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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
87,247 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Chevrolet Impala electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments (Page 10 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Dec 122008


  • 50,200 miles


My 03 Chevy Impala lights flash on and off all day long whether the car is on, off, or driving down the road I have gone to the dealer and they don't know what's wrong with it but they are willing to charge me $800 to try to fix it. Also the car does not start after it has rained.

- Middleport, NY, USA

problem #29

Dec 102008


  • 100,900 miles
I own a 2003 Chevy Impala. About once a week for the last month, the vehicle fails to start. The security light flashes on the information panel indicating that the passlock system has locked out the fuel system. Spoke to a dealership and was told that the repair would be time consuming and costly. I have only owned the vehicle for about 18 months.

- Greenfield Center, NY, USA

problem #28

Nov 192008


  • 36,000 miles
Vehicle has failed to start four(4) times. Security light illuminates along with service engine soon light too many times to count. The failure was corrected by repair at a dealer. Part was replaced. No code came up on the computer for the check engine light and was charged for it anyway. Part replaced was the BCM.

- Cantonment, FL, USA

problem #27

Oct 162008


  • 79,000 miles


Drive car and park and turn off. Return 1 hour to 1 day later car will not start intermittently. All lights came on but car will not crank. Keep trying and within a half hour car will start. Have had it towed to a mechanic in which they replaced the starter and the occurrence happened 1 month later. Mechanic wanted me to drop off car and leave it there until it happens again. Can not afford to have my car sitting at a mechanic for who knows how long and even then they still may not know what's wrong. Have been to many online discussion boards and many people have the same problem but no known fixes. As of this writing the no start problem has not been resolved.

- Wausau, WI, USA

problem #26

Oct 232008


  • 78,000 miles
I own a 2003 Chevy Impala. In 2007 I began having problems with the car doors not locking and then the horn going off when I opened the door. A fuse was blowing out so I was instructed by one of the mechanics at the dealership to buy some fuses and change them as they go out. I also had issues with the car not wanting to start. I had the car at the dealership 6 times. The last time it was brought in via tow truck because it wouldn't start at all. No computer codes ever registered. In exasperation they replaced the body control module. This seemed to "fix" the problem. Now a year and a half later and out of both my warranty and extended warranty we're having the same problems again. I've taken it again to the dealership and they drove it for three days. Can't find anything wrong with it again. I drove it and today it wouldn't lock and or start. I waited about 30 minutes and was able to get it to start again. The car doesn't even have 80,000 miles on it and I'm sick of these problems! this car is not reliable transportation for me anymore and the dealership doesn't seem to be concerned. Why is there no recall on this? I think I'm going to have to go trade in my car for something more reliable since no one can seem to figure out these issues nor repair them!

- Buda, TX, USA

problem #25

Aug 152003


  • miles
I have a 2003 Chevy Impala which I bought new in 2003 it has only 40,000 miles on it. It has been doing strange things electrically, it locks up won't start, passlock/system lights have messages like security, service vehicle soon. Installed new ignition switch, battery. Had it scanned and no problems detected. Always had a GM vehicle, if this is how they make cars and don't acknowledge that there are problems foreign vehicles might be the answer.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #24

Oct 062008


  • 95,000 miles


Sometimes when you go out to start the vehicle, it will not start. Have been told that they have a problem with the anti-theft system on these vehicles, I can believe this since the security light does not flash when the problem occurs. This is very troubling since it can happen at any time, you never know if you will get the car to start. Someone should make GM own up to this problem and get it fixed, as I am sure it is not just on my vehicle.

- Watson, IL, USA

problem #23

Sep 142007


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. In August of 2007, while driving approximately 25 mph, the turn signals failed. Immediately following this incident, while driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle overheated. The contact pulled to the side of the road, lifted the hood, and noticed smoke rising from the engine. She took the vehicle to a local repair shop and the mechanic informed her that the radiator was cracked and needed to be repaired. The repairs were made, but the vehicle overheated again months later. In August of 2008, body work was performed on the vehicle and afterwards the exterior lighting began to illuminate on and off automatically. She took the vehicle back to the body shop and was informed that the failure was due to a defective combination switch. The combination switch was replaced and the mechanic stated that the repair was unsuccessful; therefore, the original part was reinstalled. After the failed attempt to repair the failure, the mechanic performed a diagnostic test and stated that the failure was due to the combination switch. The manufacturer and dealer have not been notified. The current mileage was 171,920 and failure mileage was 150,000.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #22

Jun 162008


  • miles
Security light on, lights flashing inside car, car will not start, towed to dealer while on warranty, they said no problem. Has happened 3 times, last time car has failed to start and has sat for 3 months. No warning prior to this, it just doesn't start.

- West Hamlin , WV, USA

problem #21

Jul 312008


  • 52,500 miles
The BCM in the 2003 Chevy Impala has been a very very big problem in my new car. I recently bought this car, and had all types of problems with the locks, light, radio, starting the car, security lock, etc.

- Indiana, PA, USA

problem #20

Jun 012008


  • 65,000 miles


My 2003 Chevy Impala has the passlock security system and out the blue my car will not start. This has occurred 3 times in the past 3 months. The 1st time it started right up at the dealer but they said the fuel pump was bad. The second time was on fathers day and I waited 10 minutes and it started up. Took it back to the dealer but they just said without a code they can't do anything. Third time I again waited 10 minutes and it started. I just know some day that trick is not going to work. Why can't GM admit there is a problem and correct this problem. Its all over the internet and people are spending tons of money on fixes that don't solve the problem.

- Maple Grove, MN, USA

problem #19

Jul 302008


  • 42,000 miles
This is an ongoing problem with Chevrolet cars with "passlock" security. The security banner will appear in the dash monitor. Shortly after this the car will not start for 10 to 15 minutes, after being shut off. The electrical system is in perfect working order. During this time the security banner alternates with the battery icon. With the ign switch in the on position. After the 10 to 15 minutes the car will correct itself and start as if nothing happened. My true concern here is that, this is my wife's car and now she tells me she leaves it running at the gas pump. For fear of it not starting. This is where safety comes in. Is it not posted on all gas pumps. To shut off engine? many of these cars are not under warranty. And the dealers from reports I've read seem to throw parts at this problem at the car owners cost. There should be a recall on this matter. Before someone is injured or killed at a gas pump, with their car left running because it may not start. Thank you

- Graham, NC, USA

problem #18

Feb 052008


  • 45,000 miles
Traction control light and ABS light both can come on at intermittent times. Both happen when turning into or backing out of a parking space in any sort of weather including perfectly dry cement. I have been told that this problem has lead to accidents with individuals because you don't get the full breaking power when making turns. This happens also when making slow turns around any corner. The problem is now happening almost all of the time when making turns. I have been told to replace my front hubs as well as the wiring harnesses but I have been reading up on it and have seen that none of those things have worked for anyone and the problem continues to come back after spending over $1000 dollars.

- Marion, IA, USA

problem #17

Apr 092008


  • 100,003 miles
My security light started to flash then everything went crazy from there lights blinking on and off doors locking and unlocking then the radio will show locked on it trunk will open while driving down the road. The vehicle would start on cool days now that it has turned hot it will not start at all. I have read all kinds of complaints on this matter this issue really needs to be looked into and issue a recall I have had numerous dealers tell me it is a BCM and it will cost approx $500 if so many of these Impala are having this problem someone needs to do something or tell someone how to fix this without paying $500.

- Betsy Layne, KY, USA

problem #16

May 202008


  • 62,000 miles
Security light would come on intermittently, door locks won't work, sometimes car wouldn't start. Security system is bad. Had to have a new ignition switch. Car still won't start. Now needs a body control module. Car still at mechanics. I have been without my car for 60 days. Unsure what bill is up to. Car would start overheating. Occurred 3-5 times before it was diagnosed and fixed. It was the lower intake manifold gasket. Replaced it for around $600. Headlights go out while driving. Mechanic and dealer has never been able to figure out why. Nothing has been done to fix the problem. Car would start knocking and ride rough to the point that it couldn't be driven. It occurred 2 times on different bolts. Rocker arm bolts were blown out of the head. Fixed for $300 each time.

- Camby, IN, USA

problem #15

Apr 152008


  • 60,000 miles
I have a 2003 Chevrolet Impala that started having problems not starting. My wife has been stranded several times and when I would arrive the car would start. I started happening every two weeks or so now it happens every time we use the car. If you it set for 10 to 30 minutes it will start. I have found that if you remove the fuse to the BCM for about 30 sec the car will start. I have read several web site about the problem and they say that cost $500 to have the problem repaired by a dealer. I believe that with as many people are having the same problem there should be a investigation why GM isn't recalling cars with this problem.

- Newbern, TN, USA

problem #14

Feb 012008


  • miles
Car wouldn't start at random on day, wouldn't crank, security light would flash when key was turned to on, took it to dealer and they said it was the passlock sensor and ignition switch. About a week later did the same thing, no crank and security light flashing, they reprogrammed it again and said that the BCM might be going out. Didn't have a problem with it for about 3 weeks, then it did the same thing again. Car sat for about a week before taking it to the dealer and they just had to jump the car and it started. After I got it back the third time the check engine light was on, the auto locks and headlights did not work. Now about 3 months later, car is doing the same thing again...

- Pacific, MO, USA

problem #13

May 062008

Impala 6-cyl

  • 65,739 miles
Passlock system on 2003 Impala keeps locking out the fuel system keeping the car from starting. The ignition switch was previously replaced for this reason, now it's happening again.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #12

Mar 182008

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles
My wife was driving home during evening hours on a narrow 2 lane county road when without warning the headlights and interior lights totally turned off. She immediately stopped on the roadway as there was no shoulder to move onto. She tried to operate the headlights manually with no effect. The engine was not affected. She called me via cell phone and began to explain when the lights came back on. She proceeded toward our home and about 500 feet from our driveway the lights went off again. I searched the internet and found several other identical instances with no resolution as the problem appears intermittently. An internet tech said the fix is to replace the body control module (BCM). I have already had one replaced at my expense for a non-related problem on 08/04/2006. I have not yet called the dealer this time because of their denial of the previous BCM problem - that once replaced at my insistence fixed that problem. This is a very dangerous and scary situation with huge potential for harm. My wife will now not drive the car at night and much of her work (and mine) involves evening meetings.

- Eagle, WI, USA

problem #11

Jan 012008

Impala 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,407 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. While driving various speeds at night, the instrumental panel lights, headlights, and turn signals failed. The vehicle was repaired on August 3, 2007. The dealer replaced the body control module and the lights functioned normally for three months. The dealer informed the manufacturer that they could not diagnose the cause of the failure. The current mileage was 78,868 and failure mileage was 70,407. Updated 04/03/08. The consumer stated the problem happened aganon on March 15,2008.

- Fayetteville, PA, USA

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