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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
121,200 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace head gaskets (4 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2002 Chevrolet Impala engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments

problem #5

Jan 182012

Impala V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles


my low coolant light kept coming on so i checked my fluids and all seemed fine. But as i took the radiator cap off a bunch of fluids backed up into the reservoir. I immediately took the car to my service shop and within a few minutes the mechanic informed me that i had a cracked head. Needless to say I was shocked!! But what shocked me more was when he told me how common this problem is because the Chevy manufacturer uses plastic gaskets. He told me that without a doubt these gaskets are sure to fail. He also said he couldn't believe there wasn't a class action suit against GM for this problem. Im actively searching for such lawsuits. This is costing me $1900.00 which I DO NOT HAVE!!! I have a critically ill husband that I take to and from doctors appts. weekly so I have no choice but to get it fixed. Ive known several people who have worked for GM and Im very surprised that such a large company would allow this to go on. ITS NOT RIGHT!!! I am very dissappointed and disgusted with GM. Especially since my husband worked loyally for GM for over 31 years!

- , Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #4

Sep 012010

Impala LS 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 177,000 miles

This car has had issues from day one. I replaced the radiator two years ago and it still has the same issue. Its not the mechanics fault either, I have heard that over and over it's this stupid piece of crap car. Chevrolet went so lazy on this model. Now the car has gotten so hot that it has a cracked head gasket and i'm going to have to replace this.

But i will say this: thanks to Chevy I just bought a Dodge and I love it!

- , Mcalester, OK, USA

problem #3

May 072010

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

The coolant light came on and it wasn't the first time for this car. Turned out to be a Head Gasket leak. when putting it back together, the shop broke two of the bolts, and then later, one of the valves broke. Still without a car 1 1/2 weeks later. Things keep breaking on the darned thing. Past problems with the coolant intake led to a complete transmission rebuild. Do not buy this year make at any rate. I will most likely NEVER buy another Chevy Car again. Too bad Government Motors.

- , Fresno, TX, USA

problem #2

Jan 012010

Impala Sand 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I have always owned a Chevy. The 2002 impala 3.4L has to be the worst Chevy vehicle I have ever owned. One problem after another. It has become a money pit. PLEASE add me to any class action. Chevrolet MUST understand, that the quality MUST go in before the NAME goes on!

- , Murrieta, CA, US

problem #1

May 142009

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

This is the latest of many problems with this car. It is no wonder that GM is dead. I only wish that I was not paying twice - once to fix this heap and once to delay GM's well-deserved demise.

The dealer wanted $2000 for the repair. I found a great mechanic who did it for $1400. His explanation of the cause makes sense. But it sure makes no sense to build an engine like this.

The engine block is made of cast iron. The cylinder heads are made of aluminum. The two different metals are bolted together with the head gasket in between. If the engine ever gets hot, the difference in the expansion of the two metals destroys the gasket. From high school physics, I remember that this has to do with the coefficient of thermal expansion. I looked up the values for iron and aluminum. If turns out that aluminum expands twice as fast as iron as the temperature rises. Did the GM engineers think about this? Even if it is not a problem at normal engine operating temperatures, they need to consider the very real possibility that the engine will overheat at some time and make sure that this does not cause such a major failure. I do not recall any overheating, except of course once the head gasket had already blown.

- , Kalispell, MT, USA

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