How to Check the Power Steering Fluid Level of a 2003 Impalaby Justin Cupler
Chevrolet launched the full-sized Impala in the 1958 model year, and it experienced nearly immediate success. In 1985, Chevrolet eliminated the Impala from its lineup, but the nameplate returned from 1994 to 1996 as the Impala SS. In 1999, Chevy reintroduced the Impala as its own model, but as a mid-sized front-driven sedan. The 2003 Impala came in two trim levels, base and LS. The base model had a 180-horsepower, 3.4-liter V-6 and the LS came with a 200-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6. Both trim levels came standard with power steering and checking the power steering fluid is an important maintenance task that every Impala owner should know how to do.
Start the engine and allow it to reach operating temperature -- roughly halfway up the Impala's temperature gauge. Shut the engine down and open the vehicle's hood to allow the engine compartment to cool, but not the engine itself.
Find the power steering reservoir -- the black plastic tank -- on the top-passenger's side of the 3.4-liter engine and under the alternator on the 3.8-liter engine.
Remove the power steering reservoir cap by turning it counterclockwise and pulling it from the reservoir -- notice the dipstick attached to the cap. Wipe the dipstick off with a clean, lint-free cloth and set the cap back on the power steering reservoir. Tighten the power steering reservoir cap.
Remove the power steering reservoir cap again and check that the fluid level is at the "H" mark on the dipstick of a 3.4-liter engine, and at the "Hot" mark in the 3.8-liter engine. If not, add GM power steering fluid -- GM part No. 1052884 -- or equivalent.
Recheck the power steering fluid, following Steps 3 and 4. Reinstall and tighten the power steering cap once the fluid reaches the correct level.
Close the Impala's hood.
- The power steering system is sealed and should never lose fluid. If the level is low, have the system checked by a professional.
Things You'll Need
- Clean, lint-free cloth
- GM power steering fluid, or equivalent
Justin Cupler is a professional writer who has been published on several websites including CarsDirect and Autos.com. Cupler has worked in the professional automotive repair field as a technician and a manager since 2000. He has a certificate in broadcast journalism from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Cupler is currently studying mechanical engineering at Saint Petersburg College.