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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
90,745 miles
Total Complaints:
125 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (80 reports)
  2. leave key in the ON position for 10 minutes (18 reports)
  3. replace ignition lock cylinder (4 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 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

May 172007

(reported on)

Impala LS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles


Passlock (security) system light tends to come on for varying periods of time but car still runs. On occasion, car won't start and we must wait 10 minutes with the ignition on until the passlock light stops flashing. Then the car will start. Dealer has run some diagnostics but can't identify problem. Suspects faulty ignition and has suggested replacing ignition would solve problem (cost $600.00). We have extended warranty (third party) but that won't cover replacing the ignition unless it can be proved that the ignition is the culprit. We are currently keeping a log of when the light comes on and for those occasions when the car won't start. We really like the size, ride and features of our Impala but we won't be buying any GM car with Passlock on it until we can be assured that the dealers have the competence to solve their cars' problems.

- , Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

problem #24

Feb 182008

Impala 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,011 miles

the security light came on while driving today. i was on my to work. when i was leaving it wouldn't start. it's making a noise like the ignition is turning ,but no engine noise. the noise won't stop and the car won't start.i've never had this problem before. i've had the car for 3 months and no problems til today.

- , Madisonville, KY, USA

problem #23

Feb 012008

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,980 miles

My 2003 Impala has been great....up intill now. My wife was driving some clients around, (she's a Realtor) and the security light comes on. She pulls over and turns off the car, upon attempting to restart the car, the radio displayed "LOCKED" and the car would not start while the stupid SECURITY light flashed incessantly. My wife called me and told me the problem, I drove up to where she was, 35 miles away, and attempted to fix the problem. I disconnected the positive terminal on the battery and waited five minutes. Put it back on and the car started however the security light remained on. I turned off the Impala so I could move our other car out of the way (it was darka nd I needed light). When I restarted the Impala, everything seemed fine, even the security light was NOT on. The next day my wife takes the car again and the same thing happens, only this time the same quick fix does not work. So I played with some of the fuses and incidental it started. I get it home and decide that I am going to take it in to have it looked at after the weekend (started Fri night). Sunday, the car wouldn't start, Monday, the car wouldn't start. I made an appointment to take the car in on Wednesday. I kept playing with things and reading reviews on this site as well as others to try to find a solution. Finally I got the car started, but no skill of my own, and decided to take it into the dealer that day instead of waiting till Wednesday. Tuesday afternoon the dealer calls me and says that the "passlock system" was reading a theft code and for some reson could not recognize my key. So they "RELEARNED" the "PASSLOCK SENSOR" somewhere in or around the ignition. They only charged me the $95 diagnostic fee. which amounts to this: they say that if you get your car fixed at the dealer the diagnostic fee is applied towards the repairs, So what this guy really was telling me is that the cost for repairs "RELEARNING the SYSTEM" cost less then the $95 so they just carged me the $95. So far it works, I'll let you know if anything changes.

The car is a 2003 and has only 53000 miles on it.

This is what the report says that they gave back to me;


- , Orem, UT, USA

problem #22

Jan 012008

Impala 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles


I have a 2003 Impala. Along with it came the same problem every one that owns an Impala has. The most annoying is when the car doesn't start at random times. I've seen different possible reasons and like all of you, I really don't want to take it to the dealer yet. We all know that if we take it to the dealer, we'll BE TAKEN by the dealer! This security problem should be recalled since there is obviously enough complaints about it. This passlock security problem has me going crazy!!

- , Ventura, CA, USA

problem #21

Aug 082006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

every time something stupid happens like this to the car. they want you to take it to a dealer so they can screw you again

- , dalmatia, pa, USA

problem #20

Nov 092007

(reported on)

Impala LX 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

Here I am, another fellow annoyed Chevy owner!! Same problem with getting stuck with my 2 sons in the car, late for work because I had to shut this off at the pumps. I've had this car for 30,000 miles now and it has done this to me at least a dozen times. My 1970 Impala never gave me a problem! I should have kept it. Matter of fact, Chevy should have kept this car!! Overall it is a great vehicle, when it starts!!! Hopefully someone will find a fix for this because Chevy won't!! Way to boost the American car confidence there Chevy!! I hope you learn something when the BOWTIE has TOYOTA written across it!!

- , Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #19

Oct 082007

(reported on)

Impala 4dr Sedan 3400 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,739 miles


Security light on constantly. Now getting service engine and occasionally battery light. Car will always start but light show (security/serv eng/ and occasionally battery lights flashing) are driving me and wife insane. Battery terminals clean and car well maintained. Tried a code reader several times but no codes resident. Glad I read over other beefs before taking her in. I'm at a loss and am very disappointed with this car. It sure sounds like GM needs to step up to the plate and come clean with all of us. I can't even sell this car in this state.

- , Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

problem #18

Sep 252007

(reported on)

Impala LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

I have the same problem as the rest of you. Actually as I sit here right now my 2003 Impala wont start. Passlock code came on twice yesterday but it still started fine. Got up this morning and it wont start. I agree that GM should take responsibility for the problem. At least now I know not to take it to a mechanic because there is nothing they can do that is a long term fix. If I find anything out will post it!!

- , Andrew, IA, USA

problem #17

Sep 192007

(reported on)

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

Same problem as everyone else, my mechanic thinks it is starter but according to all these posts it is a security passlock system. I have purchased 6 Impalas over the years, this will be my last !!!! GM should recall this and PAY FOR IT !!!

- , Chelmsford, MA, USA

problem #16

Sep 092007

(reported on)

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,200 miles

We were on our way home from a mini vacation & was stranded at the gas pumps at a Pilot Station because "SECURITY" lights & car wouldn't crank. Needless to say, after 2 hours, we got it to suddenly start. I agree with all the other complaints. Here lately it seems to happen every other week. We removed some of the fuses & was able to get it to start. But I felt that it mostly happened with the remote keyless entry. Knock on wood, it hasn't happened in a while. Having 3 kids, the keyless remote was nice but being stranded is a pain in the @$#!!!! I just wish GM would recall it & fix the actual problem. I had a warranty too but refused to use it, I knew they wouldn't fix it either. Sounds like from others complaints, I saved myself some money. If anyone finds a true lasting resolution or a 100% cure to the "SECURITY" feature not letting the car to crank, please post it - - I need to know!!!!

- , Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #15

Jul 102007

(reported on)

Impala LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles


Security light came on and then off one day (it came on about a hour after going thru deep street water after a rain storm- then turned off after a few minutes(?). A few days later the engine would not turn over. Did this twice in a two month time. Got it started both times after ten minutes of several on and off key turns. Battery is fine, all electrical systems works but will not ignite. It acts as if your car is in gear and it won't start until you're in park or neutral. One queer thing is on some key turns you can shift out of park and place the automatic trans in gear - the next key turn you can't. The first time I got it restarted, I got it in neutral and it started right away (after I already waited ten minutes though), but seems like ten minutes or so of waiting is the only way to restart(?) SOS

- , Marshalltown, IA, Afghanistan

problem #14

Jun 262007

(reported on)

Impala V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

The security light will come on every now and then when I am driving. Other times when I try to start my car it won't crank. Nothing happens. I wait exactly 10 minutes without doing anything else and the car will start every time. I was going to take the car in, but after reading that so many people have this problem and there is no solution I won't waste my money. This is obviously a recall situation that they are not owning up to, I'll never buy a Chevy again.

- , Lewis Center, OH, USA

problem #13

Apr 272007

(reported on)

Impala LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,532 miles

In March of 2007 my security light started coming on. I ignored it at first then at 11 pm one night I could not start my car. All lights were working but my ignition would not turn. I had my car jump started and got home. Next day I went to the dealership and was told it was a faulty BCM module and it would be $361 dollars to replace. So they replaced it. One week later Security light starts coming on again. Three days later on the way to work I stopped and the car would not start again. Again I had my car jumped off and took it to the dealership. This time diagnostics showed nothing. After researching this problem on the internet I called GM and was assign a case manager. He then called my dealership and I was told to bring my car back in. This time I was told it was a passlock code had to be reset and somthing else installed and it would be $530 plus tax this time. I told him to fix it. I told GM about this and was told if something had not been wrong with my BCM module they would not have fixed it. I am now out close to $900 for this problem and I am getting sick of this. I have ask GM to keep my case file open until this is fixed and to report what actions was taken as I think there needs to be a recall on this problem.


problem #12

Mar 182007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Security light comes on and vehicle came to a complete halt while

driving 80mph. Thank God I go into work at 3am and no traffic is

on highway.

This only happened once. To numerous to track are the amount of times security light would come on prohibiting car from starting.

Sure do miss my Grand Prix.................

- , Sharon, MA, USA

problem #11

Aug 012006

(reported on)


  • 22,000 miles

Intermitant: Car engine would not start. This has happened twice. Chevy dealer could find nothing wrong. Corrected itself after 20 minutes. Car is very well kept with only 22,000 miles.

- , Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #10

Oct 122006

(reported on)

Impala LS

  • 67,000 miles

Motor does not turn over, All electrical components are fine, after a few minute it cranks like nothing is wrong, Anyone have a solution??

- , Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #9

Jul 262006

(reported on)


  • 70,000 miles

The car won't start. In fact when the key is turned no power to anything at first. NOT the battery since the headlights etc. work. When I pull VERY hard to the left on the steering wheel while turning the key the car will FINALLY start. But then service alerts for "security, battery, and service engine" flash. NO A/C when this is going on and radio says "locked". This is extremely annoying since it usually happens to me when I am running late. I also don't enjoy driving around in 90 degree heat with no a/c and 2 small kids in the car because they whine. Don't know what is causing this and want to fix it quick.

- , Manchester, NH, USA

problem #8

Nov 022006

(reported on)

Impala Not Sure V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

Our car is in the shop for the second time in less than a month. The car runs fine and then all of a sudden you drive to the store and it will not start.

The first trip to the dealer they told us that the computer code needed to be reset and charged us $120.00 because the warranty was only good it there was a part that needed to be replaced.

This is what they just called and told me they found wrong so far, Pass lock cylinder and they are ordering the part and it will be covered under the warranty.

I am sure that this is what was wrong with the car all along and if more things pop up I will keep you posted.

- , Newark, CA, USA

problem #7

Feb 042007

(reported on)

Impala 3.2

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

I too am one of the unfortunate people who have this security issue with my Impala. I bought the car used with warranty. I first took it to the dealer when the warranty was still valid. The response is well it is not doing if for us it must have been just a freak occurrence, i had it to the dealer a second time and was told that what ever was causing it was not showing up on the computer, so no fix then as well. well of course there is no longer warranty-not that it would matter. I have had the vehicle for less then 36 months it has left me waiting or late for appointments and work at least 8 times and left me and my family sitting and waiting in a small town on Thanksgiving day, thankfully the weather was about 20 degrees as opposed to the negative temps we often see. I live in a vast rural state were public transportation is not provided. We have winters that can see -25 degrees, so i would prefer if he kids did not have to walk to school and it would be nice not to have to wait the 30-60minutes for the car to 'read' the key and realize I am not trying to steal my own car. It is equally frustrating that GM does not seem to think there is a problem. I am still kicking myself for getting rid of my Mercury Grand Marquis with over 170,000 miles(which was paid for)and did not leave me stranded at the drop of a hat for something that is unreliable, that I have payments on, and can not take a road trip in because of its undependable quality. This has turned me off of Chevy products altogether, they will not fix a problem when a problem is discovered, it is no wonder there sales and profit margins are down.

- , Billings, MT, USA

problem #6

Jan 202007

(reported on)

Impala V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles

Same thing is happening. Every now and then. (I'd say 1 in 5 starts the engine won't turn over at all) I've tried many different things to reset the security feature, which i guess is the problem, because the battery is fine) But then all of a sudden it will just start. After it happening so many times and trying many different things to reset the security. It's never the same thing each time so i have no idea what reset it if anything. I am scared to take it in for fear of what has happened to rest of forum. Not getting it fixed and still paying out the bucks. If anything is found definitive i would be appreciate to know about it.

- , Ozark, MO, USA

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