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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 8 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #84

May 302007

(reported on)

Impala LS 3.0 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


Car would not start when turning key in ignition. Happened to us a couple times. Once at a self-serve gas station, wife got out of car to pump and had left the keys in the ignition. wouldn't start for about 10 minutes no matter what she did... it seemed to have tripped some security delay timer. We have noticed if you leave the keys in the ignition this tends to happen more. I have not had this re-occur for about 8 months by implementing the following habits (maybe I'm just lucky)

1. Never leave the keys in the ignition

2. Always turn the key completely off before pulling out (the key can be pulled out of the slot slightly before the off position)

- , Lewistone, ME, USA

problem #83

Mar 102008

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,000 miles

Trim level should be listed as POS (piece of s@%t) not LS. Numerous problems with ABS and traction control problems we have spent over a thousand dollars on at dealerships and still not fixed. They will keep throwing parts at it as long as we keep paying and still the same problems. Adios GM

- , Sabula, IA, USA

problem #82

Feb 142008

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,000 miles

This problem has gotten steadily worse. Along with the other problems such as traction control going off all the time and multiple abs problems I really regret purchasing this impala for Her highness.

- , Sabula, IA, USA

problem #81

Jun 032008

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles


My 2002 Impala ignition keeps giving me problems. I have to hold the damn ignition all the way to the right for about 1-2 minutes and then it will crank .Sometimes! God forbid if I come across the path of a serial killer I'm dead even if I have a 1 minute head start. I'm better off running pass the car. could anyone out there help me. America I need you

- , Leander, TX, US

problem #80

May 052008

Impala 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Here is my story with a happy ending.

So I am aware of the passlock system but am looking for some more precise directions. Here is the story. Nieces car- She drives it home with no problems, gets in it the next morning and the key will not turn. I go and get a key and tumblers for it which also has the pass lock 3 wire sensor on it. I get that installed and it won't crank, security light flashing 3 times then battery light, back to security and so on. I let it set for ten minutes and the security light is no longer flashing but is steady, still alternating between security and battery light. Try to start it, still no crank and the security light goes back to blinking.So I read where this ten minute thing needs to be done 3 times, try that same result. Try the reset six times, try the E-brake set while doing it, door open, locked, unlocked, battery unhooked and rehooked after a minute, reaching through the window while on my knees and praying, etc. you get the point. Got the old key to turn in the old tumbler, put it back in and went through the resets and it does the same thing. Jump a screwdriver across the starter and it cranks fine. Next step is to haul the car to my house to work on it, just not sure what I am going to do once it is at my house.

So here is what I have done. I had hauled the car to my house to work on it rather than going to where it was at every night after work. I took the locking piece out from the old key and tumbler set that keeps the cylinder in place (normally the key must be in a certain position to release the cylinder) just in case the key locked up again and would not turn I could now pull the cylinder out at any time. I run the whole reset/reprogramming thing on the old key/cylinder. It works this time and when the key will turn, it starts and there are no security lights. I take the old key and cylinder out and put the new one in. The car starts but the security light is on steady. Stick the old one back in and it still starts with no security light. There are 3 wires (black, white and yellow) going to the passlock sensor, I cut the yellow and hook one end of my OHM meter to the yellow end coming from the cylinder and pierce the black wire with the other end for the OHM meter. At this point the car will still start but has the security light on and will not give me a constant reading so I put the car in reverse (won't start in reverse) and turn the key to the start position and hold it there. The meter slowly climbs to a steady .887K of resistance. I mention the slow climb because when the car was starting it would crank longer than I would expect before starting, in fact it cranked for about the same time it would take for the reading to settle. I do not know that much about resistors, normally if I need a resistor I just go to radio shack and find the one closest to my reading. The problem that I ran into is that they did not have anything that matched what I was looking for. So I buy an assortment of resistors for $12. There are literally hundreds in this bag. I plan on experimenting with resistors in series and twisting two together and such to get the correct resistance. I learn that by twisting two together you get roughly half the advertised resistance reading (some or many probably already know that but I did not). After testing numerous resistors with the meter I find one that reads 1.7??K, I twist two of those together and get a reading of .879K, close enough to the .887K a was looking for. So I strip some of the coating off of the black wire, not breaking it's connection to the cylinder. I hook one end of the resistors to the stripped section of black and the other end to the previously cut yellow wire (end going to the BCM this time, tape off end to cylinder). I solder these connections and tape everything. I did the reset of leaving the key on for ten minutes. Now with new key and cylinder it starts immediately and there are no security lights and I don't think there ever will be on this one anymore. All of the searching that I had done shows that the passlock system is a known problem on these cars, leaving people stranded until the 1/2 hour key reprogramming is done. This could be something that could be done to avoid that problem in the future. I have since performed this bypass on other vehicles with the same security system. Anyone that wants more advice to do this or lives close enough and wants me to do this can contact me by E-mail. I will gladly perform this bypass for much less than what most have already paid the dealerships. Located in north/central Illinois. 61565 Aron S.

- , Sparland, IL, USA

problem #79

Nov 152007

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

Just flat out embarrassing, really. I couldn't lend the car out to anyone, didn't want to risk stopping off at a convenience store on the way home from work for fear of it not wanting to start again. The occurance is completely random, and the remedy's are completely random. It's not a matter of doing things in a certain succession or waiting a certain amount of time. Problem is a loose connection at the terminal of the Body Control Module (BCM). Either simply needs to be cleaned or the BCM and opposing terminals needs to be replaced. Replacing relays, starter, ignition switches, etcetera won't solve the problem; it'll just waste your money.

Tell your mechanic to find GM Technical Service Bulletin #040847003 for instructions on how to fix this problem. FYI: GM will charge 200-500 bucks to fix this.

- , Franklinville, NJ, USA

problem #78

May 162008

Impala LX 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles


All I have to say is I am glad I am adding to this escapade. I drove my car literally out of the showroom and away I went!!! I absolutely LOVE this car and I have never had ANY problems with this car until now. Its roomy, great handling, sporty and great on gas for its size.

Lets reiterate now what everyone has said and my past experience, Check Engine light on one day off the next? No response from the ignition when you turn the key? Security Light Blinks or on one time then off the next? Dash lights blink on and off and then after the key sits in ignition for a minute all the dummy lights come on sometimes they blink Check Engine Soon, Service Traction System, Battery, Low Fuel, BUT, I have found that if all the lights come on the dash and the radio does NOT come on there really is no power to the car, as soon as that Radio comes back on you are in action!!! Or When you put the key in the ACC position you are getting a ticking noise from the passenger side fuse panel, I pulled those relays out and it didn't do anything, when car decided to start it started without the Battery Relay so no worries there its not the relay. I have taken the key out and back in several times no response from ignition. I have taken the key out of the ignition and the car would still be chiming like the key was in the ignition : ) I too have taken the battery out, unplugged computers, and the problem is intermittent!

This started happening about two weeks ago and its getting more frequent. From reading I heard there may have been hope to bypass the passlock. If you know of anyone who has had this done, PLEASE email me. I don't want to get rid of this car ITS PAID OFF FINALLY! Still love GM but not if they can't address the #1 thing wrong in the Impala category!!! Makes me look at that Foreign Competitor closer since they have almost forever warranty and I have never heard of anyone having problems that couldn't be fixed! Get off your A** GM and fix this! Count me in for a class action!

- , Orland Park, IL, USA

problem #77

Mar 182008

Impala LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Finding this site through searches on the internet I am surprised by how many people have the same problem I did as far as the intermittent crank and waiting for 10 mins because of the passlock system failure. I want to thank all of the people for the valuable information. From all the reading I've done it looks like even the newer Impala's are having the same problem. Its a shame that Chevy is dancing around this issue and cannot fix this. I see alot of people spending alot of money and there problem is not fixed. Clearly this is a recall problem that even a blind man can see. However dealing with the same frustration that all of you had to endure I believe I have come up with a fix that worked for me. Ever since I did this fix I have not had the security light come on at all and my car has started fine now. I have not had the intermittent crank or the having to wait 10 mins to start the car. Also this fix is very easy and takes about 2 mins to do. The thing I find amazing is the fact that I am not GM certified and I fixed the problem that they should know. Now first of all Im not going to say that this fix is going to work 100% for everybody. It worked for me.

- , Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #76

Apr 122006

Impala LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

My 2002 impala never wants to start because of the passive lock system. I have been stranded lots, and I do mean lots of times. At first letting it sit for 10 to 15 min worked but now 2 years later its all night. I have disconnected the battery, I have put the key on ACC with my foot on the brake taken it out of park and slammed it back into park and the started it. That only works sometimes. What should I do?

- , Amanda, OH, USA

problem #75

May 072008

Impala SL 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

replaced new bcm, cooling fan and 2 new starters. Car will not star sometimes . Late for work any day . Need help, how to fix the dumb Chevrolet?

- , Chicago, IL, USA

problem #74

May 102008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles


This is an erratic problem. I can't predict when it is going to happen, but it's happening more frequently. According to everything I've read, there's no real solution but I could spend hundreds of dollars looking for one. Has Chevrolet issued a recall or offered solutions?!

- , Topeka, KS, USA

problem #73

Apr 122008

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,001 miles

Car has been in the shop where I work. No codes, replaced pcm. That didn't work. Replaced ignition switch. That didn't work. They won't work on it now, because they don't know what is wrong with it.

- , Fort Dodge, IA, USA

problem #72

Mar 142008

Impala 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,749 miles

Ok so I'm another added to this list of owners whose Impala's have this stupid passlock problem. In short the security light comes on and I can't turn over the engine. Waiting 20 minutes and cycling the ignition a few times starts the car but its getting more frequent.

I visited the dealership a few days ago and they said "the sensor needs to be replaced". So yeah about 300 bucks...but wait there's more to this tale.

Months back there was only one issue with this didn't like to start on the first try. Never though anything of it...just tried again and away I went. After doing some research I've found people who have had starter issues that have caused this passlock issue to arise. Apparently the wiring is bad with the starters...which I would agree as the starter works...just not the way it should. Anyway I'm going to look into the issue further...I refuse to pay hundreds of dollars for an electrical problem...thats ridiculous. I agree that there should be a recall for these issues as there's definitely enough of them.

- , Port Morien, NS, Canada

problem #71

Aug 292006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

My car would start only when it wanted to....sometimes without a glitch, then out of nowhere, I was stranded! There was no pattern, just random!! I tried everything my manual told me to try, including some extra stuff (holding my breath, finger in ear, foot on the ground-other one sticking out the window) you get the idea...nothing worked! Finally, I took it to someone who knew what they were doing (at the dealership), after taking it to someone who did not know what they were doing, and after he replaced the ignition and gave me the new keys(that was the most expensive part $95) I was home free!! Never happened again!! The other work did not cost but $50..I had a warranty!

- , Greenville, MS, USA

problem #70

Apr 202008

Impala LS 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

I took my car to Goodyear only to have my radio fuse unplugged and I was told that I have to take it to the dealership because they were the only ones who can fix it. Goodyear kept saying that I need to get another control module. This is crazy, Chevy needs to consider this a recall because this is too many complaints of the same problem!!

- , Jonesboro, GA, USA

problem #69

Dec 212006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

What is up with the security light on this car? I have had the passlock sensor replaced 2 times already once under and extended warranty and the second time out of pocket, now 5 moths later after I had it fixed its broke down again due to the passlock sensor, sad part is my mechanic is going back and forth with Chevy to get the part replaced under warranty because its only been 5 months and Chevy wont do anything about it considering this is the 3rd repair in less then 3 years, If so many Chevy owners are having this problem why hasn't a class action suite been filed against Chevy, I mean come on its 400-600.00 a pop everytime it has to be replaced and its just not fair!!!!!

- , Titusville, FL, USA

problem #68

Nov 092007

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I purchased my Impala new and never had any issues until about 2005. We were driving home from a trip and the check engine light came on and stayed on for about 400 miles. We had to have it reset by the local auto store even though there were no error codes.

Then about a year later I drove about 10 miles to the bank, got out, went in, came back out within 5 minutes and my car would not start. I never noticed any lights coming on such as the security light. I called my husband and by the time he got there, it started. It has only done it 4 times since, usually at inconvenient times or locations such as at the gas station, at work at night on a very cold winter night, and twice in the garage when I needed to run errands.

I just noticed last year that the security light would come on and then go off. Sometimes it would stay on for a long time. I also noticed my Onstar lights started acting weird. One day the light on the right would be green, the next day it would be red. I would call Onstar to have them run a diagnostic check and they would always tell me that I had a bad connection in my Onstar antenna. I never had that checked out since I didn't plan to keep the Onstar much longer.

We have never spent any money to try to fix it. The dealer says they have never heard of it so why bother giving them money for nothing. They did say that it could be the chip in the key. I have tried both keys and that didn't seem to help.

We have found that if we wait 10 minutes, it usually starts right up. However, the most recent time (which happened to be on that cold winter night) I tried to start it when leaving work and it didn't start. I let it sit for 10 minutes and it didn't start. Then my husband suggested I take the key out and wait 10 more minutes. It didn't start that time either so he suggested that I put it in neutral and it started right up without waiting another 10 minutes. It has not happened since! We dropped our Onstar subscription in December. I wonder if that is somehow related? Or it could be that it is about to happen any day now.

We just purchased a new car in November. Guess what? It is not GM!! We purchased our first foreign car--a Nissan! There was no way we could bring ourselves to purchase another GM and we had decided a long time ago that we were finished with Ford after owning several with all kinds of problems.

- , New Carlisle, OH, USA

problem #67

Mar 012007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

Can't believe so many have complained about this issue and Chevy doesn't care one bit. This is a manufacture defect and there sould be a recall! Hope this turns into a class action suit against them! They just don't care about the customer anymore and this will be the very last GM product my family will EVER buy!

- , Stuart, FL, USA

problem #66

Jun 142007

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

I've been putting up with this for almost a year. The initial time it happened, I was stumped. Came in the house, got online and did a search for "starting issues with 2002 Chevy impalas". This site was a top hit, I checked it out and was very surprised at how many other people are putting up with this.

At time it does not start. I have to do the emergency brake routine. Sometimes the security light stays on sometimes not. Service engine light is on, sometimes not. Sometimes the security light stays on for the duration, sometimes not. Today I noticed that my security light is on and there is a "tick" noise coming from the passenger fuse box. Head lights blink in sync with the tick noise. Tick noise stops when I pull on my headlights. Now the A/C system likes to tick when I use it when the security light is on. If the security light is off, the the A/C works just fine.

I come from a GM family. Many relatives and friends have worked, still work or have retired from GM. I did my part to support the auto industry since is was falling so far behind in the competition by purchasing this car brand new. Sad to say, my next car will not be American. Sorry GM...the quality of the foreign cars is superior to our lack luster domestic models.

- , Danvillle, CA, USA

problem #65

Apr 062008

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

My wife has had this car since it was new . It started doing it about 3 months after we got it. It has been in the shop a number of times, and every time they either say they can't find the problem or they replace the BCM its ok for a while then it starts again.My wife has been driving my 99 Silverado . Shes afraid her car won't start

- , Hanover, MD, USA

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