My 2003 Impala is idling rough/dying, sputtering while idle and driving, being an all around a-hole, help? PLEASE HELP?!


Asked by Aug 22, 2015 at 09:31 PM about the 2003 Chevrolet Impala LS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 03 Impala LS has been being an ass since 2013 when my temp guage on my dash
stopped working and my car overheated and guess what- car seized up. $2000 later,
heads had to be rehoned after I used that Blue Devil shit (I do NOT recommend), new
catalytic converter, piston #3 replaced and rings, new gasket manifold, plugs and wires,
O2 sensor and the fans had to be hot wired to my battery. My check engine light is on,
but when my car is sputtering sometimes the check engine light flashes. It idles rough
more times than not and sometimes dies, but for some reason even though it's fuel
injector I can pump the gas and it will stop. It sputters 50% of the time while I am driving
and dies occasionally. I have tried injector cleaner, Premium gas (which is a laughable
idea). Again when it is sputtering and trying to die, it sometimes stops if I pump the gas
and other times it stops if I smash on the gas like speed racer, but I prefer the latter
because I already have five speeding tickets under my belt since February! My
mechanic is my ex husband's best friend and he hooks it up on parts and labor, but
getting my car diagnosed by him is hellacious because he has ADHD and cannot focus
on one project at a time... So if I can just figure what parts I need, I'll be living my life
like its golden!

12 Answers


At this point I think it's time to cut your losses and move on. You're just throwing good money after bad. This car is 13 years old (the '16s are out) and has already cost you more than what it's worth. I bet the original problem was a blown head gasket. All the GM 3.4s blow head gaskets. Then after that it's just been one disaster after the other. Believe me, I've been down the "this is the last thing" road myself. Guess what, it never ever is! Use the money you'd be putting into this car as a down payment on something newer that wants to run. HTH. -Jim

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I thank you, but I am soo attached and it has sentimental value. Besides, money isn't really an issue, I just want my car back to legitness Lol Also, I forgot to add that it was a 3.8...

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I see. I understand. The 3.8s have intake manifold gasket failures. A flashing check engine light is telling us that the engine is misfiring and damaging the catalytic converter. What trouble codes do you have. You can visit your local auto parts store and have them scan the computer. Most stores will do it for free. Post the codes here and we can help further. HTH. -Jim

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Fuel lean or something of that vernacular. I replaces the catalytic converter last August and the manifold gasket... I hear a light vacuum leak when my car is idling. Could that be the issue? Could it be fuel related? Or maybe other sensors besides O2 (because that was replaced last November)?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

If you can hear the vacuum leak, it's pretty significant. That can very well cause all sorts of problems. I'd track that down and fix it first. Then see what you've got. One step at a time. Also, when dealing with multiple problems I try to figure out a common denominator. Usually a specific sensor problem will trigger the check engine light and point you in the right direction. Let's get that vacuum leak fixed and see where we're at. Since we know for sure it's got a leak. Let's make that priority number 1. HTH. -Jim

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer

Thanks Jim!!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

You're welcome. Glad to help. Thank you for the best answer click. -Jim

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

No prob, Bob... I mean Jim! ;) When (and if :/ ) I find out what the problem is, I will post it here so you know!!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Ok, thank you. Please do. Jim-Bob. ;)

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Bob Beaman

You are welcome.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2003 Chevy Impala it had 60,000 miles cost me $6,000 bought in November 2011. This is a nice car on the outside. At 70,000 miles my troubles started it was rotators then brakes back to turning rotators by the dealer. By March 2012 catalic converter then atlnator then starter. Well the driver side heated seat don't work no more trunk auto unlock quit working. Water pump went out oh back to the catalic converter the put a after on my car and never told me so now I put another new on and yes it's manfactured for the car. I always put new parts on my cars but when the transmission went out at 145,000 I put a used with $70,000 miles costing me $1524 for everything. Now the car is acting up and the dealer said its the rack and pinion plus serpentine belt. Now the car sputter when trying to start. Like I said car looks nice on the outside its the worst car I ever own!!!!!!!


My Chevy Impala is doing the same thing. Did you ever figure out the problem?

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