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fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
93,999 miles
Total Complaints:
15 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (7 reports)
  2. rebuild transmission (7 reports)
  3. replace throttle pressure sensor (1 reports)
2003 Chevrolet Impala transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments

problem #15

Jan 132014

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,381 miles


Typical GM transmission. All be it the car has been on the road for 11 years when it went. The rebuild took 10 days, the only original part left is the casing. Maybe if a quality product was first installed, but, that is wishful thinking. My 77 Impala was a tad different, the tranny was built for the 305 engine, the tranny died three times with GM claiming it had been fixed all under warranty. Finally they dropped a new one in built to take the 350 engine. It served the car from Feb 1977 until October 2002 with just a few fluid changes.

- , Toronto, Ontario, Canada

problem #14

Feb 012011

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,637 miles

I have numerous problems with my 2003 chevy Impala. Even though its a used vehicle i didnt think i would have so many issues. 1. A sensor went out and had it replaced it ran fine for 3 months and it happened all over again. 2. Sensor went out again. had it fixed. Then on 3-2009 had transmission issues and intake manifold gasket and thermostat replaced for $679. 3 2010 replace the transmission It still had the same issues .4-7-2010 replaced front torque strut mounts SES Light misfired on #3 cylinder, Helicoil 2 rocker bolts and it cost me 433.09 then on 6-1 09 SES light again replace fuel filter and brake pads and had to have 2 rotors turned $231.00 11-09 had to have the SES light replaced again engine temperature replace thermostat $171

3-1-11 replaced the Radiator fan 416.00 the car ran fine until 7-14-11 Repaired #1 cylinder Rocker arm $255. had a tune up done in October 2011 $700 at the same time the battery need to be replaced was $110 . Driving it 9-2-2012 and the car was sluggage and the car started to stall the engine light came on. when I stopped to check the car stepping out I felt so much heat coming from the undercarriage and the hood. I got in the driveway and it stalled out I let it cool off and the engine light still comes on and make a clicking noise. So I'm warning anyone if your buying a new or used Impala If one thing goes out be prepared to fix the entire car because It seem to never work the same after one thing goes wrong. I was told it was a safe and reliable car but driving on the highway and the car stalls out its like an accident waiting to happen. Chevy needs to pull the old cars off the road that has had so many problems and fix the issue. We already pay enough for the car why should we be stuck fixing issues that should have been fixed in the first place.

- , Edmond, OK, USA

problem #13

Feb 252011

Impala LS 3800

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,787 miles

Overhaul and rebuilt transmission myself. Rebuilt properly, NOT using any GM part! Only Borg-Wagner blue plate clutch plates, steels and solenoids! Unbelievable! Still can't believe the sun gear went at 112,000km and transmission pan was leaking! And I am NOT hard on my vehicles! Do not ever allow a GM part to go into a GM transmission and they last quite a long time and can handle more power and abuse.

- , Nepean, Ontario, canada

problem #12

Nov 012010


  • 187,000 miles


After reading several postings here we thought we would have to replace the transmission. We took it to a shop and had it put on a diagnostics machine and were to FOR SURE it was the throttle pressure sensor and the part is only $35.00. We had just bought the car from a used car dealer and drove it at least 20 miles to our mechanic to have checked out. The transmission never acted up once. We bought the car for $3000 plus tax, title. The very next day when starting out from a stop the car made several jerks like the tires were not catching on pavement. It happened several more times and started slipping out of gear, grind and slip back into gear while driving. If this sounds like what your car is doing try to find an HONEST mechanic, a misnomer I know, but ask him to REPLACE the throttle pressure sensor FIRST.

- , Madison, TN, USA

problem #11

Apr 062007

Impala 3400

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

This 2003 chevy impala has been a pain in my ass. Since I've had it I have repaired the intakes 72,000k, motor 114,000k, transmission 90,000k, crank shaft pulley 80,000k, catalytic converter 80,000, gm knows this fleet of cars are bad but will not take ownership of all the problems we consumers are having. I have spent out of pocket 5,400 in repairs & still have 24 car notes left. I can keep going on and on about all the problems I have had with that car. It's like the car can't be repaired.

- , Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #10

Feb 112009

Impala ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

LEMONaide drips from this car's oil pan. We should have smelled trouble when we had to have the gaskets replaced two years ago. Now look at her, one sorry hunk of metal that we're still paying off!! 5,862 reminders to go under this car's memory fades into that big LEMONaide stand in heaven.

Details: Car started ... starting funny, slow to get into gear. Had to put it into reverse or first gear for the Drive gear would work. Then would freeze while I'm giving her the gas to go, and then WHAMM!!! Car is peeling out like going was a fresh idea.

- , Riverton, UT, USA

problem #9

Feb 062009

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,482 miles


I was a stop light on Friday, 2-6-09, and attempted to takeoff. It didn't move but 5 ft and was shuttering pretty bad. I backed off the gas and feathered the petal with better results, until it shifted to second gear, which it then shuttered. It did fine at third and 4th gear. The rest of the day was fine. On Saturday, I made it a mile from my house, tried to pull a medium grade hill and the rpms went to 3500 and the gear never changed. The car had a hard time pulling the hill. I turned around and went back home. On Sunday I changed my transmission filter and fluid, the car has 94,000, this is recommended at 100,000. It drove that afternoon fine, I put it through some hills and fast starts and it performed. On the way to work this morning, it slipped on a hill, revved to 3000 rpms and then shifted, clunked hard on a downshift, and then on the interstate, I was going 70-75, but it would not drop below 3000-3200 rpms. I guess it didn't want to shift to overdrive. Very frustrated about what it could be doing. I am in the process of talking to different mechanics and transmission shops.

- , Winchester, KY, USA

problem #8

Jan 012009

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I had a 94 Chevy S10 Blazer for a year and then the transmission slipped in the beginning of December 2008. So instead of paying for a rebuilt transmission I went out and bought a 2003 Chevy Impala with about only 9300 miles. I test drove it a couple times and also had my mechanic look at it before I bought it. It was all good. It's been about a month now and I recently noticed that every time I accelerate it jerks when changing gears and it gets worse every couple days. I took it in to a couple transmission shops and they all told me that there was an internal leak so they would need to remove the transmission(Approximately $350) and take it apart to look at it but if they cannot fix the problem they wont be able to put it back together in working condition. So I tell them to do it and a day later they call an tell me I need a rebuilt transmission. Now I am in the same situation as I was about a month ago except now I am paying a monthly payment of $200 a month for this POS(piece of sh-t) to sit in my driveway. DO NOT BUY THIS CAR!

- , Aloha, OR, USA

problem #7

Sep 132008

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,200 miles

Well I bought my 2003 Impala off my parents because they wanted a newer car being that this Impala had 100K on it. So we bought the car and being a maintenance man I did all of the maintenance procedures for 100K. New plugs and wires, I am going to change the fuel filter and I did change the transmission fluid and filter myself. Well after doing the fluid and filter change the transmission has decided to start slipping. Not just on a green light with moderate gas, it is slipping into every forward gear! My dad changed the trans fluid and filter at 50K as the maintenance book says and I guess had no problems. Well we did get to drive it for a few months and it drives like a dream. Well it did until I followed the book and changed the trans fluid and filter.

I had a 2000 Saturn with a 2.4L engine and the trans would slip horribly into reverse and 2nd gear. We eventually had a trans put in the car and that fixed the problem for a cool $2,000. So I just might be looking to sell my Impala before it becomes a more noticeable problem.


- , Mount Clemens, MI, USA

problem #6

Sep 272008

Impala N/A 3.4L Ohv

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles


I repaired this 2003 Chevy Impala for my grandson. That is I replace the leaking bottom pan gasket. Took the vehical for a test ride and found this other problem. The car shift hard. Has anyone experienced this problem? Has anyone found a repair?

- , Shelton, CT, US

problem #5

Jun 172008

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


Well, the car does have 110,000 miles on it however, it has been maintained to the tee. I think these cars should not have such serious problems with just over 100,000 on them. It might be time to look overseas.

- , Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #4

Mar 272007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

When we pull from a stop light or stop sign or while inching along in traffic, the car jerks enough to move our heads. We cannot afford to get it fixed as we just had the manifold replaced, so we are holding off as long as we can. It's getting worse, and more annoying.

- , Ballwin, MO, US

problem #3

Aug 282007

(reported on)

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

It started when I bought the car used about a year ago (5/06) with about 40,000 miles on it. At first, only about once every month the trany would slip from a start from a light. I thought the tires were slipping on the white painted line on the street. Then it happened more and more and now was doing it after I was already rolling. It would slip out of gear, grind and slip back into gear. I took it to Continental Transmission and they had to rebuild the trany at an expense of $1,300

- , Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #2

Jan 012007

Impala N/A 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

For well over a year we have had hard shifting , clunking or banging into gear on this car intermittently. The dealer didn't do anything about it and I ended up taking it to a transmission specialist just today. It wouldn't do it today at all no matter what we did. The guy told me it could be an EPC solenoid.

Any ideas out there?

- , Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia, Canada

problem #1

Dec 292005

(reported on)

Impala LS

  • 26,500 miles

Hard shift into second. Began about 45 days after purchasing car from dealer. Had my mechanic check for any problems and nothing was wrong with car. Intermitant shifting continued until becoming frequent and car shaking became worse.

Dealer found internal problem and is now waiting for Gm to inspect before repairs can be made. Has anyone else had similar problem at such a low mileage?

- , Warren, MI, USA

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