dealer ripped you off in your face by charging you $120 for a fix that probably will not last for more than a month. To combat A/C system mildew is a very easy procedure and one that you can do by yourself and for only takes 15 minutes every month or couple of months depending on the time of the year. Here is what you need to do:

    1) Start engine
    2) Allow engine to reach normal operating temperature if the car has been parked overnight or for several hours.
    3) Set the interior temperature controls to maximum heat. If you have an Impala LS with the dual zone temperature controls, slide both switches up to maximum heat.
    4) Make sure the system is in "Recirc" mode
    5) Set the fan to maximum speed (Position 5)
    6) If the A/C compressor is on, switch it to off by pressing the button with the snowflake or A/C label in it.
    7) Make sure the airflow is directed to the dashboard vents ONLY.
    8) Exit the vehicle and close the doors/windows.
    9) leave vehicle's engine and heater running for about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the severity of the mildew smell.
    10) The excessive amount of heat will kill and dry off any existing mildew in the inner ventilation passage ways.
    11) Repeat procedure as needed until odor is eliminated.
    12) When you run the A/C again, initially leave it running in "Recirc" for 10 minutes, then switch to "Fresh" mode. This will discharge any remaining burnt mildew out of the vehicle from the outer exterior vents.
    13) GOLDEN RULE: Initially leave running A/C in Recirc for no more than 30 minutes, then switch to "Fresh" airflow settings. Never leave the A/C running in Recirc all the time while driving.
    14) You will never have to deal with this problem again and get ripped off at the dealer.

    Important note: Avoid the temptation of spreaying a can of Lysol on the exterior vents to kill the mildew. Often this makes the problem even worse after a while.

    I had a couple of Acura vehicles with the same problem in the past and this little method was effective in eliminating the nasty mildew odor and saved me $$$$ in ineffective anti-mildew methods.

    Good luck and if I were you, I would never comeback to that dealer.
  • otto42otto42 Posts: 33
    I wouldn't go so far as to say that the lysol method is bad. It works to eliminate the mildew after it's already built up, but to prevent it from building up again you really have to change your habits. Avoid leaving it in recirc all the time, and use outdoor air the majority of the time. That alone is enough to stop it most of the time. The heat method mentioned will work to clear it out sometimes, but I've found it ineffective before (this happened to a couple of my friends cars, and this was in Missouri). The Lysol method worked to clean it out, as long as you're not relying on it for prevention, it's okay.
  • larryfllarryfl Posts: 214
    Thanks for the replys. I guess we've been lucky in that it's never happened to us before.

    I guess the good news is I didn't let the dealer do his service so I'm not out the $$$. I'll try your methods.

    Drivinisfun: Will running the heater help the mildew in the evaporator?

    otto42: If I understand your procedure, I spray Lysol in the intake w/ it running in RECIRC mode, let it get throughout the system then cut the car off, close the vents, and let it sit overnight - hopefully killing the mildew throughout the system.

    Then I can do the heat only procedure to clear everything out. Oughta work!

    Thanks again. I always thought the most efficient way to cool a car is w/ recirculation so that you weren't trying to constantly cool the superheated (here in florida) outside air. Oh well. I 'll give this a shot.

  • check out Bullentin 99-01-39-004A on GM Tech link.
  • I have a 2000 Impala LS (63k miles) and the instrument panel lights, radio, HVAC, etc. now go off when the autoheadlights come on. I have adjusted the dimmer knob, but nothing changes. Any ideas?

  • otto42otto42 Posts: 33
    Sometimes that sort of thing can be the result of a bad headlight bulb. Might be worth getting out and looking at the headlights.
  • larryfllarryfl Posts: 214
    Thanks for the bulletin. BUT, I can't find it in gmtechlink. I looked in and -other than the new, current bulletins - I can't locate where they are archived. Can you give me some hints how to look it up?

  • GO to Check News&Tsb ,alot of good info on this sight.
  • larryfllarryfl Posts: 214
    You're a life saver! That TSB is EXACTLY this problem and shows it's covered under warranty.

    I called the service writer at the dealership w/ this info and he started to back-pedal immediately. It seems his Service Director had laid down a policy that they would not do that particular warranty service any more. Seems pretty sleazy to me after I specifically asked last week for the associated TSB and he claimed there was none and the chevrolet did not consider it a warranty repair.

    Thanks for the links, there definitely is a lot of useful information!
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    I'm contemplating replacing my brake pads this weekend, and will probably have to remove the discs and have them resurfaced. According to my book, I've got to have a Torx wrench to remove the caliper mounting bracket before I can take the disc off; does anyone happen to know what size Torx I need?
  • I haven't read any of these for a while, but I find it funny that the Impala's are still having the same problems. I have 2000 LS with 88,000 miles on it. I have had the ignition relaced 3 times. What I found odd was that when I paid for it they replaced the lock cylinder and the switch to a tune of $498. The 2 subsequent times (while under warrenty 1yr/12,000) they only change the lock cylinder. Knock on wood, I have gone about 30,000 on this ignition.

    I have had the intake manifold relaced as well. The dealer knew exactly what it was when I brought it in. $800....

    No major problems since except a Yukon XL driving through me taking out the rear door, quarter panel, and tire... Oh well, it's just a car...
  • I have never ever had a problem with the ignition in my Impalas. Very heavy keychains can ruin and damage the ignition mechanism. Remove unecessary keys and weight from your keychain. I am sure that's the root cause of your problems.
  • bcumminsbcummins Posts: 16
    I've been having intermittent problems with the light coming on for months in my 2000 impala. I've tried the fuel injector cleaner and bought only quality gas, but the light still comes on randomly every now and then.

    I finally managed to swing by AutoZone while my Check Engine Light was on. The logged code was P1404 which apparently signals that the EGR Temperature Sensor is not working. Before I call in and bug my service rep at the dealership, I wanted to get the lowdown on the deal from folks who probably know...

    Should I expect to pay for this repair? My car has 67K miles on it. Has anyone else been thru the same situation?

    Thanks in advance!
  • bcumminsbcummins Posts: 16
    I've seen some mention of a Federal Emissions Warranty. Does anyone know where I might find that information so I could show my dealer? (Assuming ya'll think my EGR Temp Sensor might be covered)

  • colie74colie74 Posts: 42
    WOW is all I have to say about this issue. I didn't know I wasn't the only one. I obviously don't have time to read from the beginning, but wanted to give some fix it ideas to some problems we actually got fixed!!

    The clunking in the brakes and steering column were fixed with simple lube in the shaft I guess. Also had a clicking noise when turning the wheel. They solved that by doing something that required adhesive and had to sit over night. At least it was fixed. I can't believe some people have had to have their shaft and cradle replaced. That's terrible.

    I have had a power window switch go out as well. Also the engine stuttering at take off as well.

    My latest deal which is on it's third repair is a leak in the trunk. Anyone dealing with this. One more unsucessful repair and it's a lemon!!!

    Don't forget people, 4 attempts and it's a lemon.

    Anyway, neat board, I will be reading up on all the problems. I am seriously considering trading it in on an import after the warrenty. I don't want this car sending me to the poor house with all the repairs I have had. They are lucky their service dept is open on Saturdays. They know me by name now!!!

    Good luck to all of you!!
  • colie74colie74 Posts: 42
    Hi all, been reading things over. I have a question. My low coolant light came on a while back (200 LS, with approx 20K miles on it) and so I added a bit off dexcool to it. It light didn't necessarily go off and it was hit and miss to begin with. Then during an oil change, they added a touch more. I never really paid much attention to it as the light was hit and miss. Well the light is now out and hasn't come back on. Twice I saw a little leakage under the car, but it was hard to tell what it was. Almost a coolaid color, very watery once, but hasn't leaked constantly.

    What is the symptom of the manifold problem that everyone is having. I am trading it in, but since I am under warrenty, I would love to get things taken car of for the next prospective buyer. What do I ask for. I don't think they like me very much over there at the service shop, I have a water leak in the trunk that has been in there 3 times. So I need to go in and demand what I want to get them to loo at it again. What do I say and do I have to have symptoms ALL the time to demand a check at their cost/warrenty?


    Other than that, I got the clicking and the clunk fixed, both different problems and fixes.

    I can't imagine anyone keeping this vehicle past its warrenty period. Why should we shell out money for repeat fixes on manufactures defects? Not fair. I have never had a vehicle have soo many problems. My 94 dodge shadow (10 grand) was never in the shop.

    Anyway, thanks for the help.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Biggest thing you'll notice is the smell of hot coolant; sort of a sweet smell, caused by the coolant leaking out of the manifold onto the outside (hopefully) of the hot engine. You'll also have coolant loss from the reservoir, but you probably won't see puddles (or even drops) under the vehicle.

    I did have the "check engine" light come on, which read as a "misfire on cylinder 4". They attributed it to clogged fuel injectors, but within a couple of weeks, I was back in for the coolant problem. I personally think the misfire could have been due to coolant getting INTO cylinder 4, but they discount that at this point.

    They should do a pressure test, which should make a leak easy to find.

    Does anyone know if the Impala 3.8 is/will be included in the recall that affected some earlier GM vehicles for this manifold warping issue?
This discussion has been closed.