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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
99,388 miles
Total Complaints:
27 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (22 reports)
  2. firestone changed the "pulley system" and "ignition hatch" (1 reports)
  3. ignition switch replaced (1 reports)
  4. keep it parked out of sunlight (1 reports)
  5. replace the bcm (body control module) (1 reports)
  6. replaced battery (1 reports)
2003 Chevrolet Impala electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Jul 062011

Impala 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,567 miles


I had problem fixed. It cost me $283.96 out of my pocket because at the time I did not know about recall. How do I get reimbursed??

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #26

Sep 082006

Impala V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 163,000 miles

OK, I think I found a solution to the ignition/passlock/security system issue. In the past my car had not started for me when I turned the key too quickly. Or when I would start/shutoff/and start it in a short time span. I noticed that the ignition and key would be difficult to turn and that seemed to wear out the ignition module.

The fix I have found is, to simply press the brake pedal before you insert the key and keep it pressed as you turn the key. I also only turn the key to Accesories first, I wait 7 seconds as the Security light flashes at me. Then I finally turn the key.

So basically press the brake pedal as you start the car. But waiting 7 seconds on Accesories seems the be important also.

Try it, I hope this helps people.

- , Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #25

Jan 172013

Impala 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

The car will not crank or start. Disconnecting the Negative Terminal of the battery for a second and reconnecting fixes the problem.

When it dies the gauges freeze in place in the instrument panel (Speedometer, fuel gauge, oil temp) and you can hear a noticeable clicking noise as in this video.

When you have this problem it is most likely the BCM (Body Control Module). In my case there were no problems with passlock/security light coming on. The interior lights would only turn on manually, they would not turn on when you open the door. It would randomly flash the rear interior lights.

You can get by for quite a while by just disconnecting the battery and reconnecting and it will work as if nothing happened. Then the interior lights will go out again (won't turn on when opening the door but work manually). After a while you will go to start the car and it will will make a "click" sound and then all the gauges will freeze and you hear more clicking from the instrument panel. If you get out and disconnect the battery and reconnect it will work again for a while.

Eventually the BCM will die completely and you will have to tow it to the dealer. Here is the cost break down

Labor $345 Parts $245 (New BCM) Total: $590 (before tax)

My suggestion is to not wait like I did and let it die. You can find a new BCM on amazon for $120 by ACDelco (org part) and have the dealer program it and install it yourself. It's located under the steering column behind a plastic panel that is held on with two clips. The BCM has 3 large electrical connector going into it. It's hard to get to but you can replace it yourself. This way you'll save about $100 on the part and $345 on labor.

This needs to be recalled by GM, there's too many of these failing on Impalas and monte carlo's.

**also they charged me $25 for parts (not included in above total) for the "Engine compartment Fire" recall. I even had to pay for the parts of the recall!! Can you believe it???

- , Lisle, IL, USA

problem #24

Nov 102012

Impala LX 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles


Help!!! My 2003 Impala LS.As of OCT of 2012,My car when the Cold weather started in,Is not wanting to start..Sounds familiar? One time it would not turn over But the second time it did,The Next time the clock on the radio resettled to 12 Am..Now when i crank it over the Door locks are constantly locking and unlocking randomly for a minute and then i have no interior lights.But when trying to do it again it starts up.And then when i go to shut off the car the locks are locking and locking again with no lights..I am so frustrated Thanks to you all on here i don't feel alone!! Seems like we all have the same Problems but different situations But all leads to no starting!! My security light does not come on while this happens.Today it did it again.I went and put the key to Acc position and put the gas peddle to the floor once and the dash lights came on strong and it fired up.But when i shut it off the car acted up again.Its Possessed!! GM NEED TO RECALL THESE IMPALAS DUE TO ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS!! I think Gm does it on purpose and sets the computers to fail at 100,00 miles so u might want to buy a new car!! If any one has a solution please let me know..I don't want a bad winter with this car..

- , Westland, MI, US

problem #23

Mar 082012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

What i am searching for is someone who can diagnose and fix the issues i am having with my car. Here's what happens: Last summer as i was leaving physical therapy with my mom, which was one of those 90 degree days, i got in the car which was parked in the shade but shade matters not when the humidity is high, put the key in the ignition and the car started fine. I noticed a ticking/clicking sound begin somewhere in the dash and my security light came on. Thinking the security system malfunctioned, i turned the car off, turned the key around and started it again. Same thing happens only this time security light, battery after it then check engine soon light begins switching from one to the other. I run to get my mom afraid we were gonna be stuck and noticed when i put the car in drive the locks didn't automatically lock as they normally do and as i was driving the car was almost over heating by what the gauge said. Then the radio locked off. Thinking this could have something to do with the security system i had installed so i can press the button and the locks pop, trunk pops and alarm button thingy, i take it to the lock place that installed it. The guy was baffled to say the least. He suggested i take it to the dealer. I call the dealer and explain whats going on and again baffled. Says i have to bring it in for them to check it. I would like a promise that its gonna be fixed before i pay the $99 diagnostic fee. Can anyone tell me if they are 1 having this issue with their car and 2 if it was able to be fixed. Every mechanic i have spoken to says it "may" be electric but they don't do electrical work. I just want surety cause yesterday the weather got a little warm and here we go again but this time it wouldn't start after all the same things happened. As it cooled down by the end of the day, it started with no problem. One more thing, if its night time when this occurs the headlights flicker to the sound of the clicking as well as the interior lights. Please help if you can.

- , Orange, NJ, USA

problem #22

Sep 112012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 186,000 miles

I have been having this problem with this car for several years. Had the fuel pump, battery, starter, alternator and who knows what else replaced. I know the most expensive bill was $1500. I have read on here it is a very common problem and I also think as everyone else does that Chevrolet should do a recall and fix this problem.

- , Mission, TX, USA

problem #21

Dec 282011

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,321 miles


I am also having trouble starting my 2003 Chevy Impala. This (thankfully) is a spare car that we inherited, so I don't need to drive it daily. It has always started and been reliable until a couple of weeks ago. I noticed that it might not start after sitting for a week. After I jumped it, it would start. I thought the battery was bad, so I replaced the batter and battery cable ends since they were corroded. I also noticed that the electric door locks weren't working. I replaced the blown door lock fuse, it started up fine so I thought all was well. I loaned the car to my son, I believe that he used the electric door lock when parking and then it wouldn't start for him. Jumping it didn't help. Checking the battery, I found it was fully charged. Thinking that the battery connections must be to blame, I removed both cables, did a little filing, and reconnected cables. Started right up. Sat in the driveway for a couple of days and started OK 2 or 3 times, then same problem. Door lock fuses was blown, SECURITY light shows on dash, but car wouldn't crank. I disconnected the battery cables again, reconnected after 30 seconds and the car started right up. I have now repeated this process 3 times in a row. Car won't crank....disconnect battery cables, reconnect and it cranks and starts right up. Obviously, there is something wrong (electronically) and if I remove the power, it seems to reset or clear the problem. Has anyone else seen this same type of problem?....and if so what did you find would fix the problem. I have read that changing the ECM might work. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

- , Howell, MI, USA

problem #20

Nov 172011

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

our 03 impala just started not starting recently and the security light has been coming on. it doesn't do it all the wife needs to get places on time everyday so we need a reliable car........our gm dealer told us about the bcm and something else for $400 plus labor......i'm not sure what to do at this point.........we really like the car especially since we paid it off a couple years just turned over 100k and is still a very sharp car but we don't want it to start killing us on repairs..........i found this site last night and discovered that we aren't alone with this problem.....when we get this figured out i'll post again

Update from Feb 6, 2012: our 2003 impala just turned over 100k and all of a sudden out of nowhere it started not starting right all the time......sometimes when you turn the key it would be like the battery was unhooked, then the next time it was fine?? we put up with it for a month or so then finally at our next oil change had our local chevy/gmc dealer check it out.....they gave us an estimate for outrageous parts and wouldn't guarantee fixing the problem.....BCM (MODULE) , ignition cylinders, etc. about $400-$500.........we didn't do anything wife drives the car daily and after trying different things when the problem occured she discovered inserting the key and turning to start immediately (all in one motion) that it works even works for me.........the problem hasn't occured for over a month or so since she discovered this starting method?? i don't know how or what this does but it works......i'd like for others to try it and see if it works for them...........good luck everyone

- , Wolcottville, IN, USA

problem #19

Feb 272011

Impala 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,169 miles

I purchased this car in October of 2010. Everything seemed fine and I was happy to own it, but now I wish I had passed it up. Started having problems with the starting. Once in awhile at first, now most of the time. It seems when the inside of the car was hot (not the engine,but the interior) the car would not start. Roll down windows and let inside cool down, and it would start. Read about taking the bcm fuse out, and that worked for a while, but now back to the same old thing. Have to let the interior cool down before starting car.

Does anyone have any ideas as to why the inside of the car has to be cooled before car starts. Please post any possiblities. Please GM do recall to get this problem fixed. Have had ignition changed twice. Security light comes on while driving. Have been very proud to be GM owner, but very upset with the response from GM to fix this problem.

- , Columbia Cross Roads, PA, USA

problem #18

Jul 212011

Impala 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles

They say it is a "Security" problem! ? ! ? Just won't start. Mechanic says thaat it is a dealer fix. Dealer is puzzled. WTF?

- , Caruthersville, MO, USA

problem #17

Jun 012011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles


Car starts right up then other times wont start. Put new starter in but did not fix the problem. I'm so scared at gas stations because I have to keep my car running. I'm out of work can't buy a reliable used vehicle. Just had intake gasket & head gasket replaced to the tune of hundreds of dollars. car has about 95000 miles on it. I love it just keep getting stuck everywhere.

- , Dummerston, VT, USA

problem #16

Oct 092011

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

This car was purchased new in 2003 and ran great until last yr and the not starting problem occurred. We have tried everything. Chevrolet cannot fix the problem and said that if the car was in Detroit - they could not fix it. How is that for service. THEY can build them, but cannot fix it. We call it the haunted car.

It is getting more regular with not starting. It was once a month and now it is every 15 days. If anyone KNOWS how to fix this problems, please let me know.

- , Hernando, MS, USA

problem #15

Jul 012011

Impala 3400 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Was having major problems with the hazard switch and my blinkers. Replaced hazard switch and actually ended up with another one that doesn't work. The car will start sometimes but kills immediately, but for the most part it wont start just makes a clicking sound. The lights and the radio work just doesn't start very often. If anyone can give me advice on what it might be it would be very helpful!!! Maybe the ignition or possibly still having something to do with the hazard switch? When I read about other complaints it appears the hazard switch has caused many people to have a big headache, maybe it should have been a recall. Shame on you Chevy!!!! Sick of having problems with my Impala.

- , Inver Grove Heights, MN, USA

problem #14

Jun 082010

Impala LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,206 miles

Took it to the garage and they were adamant to put in a new ignition. After about the 10th "not starting", the battery went dead.

Found out the some celluloids in the battery were no good. Changed the battery that had a seven year warranty. Paid only $40.00 - the number of years the warranty was used. One month and still no stalling. Hopefully, problem solved.

- , Colville, WA, US

problem #13

Sep 022009

Impala 3.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,500 miles

FYI...the date listed on my last post is roughly when I started having issues...not the date I posted. update...I bought a Body Coltrol Module from gmpartsdirect ('bout $150); it's installed and I'm in the process of programming it right now. Everything seems to be going just as I've been lead to suspect. Once I complete the programming, then I'll have to go to a dealer to have the radio unlocked ('bout $75 from what I've read).

The BCM I took has a part number of GMAN168. The one I just bought is an update version...GMAN170. I opened the box of the old one and noticed some bubbling ontop of 2 of the small black square boxes (transistors? resisters?; by far not an electrician or computer guy); this explains the electrical burning smell I've experienced.

Programming seems to be taking longer than I've expected...but I'm keepin my fingers crossed. Will let you know how everything turns out.

- , West Henrietta, NY, USA

problem #12

Oct 212008

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

I love my Chevy, Im 22, and it's what I grew up on, Chevy and cadie's. It hurt's a lot to say because I can't stand any Japanese car put in front of me, or any foreign car for that matter, and I can't speak for everyone out there but 2 of the main reason's these foreign car's have been taking over the market is all due to the dependability and of course the MPG of the car's being built. Since I bought my Chevy impala ls 2 years ago, ive had multiple problems, and I would understand these problems if I were an owner that didn't pay any maintenance attention to his car, but fact is that I do pay attention to it. Im ok with having a problem here and there, but when you have had a car leave you stranded on the way back from a date, or in the morning when you wake up to go to work and end up losing money, and days at work, then that just makes me wanna junk the car.The 2 main issues I have had have been a crack in the radiator, then the heating/cooling system, messed up water pump because of that, and most recently, a pulley system problem, and an ignition hatch, as Firestone described it to me. started when i couldn't turn the car on, I knew it wasn't the starter cause you could hear it, it just wouldn't spark up, I took out the battery when to auto zone, and sure enough I had a bad battery, I was happy it wasn't anything major, yea rite, I put in the new battery, it started for about 30 seconds, and then it wouldn't start again. Up to recently that's the last problem I had, just a couple of days ago, doing 60-70 on the highway the "check engine" light starts blinking at me, it turns off when i lower my speed but as soon as i hit that 60-70 mark it turns rite back on... I am still looking for a reason why not to leave the bowtie family and get a Honda or a toyota which ive heard and read, that they have far less problems.

- , Hialeah, FL, US

problem #11

Nov 082008

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

For my fellow Chevrolet Impala owners: You may run into a problem like myself while servicing the thermostat. In order to do so, sensors must be unplugged, air cleaning tube removed, radiator drained, and battery disconnected. After reconnecting everything, the car would not start, security was written across the message board and the interior lights were not on. After reading from someone else's problem and their suggestion of oxidation build-up on connectors, I realized that I needed to purchase CRC electrical cleaner and clean all plugs with spray to insure proper conductivity. I first disconnected the battery (positive terminal first), disconnected all sensor plugs I worked around, removed the fuse box cover on the passenger fire wall, pulled the ignition fuses, and cleaned the connections at the starter. I found that whatever I did corrected all the above mentioned problems without the expense of taking the car to the dealer. When first talking to the dealership, the impression which I received was negative and it left me furious to say the least. The overall electrical components on cars these days present a huge challenge and I can safely say that checking and cleaning connections ( remember to have the battery disconnected) is probably one of the first things to do. Once the dealership sell us the car, they only want our money rather than establish good will. Makes sense, that is why people don't trust persons at the car dealerships. Hopefully the above information was helpful to someone. God Bless you and your families.

- , Lake Worth, FL, US

problem #10

Oct 182008

Impala 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Ok so, one night I went to my car to go home after work at 1am, after being there from 5am the previous morning. I was tired, and it rained all f*ckin' day. So when I got in to start it, it wouldn't start. So I had a few friends of mine to come out to my job to jump it for me... the sh*t still didn't work. So then, I called my insurance company, so they can call a tow truck company, and they didn't show up till after 2:30am. So I had to have my car towed to a Chevy dealer to see what was wrong with it. Now mind you, the power on my window have been working when it wants to work, so I had to ride around in the hot ass summer for months with the windows up, and wasting my gas on air conditioning. Also, for some reason my airbag light stayed on the whole time I had the car, and when I was in an accident, the bitch never came out.

So I had it towed to the Chevy dealer, just to find out that the only reason it wouldn't start was because my battery was drained to the max. Ok, so that was replaced, but why is it that the other things are still happening?? F*ckin' peace of sh*t Impala!! lol I'm goin' to Toyota, f*ck it!!

- , Washington, DC, USA

problem #9

Sep 012008

Impala LS 3.8L 3800

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

Don't know what to do to fix problem! Car will only start when it wants to, acts as though the battery is dead but it is not. Jumpstart car and it may run with no problems for 3 or 4 days but it also might not start 30 minutes after you jump it. This really sux because it has been on a diagnostics machine with no notable problems, no one seems to know exactly what to do to fix it. Don't want to spend money on things that might not fix the problem!!! This seems to be a widespread problem and GM needs to make this a recall instead of screwing people over for easy money on a problems that would not be happening if they would have had decent engineering and design. If they can't sell cars due to the economy they should at least make sure the fewer cars they are building are worth a sh*t!!!!!!!

- , Gallatin, TN, USA

problem #8

Jul 162008

Impala Security Light

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,255 miles

What's wrong with this Chevy? I was stuck in the hot sun for 45mins. because my car wouldn't start. My husband has to come out three times from his job to come and get me. We need to be compensated for lost wages and inconvenience. I thought it was my battery or alternator. Wrong, they are fine. I've had a diagnostic test. Nothing shows up on the test. My security light comes on while driving and if I stop somewhere and turn it off, I'm stuck for 45+mins. It's embarrassing and frustrating. Someone needs to give us some answers.

- , Houston, TX, USA

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