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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 17
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
95,053 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Chevrolet Impala engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #28

Mar 162015


  • 136,000 miles


My daughter owned a 2002 Chevy Impala. On Monday 3/16/15, she was driving on the interstate and the engine began to smoke. She called me and I asked what color the smoke was. She said it was black smoke. I told her to immediately get herself and two small children out of the car. She and her sister removed the children and walked away while calling 911. A few seconds later, she heard a loud pop. The windshield busted from the apparent heat from the flame that were rising from the engine compartment. Within seconds, the engine was in flames. I've researched online, and found that there were two recalls in 2007 and 2009 stating that the engine could ignite. The car is a total loss. She had full coverage insurance on the car, but it's barely enough to replace it. Is there anything we can do about this?

- Jackson, MO, USA

problem #27

Apr 072013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The contact was able to restart the vehicle by shifting the gear lever into various positions. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown. The VIN was unavailable.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #26

Nov 052014

Impala 6-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
Car dies while driving. Car must be put in neutral while driving and restarted while moving to avoid accident.

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #25

Jan 142015


  • 34,600 miles


The car ignition suddenly shut off and the power steering and brakes failed on a steep grade. (the ignition recall had previously been performed on the vehicle, and the key fob had been reworked so it shouldn't have been a ignition issue). The transmission was shifted into neutral and the car restarted (while still coasting down the hill) to regain control, this was repeated numerous times until a safe place to pull off was reached. This grade was extremely steep, the road had switchbacks, cliffs, and no guardrail, it was a miracle no one was injured or killed. This same vehicle had just had a duplicate problem and was repaired at the dealership in July, less that 1000 miles prior to this current event. The dealer in July replaced the mas sensor and the battery as they said the mas was corroded and needed to be replaced. This current event was caused by the map sensor and the main computer according to the dealer.

- Kihei, HI, USA

problem #24

Dec 012014


  • 184,471 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. While driving 45 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 184,471.

- Milledgeville, GA, USA

problem #23

Jun 172008

Impala 6-cyl

  • 47,117 miles
I noticed the car was running hotter than normal so I had it checked out and the intake manifold was leaking, had it repaired and I recently had to have it repaired again @106,954 miles because it was leaking again in the same place.

- Benton , KY, USA

problem #22

Jul 052013

Impala 6-cyl

  • 133,000 miles


My son went to jump start the car and when he tried to start it the engine blew up. The intake manifold flew off in multiple pieces. Had car towed to my mechanic and found out the cylinder was dead due to the explosion. Though well the car had a lot of miles, so I thought it was just its time. So we decided to buy a re-manufactured motor because we had put some work into the car and my son and I though that would be a good choice. Everything was great with the new motor till November 30th 2014 when we needed to jump start the car, and the engine blew again this time taking out the fuel line along with the new intake manifold and the engine cover. The car starts on fire and luckily the flying parts missed my sons girl friend by inches as they flew by I know now somethings up. And I find that GM had defective fuel regulators that were recalled (04V090000 recall#) on the 2000 models with the 3800 series 2 engine. Now I know why my engine blew because the fuel regulators are poor design. No car no matter how old are how many miles should blow an engine when you jump start it. Batteries yes engines I would think never but what happen to me is the same as the recall notice and I am thank full no one was hurt.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #21

Jun 272014


  • 31,849 miles
Mass air flow sensor maf malfunction if corroded or dirty will cause the engine to stall. Engine stalling causes loss of power steering and loss of brakes. Disasterous at freeway speeds, intersections, or in any situation requiring steering or braking. This car maf failed going down a steep mountain road, the driver was able to stop the vehicle using manual brake and had it towed to the dealer for repair.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #20

Oct 122014

Impala 6-cyl

  • 211,365 miles
Traveling on a straight residential street after car had been driven about 10 miles and was at operating temperature, I heard a short "chirp" sound from the front passenger side of the car at which time the engine stopped running. Steering became very difficult and the brake pedal required substantial force to stop the car. I was able to bring the car to a stop and put the car in park. The engine restarted immediately with no problem. I was not moving or touching the key at the time that the engine turned off. I have owned the car since it was new in November 2001 and this is the first time that I have experienced this problem. I have driven the car about 20 miles since this incident and it has not recurred as of yet.

- Cartersville, GA, USA

problem #19

Mar 042013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle stalled and the check engine indicator illuminated. The vehicle was able to be restarted after numerous attempts. An independent mechanic replaced the motor, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #18

Sep 092014

Impala 6-cyl

  • 191,858 miles


I was driving with my son and the car just cut off in the middle of the street. Thank god we didn't get hit. The car cut back on but that was scary. It (the car) also has some type of security feature that won't allow the car to start at times.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #17

Sep 052014

Impala 6-cyl

  • 86,400 miles
The car was constantly stalling in low speed or starting from a stop in D drive. The transmission was not shifting properly. Car had stalled a few times in traffic, becoming a hazardous situation. Car was overheating. Car had been serviced a week ago at aaa repair center, eatontown, NJ for oil leak from gasket of the manifold.

- Neptune, NJ, USA

problem #16

Aug 012014


  • 229,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that while traveling approximately 40 mph, smoke was seen from under the hood and the vehicle caught on fire. The fire department extinguished the fire. The vehicle was destroyed. The vehicle was not diagnosed to determine the cause of the fire. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 229,000.

- Parkersburg, WV, USA

problem #15

Jul 072014

Impala 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that the vehicle intermittently failed. In addition, the contact was driving approximately 35 mph when the service engine soon warning light illuminated and the A/C system failed to activate. The failure recurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the cause of the failure was unable to be determined. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000. Updated 08/27/14 updated 09/18/2014

- Macon, MS, USA

problem #14

Jul 092014


  • miles
Model years affected: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 engines affected: 3.4L V6, 3.8L V6 average mileage: 108,315 mi (13,756 mi - 198,000 mi) verified the intake manifold gasket can develop external engine oil or coolant leaks. In some cases the failed gasket will leak coolant internally. The manifold gasket will need to be replaced to correct this issue. Thousands of cars are affected. These vehicles need to be recalled and fixed.

- Bethel Park, PA, USA

problem #13

Apr 112014

Impala 6-cyl

  • 235,325 miles
I was driving the vehicle and when I came to a stop to pump gas I left the keys in the ignition I placed the car in park. I turned around to place the pump into the gas gauge and my car was rolling down the hill and I had to chase the car open the door and stop the car. When I got the car to a halt position. I tried to take the key out the ignition and couldn't get the key out the ignition. Once I was able to get the key, the key slot was turned at 3:00 position and not a 12:00 position when a key is removed from a ignition. After the key was removed the car started to roll again and I had to place the "emergency brake" on to keep the car from rolling. Once I tried to turn the car back on after pumping the car started up and I placed it in drive pressed the gas pedal and car stalled, I placed the car in reverse and pressed the gas pedal and the car stalled. My car has not worked since.

- Indiianapolis , IN, USA

problem #12

Nov 272013

Impala 6-cyl

  • 229,325 miles
My gas gauge stop working and I was not able to tell how much gas was in the vehicle. Fuel gauge read inaccurately. I would put gas in the car and fill up tank and barely drive more than 20 miles and the fuel gauge would indicate "empty". I was told by penske that they were unsure as to what would cause this issue and that I wouldn't be able to get the issued repaired. I have ran out gas several times since the first incident.

- Indianapolis , IN, USA

problem #11

Sep 232013


  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, several lights illuminated on the instrument panel as the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and the technician diagnosed the pass lock assembly switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacture was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 59,000 and the current mileage was 60,400.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #10

Jun 102013

Impala 6-cyl

  • 230,000 miles
Problem with starting has progress to a problem with the car shutting off during operation. Several times now the car has shut down with no warning and at different speeds. This causes a loss of control with the power steering and power brakes. I have been able to place the transmission in neutral and restart the car while moving. The last time it happened, I was making a right turn and merging into the flow of traffic. I had pressure on the steering wheel while trying to make the curve when I restarted the car. At this point, the power steering kicked in and I found myself swerving from the sudden snatch on the steering. We were lucky that we didn't cause an accident. If my wife had been at the controls I know it would have turn out bad! I see unlimited complains around this item. Do we have to wait on people to get injured or killed before the company is force to be responsible? if this was a foreign car company, the government would have already forced a recall.

- Fernandina Beach, FL, USA

problem #9

Sep 302013


  • 37,207 miles
Passlock system would disable the car from starting dozens of times for months. I would get stuck anywhere without warning for half an hour or more with my children. It was taken in for a coolant leak issue. The dexcool ( a horrible product with lawsuits due to engine damage) had eaten the hoses and was spraying around the engine. It created a sludge that thankfully did not destroy my radiator. The car finally outright failed because of the security system. The passlock system is a known issue with GM. I have read endless complaints about this problem. There was nothing wrong with the car, but the system would not read the key. It was in the shop for weeks. Had to get new BCM and have the system reprogrammed. My car only has 37,000 miles and for it to fail and need such expensive repairs for a faulty system with nothing wrong with the mechanics of the car is unreal. Another known issue is with the signals going out without warning. I never know if the turn signals will work and this is very dangerous. I am fearful that other issues with the electrical system might happen. But knowing that the BCM might fail again in another year or so is the biggest rub. How many times do people have to reprogram their car and replace parts on a faulty passlock system that will fail again?

- Largo, FL, USA

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