Question about 2003 Chevrolet Impala

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2003 chevrolet impala 3.8 engine light not on and car idles smooth but when driving can hardly even make it up a hill. It sputters then picks up, then sputters. Got so bad this morning couldn't drive it.

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Considering this is a 2003 model, I'm surprised the Check Engine Light isn't on. This sounds like a classic ignition system fault in the ignition system. I would start by checking the plug wires....

To check for a crack somewhere in the wires, I would recommend a bottle of Windex or something of the like...Anything with ammonia in it, that will evaporate quickly. Idle the car and then spray the window cleaner over the wires, up and down. Also include the ignition system's coil packs in this test. (They crack sometimes, too. ;)

When the liquid hits the bad spot, you'll see a spark to ground, indicating the fault in the system. Then, replace what is necessary to fix the problem.

I hope this helps and let me know if you need any further assistance with your vehicle's problem. :) -Jason

Posted on Oct 06, 2009

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If the check engine light comes on when you initially start the vehicle your problem is in the transmission. Check your Transmission fluid level. If it does not then you need to replace the check engine light bulb and have the fault codes read from the computer. This could be something as simple as a faulty pcv valve or most likely a faulty O2 Sensor. Both are easy to replace but time consuming to isolate without an engine computer.

Posted on Oct 06, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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2003 chev impala cold engine every thing works properly. drive until engine is hot go into store for 30 min.to start engine i have to press accelerator just a little.


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Thank you for using fixya and be safe.

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I have a 2003 Chevy Impala that is giving me problems. It's sputtering when idling and slowing down, has stalled a couple times at a traffic light. Sometimes has a knocking sound, when in reverse the...


I suggest changing your egr valve. I have a 03 impala with the same problem and check engine light came on and through the code for the egr valve. they are 154 at autozone

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2 Answers

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Hi, I had the same problem with my 2003 Impala and it was a clogged catalytic converter and fuel filter. I had both of those replaced and my car runs like new again. I'm 99% sure this is your issue. My car had the exact problems you're experiencing. It was horrible trying to get on the highway from an on ramp that went up a hill :o)

I also work with someone who has a 2002 impala and the same thing happened to hers as well.

I got mine fixed at a local repair shop for around 300.00. If you take it to a dealer, it would be a lot more.

Good luck :o)

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