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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
88,125 miles
Total Complaints:
16 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (8 reports)
  2. leave key in the on position for ten minutes, then start (3 reports)
  3. replace faulty bcm or ignition passlock sensor (2 reports)
  4. remove pcm fuse and try starting without fuse... will reset (1 reports)
  5. run the car through the gear put in park and it started (1 reports)
  6. you have to get your car key rekeyed to your ignition (1 reports)
2001 Chevrolet Impala electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments

problem #16

Mar 292007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


My car had been randomly not starting for the past year. When I turned the key all lights and power come on, but just wouldn't start. After it sat for 30-60 minutes (sometimes hours) it would just start. Battery-fine. Starter replaced. Still problems. I finally took it to the dealer and they said it was a faulty Body Control Module which they replaced for $397. (They said the car wasn't recognizing my key so the computer shut the car down because it thought it was being stolen.) I got the car home and 2 days later guess what... wouldn't start!! I took it back in and then they told me it was a bad sensor in the steering column. (which they replaced for free) I just got it back yesterday so not sure if that fixed the problem or not.

- , Amelia, OH, USA

problem #15

Mar 012003

Impala 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

is really bad if you are in a hurry, on you way to work. Cannot stop on my way to work unless I have extra time to spare. The good thing is it will usually start in 10-20 minutes. Glad to find others having same problem. Was going to have the anti-theft device deactivated. Does anyone know if this will stop the problem? Is there a solution? Any recalls?

- , Rockwood, TN, USA

problem #14

Jun 032008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

This is a MAJOR electrical design flaw! Problem: Car will not start. GM quick fix solution: turn to on, wait 10 minutes (exactly) turn car off after security light has stopped blinking and try again. Most of the time this works. Not always. Today we got to go through 8 cycles before it decided to grace us with DOING WHAT IT IS SUPPOSED TO DO !!! By the way, in the past, maybe 2 or 3 or even 4 cycles and then sometimes only 1, it is still 10 minutes each cycle. My 19 year old daughter plays on a late night soccer league. The other day her game wasn't over until 1 a.m. You think I want her to be unable to start her car at that hour for 45 minutes or an hour and a half? This IS A SAFETY HAZARD pure and simple. I've had the ignition cylinder replaced before and the problem went away for a few months, but it came back; and this morning was the worst so far!! If I could get the ignition completely removed and put in a simple toggle switch just out of sight and flip it that would do me just fine. This is happening to too many people. Serious design flaw somewhere! Anyh solutions would be greatly appreciated!!

- , Bedford, TX, USA

problem #13

Aug 082006

(reported on)


  • 65,000 miles


Waste time to restart. Had it tow the first time. Found somewhere on the web, how to reset the passkey to start up. Dealer fail to track the problem.

- , Colonial Heights, VA, US

problem #12

Feb 272008

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 235,000 miles

My car has had this passlock problem, turn signal problem, hesitation problem,

and the seatbeat light problem. All in all I can't complain one bit I have 235,000

miles on it hoping to hit 300,000 next year. My parents also have a 2002 Impala

and they have experience the passlock problem

- , Grantsburg, WI, USA

problem #11

Feb 062008

Impala 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,000 miles

I have an impala with starting problems,my mechanic replaced the bcm and the crank sensor.I 'll let you know if all works.

- , Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #10

Oct 082007

(reported on)

Impala 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


The security light comes on when I am driving down the road.

I have to start 1/2 hr early everyday, just because I never know when I'm gonna have to freakin sit and wait 10 minutes for the car to start. This is a real problem for me. I am tired of going through this. I am tired of the car not starting when I have to be somewhere. This is a real hassle. And I am still paying for this car. I will never buy a chev. again in my life.

- , Springfield, OH, US

problem #9

Sep 222007

(reported on)

Impala LS 3.4V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

had passlock changed once but this did not fix the problem; disconnecting and reconnecting battery cables was the solution for now; was also told by the dealer that after a 30-minute wait, the computer will reset by itself to allow engine start-but I have not tried this.

- , Boston, MA, USA

problem #8

Sep 192007

(reported on)

Impala LS V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Yep, my car constantly won't start due to Security problem. I was going to take it to the dealer and start off with the $100 diagnostic, but may try to replace the BCM on my own.

I'm calling Chevy tomorrow so I can complain. 1-800-222-1020. You all should do the same.

- , Peyton, CO, USA

problem #7

Sep 012007

(reported on)

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Replaced BCM AND ignition switch per the suggestion of the service writer at the dealership. It lasted a whole two years, and I have to do it again. This problem is really getting old.

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #6

Aug 042007

(reported on)

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


If you leave the key on the on position for ten minutes then turn it over and take it to your mechanic.

- , Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #5

Jul 192006

(reported on)

Impala LS

  • 93,000 miles

Same Problem as Above:

Security light while driving, no known cause. Usually occurs to me with wet weather (maybe an exposed wire?). Later, car will not start. Good power, no start. This is the PassLock Security System shutting off fuel to the vehicle. The reason it is intermittant is that the PassLock will reset with time. Sometimes 10 minutes is enough, but I have heard of people waiting for hours.

One solution: Use your radio to reset the PassLock. Check Owner's Manual for instructions.

Another Solution: Set your key to the "On" position for 10-15 minutes, allowing the PassLock codes to be bypassed.

Permanent Fix: As far as I can tell, GM has had some issues with this system, though I haven't yet heard of a universal cause. Most likely, an Ignition Sensor or a BCM (Body-Control-Module) is the culprit. The question you have to discover an answer to is "Why is my BCM triggering PassLock?" Once known, you can replace the faulty part. For some, it is a wire, others a fuse, still yet others a BCM, and for some a sensor. At least you take some ammo to your mechanic.

By the way, I haven't experience a "stopped running" from this problem. Only a "wouldn't start."

Other Known Common Impala Problems: 1. Clunking when steering (slighty audible, felt in steering wheet) ISS (Intermediate Steering Shaft) 2. Coolant in Oil Bad Manifold Gasket (70,00o miles) 3. Wobble in Steering when braking Bad Rotors

I like this car a lot, and I wouldn't call it a lemon. The Gasket problem is a GM part problem. The re-issue / fix will solve all your problems, but it is expensive. But figure it adds another 10 years to your car's life.

- , Kentwood, MI, USA

problem #4

Oct 192006

(reported on)

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

This car has left me sitting so many times I can't even count, forcing me to be late. The only solution I've heard and found it works is to remove the PCM fuse (located under the hood), turn the key to start position (without the fuse in allowing the system to reset), wait about a minute then replace the fuse. Turn the key to the on position and allow the computer to go through it's cycle then start. This has worked for me and only takes about 10 minutes. This works for a quick fix, however, it definitely does not take away from the pain of having to go through all this in the middle of a parking lot at night after working all day. I don't understand why Chevrolet hasn't recalled this car seeing as all the complaints I've heard just locally.

- , Dysart, PA, USA

problem #3

Apr 112006

(reported on)


  • 118,000 miles

You know I have gotten to the point of frustration with my car. I have a 2001 Chevy Impala that I love and has gotten me to point to A to B to C and even D. Now my complaint is the security system AGAIN!!! On my work today, the light came on and that is my clue that the car may not start today or the next couple of days... I have spent so much money trying to getting diagnostic test on it (everyone know how much that can cost when you go to the dealership), they have reset the secuirty system a total of 5 times, they have told me that it was the battery (had that replaced) and then I they said that some modular system need to be replace (got that done and it cost me $480 est., but the funny thing the part was was only $159, the rest of the amount is in labor). Not to mention, the cost of towing, now some of the tows were free (AAA), but I used the alotted tow services that AAA gives you for the year in a month in half getting the car towed from work to home, work to dealership. So after I used that the 4 for the the other 4 I had to pay the tow truck out of my pocket. So now after I gotten the modular system replace on my car, it ran fine for about 6 months and what happen... THE D*MN SERCUITY LIGHT.. comes on AGAIN!!!! So now I am back to the begining upset, pissed, mad, and frustrated.... If anyone has any suggestion for this ongoing nightmare... Im open to any suggestions or comments.

- , Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #2

Apr 022006

(reported on)


  • 51,000 miles

basically it sucked ass, cause i was on a date and we went and ate and when we came out to get in the car the damn thing wouldn't start. it was pretty embarrassing

- , Murfreesboro, TN, US

problem #1

Jul 032004

(reported on)


  • 35,000 miles

The passlock system on the car has gone out on our Impala and the security light is on. We cannot start the car. Had to rent a vehicle to use over the holiday. We replaced the body control module last year and I am hoping it is not the problem again. This is so frustrating... Anyone have any thoughts. Seems to be the worst when hot and humid weather. This happened once when we first bought the car a few years ago.. and it was hot and humid then too. Want to disconnect the thing and start my car but have no idea how. Other than this persistant problem I love my Impala.

- , Chico, CA, USA

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