Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

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8.2

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$504.00
Average Mileage:
91,257 miles
Total Complaints:
223 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (67 reports)
  2. letting car sit for approx 30 minutes (37 reports)
  3. wait 10 min till securty light stops flashing, try again (18 reports)
  4. recall (14 reports)
  5. replaced body control module (11 reports)
  6. bypass the ignition sensor (9 reports)
2002 Chevrolet Impala electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments (Page 3 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #183

Apr 252010

Impala LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Talk about embarrassed. Drove 1 hour away to attend "Family and Friends Day" at my dads church. Going five minutes from church something said look down. The whole dash went dead. Mind me now the car is still running thought nothing of it. Made it to church. Enjoyed my time there. Time to go home and "BAM". Won't start. I tried all the advice I received. My car is still sitting there. Can someone please this Lady some advice. Been told: you need a computer, ignition switch, starter or maybe some oil. Tried did not work. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #182

Apr 112010

Impala

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I DON'T OWN ONE OF THESE CARS I AM A MECHANIC AND ALARM/ ELECTRICAL SPECIALIST. A BYPASS MODULE IS AVAILABLE FOR $45 AT CANADIAN TIRE.

- , Pitt Meadows, BC, Canada

problem #181

Mar 092010

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

I was really surprised to see how many people are having problems with this passlock, security situation. No one wants to go somewhere in their car and not know if their car is going to start when you get back in it. I am truly upset with GM because I feel very strongly that they are very aware of this situation. There is a definite malfunction in this passlock system. GM, please have the decency to see that your customers are taken care of and allow them to have this problem fixed on your dime. There are too many people out there having the same problem. Many more than have complained here. I have run across people on the street that have had the same problem. PLEASE help us..Fix the passlock defect and take care of your customers. DO A RECALL.

- , Richmond, VA, USA

problem #180

Jul 252009

Impala

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I've had my 2002 Chevy impala for almost two years now, and it will work fine then bam! it wont start, i'll wait for about 10 minutes and it'll start! its happened on my work brake, at school, at work, the movie theater, everywhere! and it is soo embarassing. i cant afford to get it fixed, and i dont think i should have to get it fixed with so many people having the same problem! this should be a recall for GM to fix! if there is anything i can do to get this show on the ball, please let me know, because i dont think it's fair!

- , Waukegan, IL, USA

problem #179

Mar 102010

Impala 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

So far it is an annoying issue and it started in 2009 where it occurred twice. Last Wednesday March 10,2010 it occurred again and during all the incidents I now disconnect the negative cable from the battery for a couple of minutes, re-connect the battery and it starts right up. I have purchased a small battery wrench and a small flashlight that I keep in the glove compartment to take care of this bad GM Security System design.

- , Norman, OK, USA

problem #178

Jul 062009

Impala LX 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I had the pass lock problem like everybody else. I had to wait ten minutes for it to reset. I bought the official Chevy shop repair manuals and that didn't help. Then, on this site, I read a note from an engineer lady who said the problem was corroded pins in the passlock sensor connector on the ignition switch. She said she removed the connector and soldered the wires together and the problem went away. I followed her lead, but instead of soldering the leads, I cleaned the connector pins and applied conducting paste to prevent corrosion. That fixed the problem. It has been a year and a half without it happening again. Perhaps you can get a mechanic to do this for you.

- , Oak Ridge, TN, USA

problem #177

Feb 242010

Impala

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Ok, here is the deal. I manage a custom car shop and recently i had a customer come to be with a butchered wire harness for his radio. Needless to say i know car radios and factory wiring like a monkey knows bananas. Anyway i took on the job of installing my customer’s new radio using the wiring alone without a factory to aftermarket harness. After reconnecting everything back to OEM speck i could not get the car to start. It was showing the obvious symptoms of a dead battery. After jumping the starter, (i would give more detail but i don’t want to inspire car thefts), jumpstarting a perfectly good battery, ect, ect, and so forth i went back to square one because the car started before i installed the radio, there for it must have been something i did for it to go bad. Long story short there are two orange wires that are supposed to be constant power for the radio. I discounted my connections and ran a test light to both orange wires. One will give you a 12 volt steady power while the other will turn a test light on and off like its trying to give you Morse code. After leavening the orange wire that didn’t give me a constant 12 volt power disconnected and reconnecting all my other connections Low AND BEHOLD, Car starts 4 hours later.

Simple Solution THAT WILL WORK FOR GOOD: if you have either a factory or a aftermarket radio remove it and take a look a the factory plug (if applicable) or if you do not have a factory harness (like my customer); 1.) Remove any cover or binding at least 6 inches down from the harness. 2.) Examine the wires for two orange wires and cut them away from the harness about 3 inches down to leave room for reconnection. (If I’m correct and you have the factory harness both wires should be going into one plug pin towards one end of the harness.) 3.) Take a test light (A cheap one from Wall mart will work but I used a custom tester that tells me positive and negative and uses a low voltage led system, and no you can’t buy one, I made mine) and test both wires. 4.) When you find the one orange wire that gives you 12 volts all the time and doesn’t flash then reconnect THAT WIRE and Cap off the other. (I recommend solder but caps will work fine. DO NOT USE PLAIN BLACK TAPE FOR THE SAKE OF GOD, YOU WILL SHORT SOMETHING OUT EVENTUALLY IF NOT NOW) 5.) Reconnect the radio and try to start the car. (I can hear the sweet sound of success already.) Then put everything back the way you took it apart. 6.) That’s it, you’re done.

FYI: that is the sole purpose of the passkey system, to prevent theft OF THE RADIO. As if someone wants a factory head unit. Whoever decided that was a good Idea is a dumb ass and ass needs to...well ill be nice and hold my tong. Anyway enjoy a running impala and if your ever in SC, look up UniQue Audio & Video. You can think me there.

- , Ladson, SC, USA

problem #176

Jan 282010

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

I've had this problem off and on for years with the no start due to the passlock/security system. It's actually become an owner start prevention system instead of an antitheft system. I usually take the key out of the ignition and open and close the door to reset the system and sit for 15 minutes and it will usually fire up. The dealer has done numerous things with the BCM to no avail and about 500 bucks. Has anyone tried the method of placing a resistor between the ignition wires to override the security system? If so please send me an e-mail and let me know how it worked out. Thanks

- , Athens, AL, USA

problem #175

Aug 012004

Impala 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I had a remote starter installed and I havent had any problems since. It was an ongoing inconvenience for nearly 5yrs. You never knew when it was about to happen, at the gas station was a real pain!! Wait 10 minutes and it would start no problem. I spent $300 on my remote starter and for the piece of mind, not to mention a nice warm car in the morning, it was money well spent.

- , Oshawa, ON, Canada

problem #174

Dec 242009

Impala

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

I FOUND THIS SIGHT WHICH I KNOW WASN'T A MISTAKE ONE PROBLEM WILL NEVER BE FIXED. I TRANSPORTED MY MOTHER FROM A HOSPITAL IN LAS VEGAS WHICH SHE WAS SICK ,I PARK IN LONG TERM PARKING, CAR STARTED OKK STOP FOR GAS THEN THE SECURITY LIGHT CAME ON THE BATTERY THE CAR SEEMED TO HAVE A MIND OF ITS OWN THE CAR WOULDN'T START.SPENT TIME TRYING THE CAR OVER AND OVER HOPING IT TURN OVER MY ATTENTION WAS SPENT FOOLING WITH TALKING TO MY MOTHER FROM THE FRONT SEAT WHILE SHE TOOK A TURN FOR THE WORSE IN THE BACK,THE PROBLEM NEVER SHOW UP AGAIN FOR SOME TIME THEN I TOOK I TO THE DEALER I COULDNT TELL YOU WHAT THEY DID BUT I COST ME OVER 500.00BESIDES BUYING NEW BATTERY ALTERNATOR.THE PROBLEM COMES AND GO. THEN TO HAVE MY STEP SISTER ACCUSED ME OF TRYING TO KILL HER.WE NEVER EVER HAD A RELATIONSHIP BEFORE MY MOTHERS DEATH SHE MOVE BACK TO WISCONSIN .WE DECIDED TO TRY TO MAKE MENDS.IT WAS RAINING I PARKED IN THE RESTURANT PARKING LOT GOT OUT THE DRIVER SEAT AND TOLD HER LETS RUN INSIDE I CLOSED MY DOOR THINKING SHE WAS BEHIND ME. I WENT TO THE LADIES ROOM THEN IN LINE THINKING THAT SHE HAD BEEN SITTED,LOOKING FOR HER I WENT BACK OUT SIDE TO THE FRONT NO SISTER THEN A LADY RAN UP TO ME SAYING MY SISTER WAS CRYING SAYING SHE COULDNT GET OUT MY CAR SAYING I WAS TRYING TO LOCK HER IN,LONG STORY MATTER GOT TO A POINT THAT WE SAID THINGS AFTER THE CAR WOULDNT START SHE SAID I STAGE IT AND IF THE LADY DIDNT FIND ME I WOULD OF LEFT HER THERE I LAUGHED IT OFF TILLTHE NIGHT OF DECEMBER 24TH ME AND MY GRANDAUGHTER WAS ON A COUNTRY ROAD IN A STORM 160 ODD MILES FROM HOME NO TRAFFIC NO HOMES HAVING TO GO ANOTHER 89 MILES. SHE HAD DROP HER CHIPS. STARTED TO CRY SAY SHE WAS HUNGRY THEN ALL A SUDDEN IT HAPPEN, THE SECURITY LIGHT CAME ON AND THE BATTERY LIGHT, I THOUGHT TO PULL OVER TO GIVE HER THE CHIPS THAT FALLIN AND RE SART THE CAR, BUT I THE NIGHT MARE HAD JUST BEGAIN I COULDNT GET OUT THE CAR THE POWER LOCKS DIDNT WORK,SO I SAID TO MY SELF MANUAL ONLY IF MY SISTER WOULD OF THOUGHT THAT MAYBE WE COULD OF SPENT CHRISTMAS TOGETHER AS FAMILY,THEN I GOT OUT GAVE HER THE CHIPS, STARTED THE CAR NOTHING BUT THE SERCURITY LIGHT AND BATTERY LIGHT NO POWER IN THE COLD CAR WOULDNT MOVE NO HELP NO NOTHING I JUST NEW MY GRANDAUGHTER OF 4 YEARS OLD WAS GOING TO FREEZE IT GOT SO COLD I TOOK OFF MY COAT AND WRAP AROUND HER PRAYING THAT SOMEONE SEE US COULDNT EVEN CALL FOR HELP ON ON STAR BECAUSE I REFUSE TO GIVE GM UP GRADE MONEY AND CELL D PHONE NO SIGNAL AND IF I DID I HAD NO CLUE WHERE I WAS ON THE I JUST CRY OUT JESUS NO PLEASE NOT MY GRAND DAUGTER AFTER ABOUT AFTER FORTY SOMTHING MINUTES THE CAR STARTED THE SECURITY LIGHT BLINKING BATTERY LIGHT FLASHING PING NOISE LIGHT DIMING IN AND OUT WITH THE CONTROLL PANEL DIMING BEFORE MY EYES,THANK GOD I MADE IT HOME IT WAS GOD I CRY ALL THE WAY HOME THINKING HOW TO STOP THEN SAYING WHY EVERTHING IS CLOSE WHAT A CHRISTMAS DAY MY GRAND WOULD REMEMBER ME THE GRAND MOTHER WHO TOOK CHRISTMAS FROM HER. I GOT HOME AND PARK THE CAR. BY THE WAY MY DAD BOUGHT THE CAR FOR CASH IN KENTUCKY GAVE IT TO ME TWO WEEKS BEFORE HE DIE .LAST I WISH THIS ON NO ONE NO IF I WASNT A CHRISTAIN I WOULD HAVE A CHOICE WORD ,BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I JUST HAVE TO REPENT THE CAR DEALER AND WHOEVER KNOW THIS IS DEADLY AND KEEPING THERE MOUTH SHUT NEED TO GO STRAIGHT TO HELL,NOW I REPENT

- , Milwaukee, Wisconsn, USA

problem #173

Sep 152009

Impala LS 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,500 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Let me start out by saying that my fiance' and myself decided to buy this lemon because I was tired of working on vehicles. Well I do enjoy working on vehicles, I just hate all the other inconveniences, finding rides to the part store, finding the time to do the repair, missed work etc. So we found a 2002 Chevy Impaler with less then 50k miles on it for a really good price, car was clean and ran great. We thought we had gotten lucky. It wasn't 3 months until the CV joint went out, then the turn signals and coolant system sensor went bad. The dealership was good to us about everything other then the CV joint but fixed the other problems for free.

About six months after that was my first experience with passlock problems. I was supposed to meet my partner at a job we had but when I went out to go the car wouldn't start. I knew the battery was fine since I had full headlights and all the other accessories worked fine, the starter didn't even try to turn. My first thoughts where that the air conditioner pump had froze up (sounds silly but it's happened to me with GM vehicles twice before) the engine just seems to be siezed up. So I made the call that I would need a ride and would be late. Later that evening when I got home, I hopped out of my partners truck, walked up to my Impaler, poped the key into the ignition and it fired right up. Talk about embarrassed, my partner was still there with me. "Man, I don't get it" is all I could say, which shocked him because I am the car guy, grease monkey what ever you want to call it for our business and my friends and family.

We didn't have another problem with until a few months later. Of coarse it's freezing cold and my fiance' has our 2 and 3 year old daughters at the grocery store with her when it does. That was last night, THANK GOD for AAA, so we got it towed home for free but I go out this mourning wondering if it would do the same thing as before but it didn't start this time. It was raining so I wasn't going to mess with it. I go out this afternoon and it fires up but now the heat works when it wants to. I HATE THIS CAR!!!! My 94' Ford F-150 work truck is about to become my family car. It isn't pretty but at least when it's broke down, it's broke down and not kind of broke down or might start, might not.

I would be more then happy to go back to the good old days where a good timing chain, good camshaft and distributor gear teeth where the only computer you needed. Back when idiot lights in the gauge cluster didn't disable your vehicle. Screw all car companies with thier "If it works, fix it" idea of design, I'm buying a horse.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #172

Jul 232009

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

What's right with this car? It is a nice car but with a lot of problems. I think that gm should pay for all the problems that are going on with these cars that they made. When u call the dealership they don't want to tell u anything. They want u to bring your car in so the can charge u up. I say lets call channel 10 news on them!!!!

- , Phila, PA, USA

problem #171

Apr 082009

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,847 miles

ok so i am glad to see i am not the only one with this problem, and i am not the only one in my family to have it either! i bought the car used this year back in February, the issue with the passlock didnt start until after my 30 days were up! if i would have known i would have got a dodge instead, i have to let my car sit for 10 mins with the key on to get the damn thing to strt again! oh and don't get me started on the radio, don't ever remove that because you open a whole new can of worms with that! if you want a better radio in the car hook the factory one up in the trunk!!! not only am i having problems with the passlock but my daytime running lights aren't working same with the interior lights and now when i turn on my head lights at night i get the dummy light saying i need to fix the car, two main reasons for that the passlock and the radio, 1 wire on the factory stereo got disconnected and wow the problems that made!! i think i will go back to my dodge neon! i might have blown the motor in it 4 times and replaced the tranny but at least the damn thing starts when i want it to and gets me where i need to go!! thanks alot GM no wonder you SUCK ASS and are going under! i know we are all out there just trying to make a dollar but this is f*cking retarded, how can you get away with this? oh wait your not thats why you are starting to close factories and losing money!! if you would have asked me who made the best cars ten years ago and i would have said GM is the best and i dont want to see them go but now i cant wait until your gone!

yours truly

another customer you bent over and raped with your garbage cars

oh yeah i signed that petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/75020780/petition.html for GM and wow i was the 265 person to sign you think after that many complaints about the passlock and other problems with the impala you would do something about it

- , Cornwall, Ontario, Canada

problem #170

Jan 142007

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

ALL THE HEAT & A/C COMES OUT OF THE FLOOR CANNOT ADJUST TO DEFROST. THE DAMN SECURITY LIGHT COMES ON AND TAKES 15-20 MINUTES TO START. HAD TO PAY THEM ASS HOLES AT GM SHOP $816.14 TO FIX THEIR PROBLEM..... HAD TO REPLACE IGNITION SWITCH,PASSLOCK SENSOR AND HARNESS & REPAIR VACCUM LINES TO ACTUATOR

- , Harrison, OH, USA

problem #169

Jun 012005

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

ONE OF MANY ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS WITH THIS DAMN CAR. THE PROBLEM STARTED JUST AFTER THE WARRANTY HAD EXPIRED.MY WIFE CALLED ME ONE DAY TO SAY SHE COULD NOT START THE CAR AFTER GETTING OFF WORK. SHE SAID CAR WOULD NOT START SHE CALLED ME THINKING BATTERY WAS DEAD BUT SAID DUMMY LIGHT SAYING SECURITY. AFTER ABOUT 20 MINS OF HER PLAYING WITH KEY IN THE IGNITION CAR FINALLY WOULD START UP AS IF NOTHING WAS WRONG. THIS WOULD CONTINUE TO HAPPEN ON A CONSISTENT BASIS OVER THE LAST 4 YRS. NEVER TOOK IT IN TO DEALER CUZ DONT FEEL LIKE DISHING OUT THE MONEY TO FIX THIS POS. ISSUE IS A LITTLE AGGRAVATING BUT ONE DAY IT BECAME A REAL PROBLEM WHEN I WAS AT THE PARK LAST SUMMER WHEN MY NIECE GOT HIT BY AN ERRANT 90MPH FOUL BALL STRAIGHT TO THE FACE AND I'M TRYING TO RUSH HER TO THE HOSPITAL AND MY WIFE IS TRYING TO START THE CAR AND WE COULDN'T GET IT TO START FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES WHILE MY NEICE HAD BLOOD GUSHING OUT OF HER NOSE. FINALLY ABLE TO START CAR AND GET HER TO THE HOSPITAL. THANKS A LOT GM.

- , Chicago, IL, USA

problem #168

Oct 012009

Impala LX 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,633 miles

I own both a Malibu and Impala with the passlock system and Ive had to bypass them both. For those of you that are not too techy, simply have it fixed by removing the dash trim, screwing out the two screws that hold the ignition switch in place and pulling the ignition switch out so you can see the three wires going to the module..black yellow & white, do not disconnect the ignition wires. For everyone that has their vehicle starting randomly, play with it until you get it to start with the security light off. While the engine is running, simply cut the yellow wire. the security light will come on and it will stay on. Cut the vehicle off and it will start again without a hitch if its your passlock. The trick here is in Chevy/Gm programming, as long as the passkey fails while you are driving, the security system will light, but will be disabled and not lock you out. That is the reason why lots of people are seeing the security light, but the problem is the faulty connection keeps connecting and reconnecting while you're driving giving a false reading to the BCM. This will permanently disable the passlock, for as long as your vehicle system doesn't lose battery power. If you ever disconnect your battery for more than 10 minutes or you use a diagnostic machine to clear your DTC's you'll need to reconnect the yellow wire, start the vehicle and disconnect the yellow wire again. This method and placing a resistor across the yellow and black wires are both fail safe solutions to this problem. The only difference is that the resistor method isn't affected by power loss or diagnostics clearing. This method should work flawlessly with vehicles that start with the security light on as well, once the vehicle starts cut the yellow wire. I did this mod 1 1/2 years ago on both vehicles and neither has given me problem since...except my Malibu which I accidentally erased the passlock disable doing a diagnostics session and had to reconnect the yellow wire to start it and then disconnect..LOL. Hope this helps

- , Nassau, NP, Bahamas

problem #167

Oct 022008

Impala

  • 95,000 miles

My 2002 Chevy Impala won't start at times. It seems to happen more frequently in the cold months. Over the summer it only happened twice. Now that its in the mid to high 30's at night it has happened 4 times this week alone. When it does work my security light will sometimes come on and stay on. When I see that I know it's getting ready to mess up. I'll get where I need to go and when I come back to start the car it won't start. I have to wait 10 or 20 minutes and let the system cycle through then it will start. I have called four different chevy dealer and 3 of them told me they have no idea why its doing that and to bring it in. At the 4th dealer I called, an older woman answered the service desk phone. I told her what was going on with the car and she told me right away that it sounds like a bad passlock sensor and that it happens all the time. Finally, someone who is honest.

- , Auburn, IN, USA

problem #166

Sep 092009

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,269 miles

My 2002 impala used to not start on average about 3 or 4 times a month. would have to wait 10 minutes. sometimes 20 minutes. then the car would start. very annoying when you have children in the car and they are whining. or when you need to be somewhere or an emergency came up. Dealership was no help and mechanic no help either. We decided to disconnect passlock and since then have to problems with car starting.

- , Lynn, MA, USA

problem #165

Jun 132009

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

The car will run perfectly and I'll park it. Minutes later, it won't start. There is no clicking sound but the lights and radio work. It's just dead. It's happened 6 times this summer and it happens any time with no rhyme or reason. I've had a mechanic check to find the problem, to no avail. Now on the interest I just found out it could be a passlock problem. It is annoying and a major inconvenience. It has made me late for appointments and work. I'm an older, single lady and live in fear of being stranded and wary that a repair would be very costly.

- , Newport, MN, USA

problem #164

Sep 242009

Impala

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles

I've read many online complaints about this issue of the security light disabling my car. I find it appalling that Chevy has done nothing to remedy this issue. I'm older and found myself stuck in a parking lot with a broken car.. Don't know yet what it will cost to fix this. Will not but GM again.

- , Tucson, AZ, USA

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