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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 6 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #110

Aug 232013

Impala 6-cyl

  • 150,400 miles


When the weather is hot, the car will not start. Once started the electrical system throws multiple errors, from security, battery, service engine soon, ABS light, seat belt light, and brakes. The radio is locked out and the ac fan runs but will not allow the ac compressor to function. Also the head lights flash and the complete dash board goes dead including all gauges, from the speedometer, fuel and temperature gauge. The warning bell continues to ring as the battery light comes on. This is a could cause a very dangerous situation with no head lights and no working gauges on the dash, and should for some reason the security system shuts the car down while driving, could cause a serious accident. GM seem to be neglecting this issue, and even GM and their dealerships claim to know nothing about this. Yet in multiple Impala forums, this is the top issue with this vehicle. I would like to see something done about this before someone gets killed, and it is not fair for the consumer to pay thousands of dollars trying to chase this issue down. I just wish american car companies would stand behind their products, especially when the public's safety is in question.

- Lorain, OH, USA

problem #109

Sep 142011


  • 95,000 miles
Gas gauge giving incorrect reading. Jumps from full to empty and can reside anywhere in between regardless of amount of gas. Causes car to run out of gas without proper warning.

- Montgomery, IL, USA

problem #108

Apr 192013


  • 143,000 miles
Car would not start desplaying security message, have had this problem multiple times had to disconnect the battery and then was able to start car most of the time have seen alot of this problem on similar vehicle and would like GM to do something about this proble they are haveing because I dont want the car to just stop running and cause an accident.

- Hammond, IN, USA

problem #107

Feb 182013

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles


We own a 2003 Chevy Impala I purchased it because I thought they were safe vehicles. In the last 2 months we have had multiple issues with traction control and our interior and exterior lighting. We have lost all function to our dash lights our head lights only work when they decide too and my traction control fails to work and when I don't need it engages.....this is not ok! we have had everything checked. All fuses and bulbs are good. We have had diagnostics done a couple of times and nothing ever shows up. I have seen hundreds of complaints about the same stuff. Please tell me nobody has to die or get seriously injured before you make them fix these issues. We all paid a lot for these cars they need to fix them now!!

- Missoula, MT, USA

problem #106

Mar 262012


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that while parked, the vehicle failed to start and the anti-theft security warning light illuminated. The contact was able to start the vehicle after several minutes. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where the technician stated that the body control module and the ignition would have to be replaced and reprogrammed. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #105

Mar 012013

Impala 6-cyl

  • 257 miles
Car will shut down while driving and security light will flash. Has done it numerous times, worried it will cause an accident. There are multiple cases of this problem on internet.

- Johnstown, OH, USA

problem #104

Mar 022013

Impala 6-cyl

  • 175,123 miles


March 2, 2013 my car would not start. The security light had been on and after looking in the owner's manual, it was determined that the passlock system, aka the security system, was engaged and not allowing the fuel injectors to start my car. Upon research on the internet, a lot of tips were provided on how to "fix" the problem. They ranged from disconnecting the battery, taking apart the ignition cylinder and leaving the key in the on position for 10-30 minutes. For other people experiencing this problem, show this official service bulletin from GM #04-08-47-003 to your dealer or repair person! (#04-08-47-003: Security light on, engine will not crank, diagnostic trouble codes B2958 and/or B2960 (repair poor terminal connections at body control module) - (Aug 31, 2004)).

- Bloomington, MN, USA

problem #103

Mar 112013

Impala 6-cyl

  • 67,483 miles
Bought this 2003 Chevrolet Impala on Jan. 2 2012 and rocker arms have been replaced 6 times since then, just today March 11,2013 ( miles are 67483) back in for same thing, car was just in on Feb. 13,2013 for rocker arms ( miles were 100396) and the dealer put a new engine in and in less then a month back in same thing. Head lights don't work right.this car is faulty and should be recalled and off the road before someone kills them self or someone else. When the rocker arms went didn't have power and almost crashed onto a was when turning a bend.very dangerous vehicle!!!

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #102

May 312012


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that the security system independently engaged preventing her from starting the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the body control module, the ignition cylinder and the pass code kit needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 58,000 and the current mileage was 63,802.

- Wakefield , MA, USA

problem #101

Sep 122012

Impala 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Engine accelerates to 3,000 RPM during warm up (sometimes). Usually occurs about five minutes after cold start. Has lasted 10 to 15 minutes while driving. Has not repeated during same day and not happen again for days or weeks during the past five months. Replaced ECM (computer), iac (idle air control), coolant temp. Sensor and cleaned throttle body. Dealer cannot suggest solution. Unable to get car to dealer while problem is happening. Scanned for dtcs multiple times, none. Controlling speed with brake is not a good solution. Safety hazard! the consumer stated when the body control module failed, the key fob would not work, the engine would not start, the interior lights would not come on and the head light would not turn off. The consumer had to disconnect the battery, in order to turn the head lights off. After reconnecting the battery, everything returned to normal. The BCM was replaced. Updated 03/19/13

- Vine Grove, KY, USA

problem #100

Oct 012012


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that when attempting to start the vehicle, the anti-theft system would activate and the vehicle could not be started. The contact would have to wait approximately 10 minutes before he vehicle could be started. The vehicle was not inspected by a dealer or an independent mechanic. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 120,000. The current mileage was approximately 133,000.

- Owoffo, MI, USA

problem #99

Oct 242012

Impala 6-cyl

  • 119,000 miles
When I attempt to start the vehicle, the security light flashes, radio locks up and the car stalls. After reading the manual and contacting a dealer, I was advised to turn the key into the on position and wait for the security light to stop flashing, then start the car. The first time this happened it took over an hour for the car to start. The second time, it took over an hour as well. This is the third time and im on day 2 of leaving the key in the on position and nothing is happening. I contacted the dealer again and at first I was told I needed to bring it in for a security system reset. Then I was told that I need to replace BCM without anyone actually looking at my car. After researching online, there are several complaints regarding this same issue on model 2000-2005. GM is clearly aware of this defect but refuse recall. Those that have paid over $500 to fix replace the BCM are still having the same issue. Can GM be held accountable for the flaw that they are aware of yet charging people hundreds of dollars to fix a part that may not be broken?

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #98

Oct 152012


  • 194,511 miles
My turn signals went out. Will not work and idk what's going on but I have read many same complaints the net.

- Idabel, OK, USA

problem #97

Aug 202012


  • 123,752 miles
The car will not start and I have to sit and wait 5 minutes or so until it will start. I have been reading online that this is a big problem and Chevrolet has not done a recall to fix it, it is very sad. I would like to have this electrical problem fixed.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #96

Oct 152008


  • 158,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. While the vehicle was parked the contact noticed the security light illuminated on the instrument. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated the key had to remain in acc mode for a few minutes before it would start. The failure occurred intermittently and became progressively worse over time. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated the pass lock key sensor had to be replaced. The failure continued to occur after the vehicle was repaired. The dealer stated the failure did not occur with both keys used to turn the vehicle on. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 158,000.

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #95

Sep 302012

Impala 6-cyl

  • 97,658 miles
Multiple times the key has been unable to turn in the ignition. Usually after a few minutes the key will turn and I am able to start the car. However, on September 30, I was unable to turn the key in the ignition and the car has not started since. I can not turn the car on to put it in neutral. The key will not turn at all and I read that this is actually a common problem.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #94

Apr 052011

Impala 6-cyl

  • 98,200 miles
Headlights keep going out, have installed 2 parts will last a couple months than will go out again. Will go dim than go off.

- Dekalb, MS, USA

problem #93

Sep 082012

Impala 6-cyl

  • 146,064 miles
Recently, when I arrived at a local business center, I attempted to turn the ignition key to off and I could not. The key was stuck in the acc position, and thus could not be removed. In addition, all the accessories were on. Reluctantly, I had to leave my car in a public parking lot with the power on and my keys dangling in the ignition. When I drove home, once again the key would not rotate to the off position -- it remained at acc. I attempted many fixes for the problem -- repeatedly shifting into park, turning the steering wheel, etc. I was forced to leave the car on, and with the key in the ignition. My battery in time would be dead. Perhaps worse, my car was just sitting there waiting for an opportunistic thief. I searched online for help and found scores of reports of Impala owners who had the identical problem. The ignition key gets stuck in acc and can't be removed. It's an intolerable situation because you can't secure your car. Not to mention that you can't turn the accessories off, so you have a guaranteed drained battery. Here is just one forum where this specific Impala problem was discussed: Chevrolet should issue a recall and fix this problem. There's no way one can force the key out of the ignition, and the only means of avoiding the drained-battery problem is to remove the battery cables. That's not technology, that's a nightmare. My car is constantly at risk of being stolen, and I'm hooking and unhooking the battery cables all the time. This is a very pervasive and persistent problem with Impala owners. Just this one web site alone (above) contains detailed accounts by scores of complainants, and it's but one of many. We paid too much for these cars to be ripped off and jerked around.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #92

Aug 112012


  • 148,086 miles
Low-beam headlights have failed to come on and will no longer function. High-beams and daytime running lights still function, but at dusk the low-beams will fail to light; however high-beams can be used instead creating a traffic hazard. I replaced the multi-function switch with a new switch, and replaced the relay with a known good working relay. The relay will still work and actuate indicating that the relay is not the problem. I checked the bulbs and they are still good, fuses are fine, 12V positive power is present at the bulb, but the ground is not activated on either side at any time. All problems point to a bad body control module (BCM). I have checked online and there are many many complaints about this vehicle with the same problem. If the low-beam headlights fail on somebody while they are driving, it could cause a crash and with that comes the possibility of the fatality of the driver and passengers. The BCM computer is known to cause many problems with starting the vehicle, flashing the lights both interior and exterior and these will cause safety issues with the vehicle.

- Lansing, MI, USA

problem #91

Aug 072012

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles
The vehicle was parked for 2 days in Mexico and I attempted to start it early afternoon and it after 1 hour of waiting to start it again, it would not start. This has happened to me a in the past and the last time it did was about 3 months ago. My car would not start at first and then after 10-15 minutes of waiting it would then turn on but now its taken longer to function. I don't know the exact reason why this problem is occurring but would like it to get fixed asap.

- Eagle Pass, TX, USA

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