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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
104,141 miles
Total Complaints:
20 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (16 reports)
  2. firestone changed the "pulley system" and "ignition hatch" (1 reports)
  3. ignition switch replaced (1 reports)
  4. replace the bcm (body control module) (1 reports)
  5. replaced battery (1 reports)
2003 Chevrolet Impala electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments

problem #20

Jul 062011

Impala 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,567 miles


I had problem fixed. It cost me $283.96 out of my pocket because at the time I did not know about recall. How do I get reimbursed??

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #19

Sep 082006

Impala V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 163,000 miles

OK, I think I found a solution to the ignition/passlock/security system issue. In the past my car had not started for me when I turned the key too quickly. Or when I would start/shutoff/and start it in a short time span. I noticed that the ignition and key would be difficult to turn and that seemed to wear out the ignition module.

The fix I have found is, to simply press the brake pedal before you insert the key and keep it pressed as you turn the key. I also only turn the key to Accesories first, I wait 7 seconds as the Security light flashes at me. Then I finally turn the key.

So basically press the brake pedal as you start the car. But waiting 7 seconds on Accesories seems the be important also.

Try it, I hope this helps people.

- , Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #18

Jan 172013

Impala 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

The car will not crank or start. Disconnecting the Negative Terminal of the battery for a second and reconnecting fixes the problem.

When it dies the gauges freeze in place in the instrument panel (Speedometer, fuel gauge, oil temp) and you can hear a noticeable clicking noise as in this video.


When you have this problem it is most likely the BCM (Body Control Module). In my case there were no problems with passlock/security light coming on. The interior lights would only turn on manually, they would not turn on when you open the door. It would randomly flash the rear interior lights.

You can get by for quite a while by just disconnecting the battery and reconnecting and it will work as if nothing happened. Then the interior lights will go out again (won't turn on when opening the door but work manually). After a while you will go to start the car and it will will make a "click" sound and then all the gauges will freeze and you hear more clicking from the instrument panel. If you get out and disconnect the battery and reconnect it will work again for a while.

Eventually the BCM will die completely and you will have to tow it to the dealer. Here is the cost break down

Labor $345 Parts $245 (New BCM) Total: $590 (before tax)

My suggestion is to not wait like I did and let it die. You can find a new BCM on amazon for $120 by ACDelco (org part) and have the dealer program it and install it yourself. It's located under the steering column behind a plastic panel that is held on with two clips. The BCM has 3 large electrical connector going into it. It's hard to get to but you can replace it yourself. This way you'll save about $100 on the part and $345 on labor.

This needs to be recalled by GM, there's too many of these failing on Impalas and monte carlo's.

**also they charged me $25 for parts (not included in above total) for the "Engine compartment Fire" recall. I even had to pay for the parts of the recall!! Can you believe it???

- , Lisle, IL, USA

problem #17

Nov 102012

Impala LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles


Help!!! My 2003 Impala LS.As of OCT of 2012,My car when the Cold weather started in,Is not wanting to start..Sounds familiar? One time it would not turn over But the second time it did,The Next time the clock on the radio resettled to 12 Am..Now when i crank it over the Door locks are constantly locking and unlocking randomly for a minute and then i have no interior lights.But when trying to do it again it starts up.And then when i go to shut off the car the locks are locking and locking again with no lights..I am so frustrated Thanks to you all on here i don't feel alone!! Seems like we all have the same Problems but different situations But all leads to no starting!! My security light does not come on while this happens.Today it did it again.I went and put the key to Acc position and put the gas peddle to the floor once and the dash lights came on strong and it fired up.But when i shut it off the car acted up again.Its Possessed!! GM NEED TO RECALL THESE IMPALAS DUE TO ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS!! I think Gm does it on purpose and sets the computers to fail at 100,00 miles so u might want to buy a new car!! If any one has a solution please let me know..I don't want a bad winter with this car..

- , Westland, MI, USA

problem #16

Sep 112012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 186,000 miles

I have been having this problem with this car for several years. Had the fuel pump, battery, starter, alternator and who knows what else replaced. I know the most expensive bill was $1500. I have read on here it is a very common problem and I also think as everyone else does that Chevrolet should do a recall and fix this problem.

- , Mission, TX, USA

problem #15

Dec 282011

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,321 miles

I am also having trouble starting my 2003 Chevy Impala. This (thankfully) is a spare car that we inherited, so I don't need to drive it daily. It has always started and been reliable until a couple of weeks ago. I noticed that it might not start after sitting for a week. After I jumped it, it would start. I thought the battery was bad, so I replaced the batter and battery cable ends since they were corroded. I also noticed that the electric door locks weren't working. I replaced the blown door lock fuse, it started up fine so I thought all was well. I loaned the car to my son, I believe that he used the electric door lock when parking and then it wouldn't start for him. Jumping it didn't help. Checking the battery, I found it was fully charged. Thinking that the battery connections must be to blame, I removed both cables, did a little filing, and reconnected cables. Started right up. Sat in the driveway for a couple of days and started OK 2 or 3 times, then same problem. Door lock fuses was blown, SECURITY light shows on dash, but car wouldn't crank. I disconnected the battery cables again, reconnected after 30 seconds and the car started right up. I have now repeated this process 3 times in a row. Car won't crank....disconnect battery cables, reconnect and it cranks and starts right up. Obviously, there is something wrong (electronically) and if I remove the power, it seems to reset or clear the problem. Has anyone else seen this same type of problem?....and if so what did you find would fix the problem. I have read that changing the ECM might work. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

- , Howell, MI, USA

problem #14

Nov 172011

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles


our 03 impala just started not starting recently and the security light has been coming on. it doesn't do it all the time.........my wife needs to get places on time everyday so we need a reliable car........our gm dealer told us about the bcm and something else for $400 plus labor......i'm not sure what to do at this point.........we really like the car especially since we paid it off a couple years ago.......it just turned over 100k and is still a very sharp car but we don't want it to start killing us on repairs..........i found this site last night and discovered that we aren't alone with this problem.....when we get this figured out i'll post again

Update from Feb 6, 2012: our 2003 impala just turned over 100k and all of a sudden out of nowhere it started not starting right all the time......sometimes when you turn the key it would be like the battery was unhooked, then the next time it was fine?? we put up with it for a month or so then finally at our next oil change had our local chevy/gmc dealer check it out.....they gave us an estimate for outrageous parts and wouldn't guarantee fixing the problem.....BCM (MODULE) , ignition cylinders, etc. about $400-$500.........we didn't do anything immediately........my wife drives the car daily and after trying different things when the problem occured she discovered inserting the key and turning to start immediately (all in one motion) that it works fine.........it even works for me.........the problem hasn't occured for over a month or so since she discovered this starting method?? i don't know how or what this does but it works......i'd like for others to try it and see if it works for them...........good luck everyone

- , Wolcottville, IN, USA

problem #13

Jun 012011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Car starts right up then other times wont start. Put new starter in but did not fix the problem. I'm so scared at gas stations because I have to keep my car running. I'm out of work can't buy a reliable used vehicle. Just had intake gasket & head gasket replaced to the tune of hundreds of dollars. car has about 95000 miles on it. I love it just keep getting stuck everywhere.

- , Dummerston, VT, USA

problem #12

Oct 092011

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

This car was purchased new in 2003 and ran great until last yr and the not starting problem occurred. We have tried everything. Chevrolet cannot fix the problem and said that if the car was in Detroit - they could not fix it. How is that for service. THEY can build them, but cannot fix it. We call it the haunted car.

It is getting more regular with not starting. It was once a month and now it is every 15 days. If anyone KNOWS how to fix this problems, please let me know.

- , Hernando, MS, USA

problem #11

Jul 012011

Impala 3400 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Was having major problems with the hazard switch and my blinkers. Replaced hazard switch and actually ended up with another one that doesn't work. The car will start sometimes but kills immediately, but for the most part it wont start just makes a clicking sound. The lights and the radio work just doesn't start very often. If anyone can give me advice on what it might be it would be very helpful!!! Maybe the ignition or possibly still having something to do with the hazard switch? When I read about other complaints it appears the hazard switch has caused many people to have a big headache, maybe it should have been a recall. Shame on you Chevy!!!! Sick of having problems with my Impala.

- , Inver Grove Heights, MN, USA

problem #10

Jun 082010

Impala LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,206 miles


Took it to the garage and they were adamant to put in a new ignition. After about the 10th "not starting", the battery went dead.

Found out the some celluloids in the battery were no good. Changed the battery that had a seven year warranty. Paid only $40.00 - the number of years the warranty was used. One month and still no stalling. Hopefully, problem solved.

- , Colville, WA, USA

problem #9

Oct 212008

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

I love my Chevy, Im 22, and it's what I grew up on, Chevy and cadie's. It hurt's a lot to say because I can't stand any Japanese car put in front of me, or any foreign car for that matter, and I can't speak for everyone out there but 2 of the main reason's these foreign car's have been taking over the market is all due to the dependability and of course the MPG of the car's being built. Since I bought my Chevy impala ls 2 years ago, ive had multiple problems, and I would understand these problems if I were an owner that didn't pay any maintenance attention to his car, but fact is that I do pay attention to it. Im ok with having a problem here and there, but when you have had a car leave you stranded on the way back from a date, or in the morning when you wake up to go to work and end up losing money, and days at work, then that just makes me wanna junk the car.The 2 main issues I have had have been a crack in the radiator, then the heating/cooling system, messed up water pump because of that, and most recently, a pulley system problem, and an ignition hatch, as Firestone described it to me. started when i couldn't turn the car on, I knew it wasn't the starter cause you could hear it, it just wouldn't spark up, I took out the battery when to auto zone, and sure enough I had a bad battery, I was happy it wasn't anything major, yea rite, I put in the new battery, it started for about 30 seconds, and then it wouldn't start again. Up to recently that's the last problem I had, just a couple of days ago, doing 60-70 on the highway the "check engine" light starts blinking at me, it turns off when i lower my speed but as soon as i hit that 60-70 mark it turns rite back on... I am still looking for a reason why not to leave the bowtie family and get a Honda or a toyota which ive heard and read, that they have far less problems.

- , Hialeah, FL, USA

problem #8

Nov 082008

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

For my fellow Chevrolet Impala owners: You may run into a problem like myself while servicing the thermostat. In order to do so, sensors must be unplugged, air cleaning tube removed, radiator drained, and battery disconnected. After reconnecting everything, the car would not start, security was written across the message board and the interior lights were not on. After reading from someone else's problem and their suggestion of oxidation build-up on connectors, I realized that I needed to purchase CRC electrical cleaner and clean all plugs with spray to insure proper conductivity. I first disconnected the battery (positive terminal first), disconnected all sensor plugs I worked around, removed the fuse box cover on the passenger fire wall, pulled the ignition fuses, and cleaned the connections at the starter. I found that whatever I did corrected all the above mentioned problems without the expense of taking the car to the dealer. When first talking to the dealership, the impression which I received was negative and it left me furious to say the least. The overall electrical components on cars these days present a huge challenge and I can safely say that checking and cleaning connections ( remember to have the battery disconnected) is probably one of the first things to do. Once the dealership sell us the car, they only want our money rather than establish good will. Makes sense, that is why people don't trust persons at the car dealerships. Hopefully the above information was helpful to someone. God Bless you and your families.

- , Okeechobee, FL, USA

problem #7

Sep 012008

Impala LS 3.8L 3800

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

Don't know what to do to fix problem! Car will only start when it wants to, acts as though the battery is dead but it is not. Jumpstart car and it may run with no problems for 3 or 4 days but it also might not start 30 minutes after you jump it. This really sux because it has been on a diagnostics machine with no notable problems, no one seems to know exactly what to do to fix it. Don't want to spend money on things that might not fix the problem!!! This seems to be a widespread problem and GM needs to make this a recall instead of screwing people over for easy money on a problems that would not be happening if they would have had decent engineering and design. If they can't sell cars due to the economy they should at least make sure the fewer cars they are building are worth a sh*t!!!!!!!

- , Gallatin, TN, USA

problem #6

Jul 162008

Impala Security Light

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,255 miles

What's wrong with this Chevy? I was stuck in the hot sun for 45mins. because my car wouldn't start. My husband has to come out three times from his job to come and get me. We need to be compensated for lost wages and inconvenience. I thought it was my battery or alternator. Wrong, they are fine. I've had a diagnostic test. Nothing shows up on the test. My security light comes on while driving and if I stop somewhere and turn it off, I'm stuck for 45+mins. It's embarrassing and frustrating. Someone needs to give us some answers.

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #5

Aug 282008

Impala LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

The Chevrolet Company need to recall and fix the obvious problem. There are so many complaint from owners with the same problem. Maybe it's time for a lawsuit, then maybe then they will take us all seriously!!!!!!!

- , Forest City, NC, USA

problem #4

Aug 242008

Impala 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,129 miles

Started to have intermittent no start condition. Then would not start period. Towed to dealer. Recommended replacing what he called the ECM. Agreed to let him do it. Car worked fine for the first few days. Now back to intermittent no start condition.

Odd thing is that when this happens the gear shift (floor mounted) won't select a gear. In other words the green square that shows up over the selector gear is none existence. Also you can move through the gears and attempt to start the car in any gear without touching the brake.

Could this be an ignition interlock problem?

Frustrating as hell!!!!

- , Mississauga, ON, Canada

problem #3

Apr 052008

Impala V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,796 miles

We bought this car for our 20 year old college student, replacing a horrific 2000 Honda coupe. The first week we had it, battery died and dealer replaced battery. We thought little of this problem as cars often sit on a lot while waiting to sell. Two months later, we are faced with the same problem. Car will not start but if we jiggle steering column we get headlights, sometimes radio. We believe it might be a short circuit in steering column.

- , Marshfield, MA, USA

problem #2

Dec 192007

Impala LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,540 miles

After picking up my daughter at her basketball banquet, I get in my car and go to turn the car on with no luck. The key would not turn. I made sure that the car was in Park, I locked and unlocked the car, I jerked the wheel back and forth and still nothing. My brother-in-law got under the dash to see if there was a bypass switch and nothing. We tried for over 2 hours. I finally just had the car towed back to my house. It really has been a good car until now. The only issues were a dead battery a couple years ago and had to replace the tires a little more than a year ago and they seem to need new ones again. Other than that, I have always considered myself lucky that I didn't get a lemon, until now. I don't have the money to throw away, so if anyone has any suggestions, please share.

- , Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #1

Aug 172007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

95% of the time I try to start my engine it won't turn on the first attempt. However if I move the key to the ACC position and wait for about 10 seconds, the engine will turn over about 90% of the time. I talked to some friends who know more about cars than I do, and they think that the problem lies with the fuel injection system not building enough pressure to introduce fuel at a rate needed for engine start. When I go to the ACC position however, the pumps are given enough electricity to do the job. I still have to save some money to get the car looked at.

- , Wichita, KS, USA

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