2000-2005 Chevrolet Impala questions.

Home  \  Domestic Cars  \  2000-2005 Chevrolet Impala questions.

I don't really feel like going into too much detail, but I lost my 1994 Honda Accord EX when I lost control of it during a rainstorm on July 4th. The insurance adjuster finally got around to telling me today that it was a total loss. It was a very special car to me.

Even so, I cannot be without a car for much longer, so I need to find a replacement. I'm making a "what should I buy" thread, I can figure that out well enough on my own. However, I do need some assistance on this particular option, a 2000-2005 Chevrolet Impala. I test drove one with the 3.4, looked up some reliability information with msnautos, and found everything to be fine. However, someone on another forum told me that the Impalas with the 3.4's suffered from many "intake gasket" replacements as they gained mileage. So much that he was practically begging me not to get the 3.4. Can anyone confirm or deny this statement, because msnautos did not mention a word of this? It would be greatly appreciated if this could be answered quickly.

Thank you.
.
.
.

posted by  hondaman

The intake gasket on the GM corporate 3.4 is famous for giving up, usually at the #5 cylinder at around the 100k mile mark. As long as you take care of the repair as soon as the problem occurs instead of continuing to drive it hoping it fixes itself, it's a relatively quick and inexpensive repair. Other than that, they tend to be a fairly reliable if boring car to drive.

posted by  vwhobo

Great, thanks hobo. Most of the Impalas I have been looking at are around the 50-60k mile mark, so I would have a while to wait.

I test drove one, what I really like about this car is the size, gas mileage, decent power, interior design, and particularly the price. The drive was, boring. But as long as I have a nice, reliable, comfortable ride out of the deal that is ok.

One final question:
How would I know when the intake gasket was giving out? I may have the car long enough to need to know that.

Thanks again for the information.
.
.
.

posted by  hondaman

1. The coolant level will start slowly going down with no apparent leak.

2. If you don't maintain your car properly, it'll start overheating one day.

3. If you ignore the overheating, it'll blow up.

Just keep an eye on the coolant recovery tank and you'll be okay.

posted by  vwhobo

Great, thanks. I really like the Impala, and I'm not sure I could afford one with the 3.8 for initial price and insurance reasons. I guess I'll be watching those coolant levels and the temperature guage very closely.

Thanks again.
.
.
.

posted by  hondaman

Read your threads and I have a few words for you regarding 2000 Impalas. I bought one new (3.8 w/ everything) and have had good luck with it. Its funny that you are replacing your Honda Accord with it because that was EXACTLY what I had chose as my alternate when car shopping.

I now have 100K + miles and alls pretty much ok. A couple of things have gone bad though that I think may be weak points:

1) Mass Airflow Sensor. The symptoms are surging of the engine speed at a regular intervals (a few seconds apart). The parts a couple hundred and pretty simple to replace.

2) The front end...rack & pinion wear and tie-rod ends. They are due for replacement. That is a big ticket item ($1500.00 +). Doesn't seem right that it should be gone allready, but its American made. The symptom I note is a sort of clunky sound/feel through the steering column when going over slightly bumpy city streets.

3) A secondary fan for the coolant/ac system fried at about 80K. Again, seems a little early for that but it was only a few hundred to replace.

4) There are these cheap plastic escucheons that have a Chevy symbol on them that cover the hub on the wheels. They are so crappy that they rattle when you drive and it is audible. Seems like such an easy thing to get right but Chevy blew it. I haven't dealt with it but its probably like the headliner, an easy fix/mod.

The car is really nice to drive and very comfortable for me and passengers. I am 6'3" and many of my freinds are in the same height range. They are very comfortable in the back seat. The acceleration response is kind of crappy. When I stomp on it it tends to take a second or two to respond, and not evenly, sort of jerky. But hey, who cares if its just decent transportation you are looking for. Even at 100K + it still gets nearly 30 MPG freeway, and that is a big plus for a car its size. The headliner is attached at the top around the skylight with double stick velcro tape. The velcro is great but the adhesive on the tape has failed so it hangs down. Kind of lame but again, how expensive is it to buy new tape and fix it yourself.
I think some of my problems are due to rather lax maintenance on my part. The MAF has failed because I have not been as religious about replacing/cleaning air filters as I should have been. Likewise, I think the front end problems were there from the beginning and I probably could have got it fixed by the dealer in the beginning if I weren't so lazy. I might have got a lemon front end assembly.

Well, good luck on your search. I would say the car was pretty much worth it for me. I would go with the 3.8 due to the size of the car. It needs the power and the fuel economy is really pretty good for its size.

posted by  ddcpe

i have a good one for the group------------ in march 2007 i purchased a 2005 impala from a dealership in PA. ,i live in VA. it was a base impala with the 3.4 engine. and only 11870 miles...when i receive the vehicle i took it to the place where i have all my inspections done. they did the VA state inspection, passed with flying colors....today july 31 2007 i took it back to the inspection station,it now has 18300 miles,[ my son is taking it to college ] today it failed the inspection , reason --[outer tie rods are worn bad] inspection station advised me to take it back to the local chevy dealer for repaires under warranty. I called the dealer to make an appointment,and the reason, they told me the other inspector [ now both are licensed by state of VA ] was trying to get money from me by selling me some tie rods.!!..however ,he did make the apointment .NOW! my main concern is i dont want my son driving in the mountains or anywhere for that matter with an unsafe car...Has anyone out there had any problems with the tie:doh: rods on their impalas. please advise, and thank you for reading this,,,,,Larry

posted by  tlmillo

I also have a 2005 Chevy Impala. I purchased it brand new. I have passed VA state inspection every year but this one. Both of my front end outer tie rods are bad. I called my dealer and they said oh well your car is now out of warranty :doh:. It only has 35,000 miles on it. I think it is a Chevy design flaw. The dealer is going to look at it later today and I will post the results. :banghead:

posted by  jwlollygag

Your Message