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7.9

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$514.00
Average Mileage:
89,577 miles
Total Complaints:
102 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (62 reports)
  2. leave key in the ON position for 10 minutes (18 reports)
  3. replace ignition lock cylinder (3 reports)
  4. replace the BCM (Body Control Module) (3 reports)
  5. take off positive cable, and clean corrosion (3 reports)
  6. put car in neutral and start (2 reports)
2003 Chevrolet Impala electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments (Page 1 of 6)

problem #102

Feb 012011

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

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

It is sad there are soooo many problems with the Impala's. I am afraid to drive anywhere after dark

because never know when car is not going to start. I can't afford to have it fixed . Single mom, who lost

job due to lack of work, and unemployment just ran out. Impala's have so many issues and Chevrolet

does NOT seem to care .

- , Rockford, IL, USA

problem #101

Jul 012013

Impala LSX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 210,000 miles

Something told me to get the grandma looking Mercury Sable....... but my husband wanted the very nice looking and somewhat rare Impala LSX 3.8L V6. Here is the issue, started out fairly minor and on rare occasion it wouldn't start. Leave it set for about ten minutes, then vroom vroom. Then it was happening a few times a week, then every day, then multiple times a day. Now it sits with the hood up outside in the driveway refusing to play nice. At first the not starting would be accompanied by the security light, but not anymore. Let me say too, that as the issue became more frequent, when it would finally start, the dash lights would begin spazzing out a bit. I'd have the airbag guy come on, and the NO TRAC light, and the ABS light, and sometimes, you could just hear the electrical stuff buzzing in the dash. When it was spazzing really bad, even the turn signals wouldn't work and the transmission would hardly want to change gears(which I just had rebuilt around June----AAARRRGGGHHHHH). Drive around for a couple of minutes and everything would normalize. Was considering taking the car to the dealer to get repaired but after checking a multitude of forums and such, it looks like the dealer service departments have only fixed the issue a handful of times. I am considering getting a remote starter or something. I called GM to get some answers but they only wanted to tell me about the recall for the engine fire crap. I told him that I wasn't too worried about that. NO START means NO ENGINE FIRE........I will not likely ever get another Chevy. Side note, right before these issues started, I was having a bit of difficulty turning the key in the ignition. I would have to keep turning and holding my steering wheel in different positions to get it to start. I have a 1994 Ford F150 pickup truck that I consider to be my reliable vehicle....... go figure. Hey, anyone in the market for a somewhat rare, non starting Chevy Impala?

- , Stockbridge, Georgia, USA

problem #100

Aug 212013

Impala LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

hi i have a 2003 chevy impala it will not start.the problem in the security system. now chevy knows they have a problem but refuse to have a recall.i would like the word to be put out not to buy a chevy.

- , Rochester, NH, USA

problem #99

Nov 082012

Impala LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

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

security lock out starts, runs fine, shut off will not start for 10 min.

- , Springfield, MA, USA

problem #98

Dec 192012

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

INSTRUMENT LIGHTS STARTED GOING ON AND OFF, THEN A MONTH LATER THE RADIO WOULD PLAY AND THE KEY NOT ON. SOME LIGHTS ON SOME NOT.STARTS SOMETIMES BUT NOT FIVE MINUTES LATER. NEW BATTERY CHECKED OUT. STARTER CANT FIND ANYTHING. IM READY TO SCREEM NOW IT WONT START. .IF THIS IS A PROBLEM WITH GM WHY HAVENT THEY RECALLED AND FIXED THE PROBLEM? I HAVE CHECKED AND TO HAVE A BCM WILL COST TO MUCH AND MAY NOT EVEN FIX IT SO I BOUGHT A FORD I HAVE OWNED CHEVYS FOR 30 YEARS BUT NO MORE

- , Cub Run, KY, USA

problem #97

Sep 112003

Impala LS 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

Here is our problem the car would not start, always at most inconvient time. We have to sit and wait for about 15 or 20 minutes until the system reset itself. Then with all the windows rolled up and every thing in the off position only then could we could start it. I tried several of the methods described in complaint notes the results were the same. After 6 years and several towings it started getting more frequent, once or twice a month. Finally it did not start at all. Our mechanic said we need a new iginition switch and key cylinder. This was replaced for $600. And all was great for 30days when the switch broke again and would not start. This was replaced under warrenty and the new one is doing great and some other small problems have went away. We wish we would have done this sooner.

- , Antioch, CA, USA

problem #96

Nov 012009

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

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

My 03 impala has had issues with no current being sent to the starter motor at ignition. I had the car towed home and replaced a perfectly good OEM starter motor with a crappy Autozone one. This fixed the problem for about 1 week. At the same time I was shorting my automatic door lock fuse about every 5th vehicle entry. I have not resolved the problem but have mitigated it by using keyed entry instead of remote entry. This has worked without a failure for the past 3 years. Before I resorted to keyed entry, I could always get the starter motor to work by pulling and re-inserting the 10 amp PCM fuse on the driver side fuse panel. This worked on about 10 different occasions (never failed) before I stopped using remote entry and the starter motor problem went away. If you're in a bind and the starter motor won't get power, pull the PCM fuse and put it back in. I choose the keyed entry approach now because pulling the PCM fuse resets all of the transmission gear shift settings and takes a few drives to get back to normal.

- , Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #95

Sep 012010

Impala 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

2003 chevy impala security light goes on while driving, Go out to start car and won't start everything else works but car wont start . I leave it on the on for 10 fifteen min then will start. EVERYONE NEEDS TO CALL GM TO MAKE A COMPLAINT ON THIS OR THERE WILL NEVER BE A RECALL SO PLEASE EVERYONE CALL THIS NUMBER WITHIN THE US 1-800-222-1020 PLEASE EVERYONE CALL....

- , chicopee, Massachusetts, USA

problem #94

Jun 042012

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 194,000 miles

This has happened five times since June. Thank God I have been in my own driveway when it won't start. The security light does come on randomly when I'm driving. I usually have to cuss for about 10 minutes and then it starts! I am going to try using my spare key like I read on this site and because it is the only key on the keyring (someone said it might have something to do with the weight of a lot of keys on your keyring)

- , Cinton Township, Michigan, USA

problem #93

May 012012

Impala

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

I first had the Passlock problem over a year ago. I did the "turn key to ON and wait 10 mins til Security light stops flashing" thing a number of times. Then my key also started getting stuck in the ignition, so I had the tumbler replaced. No Passlock problems after that! Until one day last month, the dreaded Security light came on while driving and, soon enough, was dealing with the won't start issue again.

I looked anew for solutions and came across the following (maybe on this site, but I can't recall) and it has been working so far (three weeks). The light has come on a few times while driving, but using the following steps every time I start the car, I have not had the "won't start" problem. I do not know if this a real solution, or just coincidence that my car has started every time. But I'll continue to do it until it's proven not to work:

Every time you drive:

1. Get in the car and close the door. 2. Put the key in the ignition and turn one click to the right, to “ACC” Wait two or three seconds until the (faint) electronics noises stop 3. Turn the key to the “ON” position (do NOT turn all the way to “START”) 4. Wait 5+ seconds for the bells and other noises to stop 5. Turn the key to Start. 6. (Assuming the engine started), put on your seat belt and off you go...

Like I said, this is working for me so far. I hope it is a solution, not just a coincidence.

Update from Jul 18, 2012: I have continued to use this method and it is still "working."

So if you are one of those who occasionally has to do the whole "Wait 10 mins until the Security light stops blinking" routine, then I recommend trying this approach.

Tim, MN

Update from Aug 19, 2012: AUGUST 19, 2012 PDTE

SORRY TO SAY THATWHAT IPOSTED BELOW BAC IN MY IS WAS NOT A "SOLUTION' AFTER ALL BUT JUSTA COINCIDENCE. THE PASSLOCK PROBLEM IS BACK, AND WORSE THAN EVER. THE PAST FEW DAYS THE RESET HAS OCCURRED EVERY TIME I TRY TO START THE CAR, AND IS TAKING ONE, TWO, OR EVEN THREE 10-MIN CYCLES... YESTERDA, I SAT FOR 30+ MINS AT A GAS STATION....

I first had the Passlock problem over a year ago. I did the "turn key to ON and wait 10 mins til Security light stops flashing" thing a number of times. Then my key also started getting stuck in the ignition, so I had the tumbler replaced. No Passlock problems after that! Until one day last month, the dreaded Security light came on while driving and, soon enough, was dealing with the won't start issue again.

I looked anew for solutions and came across the following (maybe on this site, but I can't recall) and it has been working so far (three weeks). The light has come on a few times while driving, but using the following steps every time I start the car, I have not had the "won't start" problem. I do not know if this a real solution, or just coincidence that my car has started every time. But I'll continue to do it until it's proven not to work:

Every time you drive:

1. Get in the car and close the door. 2. Put the key in the ignition and turn one click to the right, to “ACC” Wait two or three seconds until the (faint) electronics noises stop 3. Turn the key to the “ON” position (do NOT turn all the way to “START”) 4. Wait 5+ seconds for the bells and other noises to stop 5. Turn the key to Start. 6. (Assuming the engine started), put on your seat belt and off you go...

Like I said, this is working for me so far. I hope it is a solution, not just a coincidence.

Update from Jul 18, 2012 I have continued to use this method and it is still "working."

So if you are one of those who occasionally has to do the whole "Wait 10 mins until the Security light stops blinking" routine, then I recommend trying this approach.

Tim, MN

- , Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #92

May 092012

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 161,000 miles

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

Car's security is starting to fail. Came on here, saw everyone else having the same problem and decided to throw in my two cents, since it's a pretty simple fix, that doesn't cost anything at all.

Not sure how long this fix will last though, considering this just started happening to me a month ago.

I came back from Vegas after 4 days, and my battery had drained and died (faulty alternator, most likely). Got a new battery, everything was fine for 6 days. Then, one night leaving work, didn't start again. Car didn't clank, engine didn't turn. Knew it wasn't the battery. Left it alone for a while and came back to it, started right up. No big deal.

Did it a second night in a row. Started a little sooner this time, but starting to get annoyed by it.

Just happened again today, for the 3rd time in a month. My dad tried a few things, since it used to be his car before I got my license, and he remembered a trick (I guess the car had done it to him before): turn the key to the on position, turn the radio and air off, and hold down the tune button. After about 7-8 seconds, the radio starts going berserk and resetting the security on the car. Once the radio stops cycling through the options on the car, just start it up, and it should turn on right away. Hope this helps anybody else out there.

- , N/A, OH, USA

problem #91

Nov 242011

Impala

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

So much for a joyful Thanksgiving Day. As I went to start the car, it wouldn't even click like it was a dead battery. After attempting to jump the car, at first it wouldn't respond but eventually started after about 10 minutes. I went to the auto parts store expecting to get a new battery but after checking, the battery and alternator were both good. No further problems but now I'm nervous everytime I start the car. After reading all the complaints, at least I know I'm not alone. I don't expect a recall because nobody has been killed yet. Companies don't care if we are only inconvenienced.

- , Three Oaks, MI, USA

problem #90

May 022011

Impala

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I have replaced factory starter with rebuild starter from company called Hite .We use their starter and alternator in our fleet of Ford F-350. We've always get good rebuilds from this company for many years. Any problems with their rebuild they always make it right. I was having the the start trouble two months ago,HITE replaced start with a rebuild. I replaced starter car started ,no problem until now. I have a jack and two jack stands in my truck ,so I can get under car to tap start . That doesn't work. I've checked all the wires that are on starter,they're tight. Cleaned cables to battery,very clean. List to this I had to move my car up three feet,so mail could be delivered. I thought what the ...... I try to start and it STARTED... SO WHAT IS NEXT?

- , Reynldsburg, Ohio, USA

problem #89

Nov 202011

Impala

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

I wish this car would be recalled this problem is a real pain. It happens at the worst times. Trying to go home from work and the darn thing wont start. Some security wont even let its owner start it. It really sucks.

- , Davison, mi, USA

problem #88

Jun 012011

Impala V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

the car just wont start from time to time, and in the last 2 weeks it has happened 3 times. and from what i can see it is a flaw in the vehicle. so why is this not on recall list. the car runs excellent except for that problem and it is making me want to scrap this car and go to a different make and model. i have put so much money into repairs in the last 5 yrs owning this and now because of flaw on the manufactures i have to still put more money in it.. that really sucks... there should be a recall and let the consumer get it fixed for free....

- , Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #87

Jul 202011

Impala LS 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

I have been dealing with this problem since before the car was out of warranty (<36,000 miles). At first it was only occassionally. It was seen by the dealer I bought it from four times when I first had the problem. They replaced the starter once. Then the Body Control Module. Now it seems to happen more frequently. I just found this site. I am exasperated that GM has not recalled the car.

I have purchased GM cars since 1976. My father-in-law is a GM retiree. We have been loyal to this company for all this tiime. The fact that there is nothing being done means they just don't care about the customer. It has been a great car, except for this problem. The Bose sound system is the best I have ever heard.

- , Saint Augustine, FL, USA

problem #86

Sep 012007

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles

Everyone has talked about the Passlock problem on the Impala. I have been going through this since my 3 year warranty was up. It gets worse throughout the years. I first had the dealer change my ignition out for over $600 and it did not fix the problem. I then found this site. Even if they fix it, the problem most likely will come back. There are two other things people talk about on fixing it but none of it will last. Started off not starting once every couple months to once a month to once every two weeks to every day and now to more than once a day.

Will never buy GM again because they know about this problem and play dumb at the dealerships. This problems has been going on for years. It also happens to the Malibu and other Chevrolet vehicles that have the same passlock.

- , Quincy, MA, USA

problem #85

Feb 162011

Impala

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I'm sick of this unreliable car! used to be my favorite make of cars, not any more! I also had a lumina with the same problem. It cost me around 1500 before I finally got fed up and traded it in thinking it was that particular vehicle with the problem. To my dismay it turns out it is a general manufacturing defect. Since it has not been recalled, begin to suspect it is not a random or accidental defect. Looks to me like it is intentional to inspire people to purchase new cars more often. I believe the cars should be recalled and the problem fixed or Passlock system disabled at the owners choice and GMC's expense.

- , Galesburg, IL, USA

problem #84

Oct 022010

Impala

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

This "security light on" and then the car refusing to crank is very unsafe and scary. It may be on for a day and nothing happens, then it may be on for minutes and you stop and turn the car off and surprise, it will not crank when you try it again. And you sit there until it decides that it's not being stolen and it cranks. This is getting to be very stressful in these 100+ degree days in Texas.

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #83

Jun 282011

Impala

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

This has been a problem on several occasions over the last three years, the last time was 6/28/11. I didn't know this was such a problem until then, I thought the car was just possessed. The no start situation is very strange, it also happened to my 03 S10 in that case I changed the starter and never had a problem since. As for the 03 Impala I've cleaned fuses, changed the starter, changed the ignition relay under the hood at least twice, anyway 6/28/11 was the final straw and that's when I discovered this website. I have done a lot of research since that day and from most of what I read the problem is with the Body Control Module. I couldn't locate this device that is supposed to be under the dash near the steering column, however I did see that there is a BCM fuse in the fuse block. So out of curiosity I took out the fuse and attempted to start the car, it did start, interesting, so I tested to see how the power gets to the BCM. When you turn on the ignition it sends power to the BCM, with the ignition off there is no power at all at the fuse. So I left the fuse out, everything seems to work fine without it in, so I will monitor to see how this attempt goes. For those having this problem, try removing the fuse, it may just work. I will re post if this did not fix the problem. The security light would come on also, that hasn't come on with the fuse out either. Regards, Joseph

Update from Nov 19, 2011: I had to have the car fixed at the dealer for just under a $1,000 with tax. They had to replace the BCM, and the ignition switch and reprogram. Just had this done about two weeks ago, they give a one year 12,000 mile warranty with it. The dealer also has a way to test each component, there first inclination was it was the ignition switch, after diagnosis, they told me the bcm ( body control module) also was defective. The ignition switch is linked to the security light coming on. My suggestion is take it to the dealer and let them take care of it, cause the parts your replacing need to be programed to your car by the dealer anyway. And trust me when I tell you, my car has let me down at the worst times imaginable, which extremely frustrated me. I now have piece of mind that it will start, which to me is priceless.

Update from Nov 19, 2011: I had to have it fixed at the dealer, they replaced the bcm and the ignition switch and reprogram.

- , Princeton Jct, NJ, USA

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