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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,693 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.

2004 Chevrolet Impala engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Dec 012015

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles


2004 Chevrolet Impala. Consumer writes in regards to difficulty getting parts for engine oil leak on exhaust manifold recall.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #26

Jun 202015


  • 178,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Impala. During a routine oil change, the technician noticed a gasket leak in the vehicle that needed to be replaced. The check engine warning indicator illuminated prior to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. It was unknown if the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V201000 (engine and engine cooling). The failure mileage was 178,000.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #25

Dec 012012


  • 126,696 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Impala. While the vehicle was at the dealer for repair, the dealer diagnosed there was an oil leak in the intake manifold gasket. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the intake manifold gasket needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was excluded from NHTSA campaign number: 15V201000 (engine and engine cooling). The failure mileage was 126,696.

- Valdese, NC, USA

problem #24

Oct 072014

Impala 6-cyl

  • 297,336 miles


Chevrolet Impala 2004, traveling on a 4 lane divided highway, at 65mph, using cruise control, 2 adult passengers using seatbelts, driver saw truck entering the intersection from the drivers right side. The driver accelerated and swerved to avoid a collision. The Impala was struck by the truck. Skid marks were made on the highway by the tires of the Impala from the impact to where the Impala stopped and the engine stopped. The driver worked to put the car into park to restart the Impala in order to move the Impala to a safer position on the highway, out of the lanes of traffic. Upon stopping the driver turned off the ignition key to the off position. The key was not on a key ring. The key had been removed from the fob and key ring upon receiving the safety recall notice, GM recall 14350. The hazard blinkers were turned on. The driver and passenger moved to the adjacent frontage road. The driver of the truck called the local police. The driver of the Impala called 911. A police report was made. Pictures were taken of the damage to both vehicles and the skid marks on the highway, made by the Impala. No skid marks were visible along the path traveled by the truck. The Impala hazard blinkers were turned off. The driver attempted to start the Impala. The Impala did not start. The passenger worked to start the Impala, the dash lights did not turn on, the head lights did not turn on. A witness moved a vehicle into position to facilitate a "jump start", the Impala started, the security warning light was illuminated. The Impala was driven a short distance and parked, odometer reading 297336. Arrangements for repair have yet to be determined.

- Concordia, MO, USA

problem #23

Jul 072013


  • 132,617 miles
I bought car 2 yrs ago and drove it for 3 months no problems then sat for 6 months, I start driving it and this is all the stuff that went out and stuff still going on. Radiator temp sensor, water pump, heater, water pump bearing, instrument cluster, low coolant sensor, radiator, vss, key stuck in ignition, lock cylinder, 8 wires under hood shredded in half due to rubbing on belt, power lock wont work on driver side door, chimes go off when key not in ignition. My problem now is key locked up again finally got it to turn then anti theft system comes on and the car wont reprogram codes. My code reader says it cant read from car.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #22

Oct 172013


  • 13,633 miles
(1) heating system failed. No heat, coolant was ok. Fan was running. Dealer examined. Three actuators in the electronics are failed and have to replace at a cost of over $550 (2) temperature gauge stopped moving. Dealer examined. Estimated cost of $~400.00 to replace ipc unit. There is one of the recalled ipc units for GM autos made between 2003-2007; but Impala was not included in the recall list. I don't know why? same electronics failed in one unit must be recalled from all the units.. these defects could increase heat in the engine block and could increase fuel consumption, failure of the engine and possibly cause fire, contacted GM but they were not cooperative and denied any claims.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #21

Aug 042012

Impala 6-cyl

  • 117,935 miles


While driving in heavy traffic, it just stops running. My husband puts the car in neutral and is able to start it back up again. It has done it a few times since that occurrence. This could result in a very serious situation if the car stalls in an intersection and won't restart. The car also has a security issue that prevents us, as the owner from starting it. This has been an ongoing problem from the purchase date. If you turn on the ignition and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, it will start up. We now leave the car running when filling the car with gas because we have had to sit and wait for it to restart at the pump. This could cause a very serious problem also. If you go on line, you will see numerous complaints about both of these problems. We bought this car used and knew we would be responsible for some issues, but not this, it should be a recall issue. We have had to replace the rack and pinion (very costly) all new brakes and rotors, all new tires, and some other minor issues. I feel, as do numerous other GM owners, this is a factory defect in the security system (passlock key system), causing both problems. Anyone having this problem, should be able to take the car to the dealership and they should have to fix it at no cost to the owner of the vehicle. I took it to the dealership just after we purchased it and he said he would have to replace the ignition and something else at a cost of almost $800. I am certain this can be taken care of by rerouting wiring in the security system at a very minor cost, or just resetting the computer system. Any assistance you can give would be greatly appreciated.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #20

Aug 102011

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles
The traction control turns on frequently. This causes the car to make a grinding noise. When braking the car makes a grinding noise and car is not stopping it feels like it's locking up and sliding. In a sudden stop needing to be made is at great risk of a accident. I have replaced a elbow shaped part that has busted open twice. Car is constantly over heating the radiator cap has a rustic clay like substance. It won't hold antifreeze, I don't see a leak but it needs refilled quite often. The engine smokes, the cars RPM's will flex up and down and the car will just cut off. I'm wondering if the rustic clay like substance has gone through my engine and is causing me many problems with it. I have found reports of lawsuits in past regarding dexicool in GM cars doing this and ruining the engine. The problems in the reports are just like mine and many others on here. Help!!'

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #19

Apr 282010

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles
Rocker arm bolts came out of head disabling cylinder #1. causing engine to run rough and could not exceed 15mph. Threads in head failed. This happened again in December 28, 2010 affecting cylinders #3 and #5. now again this issue as of March 9, 2012 in cylinder #2. in each occurrence threads from head were found in bolt threads. Bolts were loose disabling cylinder from working. This happens without warning and due to concern of further damaging engine, car requires towing. This seems to be a defect in the materials the head was made of.

- Livingston, NJ, USA

problem #18

Dec 162009

Impala 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Security light comes on while driving after car is turned off it wont start unless I turn on the ignition switch and let it sit for 20 minutes then the car will start. Turn signals lights rarely works properly and the check engine light stays on I've made the repairs under the codes and the check engine light is still on this is dealing with the emission testing.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #17

Jan 152011

Impala 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles


2004 Impala w/ 3.8L engine stalls when decelerating, leaving the car very difficult and un-safe to drive. Currently, the engine starts right back up, but it takes my eyes off the road to put the car in neutral and re-start. I have tried a few inexpensive things such as premium gas, fuel injector cleaner, and a new fuel affect on the problem. There is no "engine light" which appears. I have owned this car since new and taken very good care of it. I do not want to take it to a dealership if at all possible because I do not trust them. Unfortunately, I may be forced to since this is my only car and I cannot afford a car payment.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #16

Mar 202010


  • 82,000 miles
My car would randomly turn off while driving on the streets and on the middle of the highway going 55 miles per hour, or while stopped at a light. The car would stall up to 3-4 times per day most of the time and as time went on it got worse. I replaced the fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator, the battery, the fuel filter, the ignition switch, and the car still turns off in the middle of nowhere. The last time it happened was when my wife was driving to work the car stalled a few yards away from a railroad crossing (since she quit driving on expressway), luckily it didn't happen on tracks, no train was coming at that time. She had to wait approx. 25 mins for it to start after trying a few times. The next day the same thing happens but this time it didn't turn on, so she called the dealership and they sent a tow truck. The tow truck driver, when he arrived approx. An hour later, tried to start it but it didn't start either. So, when arrived at the dealership they tried starting it and by then it started. The shop manager, whom I had related this incident to was aware of the situation, so he then assigned a mech to stand by the analyzer monitor while the engine was running. They kept the engine running until it finally died on them again, while the mech was still there, I don't know how long (didn't ask). At this particular time the analyzer indicated that the crankshaft position sensor was the cause of the stall. Needless to say it was replaced and is now a month later and it's running just fine. Not a hint of stalling nor anything else. My concern is that anything can happen on a highway from a car that turns off randomly due to the crankshaft position sensor.

- Miami Lakes, FL, USA

problem #15

Apr 152009


  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Impala. The contact attempted to start the vehicle when the security warning indicator light illuminated on the instrument panel. The engine would not operate while the security warning indicator was illuminated; however, the engine started after approximately ten minutes. The contact stated that the failure appeared to be more pronounced when the temperature was 50 degrees. The identical failure occurred twenty times. The vehicle was taken a dealer where the technician stated that the failure was contributed to the vcm unit and connectors, which had been replaced. The failure continued to occur. The failure mileage was 97,000. The current mileage was 105,000.

- Richmond , VA, USA

problem #14

Jul 012009


  • 100,000 miles
Was in my car driving smoke came from under the hood. Raised the hood and it was on fire.

- Kinder, LA, USA

problem #13

May 142009


  • 26,651 miles
Failure of lower intake gaskets on 2004 Chevrolet Impala.

- Allen Park, MI, USA

problem #12

Dec 152008


  • 80,000 miles
Engine temperature gauge stopped working, then shortly afterwards the speedometer failed. Does not read the correct speed or reads 0 most of the time.

- Port Deposit, MD, USA

problem #11

Jul 242008


  • 65,000 miles
Failure: Lower intake gasket failed due to dexcool antifreeze. Dexcool installed at factory. Vehicle had sudden serious coolant leak. Vehicle overheated on highway and stranded owner. Vehicle was taken to dealer for service. Dealer told owner to replace gasket and coolant. Service technician replaced dexcool with another long life brand of antifreeze. The original dexcool also clogged the radiator which required extra flushing with additional chemicals.

- Eagle, WI, USA

problem #10

Sep 172008


  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Impala. While driving in reverse or accelerating at various speeds, the contact heard a loud noise. He took the vehicle to the dealer and they found that the motor mount bolt locks were opened, which may have caused the engine to fail. The dealer tightened the bolts. The contact was aware of the safety risk involved. The current and failure mileages were 77,000.

- Crest Hill , IL, USA

problem #9

Mar 262008

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles
Car was taken in for brakes. Rotors warped @ 21,500 miles. 12,000 miles later, warped again. Was told this was common and there was nothing they could do for me. Repair cost out of pocket. Car was taken in for an overheating problem. Was told it was totally natural for my car to get that hot. Unbelievable!! now I have an intake or a head gasket that is bad. Again, nothing they can do. Again, cost out of my pocket. This will be the last Chevy I service. My car only has 34,000 miles it. The service center told us, "cars are made different these days. Stuff happens." If they can't stand behind their cars I won't buy another. 34,000 miles and my car is junk. I think a recall should be issued regarding these problems. Bad brakes and bad gaskets.

- Stevens Point, WI, USA

problem #8

Nov 122004

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,550 miles
Security light went on last month. It was taken in immediately for repair. I was told it was the ignitiion cylinder. The car also makes a vibrating noise on accelerator. I was told this was the drive shaft and the catalitic converter. All replaced. The car still made noise when left service at northeast auto center in philadelphia pa where it was purchased. Yesterday the light for security is back on. 2004 Chevy Impala very disappointed. Car has 55,000 miles. At 36K the radiator and water pump went during funeral procession.

- Bensalem, PA, USA

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