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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
100,015 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (8 reports)
  2. replace wiring on ignition harness (1 reports)
2004 Chevrolet Impala electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments

problem #9

Nov 012012

Impala LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles


I purchased this car June 30, 2004 pre-owned with 12,000 miles on it. I take it back to the Chevrolet dealership while it was still under warranty for a starting problem. Occasionally, there would be a clicking sound and it would not turn over. They told me it was nothing wrong with the car. They stated it was started over 50 times without a problem. The problem did not go away but I never took it back either.

Over the years, I noticed that I was purchasing more batteries than I think I should have. I was also told it was the battery draining and I would replace them and the car would still click sometimes but it would start. Over the years I was buying more batteries more often. As a working single woman, the last thing I needed after working 16 hours is a car that would not start. The starting problem become more frequent until I just decided to buy another car, 2011 Impala.

SO, I was still driving the 2004 Impala until it left me stranded at work and I had to call for roadside assistance at 11 pm at night. I bought a new battery the next day. Thinking that I wouldn't have the same problem for a while, I drove the car to work, came out of my workplace, hit the remote to unlock the doors, doors unlocked no problem. I put the key in the ignition and all the lights came on and the car would not start. I called roadside assistance again. The guy says, its not the charging system everything working fine, I know it was not the battery, I just bought that one the day before. He jumped it anyway and it started. I drove home parked it again.

The next day I got into the car, started no problem, drove it around the corner, came back to the house, parked it until the next morning. Remote unlocked the door, the lights were dim, it clicked when I tried to start it and nothing happened after that. It has been parked on my driveway since November 2012. Until last week, I had to towed to the repair shop, and the mechanic is saying it's been starting all week without a problem and he can't find anything wrong with the danged car. If anyone has a true solution for this problem, please share. Short of just getting rid of it, it really has been a good car.

- , Humble, TX, USA

problem #8

May 092011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

My wife's mom bought her a 2004 Chevy Impala back in 2005. It worked great for a year and then the entire instrument cluster on the dashboard went out. Speedometer, tachometer, and heat gauges all started showing random values and eventually went dead. Now they all sit as low as the needles can go.

About 2007 the car started locking up. This only ever happened when I was driving of course. The second time it happened I had gone to Target, parked, and went in. Came out about a half hour later and the key wouldn't turn. My wife has AAA so they sent a guy out to disassemble the entire ignition. It fixed the problem and hasn't done that again.

But he told me this happens a lot on Impala's and that is usually caused by turning the steering wheel after the key has been removed. The car thinks it's being stolen and shuts down entirely. Smart design!

Most recently, the battery has been draining. My wife works 20 miles from our apartment and I'm still unable to find a job in my career since graduating college, so we're tight on cash and we only have her car and my 1999 Dodge Stratus.

We went to my sister's wedding and were gone for a week. The day after we get back, my wife drives to work and it dies. She drifts over to the shoulder of the interstate with traffic whizzing by at 70mph and calls me. A policeman stops to ask if she needs help and she gets the car towed to a mechanic. Mechanic says its the alternator and it's gonna cost $350 for parts and labor. We had about $100 to last us the next two weeks when he said this, so we jumped it and drove it home.

It sat for a month, dead. My friend helped me take out the battery and the alternator. We bring them to AutoZone. They say the battery is absolutely dead, no charge at all. Like putting a voltmeter on a rock. They test the alternator and it passes all the tests. I get a new battery for $100 and it has a 36 month free replacement warranty.

Car is like new! My wife drives to work all week. That Saturday, we meet her boss and his family and we all go out to the zoo and then to a golf tournament he has passes for. On the way to the golf course, the car starts beeping and freaking out. It says the battery is low. We park, look around the event some, come back, and the car won't start.

My wife insists we pay $200 for a new alternator and that will fix it, but after reading this forum, I think it's some other electrical problem. Autozone tested our alternator and said it was fine. I think this year of Impala has some horrible electrical problem that saps voltage while its parked and kills the battery. Either GM addresses this and recalls whatever is wrong or people like me are forced to buy two batteries and a charger and just keep swapping out the one under the hood with the charged one we'll keep in the trunk.

Meanwhile, we've been putting 400 miles a week on my car driving my wife back and forth from work. So I've just been letting her take the car to work and my daughter and I are stuck at home all day during the summer with no way to get around. Thanks Chevy for producing a car that ruins a families income and a child's summer vacation.

Needless to say, if I ever buy American, it will be a Dodge. But I'll be much more likely to buy a Toyota, Honda, or Nissan if I'm buying an affordable family car. My friends with those cars have zero complaints.

Someone on here mentioned a wiring harness does the trick. Does anyone know more about this? If I can fix this car for under $100 that would be excellent. Gas is $3.75/gallon here and we can't afford to keep putting miles on my poor old Dodge.


problem #7

Aug 262010

Impala LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

We bought the car in May 2007 when and it only had about 20,000-some miles on it. In August 2007 the car wouldn't start so husband bought a 75 month battery, no problems. This last Thursday the car starts up fine all day, until I'm on a busy street and start to head home. We were able to jump start it, left it running for over an hour, drove a half hour home, shut it off, battery was deader than a doornail. We took it in to NAPA today, they tested it and gave us credit for the remaining FOUR YEARS left on the warranty of the battery, had to buy a new one. We were told that the 04 and 07 Impalas are notorious for draining batteries. Appears like every 3 years you have to replace it, even if battery is supposed to last 7 years. I can't WAIT to trade this piece of crap in.

- , New Raymer, CO, USA

problem #6

Jan 292010

Impala LS 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,138 miles


iIve read the problems on here and it seems to be pretty much the same as what I experienced a few weeks ago.... my car seemed fine, I went to sleep, got up and drove about 20km and it completely died on me.. I had it boosted(65$) drove back home, left it running.. went to see my mechanic, tested the charging system and he said it was fine... I drove 30 km... it died again... right in front of gm... so I pull it in, I tell them what's happening and they tell me I need a new battery.. perfect it's fixed (210$) I drive another 500km... it dies... so, now being in the middle of downtown Toronto, it dies in the middle of an intersection...I call CAA and get it towed... the driver informs me that my alternator is charging... but not properly.... so now I think that it's the problem.. this is Saturday at 7pm... nothing is opened until Monday... the drivers tells me about a 24hr mechanic that has an electrician employed... I say the hell with it and have it towed there... he tests the alternator and finds that it's not getting the power it needs.. I leave it with him, and 350$ later have my car back in perfect running condition.. the wiring harness for the ignition had a problem and that's why it keeps dying.. so if you are having a problem, with your car not starting, I suggest you try looking into that.. I didn't even need the new battery I bought...I spent double what I had to..had I known that the wiring harness was the problem.. the repair would have cost around 150$ tops.

- , Morrisburg, Ontario, Canada

problem #5

Mar 182009

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles


- , Eugene, OR, USA

problem #4

Dec 072008

Impala 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

I been having several problems with this vehicle. The latest issue happened yesterday--I went to start the car and got nothing just a clicking noise. Had the car jumped, took it to battery plus thinking I needed a new battery, the clerk said the battery was fine. Went to the grocery store shortly after--the car was parked for about 45min---wouldn't start, had it jumped AGAIN. Got home, went out 2 hrs. later car wouldn't start. A few days before this iccident the SECURITY light would come on when I started it and would go off after a couple of min. of driving-WTF!!! I'm taking it to the shop this morning......

- , Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #3

Apr 262008

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


Shut the car off for five minutes, came back out and it would not start. Got a jump start thinking the battery was bad, drove straight to AutoZone, they checked the battery and the alternator and said it was fine. Said maybe the bushings in the starter solenoid were bad and if it happened again to just keep turning the key until they locked into place. I do not think this is the problem. Then the same night we went to dinner and car was off maybe an hour and restarted fine, then went to Home Depot and car was off 40 minutes, restarted just fine. We then went to the movies and came out 2 1/2 hours later and car would not restart. It has to have something to do with the battery getting drained down. The clock had reset along with radio station programs and when someone gave us a jump again it started fine. I guess I will be forced to pay whatever the dealer will charge because the car is now out of warranty. I have had several other problems with this car that were at least under warranty. I do not wish to get another car. I still owe $8000 on this one.

- , Brighton, IL, USA

problem #2

Jan 252008

(reported on)

Impala LX 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

Problem has not yet been resolved. Taking the car to a local dealer for computer analysis. We took the car to the dealer 1 month ago with a dead battery. Told them that the 3 year old battery that in there had failed in Portland, Or. They had installed a new 100.00 battery in Portland. We told them we thought the car had some type of electrical problem. He looked at the battery, said it was out of water, filled it with water and charged it and we paid them 70.00. Had the battery tested a few days later elsewhere and was told the battery was no good. Got a new battery that day and yesterday it was dead after the car had gone 4 days of sitting. The car is going to the dealer again on Monday and we will see if they can find what is obviously a slow voltage drain.

- , Helena, MT, USA

problem #1

Oct 022007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

On three separate occasions, the car just would not start. Like the battery just decided it was out of juice, from one moment to the next. No prior indication of anything being wrong. Once dead though, all the regular symptoms of a dead battery.

Had the car jumped each time, and then battery and alternator checked. Both checked in fine working order. I have no idea what is wrong, and why it happens so suddenly. Is anyone else having these issues???????? We have to wait until payday to get it checked out and possibly fixed (IF they can find the problem!). Help?

- , Springfield, OR, USA

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