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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
98,584 miles
Total Complaints:
64 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (33 reports)
  2. wait 20 - 30 minutes to try to start again (8 reports)
  3. disconnect battery for a few minutes then reconnect it (5 reports)
  4. buy a Toyota or Honda (4 reports)
  5. replace computer module & passlock sensor/cylinder switch (2 reports)
  6. replace ignition cylinder (2 reports)
2004 Chevrolet Impala electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

Mar 162010

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,448 miles


At precisely 152000km PassLock light would come on, car would not start. Waited 20 minutes car would start. This happened 5-6 Times on different days until I got fed up and took it into dealer. Dealer said it wasn't the passlock sensor or cylinder switch, rather the computer module. Discounted price of $600.00 Canadian including taxes. Drove it home thinking all my problems were solved passlock light came on again next morning. Took into dealership no codes when put on scan tool machine. Drove home and next day passlock light came on again twice. Annoyed seeing that light again, took it into dealer when the passlock light came on again for a third time. The scope read the code and the dealership said it was the passlock sensor/ cylinder switch $550.00 + 13% Sales tax. I spoke to the mechanic at GM dealership and he said he wouldn't touch a GM car. I told him it seems GM has very low tolerances for their vehicles, it's like they make it to break intentionally. His response was we would all be broke if nothing broke down but I agree with you that's why I drive a Toyota. GM Mechanic drives a Toyota.

I will never buy an American car again in my lifetime, especially a GM! Buy a Honda or Toyota people don't get suckered into this GM philosophy make things to break so we stay in business, not! Shame on you GM, it's no wonder you are in such financial distress!

- , Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

problem #23

Feb 242010

Impala LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

This is not the first time this has happened to me this is at least like the 12th or 15th time. The problem comes and goes and is very annoying. Car will start one day run fine then all of the sudden out of the blue will decide not to start but let it sit 20 minutes or so and try again to start it and it will start right up. Also have problems with it while driving the security light radomly comes up on the dash board. Seems to have something to do with the security system.

I am very tired of this and decided after tonight to put it in the shop. I am waiting to see how much $$$ this is going to cost. I think we were better off before cars came with all the electronic control and computer functions.

- , Louisville, KY, USA

problem #22

Sep 142009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

Having same problem as everyone else. Security light blinking, car wont start for 10 min Called chevy no solution. RECALL and FIX. SAFETY ISSUE. ATTENTION CHEVY Your car is not SAFE!!!

- , B, ID, USA

problem #21

Sep 102009

Impala V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 153,000 miles


My Impala started having problems starting 3 years ago. Leaving work one night, it would not start. Then after I called one of my co-workers who had already jumped on the toll way to come a get me, by the time he arrived, the car started. I also checked the battery cables, and every thing else. The problem would, pop up every so often, the about once a week. Now it's happening 2 times in one day. Usually I would keep turning the key, go under the hood with the screwdriver the after 20 to 30 tries, it would just start like nothing happened.

Now in the last couple of weeks, I discovered that if I wait 10 minutes, with out doing nothing, the car will start. I don't have the money to fix it, so guess I am lucky that I like to read, and always keep a good book with me.

If someone finds a lawyer to look into this, please include me!

- , Elgin, IL, USA

problem #20

Jul 252009

Impala LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

Of course, you all know how this story goes. I go out at 4 a.m. to go to work(already behind schedule), flip the ignition-NOTHING!!! Lights, dash, radio-all o.k. Still try for a jump start,nada!

Had no idea about this passkey, security thing until late this morning. After popping the car into neutral and rolling it, it started. I shut it off,tried to turn it on again-nothing. Looked up this site and saw what a monster of a problem it is-played with the fob a couple of times and voila.

Shame on you GM for making such a substandard product-it makes sense that you are in financial trouble.

- , Butler, MO, USA

problem #19

May 142009

Impala ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

I suspect from all the complaints the problem is either at the ignition key harness connector or at the BCM connector I plan on investigating further and isolating the problem I will post my results

- , Abbotsford, BC, Canada

problem #18

Apr 142009

Impala V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles


It began with my security light intermittently coming on. Then, unpredictably, my car wouldn't start. It isn't the battery because all the lights and radio come on and work fine. The engine just won't start...nothing happens. After waiting an extended period of time, or taking my frustrations out on the car and ignition, it will finally start. Since it's such an intermittent issue, the mechanic has yet to see it happen. However, I've been stranded six times in the last three weeks because of this. After reading the other complaints on here, I too am convinced that it's the Passlock system. I've gotten in touch with several GM dealerships, and I've been told that both a sensor and a lock cylinder need to be replaced to solve the issue, which would cost approximately $500 plus labor. This is honestly one of the most inconvenient and difficult issues I've had with a car to date.

- , Templeton, MA, USA

problem #17

Mar 152009

Impala LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

As I was getting off work at 11 pm, I went to my car and tried to start it but it wouldn't crank. My security light flashed while my lights, radio and dash was lit. Me being a beautiful female out late at night, I was afraid. I had no idea about the passlock system. I had to pay someone to pick me up. I came straight home to check the net to see what the problem was. At first I thought it was the starter but I began to read the comments on AutoBeef. Now I know that GM sucks and I refuse to pay hundreds of dollars to get this mistake of theirs fixed. This should have been a recall situation but instead they make it a scam, and get paid off. I hope this does not become a frequent problem for me and my car. I will be forced to trade it in.

- , Orange, TX, US

problem #16

Aug 012005

Impala LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

HORRIBLE, ANNOYING, GM SHOULD FIX IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #15

Mar 182009

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,898 miles

Chevy needs to do a recall and take care of the passlock problem. The outcome of this will determine if I ever by a Chevy again.

- , Sheboygan, WI, USA

problem #14

Feb 262009

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,588 miles


Like many others, the security light comes on while driving. When you shut the engine off, it will not re-start. After 40 or 50 tries it starts. After reading other complaints, it sounds like it is the pass-lock sensor which is very expensive to fix. I suggest that if anyone has the same problem, call Chevy. The more calls they get, the better chance of a recall

- , Sheboygan, WI, USA

problem #13

Jan 042009

Impala V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Like many others. Went to Wal-mart, came out, put the dog food in the trunk, got in and tried to start the car. Did not even try to turn over. Security light blinking in the message center. I tried going into settings. Hit the lock/unlock button on the remote several times. Got out open and shut the trunk.

Finally called a friend after about 15 minutes. Pretty funny cause while I was on the phone the damn thing started. Of course, he claimed credit for fixing it over the phone. I told him thanks and "you da man".

Anyway...had more stops to make but it started every time and I made it home. My friend suggested that it was a ground problem. Going to baking-soda and water the battery terminals and trace the ground wire to the block as best I can (see if there are any exposed wires or loose connections). See what that does.

It has been a good car but after reading all the comments...I guess we'll see.

- , Victorville, CA, USA

problem #12

Dec 112008

Impala LX 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

So I just spent a couple hundred bucks getting a new water pump since the lousy Dexcool ate though it. (Luckily it wasn't the manifold gasket) Now tonight I go out to start the car and it doesn't. Like everyone else, everything comes on with no sound from the engine. The security light has been on and off for a couple times over the last few months but I have had no problems. It left me stranded at work an hour from home in a freezing parking lot. This is definitely going to be my last GM car!!

- , Sparta, MI, USA

problem #11

Jul 162008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

My car won't start - after waiting 15 or 20 minutes and playing with the key and banging the hood, it starts again - it has done this at least 4 times since early July, 08. I've put in an ignition control switch and a body control module - big $$$ not to get the problem fixed...

- , Dansville, NY, USA

problem #10

Nov 192008

Impala 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

This is becoming a real problem if gm knows about the problem they should fix it!!!!!!!

warranty or not. or tell the car owner about all computer details before you purchase

a car that my or my not start after 68000 miles this is Bull S.

- , Kennewick, WA, USA

problem #9

Oct 312008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles

WOW!!!! I have been having problems with my Impala for a few months now. The security lock would come on and the next day it wouldn't start. All the power comes on; lights, radio, but not a sound from the engine. After about 20 to 30 minutes of messing with it, it will finally start. Today of all days- being a workday, Halloween, and my son's bday- it does this.I decided to do a web search and found this site. I had NO IDEA how common this problem is! One thing is for sure, i'm not taking into the dealership since they can't make this problem stop and I won't pay $700 to $900 to have the same thing continue. If anyone has figured out how to disable the lock PLEASE let me and the rest of us know because I love my car but just for this reason I'm ready to trade it in!

- , Ventura, CA, USA

problem #8

Jun 022008

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,658 miles

looking for the solution of how to tell my mechanic how to over ride the passlock and keep long enough to payoff and trade before the intake gaskets go next.

- , Dowagiac, MI, USA

problem #7

May 282008

Impala LS 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

I woke up one morning to go to work, pulled the car half way out into the street. I turned the car off to lock my garage went back to start the car and the key not would turn in the ignition. After blocking the street for 3 hours because key would not turn so I could not put the car in Neutral to push out of the street a friend brought buy rolling jack and moved the car out of the street. After a few cuss words and a few new dents calmed down and found the problem which was the ignition went out and bought a new one which cost $385.34 put the new part on, it was easy im an Electrician the car would not start and the stupid security light kept flashing like the car was laughing at me. The Passlock system is malfunctioning. Its funny a system thats supposed to stop people from stealing your car is stopping owners from driving their car. (Spell-Check)

- , Lawndale, CA, USA

problem #6

Mar 012008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

My first bought American car - I'll never buy another. This Impala issue is for the birds.

- , Brandon, MS, USA

problem #5

Apr 052008

Impala LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

The same or similar problem. Security light came on several days ago. Ran fine until yesterday. Got in, turned key and starter doesn't engage. Radio is blaring (my wife never turns the volume down), dash lights are on, AC is running, so battery is OK. No security light either, just the check engine light. I try again, same result. Try again, same. Poop. My wife calls the car a POS (which served us well for four years), and expresses her preference for a BMW! Poop again. Time for beer.......I'll deal with this tomorrow.

Same thing in the AM today, no starty. Off to the computer (an Apple which always starts) to search the net for solutions. Voila, AutoBeef! Seeing several possible ways to get it started, I elect to try the open door trick first with no luck. I then decide to leave the key in for ten minutes with the door closed. I return, turn the ignition on, put the car in neutral, and turn the key to start. Bingo, fires right up. Looks like I can drive instead of tow it to the BMW dealer......too bad dealers aren't open on Sundays in PA, I'd be there right now. Thanks for the tips!

- , McKees Rocks, PA, USA

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