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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 1 of 3)

problem #45

Sep 092015

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 350,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the map sensor failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 350,000. The VIN was not available. Updated 08/02/16 the consumer stated the turn signal, ac, daytime running lights, interior lights and security system worked intermittently. Updated 08/08/16.

- Holladay, TN, USA

problem #44

Dec 162015

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that while attempting to start the vehicle, it would failed to start and there was oil leaking from the engine. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V701000 (engine and engine cooling) the manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 72,000. Updated 02/10/16

- Winsor, CT, USA

problem #43

Aug 032015

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles
2002 Chevrolet Impala. Consumer writes in regards to ignition key recall notice. The consumer also stated the intake gaskets leaked anti-freeze.

- Woodland, ME, USA

problem #42

Dec 012014

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles


2002 Chevrolet Impala. The key switch broke along with the icm module and the crank and cam shaft censors and the computer.

- Christiansburg, VA, USA

problem #41

Feb 152012

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 Chevrolet Impala. Consumer states vehicle caught fire when started the consumer stated he managed to put the fire out, but it ruined the motor. The consumer stated a recall was issued. However, GM denied the claim, stating due to statute of limitations being five years, they could not honor the recall.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #40

Jan 012012

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles
Car cranks when it wants too it cranks up and sometime is does not.

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #39

Oct 012010

Impala 6-cyl

  • 157,500 miles


My Impala stops running while im driving on or off the freeway but especially when im driving at a speed of 55 to 65mph when on freeway without warning, the engine light comes and power steering is lost.

- Pontiac, MI, USA

problem #38

Aug 292011

Impala 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
My well-maintained 2002 Chevy Impala, 3.4L V6, base model shut off a couple days ago while driving on the highway. I was accelerating, as the traffic was finally picking up. That's when I felt the car jerk and suddenly shut off. It was horrifying - the brake pedal & steering wheel locked, so I forcibly turned the wheel with all my strength, coasted to the shoulder, with two near-collisions, pressed the emergency brake, then shifted to park. The red battery symbol was illuminated on the dashboard as if the key was set to "on", but no check engine light. I noticed the headlights and the dash lights were off, but I believe that's because the car shut off (which is what would normally happen after shutting off a car with auto-off lights). Several attempts to start only resulted in sounds of a car struggling to turn over, but never actually turning. Eventually the car stuttered, but started. I was back in highway traffic, and after a few minutes of driving, it shut off again. Same drill - coasted off the road, and several failed attempts to start before finally starting. Back on the road, a few minutes later, it happened again. After 2 more episodes of this, instead of struggling to start, the wasn't even coming close. The car radio and hazard lights were still working. Which led me to believe that constant starting attempts may have exhausted the battery. After a successful start, I was able to drive it home, using local roads for fear of a highway crash. 25 minutes later, the car was still running just fine. It didn't shut off again until I was parked at home and idling for a few minutes. Everytime it shut off, I'd see* check engine light,* warnings from the mil, though it's fully functional. The next day I moved the car for alternate side parking and it started up just fine, no hesitation. Several more starts since Monday - no hesitation or problem. I'm afraid to drive it long for now, for fear of an imminent crash. This could be fatal.

- Springfield, NJ, USA

problem #37

Apr 032011


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated when trying to accelerate the vehicle it would hesitate. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who advised her that the egr valve was causing the engine to misfire and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 110,000.

- Lanham, MD, USA

problem #36

May 112010


  • 67,000 miles
Head gasket failure. Head gaskets are defective on the 3400 series engines. The coolant used in these vehicles causes premature erosion in the head gasket.

- Aurora, IL, USA

problem #35

Oct 142010


  • 139,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The contact approached the parked vehicle and smelled a strong burning odor coming from underneath the hood. The hood was released and the engine compartment was completely melted. There were no flames. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where they advised that there was a recall associated with the NHTSA campaign id number 09V116000 (engine and engine cooling). The vehicle was beyond repair due to the fire. The contact did not receive a recall notification. The manufacturer was notified and they were unable to provide further assistance. The failure mileage was 139,000.

- Louisville, CT, USA

problem #34

Oct 262010


  • 85,000 miles
At times the cab of the 2002 Chevy Impala seems to overheat and when you try to start it all of the warning lights flash, including headlights, then it won't start.

- Muskogee, OK, USA

problem #33

Sep 122010


  • 140,000 miles
2002 Impala in the check engine light box the low coolant light and the security lights also shows and the battery light then the engine dies in the middle of traffic I have seen so many and more people with Impala in dangerous moments talking of it online could you please have Chevy correct this deadly mess got the problem fixed then it started back I do have kids active in school sports needing transportation I can not describe how being stranded in traffic makes me feel.

- Orl, FL, USA

problem #32

Jul 262010

Impala 6-cyl

  • 146,027 miles
2002 Chevy Impala ls V6 engine, required to have intake manifold gasket replaced. The gasket had dissolved and was allowing oil and coolant to leak onto the engine block, and mix within the engine. Mechanic advised that this is a known issue with the dex coolant that GM uses, and deteriorates the gasket.

- Hanover, MD, USA

problem #31

Aug 152003


  • 9,000 miles
In 2002 I purchased a Impala ls with 3.8 engine. Cass # chv0350387 ---08/15/03---as stated prior--consumer wants the manufacturer to repair the vehicle correctly. I feel that the repair that is been done on the vehicle is not correct and in a matter of time the problem will recur again. Referring to the above stated paragraph the problem has occurred with the vehicle with less than 60K. The vehicle is loosing antifreeze at a consistent rate and is needing repairs immediately. If repairs are not done then the vehicle will become a driving hazard to both passenger and fellow users of the highway. The recall was a defect management repair and wasn't completed in a quality and professional manner. This vehicle needs immediately attention to resolve the injury liability of all concerned. It was and is still the responsibility of GM to make this right. It should not fall to the customer to make the costly needed repairs now. When it was assembled and sold to the customer. This matter should definitely be researched to confirm the problems which could be somewhat different but originated from the same recall.

- Pearisburg, VA, USA

problem #30

May 012009


  • 115,000 miles
The car intermittently shuts off while driving. It occurs frequently. Dealership could not diagnose.

- Chicora, PA, USA

problem #29

Oct 302007


  • 150,000 miles
It started back in 2002 a few months I purchased my 2002 Impala. It was a used car with 15,000 miles. The check engine and low coolant light came on. Took it to the dealership and had the water pump and low coolant sensor replaced. A week later, low coolant light comes on again. Again took it to dealership and had to replace another sensor. That happen 10 times during the same year. As of now, July 2009, the light is still on. In 2007, my vehicle started to run hot. Was told I needed the manifold intake gasket, thermostat and hoses replaced which would of cost me over $1000. I couldn't afford it. I got a local mechanic to replace everything which he charged me $300. Just recently, I've been having problems starting my car especially after I drive it for a while. I'm a single mother who goes to school and work and this is my only means of transportation. This car has been giving me the blues the past few years and I'm sick of it. All this started with about 150,000 miles and currently I have about 168,000 miles. I will get a better, dependable vehicle later this year and I won't buy another GM vehicle again.

- Vacheri, LA, USA

problem #28

Jul 112009


  • 108,000 miles
My 2002 Chevy Impala does not start on many occasions. The engine does not even crank. After taking my car to 2 repair shops the problem has not been found and both places have no ideas. I have done my own research and found many people are having the same problem. I am a 23 year old female and found myself stuck over an hour from home earlier this week when my car would not start. How can I fix it or is there a recall that I and all the others do not know about?

- Williamston, MI, USA

problem #27

Mar 102009


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owned a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. On March 10, 2009, the vehicle caught fire and was destroyed. A police report was filed. GM advised the contact to call his insurance company because the manufacturer would not be responsible for the damages. Recently, the contact received a recall notice for GM recall number 90047, which stated that the vehicle could catch fire. The manufacturer stated that they could not assist. There were no injuries. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #26

Dec 012007


  • 40,000 miles
We are the owners of a 2002 Chevrolet Impala ls. We purchased the car new in October of 2001. It has been lightly driven and well maintained. It has had two major repairs; the first being a recall of the steering system, the second, a failure of the catalytic converter which was covered under federal law and replaced. Today, I found out that there is a safety recall for possible fire from dripping oil. That is the basic history. For about a year and a half, we have had a frightening issue with the car. You turn the key and nothing. A light that says "security" flashes three times over and over and you cannot start the car for ten minutes. GM's passlock system, which I believe malfunctions, thinks the car is being stolen. Ten minutes later, you can start the car. The problem is even in the manual for the car. GM admits that, but they say it shouldn't happen as much as I have it happen, like one time is ok, but the 5-6 times out of 10 that my car won't start is exceptional. Ten minutes is a long time with a sick child, alone in a dark place at night, in an emergency of any kind. It is a terrifying safety issue and I have read thousands of complaints all over the internet. GM offered me a coupon towards a new car. I know this is a known problem because it is in the manual and people are frightened and scared about it. This should have been a recall a long time ago since people are being stranded with a car with no fuel supply. Due to the car's computer somehow malfunctioning and thinking the car is being stolen, the passlock system reacts by cutting off fuel supply for a designated period of time, in this case, 10 minutes exactly. GM should be ashamed of themselves for having this issue and doing nothing.

- Dundalk, MD, USA

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