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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,479 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.

2003 Chevrolet Impala brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Nov 052003

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles


Got this car new 2003, at 376 miles had brake problems, had it back to dealer 10 or 11 times for same problem, so about every 3-4 months I have to turn rotors or get new one's+brake pads, also dash lights are out, as the car is out of warranty now, this is the worst car I ever owned, as I am a retired otr truck driver, so I dont misuse brakes.

- Williamson, WV, USA

problem #20

Sep 022011


  • 79,000 miles
The traction active light lights up after backing up and braking. I understand this is a known problem with Impala. The car makes a grinding noise for a second or two. This is an intermittent problem.

- Alexandria, MN, USA

problem #19

Aug 112004

Impala 6-cyl

  • 21,000 miles
Under hard high speed braking the front brakes shudder badly causing a severe front end shimmy due to warped rotors making stopping difficult. If pressure on pedal is not released this could cause loss of control and a crash. It is worse if going downhill. This is a very common issue on GM cars build in the last 8 years. There are posts all over the internet about this. The problem is with poorly made brake rotors that warp at under 15,000 miles of normal use. I have had the same issue with my wife's 2003 Impala. These cars should be recalled and the rotors replaced with parts of adequate quality. If you can get the issue addressed under warranty, the dealer will only either turn the defective rotors or replace them with the same oem junk. The only fix I have found it to replace them with aftermarket rotors and pads.

- Wheat Ridge , CO, USA

problem #18

Sep 062011

Impala 6-cyl

  • 113,500 miles


The Impala has brakes that have a lot of chatter. The brakes pulsate and have a violent shaking fit. I had the brakes and rotors replaced at 66,000 miles. The problem has reappeared within 15000 miles and it continues. The quality is poor and is a road hazard.

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #17

Aug 162011


  • 93,500 miles
Failure of the electronic brake control module in a 2003 Chevy Impala. Could be dangerous, and after doing some internet searching, appears to be a common problem and very expensive to repair. Car has less than 100,000 miles on it. Also, transmission failed at about 80,000 miles.

- Winters, CA, USA

problem #16

Jul 202003

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Computer problem 2003 Chevy Impala 6 cyl front wheel drive automatic 74000 miles ---------------------------------------------------------------- this recently started, the traction on light and the ABS yellow lights on dash stay on. Rarely do they go off, only a few times. The square indicator light says "service traction control" light comes on when I start the vehicle, stays on for 1-2 minutes then goes off. But the traction control light and the ABS light remains on. How can I reset this or what to not have a trip to the expensive auto repair shop. I have no problem with the ABS brakes to operate correctly, no delays or brake hesitation when I press the brake pedal in use. Help me out with a good solution. I will greatly appreciate your response.

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #15

Jul 152009


  • miles


The traction control is constantly engaging even under ideal driving situations. It engages while driving and turning at slow speeds. Also when the brakes are applied a noise is heard and a slight push back of the brake pedal occurs. Noise is possibly from the ABS. Since the two (tc and ABS) are linked it could be disrupting one or the other. I have searched several forums and many consumers are complaining of the same problem. Many have tried several solutions, but the problem persists. I personally have disconnected and cleaned the connections behind the wheels as mentioned by others. That worked for a month or so when the problem returned. I have heard others change the wiring harness to no avail.

- Harlingen, TX, USA

problem #14

Apr 212010


  • miles
2003 Chevy Impala. Passlock stystem thinks the car is being stolen, disabling the ignition for up to 30 minutes at a time. Sometimes leaving you stranded. Also ABS and trac control system failure at 100,00 miles. No more ABS or trac control as parts are over $3,000. Oil spill out of filler neck onto exhaust manifold, and recall only moved spark plug wires, oil problem still exists. Interior dash lights dim to complete darkeness, or super birght at all different times. Issue is the dimmer switch. Piss poor design by GM. They should be banned from selling vehicles until they pull their heads out of their [xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #13

Apr 102009

Impala 6-cyl

  • 9,269 miles
Upon going for state inspection I was informed that the front and rear rotors were rusting and flaking and if this was not corrected, car would not pass inspection next year. Was told this was due to not driving the car enough (underusage). My car is a 2003 Chevrolet Impala 4 door sedan. The cost was $344.50 to repair. On today's news I noticed that General Motors pickup trucks and SUV's are under investigation for the same problem. I am now concerned that this problem might also involve the Impala.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #12

Apr 082003

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,239 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. 3,000 miles after she purchased the vehicle she had brake failure. On April 8, 2003, dealer replaced rear rotors, Nov. 19, 2003 freed up sliders, March 26, 2004 full rotor assembly replaced in Florida, June 7, 2005 complete brake change. Aug. 16, 2005 resurfaced brakes and rotors, Jan. 16, 2006 refaced rear rotors, June 30, 2006 replaced rear rotors and refaced front rotors, Jan. 10, 2007 resurface work needed to be done but did not perform repairs, May 23, 2007 replaced all 4 rotors. The contact paid for the repairs, May 22, 2008, replaced rear pads and serviced calipers. The dealer will not make any additional repairs and feel as though they have done all they can to remedy to failure. The failure mileage was 3259 and the current mileage was 50295. Updated 7/3/08 the passenger seat heater and rear window defogger were inoperative. There was a noise coming from the steering. The dealer lubed the intermediate shaft. The rear stabilizer shaft and link was replaced. Updated 07/15/08.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #11

Jan 012007

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles


I have a 2003 Chevrolet Impala that keeps showing a service traction system alarm. When this occurs the anti lock brakes shut off. I have checked the codes and none show. Have been told that it could be in the wiring harness or the front wheel bearing on either or both sides.

- Catlin, IL, USA

problem #10

May 012007

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
The car was bought new from dealership, with occasional grinding noises noted in reverse and headlights "surging" at night while driving. Dealership unable to replicate with the exception of grinding. I was told a loose wire was causing noise in reverse. On 09/26/05, after noticing hard stalls while attempting to start, the fuel pump went out $281.60 for new one. 12/09/05, to dealership for starting concerns and maintenance. 04/13/06-car would not start to leave work. Ward's Chevrolet came to my work site. Left me a rental and kept my car until 04/20/06. I paid $674.56 for a 2nd fuel pump and fuel module. 06/21/06- to local garage with same complaints. $100 paid for "short" in electrical that caused no start and towing. 08/04/06-cooper Buick in monroe, la- $281 for another fuel pump and recall on 2003 Impala headgaskets that I was unaware of. 11/22/06-no start, turn over-went outside 3 hours later-starts with hard start. 12/06/06-brakes went from quiet to grinding-slow hard starts continue. Ward's kept the car for a month-never told me what was wrong with car except brakes. Did not charge. At this time I had requested a GM investi.-no results-states"the dealership was unable to replicate concern". the car continues to have slow, hard starts with very noticeable gas smells. The smell of gas has been occurring since 04/20/06 repairs. Now service, ABS, security lights come on and off intermittently with the smell of gas and slow, hard starts. I have been calling ward's since the first week of March 2007 requesting factory rep. To meet and drive car after their having a month with no improvements in cars functioning. I called this a.M. to be informed that new service dept. Manager was not aware of problem. This is the 4th time since March I have requested the factory rep. With no response from ward's.

- Grayson, LA, USA

problem #9

Sep 132006

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
: the contact stated the ABS light illuminated and at various speeds, the brakes locked up causing the vehicle to skid. The dealership replaced multiple unknown components, but the problem persisted.

- New York Mills, MN, USA

problem #8

Dec 112003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
I have 34000 miles on my vehicle and have to take it in soon as the brakes are again pulsating. This will be the 6th time I have had to have the brakes replaced. There is a constant rubbing sound which I have been told by the dealer is a "normal" sound in an Impala. There is nothing "normal" about this sound. 12/11/03 is the first time I reported a brake problem and have continued to do so until the present.

- Nags Head, NC, USA

problem #7

Jul 192006

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,954 miles
: the contact stated while driving 55 mph on normal road conditions the brakes were not responding adequately. The vehicle was taken to the dealership who determined the four rotors had to be resurfaced, however the pads were still in good conditions. The contact expressed concern because the vehicle has only 14950 miles.

- Irvington, NJ, USA

problem #6

Oct 032005

Impala 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I own a 2003 Impala I was very pleased with my vehicle, even though I have had to have my rotors and brakes fixed twice still pleased overall. However, about a month ago I took my car in for a normal oil change after returning home, I noticed I didn't have any anti-freeze in my car. I called a spoke to a service tech he informed me that I probably had a leak somewhere. I brought it in he informed me there was a hair line crack in my gasket and I needed a new water pump. The cost to repair it would be over one thousand dollars. What I cannot understand why did my low coolant indicator light come on. Why did I have to discover this problem on my own? after reviewing other complaints I find I am not alone with having a coolant concern. I feel that this should be looked into more carefully. It is certainly a problem with the coolant system in the 2003 Impala and this failure should not be at the expense of the consumer.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #5

Aug 012005

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
Brakes fade when stopping hard.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #4

Aug 082005

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,289 miles
Re: Chevrolet Impala 2003 purchased 4/7/2003 VIN [xxx] in general I have been very pleased with the vehicle above, but I have had two problems with the brakes since I purchase the car and it only has 11,225 miles of driving. I live in Florida and my apartment is on the beach so I park close to the ocean about 8 months out of the year. The first problem occurred at 6,289 miles when the brakes were applied there was a vibration or grabbing feeling unlike normal smooth braking. The car was taken to quirk Chevrolet in quincy, MA on Aug 16, 2004. The technician said the brakes were rusted or pitted and needed to be ground down or replaced (see copy of work order from quirk attached). I asked him how this could happen. He explained that the brake mechanism is exposed to the air and not protected in any way, so that the salt air from the ocean environment could have caused the pitting in the brakes. The second problem occurred at 11,225 miles when the same feeling in braking was experienced by the driver. Again I took the car for repair at quirk and they reported żżinspected and found the front and rear brakes rusted badly, removed and replaced the front and rear brake pads and rotors. The cost about $725! ps: I talked with customer service, vikie smith at 1 800 222 1020 regarding this matter on this date and she started a file or report in the computer at that time. Her direct line is 866 932 4368 ext 35336, file number [xxx]. on this date we had a conference call with the quirk service dept and they told me that the problem with my brakes is due to the fact that I live on the beach and I do not drive the car enough to keep the rust from building up on the brakes. Updated 07/19/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #3

Jul 062005

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,200 miles
2003 Impala. Brakes started to pulsate severely at slightly over 36000 miles. Since brake problems are usually not covered by warranty (and it had expired anyhow), I took it to a locally reliable auto repair garage. He suspected a warped front rotor (as I did also). Removed and replaced both front rotors and pads. The pulsation was still there. Removed both rear rotors. Both were badly scored on the inside - not visible during routine inspection. In addition, both rotors were partially crystalized, again on the inside. The pads here were also scored badly. After reading reports on 2003 Impala on, I decided to add my complaint to the list there, all similar in nature. Old parts are not available.

- Ilion, NY, USA

problem #2

Jun 132005

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles
Consumer heard a grinding noise which sounded like metal to metal. The consumer made an appointment with the dealer, but the dealer was not able to get the consumers vehicle in for inspection. Consumer took vehicle to jims mufflers to get the brakes fixed. The mechanic took off all four tires and showed the consumer that he needed to replace front and back rotors and pads. The mechanic the cleaned calipers. The consumer spent about $500 for repairs. When the dealer looked at the brakes he stated that they looked as if they had sat in water. Consumer claimed that vehicle had not been in water. The mechanic stated that maybe the rotors or calipers were contaminated because brakes should not have looked that bad for the miles on the vehicle. The mechanic determined calipers may not have been working properly since the rotors were so rusty.

- Hurley, NY, USA

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