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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
75,250 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
2002 Chevrolet Impala electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments

problem #6

Jun 242013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


Well if you like living an unpredictable life where you may or may not get to go to work and most likely have to walk home in the rain to call the AAA number you practically have memorized and have a tow truck driver come and watch as your car magically starts leaving you looking stupid, then get an impala 2002 preferably from a shady dealer like J.D. Byrider. You too can be in for 56 payments of $176 with not much to show for it.

Several incidents of car not starting the second time after it had been driven ---

Get up drive husband to metro station around 6:15 am. Car starts.

Get home and turn car off. Get ready to drive to work. One hour try to start car. Car does not start.

Of course it is raining outside. Call work. Call AAA. Wait for AAA . Tow truck driver arrives and car magically starts. Drive car to mechanic since this is the 5th incident of it not starting after being driven previously within 4 hours period. Still waiting to hear from mechanic

The four other times , car did not start we tried squirting starter fluid onto the engine filter ( mysterious black box with 2 latches on it) while turning the key. Coincidence of starting successfully after 30 mins of trying each time.

- , Joliet, IL, USA

problem #5

Oct 132010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

This is the third time I've had my 02 Impala worked on by a mechanic for sluggish starting problem. When the car has been driven for anytime less than half an hour, then turned off for anything under an hour, it starts but then abruptly dies and will not restart. I bought the car used 2 years ago and the problem began 3 months after I got it. I've read LOTS & LOTS of posts on various sites about the Passlock problem and waiting 10 minutes for the Security light to reset. Problem is that the Security light doesn't always accompany this no start problem. When it first began showing the problem, I could wait 10 minutes, but the time has gotten longer and longer -- sometimes overnight. I echo the anger and frustration of others here who are concerned about their safety when stranded for indeterminate amounts of time at gas pumps, work, store parking lots, etc. I've also tried the various tactics mentioned in terms of door position, key position, quickly pushing the gas pedal -- none work consistently. Like others I like other aspects of the car a lot, but this one is far too aggravating.

- , Kirksville, MO, USA

problem #4

Oct 152009

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles

Four months ago, the electrical system was pulsing and radio and lights pulsing in and out, in the garage, with the keys removed. Possessed, like Christine. I bought a new battery,($100), it was drained the next morning, leaving me stranded for a ride to work. I took it to my local garage. They checked all the wires, connections, removed the dash and checked behind there, the ignition, even the radio to see if that was what was pulling all the juice. They put it on their computer and found nothing. ($400 for labor & elimination). They referred me to a dealership that had a Body Controller computer. This was the only thing left that it could be, maybe the whole thing, maybe just a sensor. To hook up to that computer is ($100), and if it's a sensor or whole unit that needs replacing, it could be between ($400 -$1200).

My little money pit lives in a cozy garage and never goes more than a winter day with salt on the body and always on time oil changes. I bought it new, and as you can read, it has very low mileage. I cannot afford the 'body controller' now, or in the near future. But, I did find a sequence that allows me shut down the power and exit the car. I turn off the car and completely remove the keys from the ignition, before anyone can touch the door handles, if this sequence is not followed, you have to close the doors, turn on the ignition & start over again or the power will pull and drain the battery. I've gotten used to it, but it's a hassle when I have to turn over keys to service people and explain the importance of the 'sequence'. Every time, I tell them "don't touch the door handles, until the key is completely removed", they reply...."just when you think you've heard/seen it all".....

I would welcome any input...from anyone.

- , Amherst, NY, USA

problem #3

Nov 042008

Impala LS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles


First all the lights would come on, so I took it in and they replaced the BCM for 800. That turned off some of the lights for a week or so and then after that my car started having power surges, some while driving and some while stopped. The car continued having these surges for over a month and sometimes the engine would die completely and sometimes not, sucks while driving. When it surged and the car shut off you had zero power even to the emergency flashers. Soon after the problem began where you would lose all power to the car for 10 to 15 minutes at a time until it would decide to flash on. They say the problem was a wire to the BCM was shorting our intermediately. I have not had the car back long enough to tell if the problem is fixed. I attempted to take the car from the shop and they now say that they noticed the car was accelerating properly and tried to charge me 900 more to have a tune up. I declined, picked up my car and now there is an extreme problem with acceleration that I can't afford to fix.

- , Burlingame, CA, USA

problem #2

Jan 012009

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,500 miles

I have the same problem/complaint as many people in regards to the electrical system. Right now the vehicle is not starting - this after replacing the ignition switch and installing a new battery - the vehicle started twice and than nothing. A whole lot of clicking and engine warning lights but no ignition. The electrical system has gotten worse over time - initially an occasional problem starting - sometimes engine warning lights coming on, the heat and ac only working at the highest setting, the locks going crazy and separate but along the same lines I also had to replace the passenger window switch. These problems seem to be very common as reported over the internet. Im searching for a recall if anyone knows of one and in the very near future think I'll be visiting a Toyota dealership for a much more reliable and fuel efficient Corolla. By the way, Toyota has a lot of great deals going on now including a $3000 credit towards a new purchase for push pull or tow. As a veteran, I try to support the country I love but I can no longer afford to - besides all the parts come from all over the world the only thing American about Chevy is the fact the car is assembled here - or wait maybe Mexico or Canada - lol! If anyone knows anything please help me out - thanks!

- , Putnam, NY, USA

problem #1

May 132006

(reported on)

Impala LS

  • 35,000 miles

The impala began just not starting intermittently. then it advanced to not starting and pulsing the electronics on/off. The radio would pulse and electrical hum. the lights would blink on and off. Eventually this would stop. The dealer first could not find fault, but replaced the throttle body control, then later they replaced the battery charging me for the battery, then later still they replaced yet another electrical component. This is resolved for know, but not sure if it is done

- , Columbia, SC, USA

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