Edmunds Answers

Answers

  • zaken1 09/05/10 3:52 pm PST

    There are three areas I would closely inspect; the battery, battery cables, and alternator. I would have the battery condition tested with a battery load tester; if the battery has become weak from age; it could cause some of the problems you report. 

    Similarly, an alternator with bad diodes, or a bad internal voltage regulator, could cause other problems of this type. Many stores are not equipped to check alternator diodes, or are not skilled enough in the process. So be sure to use a place which typically uses an oscilloscope to test the alternator to not only see if it puts out voltage and that the regulator works properly; but more importantly tests to see that all 3 of the field windings are working, and that no diodes are shorted or open circuited.

    I would also buy a tapered reamer type battery cable service tool, disconnect the battery cable clamps, and use it to thoroughly clean the inside surface of the battery cable clamps, and the outside of the battery posts. Then connect the cables back to the battery, and tighten the clamps enough that the cables cannot be moved by hand.

    Along with cleaning and tightening the battery cable clamps; I would also check the other end of both battery cables to be sure they are clean and tight. The battery ground cable should be directly connected to a bolt in the engine (not to a bracket or a non metallic part); and there should also be a ground cable going either from the battery negative terminal to a body bolt; or a cable from the engine to a bolt in the firewall. It is very important for there to be at least one of these auxiliary ground cables. If there is not one or more on the car; one should be added. This will often clear up weird electrical problems.

    The battery positive cable should be solidly connected to the starter solenoid. If it is loose at that junction; this will cause internittent electrical problems.

    I would also have the ignition switch tested for voltage drop; by measuring the voltage across the battery while the engine idles, and comparing the reading to the voltage at the ignition module while the engine idles. If the voltage at the battery is more than 0.6 volts greater then the voltage at the ignition module; I would replace the ignition switch.

    There are also five TSBs (technical service bulletins) which Chevrolet has issued for your car model, that may apply to some of the problems you've been experiencing. You'll need to take the car to a Chevy dealer and show them this information, in order for them to determine which of these bulletins to apply to the car.

    Component Description:
    144. ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:ENGINE:GASOLINE Bulletin Number: 121000
    Bulletin Date: Oct 2000

    Vehicle: 2,000 Chevrolet Impala

    Summary:
    INFORMATION ON VEHICLES EXPERIENCING A SNAP OR CLICK-TYPE NOISE (ENGINE FRAME NOISE) WHILE TURNING THE WHEEL WITH THE VEHICLE STATIONARY. ( NHTSA ITEM NUMBER - 617671 )



    Component Description:
    130. SERVICE BRAKES, AIR:ANTILOCK:ABS WARNING LIGHT Bulletin Number: 4511
    Bulletin Date: Jan 2001

    Vehicle: 2,000 Chevrolet Impala

    Summary:
    ABS INDICATOR ON INTERMITTENTLY. ( NHTSA ITEM NUMBER - 10021941 )



    Component Description:
    84. ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:ENGINE:GASOLINE Bulletin Number: 000605049A
    Bulletin Date: Mar 2002

    Vehicle: 2,000 Chevrolet Impala

    Summary:
    SUBJECT REGARDING VARIOUS DRIVEABILITY SYMPTOMS, MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LAMP ILLUMINATES INTERMITTENTLY, DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODES SEAT, ENGINE WILL NOT START. ( NHTSA ITEM NUMBER - 631274 )



    Component Description:
    50. ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:ENGINE Bulletin Number: 000604049B
    Bulletin Date: Dec 2003

    Vehicle: 2,000 Chevrolet Impala

    Summary:
    SOME VEHICLES BUILT PRIOR TO VIN BREAKPOINT 1F136536 MAY EXHIBIT INTERMITTENT MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LAMP / SERVICE ENGINE SOON INDICATOR ILLUMINATION; ANTI-LOCK BRAKE SYSTEM WARNING LIGHT ILLUMINATION; STALL / NO START CONDITION; VARIOUS EL ( NHTSA ITEM NUMBER - 10005145 )



    Component Description:
    24. ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:ENGINE Bulletin Number: 030604030
    Bulletin Date: Jun 2004

    Vehicle: 2,000 Chevrolet Impala

    Summary:
    MULTIPLE DRIVEABILITY SYMPTOMS OF LONG OR HARD STARTS, CHUGGLE, ROUGH IDLE AND LIGHT OR INTERMITTENT MISFIRE DUE TO CLOGGED FUEL INJECTORS. ( NHTSA ITEM NUMBER - 10002166 ).


    It is up to you to decide whather it is worthwhile to do these things (which may or may not clear up the major problems that the car has).

ADVERTISEMENT

Top Chevrolet Impala Experts View More

Rank Leader Points
1. MrShift@Edmunds 305
2. karjunkie 245
3. zaken1 225
4. texases 130
5. Stever@Edmunds 110
6. ray80 60
7. davelove1 50
ADVERTISEMENT