28th Sep 2010, 22:56

I have a 2003 Impala LS equipped with all options, which I bought brand new.

Since owning the car, the rack and pinion steering gear unit leaked at 18,000 miles. The dealership replaced the rack and pinion steering gear unit under warranty.

Five months later, at 18,500 miles, the new rack and pinion steering gear unit the dealer installed leaked again. Again, the dealer replaced the rack and pinion.

At this time, the original Goodyear Eagle GT tires also were worn out. I had to buy a new set of tires.

A short time later, I heard a clunking sound when I turned left at low speeds. The dealer said the subframe was cracked at the welds. GM offered a replacement subframe at their cost since the car was no longer under warranty by five months. I was also told that was why my rack and pinion steering gear units and intermediate steering shafts were breaking and causing fluid to leak out.

Since the dealer fixed the subframe and installed a new rack and pinion steering gear, the rack and pinion steering gear installed has leaked again three and a half years later at 29,500 miles. This time, I had to pay to fix the leaking rack and pinion steering gear unit, since there was no warranty.

The first two rack and pinion steering gear units replaced under warranty never worked right, and the GM dealer's service department said there was nothing wrong with my steering. The steering now works right after I had to pay for the repair this time. It seemed like the warranty replacement repairs were done with inferior parts that never worked properly. It looked to me like GM was only trying to save money when they repaired my vehicle under warranty because it never worked right afterwards. They kept telling me nothing was wrong with my steering. I feel like they just decided to ride out the warranty and not fix the problem properly.

Why do you need to replace the rack and pinion steering gear unit, and intermediate steering shaft three times in 29,500 miles? Looks like a defect to me that needs a recall. I will also never buy another GM car again. I just bought another vehicle and went to FORD. GM is never getting any more business from me again.

31st Oct 2010, 08:48

I have a 2002 Impala LS with the 3.8 liter V6, which I purchased new in 6/2002.

Since the purchase, I had to replace the left side hub assembly, the ABS cable on the front left side corrosion, thermostat, 2 heater blower motors, 1 blower motor resistor via water leaking past a poorly designed gasket at the cowl (2) purge valve solenoids for the evaporation system, brakes with rotors on all four wheels, and the oil pan, which was rusting out, the electronic odometer, covered under warranty, and the ignition wire harness, covered under warranty.

The factory Goodyear GT tires; I was disappointed in that they hardly made 60K.

Transmission lines, rusting out in rust belt city.

Also the resonator muffler rusted out at 190,000.

Now the vehicle needs the upper and lower intake manifold gaskets, and the rack and pinion. I will probably replace the intake manifold gaskets myself, and the rack will have to be done at a garage. I am getting too old for pulling out a rack and pinion on the ground without a lift.

Sometimes with a heavy load power, it's an issue, so I guess I will have to check out the converter?

Not too bad I guess, but I think GM should have fixed the intake issue under warranty.

I fix the easy-expensive repairs myself, and the hard repairs that require a lift, I let the dealer fix if I have a discount coupon! If you don't fix some things yourself, this car can get expensive!

28th Dec 2010, 22:54

I have a 2002 Chevy Impala LS. It has 356,000 miles, it's the best car I own. Finally replacing the wheel bearings in the car. I can't complain about the car. Hopefully my next car will be just as good.

19th Jan 2011, 13:21

I am surprised to read of the issues faced by other Impala owners. I bought my 2002 Impala LS 3.8 liter auto, in July of '02. Today it has 221,000 miles on it, and has had only normal maintenance issues; save one catalytic converter replacement that was covered under warranty. It has never once left me stranded anywhere. The car still looks like new, and for the most part runs like new. I expect to easily get another 100,000 miles on it. When the car idles, I often think it has stalled, but it hasn't. It is truly the best car I have ever owned. With that being said, today I am having a small oil leak from my oil pan, and the air conditioning compressor has failed, but I'll repair those things. As another commenter stated, repairing a car most often is much cheaper than buying another one.

I made a mistake, and bought a Toyota Tundra for my work in 2007. What junk that was. If I looked at the body, it was dented. I referred to it as a Bud Light can. The transmission would occasionally quit working, and I'd have to restart the engine to get it to work. To get it to fall out of 4 wheel drive mode, the dealer told me I'd have to get it rolling to about 20 miles per hour, and drop it into neutral and coast a bit. It worked, but never had to do anything like that with my 4 wheel drive Explorer. The Tundra's engine ticked like a diesel on cold (50 degree) mornings. It sounded terrible. The dealer could never hear it, but grandma could. The cigarette lighter socket just fell out of the dash one day.

Honestly, I have never had the troubles that others say they have had with American cars. And my foreign car driving friends, they have had their cars in the repair shops as much any other person I know.

One thing in closing to say is, I bought my car new and treated it right. Drove it as an adult, and maintained it as per Chevy's recommended maintenance schedule.


14th Feb 2011, 12:41

In April 2007, I bought a used fleet 2002 Chevy Impala LS V 3.8. I loved it for the first year. But I knew there was something "off" with it. The dealer never could replicate the same power issues I would experience: the internal and external lights would all turn off until you would manually pull the light plug out. The engine would flutter after starting, like a sick engine that did not want to go!

Year 1 expenses were little more than your typical 52,000 miles car would expect. From here, it got worse.

The GM dealer did not properly fix the catalytic converter, and the car chewed through one in about 3 days. I then had to pay $1500 to get it fixed, and the collateral damage that all of the debris from the catalytic created. This was at 65k miles.

Then the power steering costs me another 500 for the pump and reservoir. At about 72k.

Then, another 330 when the power steering went out again. At 80k I had to drop another 500 on the power steering system again.

Now at 88k, I need a new rack & pinion. New power steering pump. Alignment. Oh boy, another $1k on a vehicle not paid off, plus typical maintenance...

Not another Chevrolet. I was raised on Chevy, but I'll be going Japanese. They still put innovation and engineering into the process.

26th Mar 2013, 18:47

I totally agree. I also have a 2002 LS, and I believe it is a good investment. About 2 years ago, I had the alternator replaced, last summer was the water pump, and now I'm leaking coolant, which I found out it's just the bypass tubes or cooler elbows. Not too bad, not too expensive. But I do believe I got tricked into the fuel pump needing replacing. However, I have no proof. Still, I believe this is a strong car.

28th Mar 2013, 14:39

I always get a laugh out of the "I'm going Japanese" comments. Toyota is the most recalled car on Earth and Honda is catching up fast. Our most unreliable cars were imports. Our best were GM and Ford.