Troubleshooting a Chevy Impala That Won't Start

by John CookUpdated July 12, 2023
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Car key image by Corneliu C from

If you've had trouble starting your Impala then you may have a common problem with the pass lock engine immobilized system. This system prevents the car from starting when someone is trying to steal it and can occasionally activate when you try and start the car with a key. Before heading to the dealership for what could be a costly repair, try having the system relearn your codes. This procedure takes about 30 to 40 minutes and may save you money.

1. Attempt to start the car

Attempt to start the car. If it does not start, or dies very quickly after it started, then leave the key in the ignition in the "ON" position and wait 10 minutes. Make sure the security light is flashing. After 10 minutes the security light will stop flashing and either turn off or stay on steadily. When it does, then turn the ignition off, wait 20 seconds and attempt to restart the car.

2. Repeat this procedure three times

Repeat this procedure three times in quick succession without removing the key from the ignition.

3. Start the car following the third 10-minute waiting period

Start the car following the third 10-minute waiting period. The car should start and stay on. If it stays running, then the codes have been relearned and the problem is solved. If the car still does not start then you may need to have all or part of the passlock system replaced.

Tips and Warnings

When you start the car after the third waiting period, the security light may stay on steadily for a few minutes. This is normal and nothing to worry about.

You can bypass the pass lock system, but that will disable the system completely and make your car more vulnerable to theft.

Video: Chevy IMPALA No Start

Comments on this video:

  • Thank you sir this helped me a lot yesterday. Got caught in a tough, hot, mobile repair, wife's car refused to sporadically no start for me and of course starter died away from home. Already knowing the pinout on that relay allowed me to put 12v to the starter and all I got was a clicking solenoid confirmed by a parts house test, motor was burned out. Was relieved it wasn't fusebox, computer, anti-theft etc. I had to SMH when I figured out that they had put a catalytic converter right over the starter, PITA.
  • Having this exact problem with my 04 Impala SS.. I was thinking of trying to replace the whole fuse panel.. in your opinion should I try getting a new computer ?

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