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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,441 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 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Aug 082005


  • 102,100 miles


8-10-2005 I bought it used mileage was 91186 7-5-2006 took it into the shop they replaced intake/vc/head/gasketsflushed radiator replaced H2O pump/thermostat coolant oil change resurface heads covered by guardian warranty over $1700 dollars 2/2008 it started all over low coolant light it would get hot brownish looking water replaced radiator/hoses/waterpump/coolantsenser /thermotstat/flushed coolant system but it stillwould get hot/but if you turn on the heater on hot but it would never blow out hot air it was cold only it smell as if theirs coolant seeping into the motor oil my mileage at the first repair was 102100 my mileage as of to day139297 as it sit in drive way I still have payments of 300.00amonth im paying for 11more months and cant even drive it not even A1/2mile to work I been told its affect in the closed coolingsystem and dex cool it internal and I cant afford the repair or the payment but im stuck with them.

- Folsom, CA, USA

problem #24

Mar 292008


  • miles
My 2002 chevorlet Impala has a problem with the intake gaskets leaking. I took it in to the dealer and they told me that this is a common problem with this engine. They also told me it would over $750 to repair this. The same thing happen with my wife's 2001 Malibu. The dealer said that GM knows that this is a problem but will not do anything about it.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #23

Apr 022009


  • 70,000 miles
2002 Chevy Impala 3.8L purchased used in Dec. 2004 w/ 65,000 miles. Where to begin... flooding in floorboards due to clog underneath windshield, three sets of rotors/brakes, clunky noise in steering shaft (replaced twice by dealership) still having same problem, catalytic converter replaced after dealership tried to charge me nearly $1000 to replace; covered by GM as harry green Chevrolet was 'unaware' of replacement policy"!" new struts, numerous alignments/balances B/C vehicle still shakes and shimmys at 60-65 mph; must drive about 75-80 mph just to keep this to a minimum! BCM replaced twice by dealer, security issues won't allow car to start for 15 mins. Each time, which is very inconvenient. Sooo many problems and complaints with these 'quality' GM vehicles, and yet they do nothing to resolve them, except hold out their hands wanting more $$$ from american taxpayers to keep on making junk! and now the newest of a long line of recalls/problems is that there is a fire hazard for leaking oil on the manifold! all of these vehicles need to be recalled due to the numerous safety concerns and consumers are sick and tired of General Motors obvious disregard for safety and reliability!

- Anmoore, WV, USA

problem #22

Aug 232008


  • 80,000 miles


I have a 2002 Chevy Impala with 80,000 that I bought brand new in 2001. Approximately 3 months ago I had to have my vehicle towed to a repair shop as the antifreeze leaked out into my driveway. I was told that the manifold gaskets had failed and needed to be replaced. Also they found that the front brakes were bad and the rotors needed to be replaced. With regard to the leak I was told I was lucky because most times the failed gaskets causes the antifreeze to leak into the motor and seize it. I had the repairs done at a cost of approximately $1,500. This past weekend while on the beltway my car started making a loud knocking noise and before I could pull over the motor died. I had the vehicle towed and was told the engine was blown, that they know of at least one piston was in my oil pan. Now I need to have the motor replaced. Which I have gotten prices from $4,500 - $6,500. Also, they told me my brakes are bad again, only after 4 months.

- Joppa, MD, USA

problem #21

Jul 012008

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles
2002 Chevrolet Impala with bad intake manifold gasket and brakes. Consumer was informed that the intake manifold gasket leak is a common problem in these vehicles. Brakes have been replaced three times. He states that this is also a common problem. The consumer stated the rotors were warped. The engine and radiator were replaced due to a leak.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #20

May 232008


  • 110,000 miles
2002 Impala - sometimes fails to start, security light comes on. Intermittent as to how often..sometimes once every couple of days sometimes 1 every week. Multiple dealers want to charge $300-$1000 to replace BCM which after researching does not guarantee to fix problem.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #19

Feb 062007

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Various engine failures due to dex cool coolant system. Engine rebuilt. Gaskets. Etc new parts installed in each instance.

- Lees Summit, MO, USA

problem #18

Mar 092008

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,197 miles
Engine fire when car was started, a pop or back fire sound was heard then flames were seen, fire department extinguished fire. Car is sitting waiting GM to respond on investigated event. This is a police car and we have a total of 59 Impala were concerned about.

- Winter Park, FL, USA

problem #17

Nov 142007

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
Owner of 2002 Chevy Impala that has an intake manifold leak. Family member also had an Impala, 2003, and had the same issue. Why is this such a problem? when I searched the issue online I found many owners that had the same issue. GM needs to issue a recall on this problem and have proper gaskets installed in their cars. This car is not a cheap car, and to have these problems is a sign of a poor quality.

- San Marcos, CA, USA

problem #16

Jan 092007

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles
Had intake gasket replaced in Feb. Of 2006 for coolant leaking into engine oil, because of said gasket failing (77,000 approx. Mi.) noticed coolant level dropping again in Jan. 2007 (85,000 mi.) found white/brown sludge in oil again!apparently the problem is back and I am told it will keep coming back until GM Corp. Comes up with a permanent fix. Why are they not concerned about this? I can't afford to keep on fixing this problem that has no end in sight. I like my car but if GM won't address obvious design flaws I'll have to buy from somebody else.

- Newville, PA, USA

problem #15

Nov 182006

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles


At 89,000 miles I noticed that my engine coolant light was on. I filled the coolant. The light continued to come on and I filled it a few more times, but could not pinpoint the leak. Then one night the engine started to make noises and I pulled off the road to check the coolant. I filled it and waited until the car cooled. I started the engine and drove about a quarter mile and the car shut down. When I towed it to a garage I learned that the head gaskets were leaking water into the engine. The engine had to be replaced. Since the warranty expired I paid the garage to put in a used motor. It cost me over $1300. I never thought to contact Chevy since the warranty expired. Now, because of my internet research, I know this is a common problem. Unfortunately for me I also bought a second Chevy in 2002. Wouldn't you know it - my 2002 Chevy Malibu had the same symptoms at 62,000 miles. I was lucky enough to get by with replacing the head gasket. The same garage gave me a price break and fixed it for $252. Boo to Chevy.

- South Park, PA, USA

problem #14

May 252006

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
My 2002 Impala has just 70K miles. The low coolant light came on and over heated several times. The mechanic says that it is a intake gasket that needs to be replaced and that this problem is not unusual with the dextron coolant that GM uses. I have heard of this problem from many mechanics and it seems that GM is aware of the problem and needs to fix this very expensive repair. My failure happened when my family was stranded on the side of the road because of no coolant in the engine.

- Horseheads, NY, USA

problem #13

May 012004

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
2002 Chevy Impala ls car stalls at highway speeds, often after hitting large bump, resulting loss of power brakes and power steering is dangerous. Full text of correspondence with GM, postings on line and search of tsb is available.

- Long Beach, NY, USA

problem #12

Apr 052004


  • miles
At approximately 50,000 miles I had been told that my car had a minor antifreeze leak at the lower intake. Now at 130,000 miles it has turned into a major problem that will require at least 600 dollars in repair costs. I have been told that alot of Impala do this. Have not resolved the issue yet, nor received a recall notice.

- Sandy Lake, PA, USA

problem #11

Jun 122004


  • miles
Two months after I bought the car both my headlights fogged over. They cost $250 a piece to replace (have not yet replaced). About a month later a computer chip that controlled my lights, locks, windows, interior lights, and stereo went bad and that cost $353 to replace. Soon after that I noticed that my car felt like it moved back and forth when I drove it, and the steering wheel was very loose when I turned. I didn't think it was a very big deal but took it into the shop to have it looked at. I took it in and found out that I was missing 2 bearings on my suspension which put pressure on my drive shaft(not sure about actual terminology here not sure if it was drive shaft or steering column) causing my rack and pinion to go bad. That cost $1100 to fix. So now I am $1453 into having my car repaired for things that should never have gone bad in the first place. Today (May 9th 2005) I found out that my intake manifold has gone bad and I can smell burning antifreeze when I drive, and my coolant sensor is bad. To fix those two things is going to cost me $840. I should also mention that I have checked this car out on there was only one previous owner and nothing signifigant as how it was treated. I purchased this car at 34,000 miles and it now has 53,000 miles. This car has been nothing but problems since I bought almost 2yrs ago. I have called GM customer service 3 times now, and each time I am given the same answer "I am sorry ms.... there is nothing we can do for you at this time...". GM needs to get their act together and start making cars that are worth what they sell them for. Had I known how GM made vehicles with bad parts and refuse to back them up, I would never have bought the vehicle that now sits in my garage.

- Moline, IL, USA

problem #10

Feb 102005

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The check engine and the ABS braking light appeared on the dashboard and remained on. Driver took vehicle to the dealer for inspection, but mechanic could not duplicate the problem. Driver informed the mechanic that this problem has happened on more than one occasion and had not been resolved.

- Inglewood, CA, USA

problem #9

Nov 152004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,500 miles
At just under 60,000 miles, low coolant light comes on. Dealer says it's leaking coolant at 2 places: At lower intake and at water pump. Cost to repair: $600 to $850, depending on repair facility. If there was a recall on this, I did not receive.

- Bascom, OH, USA

problem #8

Aug 012004

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
Loud "thumping" noise coming from lower engine area. Echanic diagnosed problem. Fly wheel disinegrated. Poorly manufactured part. One month later "low coolant" engine light came on. Mechanic diagnosed problem as bad intake valve seal. Poor quality GM part. Both parts replaced and repaired as recommended.

- Lee's Summit, MO, USA

problem #7

Aug 142004

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving, the vehicle overheated and smoke emitted from the front of the vehicle. The consumer was able to maintain control of the vehicle, and drove it to the dealer for inspection. The mechanic determinedthat the intake manifold gaskte had failed.

- Verona, PA, USA

problem #6

Jan 232004

Impala 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
Intake manafold leak

- Nashville, TN, USA

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