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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
126,298 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (8 reports)
  2. replaced mass air flow sensor (1 reports)
2002 Chevrolet Impala engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments

problem #9

Oct 022012

Impala V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,280 miles


i just brought my 2002 chevy impala and the sucker keeps shutting off on me at times it will fire right back up then the other times it takes a while to get it to start back up. there is no service engine light on the dash so that threw me off completely and when the car shuts off the battery light comes on. this last time it happened i was on the expressway and it was early morning traffic and the car just shut off, the steering wheel tightened up and i veered off to the emergency lane. after turning the key over several times the car eventually started. i proceeded off the expressway and it repeated the same thing only this time when i turned the key it was like the car was completely dead. so after about 5 minutes of waiting the car started back up. i left it running to see what might the problem be and it did not cut. off someone please help me !!!! I'm a single mother of three and the last thing i need is for my car to be acting up.

- , Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #8

Jun 072011

Impala 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

from the day i bought the car it just dies while driving,not all the time just enough to classified as a death trap. warning lights on dash come on whenever they want and trunk opens whenever 2 all are connected i can tell when my cruise control light comes on or blinker stops working I'm going to stall while driving

- , Ocala, FL, USA

problem #7

Aug 292011

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

My 2002 Chevy Impala, 3.4L V6, base model, Vin "E" shut off a couple days ago while driving in slow highway traffic. The first time it happened, I was accelerating, as the traffic was finally picking up. That's when I felt the car jerk and suddenly lose power. The red battery symbol appeared on the dashboard, but no check engine light. The brake and steering wheel began tightening, so I coasted to the shoulder and hit the emergency brake, then threw the car in park. I noticed that both the headlights and the dash lights had gone out, but I believe that's because the car thought it was off (which it what would normally happen after you shut off your car and it has auto-off lights).

Several attempts to start only ended in the unfortunate sounds of a car struggling to turn over, but never actually turning. Eventually the car stuttered, but started. I was back in snail-paced highway traffic, and after a few minutes of rolling along, it happened 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 two more episodes of this, the car eventually went from struggling to start, to not even coming close to starting. The car radio and hazard lights were still working, but apparently not enough juice to even spark.

After a carefully orchestrated jump from someone's jeep, it started with no problem at all and no check engine. After that I was able to drive it home, using local roads for fear of another shut off. 25 minutes later, the car was still running just fine. It didn't shut off again until I was already parked at home and idling for a few minutes. Every time it shut off, I'd see the red battery symbol on the dash, no check engine light, no security light, and only the first time did the dash lights and headlights appear to turn off.

The next day I had to move it for alternate side parking and it started up just fine, no hesitation. I made my k turn to the other side of the street, and it didn't shut off until I turned it off because I was done moving it.

The car hasn't had any other recent major issues (a month or so ago the gas needle was fluctuating a bit for a couple weeks, but eventually stopped on its own). I'm clueless. It has about 130k miles. I've owned it since the winter of 2007 and I've treated it very well. It had one previous owner, but I bought it from the GM dealership.

I've read about the crankshaft sensor, but impalas have two (one next to the block and another behind the balancer), so which one is it? Is there a way to know it's that and not the MAF. I'd really like to take a shot at repairing this myself. Where can I find a book/video that provides a step-by-step of the repair process?

Are there tests that can narrow the culprit without breaking the bank on meaningless repairs and replacements?

Is a dealership more likely to rip me off in NJ than a private mechanic?

Hellllp! My mechanic lost power to his shop after hurricane Irene hit us. So I'm really in a bind.

- , New York, NY, USA

problem #6

May 052011

Impala 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles


I just bought a 2002 Chevy Impala two weeks ago. Its very nice, 64,000 miles, engines all clean had a mechanic check it out it was all looking great. The day before I bought it the guy that sold it to me told me said he just purchased a new idle air control sensor from napa and he gave me the receipt. It drove fine to my place but the next morning I got in and began driving and every time I would stop a light or slow to turn the car would immediately die. I unplugged the sensor to see how the car would do without it and it did much better, still died randomly but not nearly as often. I spoke with the mechanic who installed the new sensor. He suspected the new part was defective. We met up at the Napa where the part was purchased, he plugged in his scanner and it said it the sensor was reading too rich. We got the part replaced and he told me to drive for a couple days and if it gives more problems to call him again. It was fine for one day. After that day, again the car would randomly die. Not nearly as often as with the bad sensor though. I called the mechanic and he said it may be just that the computer needs to be reset. So we met up he reset the computer and the car is a lot better now in terms of randomly dying. However, it does still randomly die, but I have found something that it is correlated with. When I turn my car on for the first time, the coolant temperature gauge doesnt respond very well. After about 5 minutes of driving it begins working and once it is working the car is great. In that 5 minutes that it is not working the car sometimes dies when I slow to a stop. I talked to an online chevy mechanic about this and he said most likely the coolant temperature sensor is not so good or the wires connecting to it. For now though, while the gauge works, the car doesn't die.

- , Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #5

Oct 172010

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 167,000 miles

The car shut down while driving down a neighborhood street (20MPH), at night no warning at all. It started right back up, very strange. It has not happened again.

- , Midlothian, IL, USA

problem #4

Feb 042009

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

I smelled a hint of gas in the parking lot at work and wrongfully assumed it was coming from another car. When I was leaving work the car almost quit and to keep it running I had to keep one foot on the brake and one on the gas. Driving on the interstate the car began to sputter and buck and almost quit several times eventually dying after about 30 miles. I sat for awhile and eventually got it started again and drove home begging and patting the gas the whole way. I knew what it was as this is the second time this has happened, the first time was only about 35000 miles ago. It was the mass air flow sensor. If your car ever dies on you and sputters and acts like it's choking and after it dies on you you have trouble getting it to start back up it's probably the mass air flow sensor. This controls the amount of air that gets sucked into the intake and it sits right on top of the motor under the plastic cover that says series 2. If this happens to you and your desperate try unplugging the sensor and you might be able to get home. Don't get one of these from the dealer get it from a junk yard or off of ebay it's about 300 at the dealer and you get get one for under 100 somewhere else.

- , Athens, AL, USA

problem #3

Apr 132009

Impala 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 273,403 miles


When the engine get hot, the car stall. It can be highway or a local road. Stalls after driving for 15-20 minutes when the engine get hot. Will start after temperature gauge comes down below 1/4 of the scale. Any solutions? Other than this the car is good. I love comfortable cars, that's why I choose this one. Main gasket was changed about 250,000 K.M. Transmission replaced about 375,000 k.m. Starter and alternator replaced 3 or 4 times. Other than this car is good.

- , Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada

problem #2

Jun 122008

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

This is a really pain in the ass and I don't feel safe driving my car . What the heck is that driving down the road and out of know where your car dies out you loose power steering, everything. It doesn't happen all the time just out of the blue????More then a couple dozen times.

- , Mt Prospect, IL, USA

problem #1

Oct 052007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

This problem started about a week after I got the car. It would just shut off and I would be driving. It was a real problem because, I would be on the highway for instance when It decided it wanted to shut off. I sometimes I would be able to tell when it is about to turn off. For instance at night I would notice that my head lights would start to go dim and than bright and then the car would just stall. Or when I would give it gas from a stop. It would just go dead.

- , Oceanside, CA, USA

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