Print this page


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
90,745 miles
Total Complaints:
125 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (80 reports)
  2. leave key in the ON position for 10 minutes (18 reports)
  3. replace ignition lock cylinder (4 reports)
  4. replace the BCM (Body Control Module) (3 reports)
  5. take off positive cable, and clean corrosion (3 reports)
  6. put car in neutral and start (2 reports)
2003 Chevrolet Impala electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Chevrolet Impala:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments (Page 4 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #65

Sep 102009

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles



Yes, we too have had the same problem....Has anyone been able to get this problem r

resolved?? I have read on here about the bcm? Has this fixed the problem? does anyone know how to fix or who to talk to about this??? We love this car....but a very bad feature for GM....

- , Brownstown, MI, USA

problem #64

Sep 012007

Impala 3.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Been dealing with this issue for a couple of years now...get in and turn the key...nothin! I'm not really sure why it happens or how I discovered the method below, but it seems to work for me.

If I open my door and the dome light doesn't turn on...I know the car won't start when I turn the key...DON'T EVEN TRY TURNING THE KEY...IT WON'T START! At this point...

Step 1: Turn on head lights for about 20 seconds (of course the lights aren't actually on) Step 2: Turn key in ignition...8 times out of 10 car will start. Step 3: If car doesn't start...disconect & re-connect neg battery cable...I use a socket...about 5 loosening turns, then tighten back up. Step 4: Turn always starts after I do step 3.

Seems like turning on the headlights creates some sort of bridge, allowing electricity to flow to where it's needed to start the car. Still bothersome...but at least I can get the thing started. I would love to know what the actual fix is for this issue...anyone get any sort of clear answer...from GM or otherwise?

Oh yeah...I also started having issues with the power locks...their action started to weaken to the point where the driver's side wouldn't even lock when I press the button. You'd hear it trying to do something, but nothing would happen; I pulled the I lock and unlock the car the old fashioned way. The remote kept blowing the fuse, so I haven't used that in about 2 years.

- , West Henrietta, NY, USA

problem #63

Aug 102009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Have a 2003 Chevy Impala that I have never had any major problems with. About a week ago more or less, my car started giving me problems starting. I would turn on the ignition and would get absolutely nothing. Everything worked like the radio, lights etc. I noticed when I messed with the gear shifter it would then turn on. During all this my security light is lit and it is lit when I am having problems starting the car. I noticed at first that if I put the car in neutral then park it would start right away, no waiting. I took it to an auto parts store and had them check my battery and they said the battery was bad. Bought a new battery and seemed to work fine for like 2 days then it all started again. So now instead of the usual waiting when it doesn't want to start, I start it in Neutral or once I have gone to neutral then back to park. I do not want to invest a lot of money into it if I am not certain what the problem is. I definitely cannot afford dealer ship prices.

- , Corpus Christi, TX, USA

problem #62

Jun 222009

Impala LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


My security light started flashing about six months ago. I started having a hard time starting the car and figured it might be the battery. We replaced the battery, and the problem didn't stop. Then about two weeks ago, my security light started flashing on and off again, making my headlights flash on and off while driving and my air conditioner stopped working when the light would come on. Took the car to an air conditioner mechanic who couldn't find a problem with it and thought it might be electrical. When I went to pick it up, the car would start, however, when I put it in drive, it wouldn't move. I tried to put it in drive twice, and it still wouldn't move. The air conditioning mechanic thought about disconnecting the battery, hoping that it would trip up the iginition and allow it to release my key (it was stuck in the ignition!). He tried to turn the key before disconnecting the battery and it turned on. Then he put it in drive, and it moved. My husband jumped in it and took it down the street to the mechanic. He fixed it and told us to come pick it up. I got about a quarter of a mile from the shop (ten minutes before the shop closed) and the security light came back on (flashing), and all the lights in my car started flashing on and off. I called the mechanic and he waited for me to come back with the car. He put the monitor on it and no codes were coming up, however, the security light was still flashing and so were the lights on my dashboard, and my headlights! He said that there was obviously something wrong, however, he is still looking for the problem. Any suggestions? How expensive is the BCM and how much should it cost to have a mechanic fix it?

- , Crosby, TX, USA

problem #61

Jun 022009

Impala LS 3800

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,671 miles

just wanted to thank everyone on this blog for their input. my wifes 03 impala started the dreadful no start - wait bs. was the BCM cost $500 cdn out the door

this should be a plug and play module at half the price

next time I will buy a good Canadian made car - like a Toyota from Cambridge On or a Honda from Alliston On

- , Guelph, ON, Canada

problem #60

Jan 082008

Impala 3400

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

my no start problem is the same as all of yours, no clicking, no turning over of eng, wait 10-15 min starts fine, security light was the only thing flashing, i reset lots of fuses and relays, thinking i may have fixed, naaaaa it came back. has anyone truly FIXED the problem yet? or does it come back over and over? now with baby in tow, my wife has had too!!

- , Cloverdale, IN, USA

problem #59

May 162009

Impala LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,050 miles


After taking my son swimming, my car wouldn't start. Security light showed 1 week before. I thought it was the starter, very similar to a past problem with another car. tried it about 6 times, turned my radio off to talk to my husband and it started. I had sat there for about 10-15 mins with the key in the ignition. The check engine light was on, until it started. The dealership said there were no codes, and couldn't find anything wrong. Took it to a friend mechanic, and he said it showed 2 history codes and they were very expensive to fix. It still has a warranty but it doesn't look like it matters if they fix it or not comparing it to everyone elses complaints. I was told if the key gets wet it won't start until it dries out. It was very humid at the covered swimming pool that day. I am glad to know now that if i just put the key in the ignition, in the on position and wait for about 15 mins. That the car will start and i can go on. No towing bills...

- , B'ton, NC, USA

problem #58

May 042009

Impala LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

Security light came on and stayed on for 2 days. It went away. A week later it wouldn't start.

- , B'ton, NC, USA

problem #57

Apr 012009

Impala LE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles

Has anyone found a solution to the "Passlock"security lite coming on on the 03 impala? Please let me know. Also is there a recall for this problem? Please email me and let me know @ Thanks

- , Richmond, VA, USA

problem #56

Mar 032009

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles

The security light would just come on and we would hear popping. We took it to an alarm Company and they pulled the dash out and cut the connector off between the ignition and body control module and soldered the wires together to get rid of the connector. Connectors corrode easily because they are cheaply made. It seems to help - the light seems to stay out now.

- , Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #55

Jan 302009

Impala LS 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


Security light started to come on after start up and while driving. One month later the car would not start after I washed it. I locked & unlocked it, pulled the battery cables...nothing. 30 minutes later it started. The car was taken to the dealer and they replaced the body control module and reprogrammed it $453.53 total. The security light came on within the week.

Two weeks later the car would not start for my wife outside the doctors office. When I went to check it, it would not start. Security light was on; I locked and unlocked the car and nothing happened. Then with the drivers door open, I locked and unlocked the car, it started up. I then took the car to the dealer and complained that the car had the same problem as before. They said there were no codes stored and could not say what was wrong.

My cousin has a 2002 Impala, and she just informed me she has the same problem.

- , Mentor, OH, USA

problem #54

Nov 052008

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

When the problem first started it was intermittent. Then it was when ever it felt like it. Car started when it wanted to. Changed the battery at a cost of $116.00. Changed the ignition switch at a cost of $200.00. Solved the problem for 2 days.

I installed a BCM and couldn't get the security light to flash so I couldn't program it. Done a bit of research and found out the you have to look at the number on the BCM. Apparently GM upgraded their BCM's in 2003. There is a number on the BCM which reads GMAN followed by 3 numbers. The Bcm in mine read GMAN168. The first one I got from a second hand dealer read GMAN166. The security light didn't flash so it wouldn't program. This second one I got for a $100.00 is GMAN169 and as soon as I installed it the security light started flashing. I programmed it and the car has been best kind ever since. In the meantime if the second hand dealer is reasonable he should let you borrow and try the BCM and see if it solves your problem. With a deposit of course.

The BCM is located under the dash on the drivers side right up in the corner. 3 clcips hold it on. Install the new one and turn your key to the on position. The security light should start flashing. When it stops flashing turn the key off for 30 sec. Turn the key to the on position the second time and the security light will start flashing again. After about 10 min or so it will stop. Turn the key off for 30 sec and turn it back on again for another 10 min. After the 3rd time it should be programmed. You have to do this procedure 3 times to program the computer. Than try and start the car. Your radio will be locked out and your will have to get the code to reprogram it. The dealer will charge you about 50-70 bucks to unlock it. Your better off going online and seeing if you can get the code there.Hope this helps

- , St. John's, NL, Canada

problem #53

Nov 192008

Impala 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Security light comes on for a few days then all of a sudden the car will not start. It's not the battery or anything else simple. It has left me stranded a number os times sometimes in a very bad neighborhood. My daughter was also stranded late at night by herself. I'm going to try and find a bypass sensor or whatever its called.

- , Combine, TX, USA

problem #52

Jul 082008

Impala V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

This is a major problem for me... Costing me extra in gas, time, inconvenience, and mostly frustration.....

This car out of 10 starts in a day will start 2.. This is apparently the theft deterrent (SP?).

From what I have been told, because of the Security light being on at the same time, this has to do with the system thinking it's being stolen/hi-jacked, whatever.... It cuts the fuel system off, so the car will not start, it's supposedly a theft deterrent...... However, if I sit there in the freezing cold for 9 minutes exactly it will start just about every time... However, I have waited as many as 3 9 minute intervals....

Is the solution an automatic car starter? Seems obvious, but if I go thru all the trouble and expense, will it work? Who the hekk knows.....

Chevy should FIX the problem, or at least let us know EXACTLY what the problem is so we can consider fixing it or trading it......

- , Millsboro, DE, USA

problem #51

Jan 242009

Impala Police 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

i have this 3.8L cop car - have been driving it for 2 months now and bought it second hand about 2.5 months ago. had 87000 miles on it and was due for servicing as the "service vehicle soon" lights were on. i tried starting it today and it just wouldn't start - like there was no battery - except there was a battery that was running the car till 24 hrs back. so i came back home and looked at this site - seems to be the usual problem in impalas of early oughts. there is one guy( i assume) who has said that it is probably because of some kind of security locking up - i do admit that this is the first time i tried starting without waiting for the "ding-ding". then 15-20 mins later i came back and started and all was as before. i didn't have to ransack my Grey cells for that one! but as that dude said - i do have a couple of questions for the Einstein who programmed the computer system in this vehicle. no wonder GM is going down.

- , New Haven, CT, USA

problem #50

Nov 302008

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,709 miles

I own a 2003 3.4l impala. I bought it in June and it had 34 500 km. it now has approx 47,000 km. About a month ago a light cme on indicating I needed an oil change. I ignored it and about a week later the check engine light came on. I usually only drive in the city, fairly short runs. About 3 weeks ago I drove out of town approx 200km. Stopped in to get some grub, came out, car wouldn't start. Not a gig. Tried a boost, nothing. With the key in the on position, the security light came on along with the battery light and the pic of a car with an opened ended wrench on the side of it.The door remote wouldn't work or the trunk opener. The power windows buttons worked, the wipers worked but the radio didn't work and the dome lights didn't work Waited 1/2 an hour, turned the key, perfect. Drove back to town and stopped at a store, come out turned the key, not a gig. Waited 20 mins and it started. Drove the car around in town for 3 weeks not a hitch. Went out of town again (200km) same thing happened. No start. Waited 1/2 an hour and she started. I thought that it might have something to do with the long run. Now the problem is occurring on a daily basis. Broke down the other day, called the dealership and they suggested it was probably the battery. They also told me that they never came across this problem before. What a crock.Bought a battery for $116.00, put it in, car started, eureka, problem solved right, Wrong! Later that afternoon of about 3 stops and starts on the 4th, no start. Waited 1/2 an hour, car started. The next day i decided to go do my business so I took the extra set of keys and would leave the car running, lock the doors with the remote. i would come out press the unlock door button, best kind. Done this about 5 times worked ok. The 6th time it didn't work. had to use the key to open the door. My buddy is a mechanic and he put it on the scan tool. Apparently it showed a "u" code which is a communication code. Apparently there is 4 computers in the car. the main module, ABS computer, Air Bag computer and the anti theft. Apparently all these computers are supposed to be yakking to each other. For some reason the anti theft is not talking to the air bag, which in turn is causing my car not to start. Wat's up with that. If someone needs the exact code numbers let me know. I'm waiting for my buddy to contact a friend on the mainland to read the code. This guy is an expert in this field. I'll keep you up to date. If anyone has any info to give me I would appreciate it.

Thanks, Bill. Email at

- , St. John's, NL, Canada

problem #49

Dec 082008

Impala 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles

The usual Pass-Lock issue described here ad nauseum. Most of the time, the "wait for the ding-ding" key in the starter works. When it doesn't, I discovered that turning the radio OFF (if it's on) or, if it's already off, turning it ON THEN OFF, then you can immediately start your car EVEN IF THE SECURITY TIMER HAS ALREADY caught you.

On a more personal note, I'd like to meet the computer programmer who programmed this car's computers in the parking lot...

Cheers and good luck. Happy Holidays!

- , Katy, TX, US

problem #48

Dec 122008

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Having same start problem as others have had. Just found this site today and wish I found it over the last 3 years that I have been dealing with this problem. Like others when it first started it could go several months without the problem happening again than it would happen 3 times in one week and than not again for another month or two. In most cases it would start after ten minutes of waiting. Now there is no telling. You may need to wait over an hour trying ever 10 or 15 minutes. This week was the worst, it would not start Friday night and would not start again until Sunday morning.

Like others I have call the dealer and local shops none had a good answers. A couple shops said to start with a new starter. I didn't buy it. I have had cars with starter problems before and this problem was not the same.

I am going to try cleaning the connectors and possibly getting the passlock by pass kit. I'll report back on how well this works. I at least have a direction to go in now. Something GM and mechanics were not able to do for me.

With people all over US and Canada reporting this problem you got to wonder how many millions of people are having this problem that we don't know about. GM may have too many other problem right now to care, but GM dealers should be doing more for thier customers if they want repeat customers.

I recently bought a 08 Impala LTZ because I got a deal on it I couldn't pass up. The 08 model is light years better than the 03 model in ride, quality, power, features, and overall fit & finish. If I have this same problem with the 08 in a couple of years I will leave GM for life assuming GM is still around.

- , Bloomingdale, IL, USA

problem #47

Nov 092008

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

The intricacy of today's automotive electrical systems poses a definite challenge to those who face repair issues. I can only thank those at Auto Zone who help diagnose problems with their testing equipment. Everyone else wants big money without even fixing the issue at hand. Fortunately I read on this site about the connectors sometimes oxidizing and cleaning is essential. CRC is the best electric cleaner for connections and inside plugs. Also keep in mind to disconnect the battery (negative terminal first) and take the time to also check fuses underneath the hood. I wiggled ignition fuses which may have helped also. Thankfully the car is now running without a readout that says security.

- , Lake Worth, FL, US

problem #46

Jun 062007

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

The first time this happened I had no clue what was going on. I was driving home on the freeway and my security light came on. I made a stop to Kmart for something and ended up stranded in the parking lot for a half hour. I actually bought a battery, thinking that was the problem. Then the car just randomly started again.

The second time was a couple of weeks ago in the Menards parking lot. I really need to remember to keep my cell phone charged. I don't know if it was the pulling of the fuses that I was doing or the many key turns reset the security system or if it just felt like starting...but 20 minutes of people gawking at me while I swore under the hood of my car was enough for me.

Now I know that if my security light comes on not to shut off the car until I'm safe at home!

- , Jackson, MI, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?