Question about 2001 Chevrolet Impala

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Caution Lights coming on:

On a 2001 Chevy Impala, 3.8 V6 with 91K: occasionnally get yellow caution light for traction control when making right turns. Roads are dry and traction control would have no reason to engage. Would worn trans fluid trigger this? Also, on same car, I sometimes get low coolant light on start up, but then goes out. Coolant levels are up; any ideas?

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  • soxguy52 Sep 07, 2009

    As both radiator and overflow levels are full, I probably need to flush system and perhaps replace sensor. On the same vehicle, my traction occasionally engages upon making a right turn, but I am on dry pavement with no slipping occuring. Could this happen due to worn out or burnt trans fluid? Or what else should I expect to have to replace?

  • soxguy52 Sep 08, 2009

    Thanks for the input; now I have something to consider when talking to the mechanic. Very Helpfull.


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You most likely have a weak ABS sensor and /or a little looseness in one of the wheel bearings causing the traction control to think you have a low traction condition.
This is a common condition as the mileage builds up.

Try adding 1 or 2 inches more to the coolant level.
This sensor may be getting a little weak also.
Again ......a common condition.

You have a nice trouble free car....keep it as long as you can!

Posted on Sep 07, 2009

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A Yellow Warning light, (Usually a Service engine soon light/check engine light ) indicates "Proceed with caution." The onboard computer system has indicated a potential problem and is alerting the driver. This computer system resets and re-tests all sensors and indicators each time the car is started. The computer system is capable of correcting some minor abnormalities, but if the light continues to come on after multiple car starts, it is probably sensing something that would imply a visit to the diagnostic mechanic is in order. Some common things that may cause a yellow light (check engine light) to come on, but will probably require an experienced technician to diagnose are:
* Anti-lock brake systems
* Safety restraint systems, such as air bags
* Emissions components
* Computer-related problems, such as faulty sensors
Generally this is an early warning system for brake pad wear. Essentially, as your disc brake pads wear down, at a certain point a sensor is tripped to alert you that you will need brakes soon. However, with many of today’s brake systems, the replacement of the disc brake rotors along with the disc brake pads is required or strongly recommended.
BTW If you are driving your car and a yellow light comes on, ask yourself these questions:
1. Did you notice problems when starting the car? (Slower to start than normal...etc.)
2. Have you noticed a decrease in fuel mileage recently?
3. What is the over-all running condition of the car? Is the engine misfiring or not performing like normal? Are there any new noises from under the hood? Turn off the radio and listen closely as you drive the car.
4. Do you notice any odors, such as a rotten egg smell, or see visible smoke from the tail-pipe or from under the hood?
Make sure to note the exact location and wording of the light that has been coming on, because Murphy's Law dictates that the light will suddenly not come on when you take it in to the repair shop.
Generally a sensor is meant to communicate with the computer. An indicator talks with your gauges. Indicators going bad are not critical, and therefore don't turn trouble lights on. If your check engine light (yellow caution light)is on? it probably is a sensor.

Do you have gauges and this 'low coolant' light? If so, the light is probably connected to the overflow bottle. It will tell you when the overflow is in need of a tipoff. Putting coolant here is the right thing to do. If you can physically see that the Coolant level is higher than the indicator, then you may have a bad indicator. It may be time for a flush and fill of the cooling system. This will top off the coolant and replace the old acetic stuff with fresh new stuff. Better for the motor and should be done every 2 years.

It is possible you have a low coolant indicator plugged into the motor somewhere. If so, and this is the light's source, and then fill the radiator. Look for a radiator cap. However if you don't see one, then use the overflow bottle. Sometimes this is the only way. Make sure you use the right color coolant. Bleed off the cooling system if you have bleeder screws.
Thank you for contacting

Posted on Sep 04, 2009

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