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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 9 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #64

Mar 072008

Impala LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,290 miles


The problem was due to the Internal failure in passlock sensor...which was replaced....well low and behold it happened again! The dealership wants to charge me $400 to fix the problem. I called 800-222-1020 and was told by the person answering the phone that I could have an email address to voice my complaint!!! He suggested that I take down an address and write a letter, which I plan on doing!! The dealership tried to tell me that this happens more frequently than not and blamed the problem on a key issue since the system had to be reprogrammed all at my expense of in excess of $400.00....UNACCEPTABLE....for the price I paid for the vehicle!!!

- , Giddings, TX, USA

problem #63

Mar 272008

Impala ??

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

This is very frustrating when you are trying to keep to a schedule!! I seem to have nothing but electrical problems with my impala. the security light, high beams, check engine light, and low fluid light when nothing is wrong!

- , Cambridge, OH, USA

problem #62

Mar 192008

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,981 miles

I've had the same problem as everyone else here. I went to start the car and nothing, even though the lights and dash and everything seemed bright. It first started about 6 months ago where the same thing happened. I took it to an electrical repair shop at that time and they couldn't find anything wrong at all, so I just left it. About 3 months ago the check engine light came on and stayed on for 2 or 3 days and never came back on again. In the last few weeks the security light would stay on continuously sometimes when I'd use the car, but not every time. Tonight was the second time it failed to start.

I bought the car new and I really like it and the way it handles and everything but I've been thinking of trading it in because I don't have too much confidence in its long term reliability. This problem now is really gonna speed up the process of trading it in and I can tell you, it certainly won't be another Chev.

Has anyone heard of a good cheap way of bypassing the passlock sensor or any word on GM doing a recall for this obviously common problem?

- , Pitt Meadows, BC, Canada

problem #61

Jun 152005

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,468 miles


I am never buying another Chevy as long as i live this car has been a lemon from the get go had computers replaced twice and the ignition cylinder replaced three times re programed many times and it is still happening I have to get up for work at 4:30 am just so I have enough time to reprogram the car if it does not start never know when it will happen and I have a 2 year old with me most of the time to reprogram the car i have to turn the key to the on position for 10 min turn off turn on for ten min again and turn off and turn on for ten min again and than turn off and start so in total it takes me 30 min to reprogram the car before I can go anywhere and when I looked at things like the lemonade and Canadian driver not once was this problem reported I am so pissed off and I cant afford to have it fixed any more I am still paying for this piece of crap and I calld up GM (GENERAL MISTAKE) and they said not our problem you deal with it so I will never buy a gm car again I AM GOING TO BUY A RELIABLE CAR LIKE TOYOTA OR HONDA

- , Brantford, ON, Canada

problem #60

Mar 102008

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

Had body control module replaced by GM dealer, $470, - no help. They said then would try (?) replacing ignition and Passlock module - $700 - 900 estimate! GM customer service no help, so I'm not even trying to deal with them anymore. I like the car for several reasons; size, driveability, relative comfort, and especially gasoline economy. BUT, this problem trumps them all. I am very interested in potential by-pass surgery which two or three have expressed on this site. Someone please give me the details someone.

Have also had steering gear problems twice and major problem with intake manifold gaskets leaking coolant. Over $1000 for repairs of these.

- , Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #59

Jan 072008

Impala 4dr Sedan 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

This gets to be so annoying. You go out to start your car and nothing happens. We put a new starter on b/c this is what the auto parts store said and that didn't work, now they telll us it needs an ignition control modulator----why pay all this money, evidently it is an ongoing issue with ALL of the impalas that GMC needs to fix. I am tired of coming out of pocket to fix this issue. HELP!!!!

- , Hopewell, VA, US

problem #58

Jun 012007

Impala LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles


I have a complaint on this already about the car not starting because of the Passlock problem. But, in the meantime I got the BCM replaced. It fixed the problem for 2 months and then I started to have the same problems again. I AM FED-UP WITH THIS. I say we all keep filing complaints with Chevy. You can call them at 800-222-1020 or file a complaint online at

Or write them at Chevrolet P.O. Box 33170 Detroit, MI 48232-5170

I'm ready to keep contacting them everyday if I need to until they do something about this.

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #57

Mar 032008

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles


- , Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #56

Feb 092008

Impala 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

Exact same problem as everyone else. Security light on, sometimes interior lights will stay on while driving, keyless entry doesn't work, power locks and truck wont work, occasionally car will not start, etc. The car not starting has happened several times. Usually I can unplug the positive battery cable and then wait a few min. and it will start. Other times I will have to wait several min., leave the driver side door open and it will start. Good news is that the car will start....eventually. Bad news is that NO ONE knows how to fix it. I am looking for information on how to bypass the passlock system. I have heard this will fix the problem. I have an after market Pioneer stereo with an iPod adapter installed so my OnStar is already disabled. Anyone with information can email me at THANK YOU!!!!

Update from Jun 25, 2009: we just did the bypass that was listed on here...still not working. i dont know what to do. im ready to drive this POS off a cliff.

- , Vancouver, WA, US

problem #55

Feb 042008

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Same problem as all the rest. Now I don't feel so bad. A family member just bought this car for me. It's pretty, drove well from the lot. After reading all the post (every one) I feel chumped. I'm trying to figure out - how I can give it back since it's a couple weeks old. Maybe the dealer will take it back. That's what GM is afraid.

I noticed a problem with the key and ignition and/or icylinder. I had know ideal it was on this level of complaint. And like the rest of the post here, I'm having the same problems w/ the flashing of the security lights - additionally, I it also rest the time as if you unpluged the battery. Starting to show starting issues. For now, the option seems to be, put the key in, let the system recognize the key (for a few seconds), while the door is open, and start the car. I'm not sure how long that will last - but I getting pretty damn tired of it already. I noticed problems when closed the door and try to start immediately.

Additionally, I have already given notice to family not to drive it. That hurt, especially when you have a teen looking pretty hard at driving something. Oh well, this won't be that car.

No one likes the media, and GM already has problems. But if you won't this problem to get any notice - then the media is your only option w/ class action lawsuit of course. "60 Minutes" perhaps, maybe on a couple morning shows. The Net is a great information source, but you need the media to get the correct attention it deserve. Additionally, someone will need to have dangerous, adverse consequences happen before it becomes a class action lawsuit. Until then GM can pretend it doesn't exist until the cows come home.

This is an automatic recall; but GM has told you what you can do w/ it. Deal with it, or get rid of it. But we're not going to recall it.

It reminds me of the problem with "FORD" design problem with the "ignition control module" mounted on the distributor on all models from 88-92. The module would cook/burn-up after lengthy travel and you would come to a stop. It sound like a fuel pump problem, and/or flooding problem but it wasn't. It was a 29.95 module.

- , Denver, CO, USA

problem #54

Jan 302008

Impala LS 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,346 miles


My problem is not unlike everyone else's who owns an impala or malibu. Its the worst car i have ever owned. My car used to do the problem where all the lights would flash in information box, like the battery, the security, everything accompanied by the radio locking and the AC blowing hot. I seem to have gotten that problem fixed, my electrical mechanic said he found a wire backed out of the computer and touching the back of the computer causing it to short out. Although I am still having the passlock problem. The same symptoms happen, the security light will flash, and within a few days the car wont start. I have replaced the ignition, ignition switch, body control module, and the wiring harness to the bcm. Nothing works, every time I leave the mechanic they say, thats going to fix it, and I always return within 3 days. The next thing i am going to try to bypass the passlock sensor, I just don't know how. If anyone has done this and can explain how, please let me know. I told my mechanic that this can be done and he said find out how and he will do it. I will never own another GM product again in my life, I dont care how long their new warranty goes, its not worth it because they wont stand behind their product.

- , Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #53

May 212007

(reported on)

Impala LE 3.4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

Problem started happening more and more. Finally got ignition replaced. Two weeks later, another computer went down. Contacted GM for help, guidance, advice. Never received an answer. After two costly repairs and no communication from GM, I came up with a great solution. Final solution was to get rid of GM car and buy a Toyota. My mechanic said this problem is only found in Impalas and Malibus. Should be a recall, but buying American, GM would never admit it.

- , North Wales, PA, US

problem #52

Aug 022007

Impala 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

If you are in labor,about to have a baby, you'll just LOVE to get rushing to the hospital on a 100 degree day, only to have your car not start!!!

- , Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #51

Aug 152007

Impala LT 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

dealer guesses at the fix, replace battery, replace starter, let us replace bcm, replace ignition switch, they guess. If I did this in my job I would be fired. this is bs.

- , Watreford, MI, USA

problem #50

Dec 172002

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

As much as I would like to gripe, rant and yell at Chevrolet and GM, I'd rather help you guys with my advice. The passlock problem arises from the fact that the ignition system does not recognize your key by the time you first turn the ignition switch after inserting the key into it. You have probably noticed that after inserting the key, with the door open you hear the "ding, ding, ding, ding,..." sound, alerting you that door is open. This may often come as a very faint "ding, ding, ding,...." increasing in volume as seconds go by. At times, there is NO "ding, ding, ding..." DO NOT TURN THE KEY. This is a sure sign the car will not start if you turn the key. Instead, remove the key, and re-insert it until you hear the loud ding, ding, ding, ding, (annoying as it is) with the door open. I have made it a habit to insert, remove, insert, remove, insert, before turning the key.

Rule here is to give the system time to recognize your key; if you are in a hurry, follow this procedure, so you don't miss the important meeting, date or pick-up.

And, time...shy away from Chevrolet!!!

- , Laredo, TX, USA

problem #49

Oct 012004

Impala LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Same as many of you who wrote in here my 2002 /3.8L Impala has been giving me problems since 2004. Spending money at many mechanic shops including the dealership gave no result until today. Every time something is done about it like changing the battery, replacing the ignition switch, wait the 10 min or the 30 min or keep the driver door open worked for short period of time, but never solved the problem permanently.

GM wouldn't admit there terrible engineering, everybody should call GM and let them know about this problem and ask them to start a recall as soon as possible. If anybody was able to find a solution for this problem please let me know. Thank you in advance.

- , Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #48

Mar 082006

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

This car was not really giving me problems just a few minor things. It is well taken care of; however, this problem has been annoying me for quite some time now. My car always starts out on the second or third try. Starting is a difficult process for a car and it wears out the parts the most. I feel that it is dealer's problem since so many people are having problems. There should have been a recall a long time ago!!!!

- , Bryan, TX, USA

problem #47

Aug 012007

(reported on)

Impala LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

HOW DO YOU REPROGRAM SECURITY SYSTEM? What is causing these problems. Security system seems to prevent car from starting. Stranded again. Car towed home again. Security and other lights come on, radio does not, Disp. hold in time will come on and then go out, items do not come on to scroll. Previously, removed fuse for door locks (use door locks manually) trunk lock hasn't worked in months. IT APPEARS TO BE THE COMPUTER SYSTEM-PASSWORD-SECURITY SYSTEM. I Called in a complaint to NHTSA (NATIONAL _TRAFFIC & SAFETY). They have live people to take complaint over the phones for investigation to possibly recall. call 888 327 4236.

- , C, MI, USA

problem #46

Nov 242007

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Same problems as most of the others. Radio won't work and displays LOCKED, anti-theft red LED remains lit, SECURITY warning in message center, and airbag/seatbelt icon stays on. Day running lamps will not come on and occasionally power lock switches will not function. My car will usually at least start in this mode, but then fail the next time. All problems have been during start up; thankfully it's never died on me while running. All other driving functions and gauges work properly even in this lockout mode.

Replaced ignition cylinder and housing (which contains the PassLock sensor), but the problem persists. The 3 cycle (30-minute) reprogramming procedure has worked for me every time (5 times over 2 months) - allowing the car to start, even if it doesn't always clear the error (warning lights and such). BCM connections look OK. I plan on trying a new ignition switch and if that doesn't work will bypass the PassLock system as others have suggested.

Since it's not explained in great detail, I thought I'd write out the reprogramming procedure. This is actually to program a PassLock sensor to accept a new key, but can be used to "reprogram" it to your existing key: 1) Turn key to START and leave it in the ON position. Car will not start, and the SECURITY warning will display in the message center. 2) After 10 minutes, the SECURITY warning will disappear. Turn the key to OFF and wait approximately 10 seconds. 3) Repeat steps 1 and 2 a total of three times. 4) The car should start on your fourth attempt.

- , Clayton, OH, USA

problem #45

Aug 282007

(reported on)

Impala Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

Security light went on for no reason but then went out. Within 2 weeks car wouldn't start. Had it towed 3 times. Replaced battery ($200), cleaned keys with eraser, threw a key out. Replaced computer system ($800.). Still have problem. Try not to change keys. Security light going on is an indicator it will happen. When it does, let car sit for 15-20 minutes with key in ignition. Don't spend money to fix, or have towed, it will start eventually.

- , Stafford, VA, USA

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