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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
91,296 miles
Total Complaints:
224 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (67 reports)
  2. letting car sit for approx 30 minutes (38 reports)
  3. wait 10 min till securty light stops flashing, try again (18 reports)
  4. recall (14 reports)
  5. replaced body control module (11 reports)
  6. bypass the ignition sensor (9 reports)
2002 Chevrolet Impala electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments (Page 4 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #164

Sep 242009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles


I've read many online complaints about this issue of the security light disabling my car. I find it appalling that Chevy has done nothing to remedy this issue. I'm older and found myself stuck in a parking lot with a broken car.. Don't know yet what it will cost to fix this. Will not but GM again.

- , Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #163

Sep 202009

Impala 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

I bought this car new in 2002, great driving car. In 2009 I started having problems with my car not starting. The security light comes on and My keyless entry wont work. After letting my car sit for 15 minutes to 1 hour it is like nothing is wrong. I have read about the pass lock system and feel they need to recall this due to many people having the same problem. I so do not think it is fair for me to pay 500.00 to 1000.00 to fix GM's problems. I am very frustrated. GM I hope you read these and help your customers, otherwise I will not buy another one of your vehicles again.

- , Duluth, GA, US

problem #162

Aug 012009

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,671 miles

Ok, I have heard enough. The charts on this site show that the passlock problem is far and away the biggest problem for the Impala, and I have heard this is for several GM vehicles. And I have read several of the complaints. I have not pulled the trigger for a repair, as I know it is 1) Expensive 2) Not Guaranteed to last any length of time 3) A clearly faulty designed component

I have argued with the dealer, and with GM's official complaint department. The complaint department suggested we send snail mail to (for Canadians)

GM 1908 Colonel Sam Drive Oshawa, ON L1H 8P7

For US, you will have to contact GM for the mailing address. (or Google) Since there are so many people with this problem, I would like to know if there is some way for us customers to engage in some group action and pressure GM to fix this problem. I am open to any suggestions. This website is great because it provides statistical proof that this problem is not isolated. Could you guys (website) provide us with the statistics so we could show it to GM, or any potential lawyers? Thanks.

- , Niagara Falls, ON, Canada

problem #161

Aug 122009

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,671 miles


Ok I want to add that we should all consider this to be a safety issue, not an inconvenience. A working vehicle is an essential tool. There can be several circumstances that a non-functioning car puts peoples health or life at risk

- being in remote areas, no cell phone connection, adverse weather (or some other threat) - in danger from a criminal(s) - a first responder, physician, or similar position that requires being on call and available in a timely manner. Other peoples lives could be at risk (yes there is redundancy, but it should not be pushed)

And less so, but still very important

- missing a shift, resulting in job loss - late or missing an appointment, resulting in job loss or missed once in a lifetime opportunity

We should not minimize the importance of having a working, reliable vehicle.

- , Niagara Falls, ON, Canada

problem #160

Mar 012008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

The car would not start on occasion when the ignition key was turned to the start position, this was happening with the "factory" keys. When it would not srart, the dash lights would go out as if the battery was dead when the key was turned to the start position, however as soon as the key was released from the start position all the dash lights would come back on, including being able to use the windows, etc. This has gotten progressivly worse, with the same symptoms. A new key was cut at a hardware store that would stick and not allow the ignition lock to turn sometimes, even when this key was not a problem in the doors or trunk. Since the use of this "new" key the problem has gotten worse at a faster rate than before this key was used regulary. When the key would stick, moving it around in the ignition lock would most often allow it to start. Now the car will not start frequently with the any of the keys.

A dealer sugested getting a key made for the VIN (about $30) before trying other solutions. If the Key does not work, take the ignition lock to a locksmith and get the tumblers reset. If neither of these work the problem could be the passlock cylinder (about $220) and would require about two hours of dealer shop time to correct the problem.

- , Spokane, WA, USA

problem #159

Jul 032009

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,505 miles

Pass lock light not always on at startup but does eventually come on and stays on. About every 8 -10 start attempts the ignition does not work at all and I need to wait 1 -2 minutes for a re-set then ignition would turn motor over. Local mechanic shop with supposedly 20 yrs exp at GM dealership changed my ignition tumbler which he was 99% sure was the problem, cost $468. Pass Security Code light stayed off for two days, then came back on along with other associated no start issue. He had car for 3 days in total, but could not find any reason for the continued problems. We eventually talked him into allowing us to have a GM dealer diagnose the car and he would pay for 1 hour of time ($99.95). Dealer found the following

B1000 ECU Malfunction B2960 Security System Sensor Incorrect but valid B3031 Security System Controller in learn mode P1626 Theft deterentfuel enablesignal lost P1631 Theft deterent fuel enable signal not correct

My guess is that this theft deterrent fuel thing is why the ignition would not turn the car motor over from time to time. Anyway the cost for a new BCM and program is $551.67. We went back to the original mechanic asked why he changed the ignition tumbler without knowing for sure that part was faulty? He did the right thing and refunded our intial repair cost of $468. So, bottom line a total of over $1200 spent and $113 + $552 is out of our pocket. GM should also do the right thig here and re-call these poor quality / faulty BCMs. The car only has 34,000 original kms on it !!!!!

- , Belle River, Ontario, Canada

problem #158

Aug 012008

Impala 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,500 miles


I have put together an instruction sheet on bypassing the passlock system which should fix the intermittent no start, security light coming on, or having to do the key relearn process. If you would like it sent to you to try it yourself or take the instructions to a mechanic, send your E-mail address to;

- , Sparland, IL, USA

problem #157

Apr 262008

Impala 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I see many complaints on this subject. In my case I bypassed the sensor on the key cylinder. Email me if you live close by and would like this done or if you want detailed instructions on how to do it.

Sparland, Il. 61565

- , Sparland, IL, USA

problem #156

Jul 192009

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

click to see larger images

passlock problem, won't start and security light is on

When you put the car in gear and take your foot off the brake, The doors lock over and over again before the Security system light goes on. This happens at least once a week and the Qurk last for days. Also when this is happening the day time running lights don't work when in Drive. and my head lights stay on when you turn the car off and shut off them selfs after 5 minutes. When the Security systems is working properly The head light auto shut off systmes don't work. but the car security systmes works. When the Car don't Start (Loc PASS Error ) I wait 30 miuntes and it will fire up just fine somethings with the Security light on sometimes not.

- , Washington, MI, USA

problem #155

Jul 012007

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

See post 140. I put up with this problem for a bit over a year. Finally broke down and had to get the BCM replaced. I did not go to any GM dealer...all the mgr's I spoke with in the service departments played selective ignorance. I then took it to an auto electronic specialist in Concord, CA. Their motto is, "if we don't fix it you don't pay". They had my car for 3 days. They simply would not replace the BCM and send me on my merry way. They wanted to know exactly what the issue was. So they tested my BCM and there were multiple "bad pins" in the BCM. I had several codes come up during diagnosis. They wanted to see where the possible faults were coming from since this is a national problem with this car. Shame on GM. During the replacement, they noted my headlamp wiring had shorted out and melted.

So, to make this short, my car runs like it did prior to this faulty BCM GM used in thousands of these cars. My fix was expensive, $1100.00. Much cheaper than a car note for the next 4 years. Also, the staff at the facility were very thorough. Not to mention a lifetime guarantee!!

Stop the hassles and go for the BCM replacement is all I can say.

Good Luck all you fellow Impala owners.

- , Danvillle, CA, USA

problem #154

Jul 162009

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles


GM can take there Chevy Impala's to Bangalore India were since 2002 they have built an state of the art G.M Tech Center and Collage. no one ever talks about it. but its there I was there in 2003. (They took America jobs away see were it got them) Bankruptcies. G.M was more concerned about they Over Seas Crib rather then building good vechicals. . Maybe G.M Indian engineers can figure it out the passlock system.

I am a laid off Detroit automotive Cad designer. My job went to India I can't afford to pay for someone to fix my Impala Pass lock security system ( is a joke). I will drive my 2001 Hyundai It never gave me a problem and cost 1/3 of the price of a impala. Stay away from G.M they donít back there mistakes.

Great Lakes Dan~ Detroit Michigan.

- , Washington, MI, USA

problem #153

Jun 012009

Impala 3400

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,001 miles

Amazing array of problems - all electrical. The door locks lock continually, the interior lights turns themselves on, the radio locks, the e-brake light is reversed, the high beams come on themselves, sometimes it won't start and multiple warning lights cycle on - when the dash is working - a few times it has cut out completely.

I bought this car partly because it was made a couple hours down the 401 from me - trying to support the local workers. Now I'm hung out to dry with a car that is continually sucking cash for problems that shouldn't be showing up this early. My last car was a Hyundai and my next will not be a GM either.

- , London, ON, Canada

problem #152

Aug 312007

Impala 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

I filed a complaint on here a few years ago. My husband completed the passlock bypass last week...didnt work. So finally, my car is being towed to the Chevy dealer where it is being diagnosed. Thank goodness we know the head mechanic and he is aware of our problem and actually suggested we do the bypass since he legally could not. I will keep everyone posted as to the actual problem. I'm so sick of being stranded with my 5 and 3 yr old. This is totally insane and completely unsafe.

Update from Jun 30, 2009: OK dealer diagnosed a TON of computer codes all associated with the BCM. It was diagnosed and replaced in under 4 hours. My security light is off, no more clicking, door locks work, no more battery light on, etc. Everything is fine....for now. I'm still sitting on eggshells, but for now, it starts, runs and is the tune of $571.00 plus $65.00 for the tow...

- , Vancouver, WA, US

problem #151

Nov 132002

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

I have decided to never sell this car. If it takes 20 years until GM admits the problem and does a recall, I want to have the satisfaction of pushing the car onto the lot and making them fix it.

- , Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

problem #150

May 292009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

In the past month, this car has completely locked up five times. Before I realized it was the passlock system I purchased a new battery thinking that was the problem. Now that I know that GM is responsible for this travesty I am as frustrated and angry as the rest of you. I purchased this 2002 Impala from my aunt after my uncle died last year; it only had 22,000 miles on it and the asking price was fair. I am 62 years old and disabled and currently a student in college so financially I am quite insecure. I don't know where to turn or what to do! I've researched and found a "bypass kit". Does anyone know if this will take care of the problem if I get this installed?

Update from Jun 30, 2009: Just an update from my previous complaint regarding the faulty passlock system on my 2002 Chevrolet Impala. Even the dealership manager said Chevrolet made a huge mistake when they implemented this system years ago.

- , Appleton, WI, USA

problem #149

Mar 152005

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

leaving work 2004 got in car, it started and SECURITY light came on and stayed on and IS STILL ON to this day 6-16-2009. Took car to dealer about a month later in 2004 due to a broken window motor, I said check the security light too. They DEALER (in OHIO)checked and could not figure out why the SECURITY light was on. Charged $150.00 for the check. NO RESOLUTION. They stated since the car still starts I would not worry about it. Went to another dealer maybe 6 months or so later for an oil change and asked them check the SECURITY light. Paid another $130.00 they did not know and basically stated the same thing, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT.

One day went back home to Chicago and on my was back to Fort Wayne, IN at 12:30am DEAD AT A GAS PUMP in the middle of nowhere. Gas station closed and there we were stranded. I would turn the key all the lights came on but would not turn over. Waited (doors locked) about 15min. tried again and boom it started. As I lived my life in Fort Wayne one afternoon leaving for lunch, AGAIN no turn over. Waited 20min STILL did not start. Went back in and 4hours later leaving for home car started. Went to dealer there same thing as above and another 100+ bucks GONE!!!! Back in Columbus Oh (GOODYEAR GEMINI) got hoses, bad steering column(replaced it) some other stuff an asked check the SECURITY light they said GO TO A DEALER.HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Today in Houston Texas(where we live now) NO TURN OVER. HEY CHEVY WHEN ARE YOU GONNA GET SOMETHING DONE ABOUT THIS!!!! IT SUCKS! Oh I think I am in the wrong compaint page I should be number 149!

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #148

Jul 152006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

This is the same problem listed here by 147 others! It has happened twice to may car: 2006, dealer fixed and we had to pay half, Chevy paid other half. After, I called and raised cain with their customer service. Then it happened two years later, $500 to repair at dealer. I Told Chevy to go on AutoBeef and read the complaints, but the lady said that they really could not go by things on the internet to verify a problem. This will continue to happen. We have done the turn engine off, key on and off, and wait and usually it works, but this is Chevrolet's problem and if they will not recall, then at least they can pay the total repair each time it happens to all of us. I have also contacted the National Highway Traffic Safety Adm. at 1-888-327-4236. This may not merit a recall to them but it is a safety problem. A woman or man can be stranded and killed in this day and age. (Sitting on a parking lot waiting for the car to start!). If we all can file a complaint by calling maybe Chevrolet will at least pay for the total repair each time this occurs. This is totally their problem and caused by them! This happened again to us at about

45,000 miles. If there is a class action suit or petition, I will certainly sign up. Does anyone have the solution to fix it? Please post it!


- , Burleson, TX, USA

problem #147

Jul 022008

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I finally read about a solution to the problem. I tried it and it seems to be working. Someone smarter than me figured out what was causing the problem and worked out a solution for it. The problem is that the computer on the car has to ID the ignition switch through a chip on the side of the tumbler assembly. The chip has a certain resistance to it that the computer reads. If the resistance is not right, the security system engages. One person on this site by-passed the chip by wiring in some resistors. there are 3 wires connecting to the chip. Yellow, black and white. The connectors oxidize over time and cause extra resistance. This can be affected by temperature (which I noticed) and humidity. Unplugging and re-plugging a tumbler assembly scrapes some of the oxidation off and helps it to work for a while. I plugged and unplugged the wires several times and then placed a small amount of di-electric grease on the connector and plugged and unplugged it a few more times. This grease helps prevent oxidation in the connectors. I put just tiny bit more grease on the connector and put everything back together. So far, so good. Before I did this I had to re-program my car 2 - 3 times a day. If you can do this yourself it will cost you about 4 - 6 dollars. If you hire a mechanic, you will have to pay for the labor of removing and installing the ignition switch. Instructions for removing the switch can be found on the internet. Good luck! We know GM (Government Motors) will never be interested in this.

- , N Richland Hills, TX, USA

problem #146

Jun 062007

Impala LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

This is my 3rd posting. I was going to trade in the car but I bought this used so I still owe on this and it's hard trying to get a new car and take what I owe on this and add it to another payment. Plus, I was afraid of taking my car to a dealer to look at it because 9 times out of 10, IT WON'T START. So I knew it woudn't start when the dealer went to drive it.

So, my husband and I decided to replace the ignition switch that Chevy told us it would take to fix this. We already replaced the BCM and it worked for 2 months then started happening again. We heard that if we replace the ignition switch, this would solve the problem. We were hesitant about this since other's have mentioned they had this done and it didn't work. Anyways, I had that done on Monday for $380.00. It's now Friday, 5 days later and my car wouldn't start during lunch. So we're taking back in on Monday and re-opened my complaint file with GM. Not that they care. I just love how GM found a way to totally screw me out of money.

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #145

Apr 012007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

I have to leave myself an extra 10 minutes everywhere I go. I have to sit in the parking lot with my 3 kids in the car after shopping and just wait. I have been late to appointments as well because if you try to start it one minute 2 soon, you have to wait another 10 minutes. It is so embarrassing. Now my cooling system has began to fail as well. I am so fed up with this car. GM needs to do something.

- , Rincon, GA, USA

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