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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
106,400 miles
Total Complaints:
67 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (37 reports)
  2. replace ignition switch (10 reports)
  3. replaced bcm unit and passlock sensor (5 reports)
  4. install remote starter to bypass security system (3 reports)
  5. prior to waiting 10 mins,play with the lock/unlock on remote (3 reports)
  6. reset passlock in 15 min. (2 reports)
2001 Chevrolet Impala electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #47

Jun 132010

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles


my 2001 impala stalls when im in slow traffic or at stop first i thought it was the transmission fluid and filter..since it was time for that to be serviced..i had that changed.but it randomly stalls continuosly..ive had so many other prblems with this car..for the last 6 months its been in and out the shop..this car does weird things...when its cool drives perfect..but as soon as the temp goes up..its seems like the gates of hell has opened..all the problems ive had with this car was during very high temps...on hot wouldnt soon as the sun goes cranks with no problems in the morning or night when cranking only in the middle of the day...two weeks after having the bcm cut off in the middle of the highway..with no warning..fuel pump went out..replaced that ...ive spent on the average one thousand dollars in 6 weeks on repairs with this car..i understand that cars will have problems..but ive never experienced them as common as i have with this car

- jlindsey, Albemarle, NC, USA

problem #46

Jun 012010

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,500 miles

The ignition system on these vehicles (many gm vehicles have this) consist of a system that measures a resistance. There are several values that this can be pre-set to. If a conector add too much resistance or there is some other change in value, the system thinks it is a theft attempt. The real fix for this problem is to get the module box used by remote start systems and install it. You will have to adjust the resistance of this unit to match the car. Once installed the problem will never come back. If you purchase the factory boxes to fix it you spend more and it comes back again.

- jimpghpa, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #45

Apr 292010

Impala LS 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

2001 Impala. sometimes it won't start. the headlights, dashlights, and radio work fine, but when I turn the key, nothing happens, no sound, nothing, but the lights are ok. I replaced the battery, it still happens. this happens from time to time and I can not predict when it will happen. but when it does happen, I wait exactly 12 minutes and it starts with no problem and sounds normal. I make sure it's in park, turn off the a/c and radio, but no matter what I do, I have to wait 12 minutes and everythings ok. what could it be that doesn't work and works 12 minutes later

- mbms, Forest, MS, USA

problem #44

Mar 252010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,000 miles


I have had this vehicle in the garage a "few times" and of course, they say they can't fix it until they find out exactly what it is! And, of course it won't do it while it is in the garage! The "Security" light comes on, then within a couple of days it won't start. And, I to have to wait the "10 minutes" and it will usually turn over for me. But I have been to work Late on many occasions from this problem, I have been stuck out in the cold on many occasions waiting for it to "reset" itself. And also got stuck out in the rain on a few occasions. It is very frustrating and too when you work the late shift and there is no one there to help you with it, it can be a little frightening! Thank god for cell phones!

- kraymond, Franklin, NH, USA

problem #43

Mar 062010

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

The Security warning on the computer display comes on almost every trip over 20 minutes. The car won't turn over fairly often when the outside temperature is above 60. In the winter the problem is rare. The Security warning flashes for 10 minutes and then goes solid. The reset procedure I got from GM has worked every time, but it's still a pain. I had the BCM replaced once before. It fixed the problem for about 3 years, but now it's back. I'm going to try to find a used module at the junkie and replace it myself. Anyhow the GM reset procedure is (and this only works after the Security lite stops flashing): 1.) Turn off the ignition 2.) Turn ignition on (but don't try to start yet) 3.) set the parking brake 4.) Open driver door 5.) Using the keyless entry remote, lock the doors 6.) Useing the keyless entry remote, unlock the doors 7.) Close the driver door 8.) Start the car. Sounds ridiculous but this procedure has not failed yet.

- jgc1009, Randoph, MA, USA

problem #42

Mar 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

I have the same problem as everyone else, except when I took it to a mechanic he said it would cost $875 to change the ignition switch. (the part I can buy online for under $10) I said no thank you. I'm glad to see everyone's advice on here and I'm going to try everyone's suggestions. I'll let everyone know what ends up being the best solution.

- Lori T., Sudbury, MA, USA

problem #41

Oct 012009

Impala LS 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles


I only want to add my complaint about Chevy's Passlock system on my 2001 Impala. It is a classic case as indicated by others on this site and elsewhere on the internet. Where AutoBeef wants to know about each occurrence, I am sure my wife and I have had near a hundred times the car would not start. I paid $300 to have it fixed at a GM dealership, only to have it return in less than 2 months. The ignition switch was still under warranty so it was replaced again. Didn't last 6 months. I have contacted Chevy Customer Service and asked to have the feature disabled at my can do "it would affect the ignition". I told the guy it affected my ignition when it wouldn't start. He apologized profusely. So now, when it won't start, I say, "Ronald at GM, says he is sorry." I am trying to see if I can get a lawyer interested in a class action suit over this. I mean GM engineered this beast and they know how to fix it. This is the country that sent the first men to the moon and back, don't tell me it can't be fixed or disabled. I know better.

- clumdsumnc, Kenly, NC, USA

problem #40

Jul 152009

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

I have a 2001 Chevy Impala and I'm experiencing the same issues with the engine not starting up. I was getting ready to take my car to the shop but my brother told me to Google my issue first. OMG!!!!! I was shocked to read that there were 38 complaints regarding the same issue as my car. The only solution that really works is waiting the ten minutes or longer so that the car can reset. The problem with that is that your late for work, school and other commitments. The money that I planned on spending to get this unfixable problem fixed, I will save it towards a new car AND IT WON'T BE A CHEVY, THAT'S FOR SURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- chrissyperry05, Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #39

Mar 172008

Impala 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Just want to add my experience with all the others for a 2001 Impala that will randomly not start. Ours seems to be worse in summer than winter. Two mechanics, including dealer have no idea. One other customer suggested praying, which seems to work for us better than anything else.

We like the car except for that. there seems to be enough of this complaint that should earn consideration by GM. Glad I have a Ford pickup as a standby.

- Paul J., Rigby, ID, USA

problem #38

Aug 042009

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

The no starting sometimes. This has happened to me several times, did a little homework and found it has something to do with a sensor in the trunk. This sensor on the other hand I dont have. But this sensor is suposseed to detected heat or motion in the trunk. This problem does only happen on hot days when car is parked in sunlight.Turn on key to on pos.and hit your trunk release on the fob.the radio should turn on and your car will start.this works for me everytime my car won't start. let me know if you can if you have done this and it worked for you.

- wfalk34, Mahtomedi, MN, USA

problem #37

Jun 262009

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,049 miles


I am the original owner of the 2001 Chevy Impala and take good care of my vehicle. I get all scheduled maintenance performed, and the car is in a garage when not in use. In the early spring of 2009, I noticed that on occasion the car would pause slightly when I first get in to start it. Then in late June, one day after work, my car would not start at all. I called my husband from my cell phone to let him know and while I was talking with him, I tried to start the car again and it did start. The next morning, the car started, I drove to work, but that afternoon, it would not start again. We purchased a new battery for the car and for the next 4 or 5 days I had no problems other than the remote keyless entry fob would not lock or unlock my doors. About the 5th day after purchase of the new battery, the car failed to start again. I took it to a local garage only to find out that it was a computer problem that only a dealer garage can fix. So now GM has a captive audience, as I can only take it to a dealer!! So off to the Chevy garage I went and after $408 and a new computer in a car with only 50,000 miles, I am not a very happy GM owner. The expense I have put in to this car over the past 6 months and 4,000 miles is mind boggling. GM has lost a customer as I will not ever buy another GM product.

- jmboyles, Meadville, PA, USA

problem #36

Jan 152009

Impala 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,847 miles

Having a problem with my impala not starting. Turn the ignition and the starter clicks. Turn the ignition over 15-20 times and it starts. Battery has full amps and is only 3 months old. I believe it the ignition contacts but not sure...any ideals. also getting a low coolant level warning but coolant is not low.

- corvette, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

problem #35

Jan 152009

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

Same problem that many others have had with the intermittent no-start situation. Bought the car 2 1/2 years ago from local GM dealer and vehicle had 40,000 miles and was very clean and nice. Car would not start when salesman attempted to bring it around for us to pick up. This should have raised a red flag but we had already bought the darn thing. Dealer replaced the Body Control Module and delivered it to our house the next day. Several months later, car wouldn't start and daughter living three hours from home is calling on phone in tears. Definitely intermittent no-start problem has been a pain.

Same problems as everyone else has described with the security light coming on during the no-start incidents. Turn the key and nothing happens, no noise or anything else other than the security light. Never know when the problem will occur and eventually the car would start and everything seemed fine till the next incident. We have since replaced a starter, another body control module, ignition switch, and finally took car back to local GM dealer where they removed the added-on keyless lock features. (Initially they wanted to replace a third body control module until I did a bit of ranting in order to get them to delve deeper into the problem.) After this, no problems for one year.

Then recently another no-start situation. This time it happened when I was around and I was able to troubleshoot it by rapping on the starter solenoid. Had the hood and door open, so I didn't disturb anything else in the process. The car started on the next try! (The security light was not on during this incident.) I replaced the starter and everything seems okay for the moment. Hope this solves the problem for a while but definitely GM has an issue with these temperamental vehicles. Great car other than that but what a pain in the butt this intermittent no-start problem has been.

The local dealer has lost us as a customer because we've been screwed over with this problem and it really does turn us off on buying a GM product. I can't believe that GM doesn't step in to resolve this problem for the 2000-2003 Impalas and Malibu's. (There may be additional model years with similar problems.) They'll take a deserved beating on their quality and customer service reputation. Yes, it does give justification for buying a foreign car even at the risk of putting my neighbors out of work. Thanks for offering this web site as an opportunity to exchange information and vent our frustrations.

- Jim W., Port Clinton, OH, USA

problem #34

Jun 012006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Randomly, the engine would not crank and the security light would blink. All accessories/gauges would still work, but turn the key to start and I would get nothing, no crank, no sounds, only the blinking security light. There was really no pattern to when it would decide not to start; sometimes it would go weeks without a problem, other times it would occur more than once in the same day.

I could wait ten minutes, try starting again, and it would start right up. This only failed me one time in the more than 12 months I lived with this problem. It was helpful to leave the key turned to ACC while waiting because after ten minutes the security light would stop flashing and that's when I knew the car was ready to start. Turn the key to off, then crank away. On one of my first trips to the dealer, I learned that the ten minute deal is related to the car's built-in security mechanisms. The car thinks it's being tampered with and kills the ignition; after ten minutes, this mechanism resets.

Ok, now on to the services that were attempted. First off, I would like to mention that unless your mechanic knows about this problem specifically, they will most likely be no help; this is mostly due to the intermittent nature of the problem. They will not be able to reproduce the problem and can only guess as to how to fix it.

The first mechanic I went to could not reproduce the problem. He suggested to start small and try the starter relay ($80 installed), but that did not fix the problem. Next, I took it to the dealer and they told me that the Body Control Module (BCM) had a short. They explained that the BCM is sort of the main brains and that if it had a problem, it could be causing the no start problem. They also explained that with the BCM not functioning properly that the error codes would not get stored correctly, and that the codes reported would be bogus. Replacement of the BCM cost about $400. Still, the problem persisted. This time the dealer said the error codes were reporting a bad ignition switch, and estimated it would be $600 to fix.

In the end, I took the car to a mechanic and had the ignition switch replaced for $400. Problem solved... finally.

- gdub, Austin, TX, USA

problem #33

Jan 092007

Impala LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I have the same problem with my Chevy. For some reason I feel better knowing I'm not alone! My boyfriend suggested this and so far it has worked... when you put the key in the ignition turn it half way. Let your seat belt reminder ding 3 times then turn the key the rest of the way over to start the engine... saying a little prayer before hand might help too! What's it going to take for GM to do a recall on this and other electrical issues?????

- Mindi S., Niles, MI, US

problem #32

Jul 192007

Impala LS 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,985 miles

Ok lets see.. where the hell to begin! I bought the car in August of 2006 and was in love with it... for the next six months she ran great.... my car's name is Bella by the way. I drive a white LS 2001 impala she's a beauty... wait what I should be saying is that she was a beauty! 1. the car starts to act as though it is possessed... the car wont start and the radio was staying on without the car even being on plus the ignition would not allow me to start the car.. I got a new ignition in the car which was $600 and a complete waste of money, next I got a whole new factor cd player/radio put in since it was saying check cd and there was no cd in the player and it wouldn't turn off. That expense was $400. Next my blinkers stopped working and that had to be replaced. Let me remind you this is all in a 3 to 6 month period. It has been in and out of the Chevrolet Dealership six times now and let me remind you... "these ARE professionals!" The new problem now is that my car wont start!! the security light flashes while the coolant light may come on or the check light may flash and still no answer as to what the hell is wrong. I figured it was my battery or alternator yet they check out to be good. So since my car has been sitting at my apartment complex getting sh*t on by birds for the past week, it still wont start. Finally today I unhooked my battery to let the security system reset itself.. go figure it still wont start. I jumped it off with my sister's truck thinking the battery was dead but still NO POWER! Finally my mother saw that someone had said to turn the key to on and put the car in drive and magically the car... Bella by the way... started. SO I drove to O'reilly's.. and had them test my alternator which they said was fine and come to find out my battery is supposedly bad!! so I go to drive off in my impala and whooo hooo she didn't start!! so the O'reilly manm brings out the Booster Pack to jump off my car and still nothing... so I just left her! Here it is 2 hours later and I go to see if my car would start because I didn't want it to get towed from the O'Reilly parking lot and she started! I figured it was due to putting the parking brake on and then it was fine!! SO whats a girl to do with a piece of sh*t car??

- Mallory M., Waco, TX, USA

problem #31

Jul 012007

Impala 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

GM should fix this piece of crap. I am a single mother with two teenage boys and the piece of crap never starts. I have been on a four day not starting mode. Not one person can find the problem. Something electrical let me tell you people, it started out as the 10 minute wait over a year ago and this problem has escalated to this. I owe 1 payment and no recalls on this crap everybody I know who owns one has the same not starting problem. I WILL NEVER BUY A GM AGAIN.

- Christy L., Conneaut, OH, USA

problem #30

Jun 112008

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Glad I'm not the only one experiencing some issues with my car. I have a '01 Impala LS that: 1. Occasionally trips the PassLock system and won't start for 10+ minutes. 2. Occasionally has problems with the turn signals turning on. 3. Has a popping noise in the steering when turning. 4. Collects water in the passenger side floor when the car is parked on an incline during rain...still confused on this one. 5. Driver side heated leather stopped working.

...As far as PassLock is concerned, I have found that the old 10-minute rule is the best fix. Occasionally even after 10 minutes pass and I try to start up, the car will act as though it still does not want to start...if this happens to you, HOLD the key in the "START" position for about 20 seconds or so. One of two things will happen: 1. The car will start, 2. The indicator lights on the dash will flash on and nothing will happen. If the lights come on and the car doesn't start, you'll have to wait another 10 minutes.

Also, I have found that having a new set of keys cut at your local hardware store or at Wal-Mart solves PassLock problems that continue to happen more than 3-times in succession. (I got stuck at a gas pump one day for (4) 10-minute waits sessions before I broke out my extra set of keys and tried them...started right up.

Still trying to figure all the quirks out on this car...slowly but surely figuring it out.

Anybody have any problems with heated seats? I've checked the fuses but it doesn't seem to be the problem and I can't even find a replacement element for sale...any info would be great.

- rubik_impala, Holgate, OH, USA

problem #29

Oct 182005

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

GM is failing because of garbage like this. They're too smart by half. The entire PassLock system is baggage--in sales parlance "feature, not benefit". Think about it like this: your car gets stolen: who do you blame? THE CRIMINAL!!! Your car strands your wife in 9 degree weather on the side of an interstate in the middle of the night and who do you blame? G-freakin'-M! Worse, those of us who can repair a car with some degree of skill are near-helpless when it comes to something like the ignition cylinder, so, being a car enthusiast, we tell about 50 other people about our frustration. And what is the benefit? Has GM sold a single vehicle because of the PassLock feature (again, feature not benefit)? They're carrying a piano on their back due to legacy costs of employees. They choose to pick up another piano by adding costs and complexity with their electrical systems. They need to kill all PassLock systems, put a simple fusebox and wiring harness in their cars, announce to the world their new simplification, and move on with lower vehicle costs and performance. This Chevy guy is inching toward a Camry, and hating myself less for feeling that way everytime my Impala refuses to start.

- sloop718, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #28

Jul 252007

(reported on)

Impala V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

I have a 2001 Chevy Impala. About every 2 or so weeks it won't start. If we wait about 30 minutes it'll crank. We've taken it to our mechanic and we've tried several different things to fix it. So far nothing has worked and he is as perplexed as we are. When ever it won't start, we take it in, but of course it'll always crank for the mechanic. Now it just had a new problem... I was driving (fortunately in a quiet neighborhood at a reasonable speed) and the car cut off on me. Every thing still worked (radio, lights etc) but it just stopped. Luckily it started back up. I read on a previous blog that changing the "computer ground wire" corrects this problem. Has anyone tried this with success?

- dawgette, Atlanta, GA, USA

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