Chevy Impala Transmission Problems (Helpful Guide)

transmission problems chevy impala

The Chevrolet Impala is a popular American car with a long history, known for its reliability and longevity. However, like any vehicle, it can experience transmission problems.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss common Chevy Impala transmission issues, their causes, and potential solutions.

We’ll also provide valuable information on diagnosing and fixing these problems, as well as tips for maintaining your Impala’s transmission to ensure a long service life.

1. Common Chevy Impala Transmission Problems

1.1 Erratic Shifting Due to Faulty Transmission Pressure Control Solenoid

Erratic shifting is a common issue in Chevy Impalas, particularly in models from 2000 to 2015. This problem is often caused by a failed transmission pressure control solenoid.

To fix this issue, a partial disassembly of the transmission is necessary to replace the faulty solenoid. This problem has been reported by over 1,400 Impala owners and typically occurs around 117,000 miles.

1.2 Shifter Failure Leading to Stuck Ignition Key

Another common transmission-related problem in Chevy Impalas is shifter failure, which can lead to a stuck ignition key.

This issue has been reported by over 500 Impala owners, and it generally impacts vehicles after 100,000 miles. To resolve this problem, the shifter assembly may need to be replaced.

1.3 Jerky or Jolting Operation

Chevy Impalas may also experience jerky or jolting operation during gear shifts. This can be caused by various factors, including worn or damaged transmission components, low transmission fluid levels, or software issues within the vehicle’s computer.

1.4 Transmission Fluid Leaks

Leaking transmission fluid is another common issue in Chevy Impalas. This can result from damaged seals or gaskets, a cracked transmission case, or loose connections.

Leaking fluid can lead to low fluid levels, which can cause a range of transmission problems, including slipping gears and overheating.

1.5 Engine Issues Affecting Transmission Performance

Many Impalas also experience engine problems that can have a direct impact on transmission performance. For example, a check engine light may be triggered by a gas cap issue, which can cause the transmission to operate inefficiently.

Similarly, a failed intake manifold gasket can result in an oil leak, which can affect transmission performance.

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2. Diagnosing Chevy Impala Transmission Problems

2.1 Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs)

Most Chevy Impala transmission problems can be diagnosed using diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), which are generated by the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system (OBD).

A mechanic can connect a code scanner to the OBDII port under the dashboard to download these codes and perform a visual inspection to determine the source of the problem.

Some common DTCs related to Chevy Impala transmission problems include P0706, P0711, P0716, P0717, and P0894.

2.2 Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs)

Chevrolet issues Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) to inform technicians and customers about known problems and recommended solutions for their vehicles.

Some TSBs are specific to Chevy Impala transmission problems, such as harsh shifting, slipping gears, and fluid leaks.

By consulting these bulletins, mechanics can gain valuable insights into the most common issues and their fixes.

3. Chevy Impala Transmission Repair and Replacement Options

If your Chevy Impala is experiencing transmission problems, you have several repair and replacement options:

3.1 Used Transmission

One of the most affordable solutions is to purchase a used transmission from a local junkyard. However, the downside is that you cannot be certain of the transmission’s condition and history, which might lead to the same or worse problems in the future.

3.2 Rebuilt Transmission

An alternative is to have your transmission rebuilt by a mechanic or local transmission shop. Rebuilt transmissions come with a short warranty and are generally cheaper than new ones.

However, some mechanics might not correct the factory design flaws, and the warranty might only be valid at the shop that performed the rebuild.

3.3 Remanufactured Transmission

For a more permanent solution, consider investing in a remanufactured transmission. These units are built in a factory and undergo multiple quality inspections and tests before being shipped.

Some companies even dyno test their remanufactured transmissions to ensure they perform optimally. Remanufactured transmissions often come with a nationwide warranty, offering peace of mind and long-term reliability.

4. Preventing Chevy Impala Transmission Problems

Regular maintenance and responsible driving can help prolong the life of your Chevy Impala’s transmission. Here are some tips to keep your transmission in good condition:

4.1 Check and Replace Transmission Fluid

Regularly check your transmission fluid levels and replace the fluid according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Low or contaminated fluid can cause various transmission problems, including slipping gears and overheating.

4.2 Update Vehicle Software

Ensure that your vehicle’s software is up-to-date, as outdated software can cause transmission issues. Visit your local dealership or mechanic to have the software checked and updated if necessary.

4.3 Perform Regular Inspections

Regularly inspect your transmission for signs of wear or damage, such as leaks or loose connections. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage and more costly repairs.

4.4 Practice Responsible Driving

Avoid aggressive driving habits, such as sudden acceleration or hard braking, which can put unnecessary strain on your transmission. Instead, practice smooth and gradual gear shifts to prolong the life of your transmission.

5. Chevy Impala Reliability and Longevity

Despite the potential transmission issues, the Chevy Impala is a reliable car. According to RepairPal, the Impala scores 4.0 out of 5.0 on their reliability scale, making it an above-average choice in terms of dependability.

On average, a well-maintained Chevy Impala can last between 120,000 and 180,000 miles. However, with proper care and maintenance, some Impalas can reach 250,000 to 300,000 miles.

6. Best Model Years for Chevy Impala Transmissions

According to, recent Impala model years are more reliable than older ones. The 10th-generation Impalas are generally more dependable than the 9th- and 8th-generation models.

In terms of transmission issues, models from 2000 to 2015 are more likely to experience the faulty transmission pressure control solenoid problem, while the stuck key issue can affect models from 2000 to 2016.

7. Chevy Impala Transmission Recalls and TSBs

There have been no official transmission recalls for the Chevy Impala. However, several Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) have been issued to address various transmission-related issues. Mechanics and vehicle owners can consult these TSBs for information on known problems and recommended solutions.

8. Can You Drive with a Chevy Impala Transmission Problem?

While not all transmission problems will prevent you from driving your Impala, it’s essential to address minor issues promptly to avoid more severe and costly damage.

If you notice any symptoms of a transmission problem, take your vehicle to a mechanic for inspection and repair as soon as possible.

9. How Often Should a Chevy Impala Transmission Be Replaced?

With regular maintenance and responsible driving habits, your Chevy Impala’s transmission should last for a long time. On average, Impala transmissions last between 120,000 and 180,000 miles.

However, a high-quality remanufactured transmission can last considerably longer if properly maintained.

10. Final Thoughts on Chevy Impala Transmission Problems

While the Chevy Impala is generally a reliable vehicle, it’s essential to be aware of potential transmission issues and take preventative measures to prolong the life of your car’s transmission.

Regular maintenance, timely repairs, and responsible driving can help ensure that your Impala’s transmission remains in good condition for many years to come.

If you do encounter transmission problems, consider your options for repair or replacement, and consult a professional mechanic to determine the best course of action.

By staying informed and proactive, you can keep your Impala running smoothly and reliably for the long haul.

How much does it cost to replace a transmission in a 2008 Chevy Impala?

The cost of replacing a transmission in a 2008 Chevy Impala ranges from $5,400 to $5,909 including parts and labor. However, in some cases, it may be possible to repair or rebuild the transmission for less, which can cost as cheap as $2,700.

It is important to note that the cost may vary depending on the location and the extent of the damage. Additionally, labor cost may add an extra charge of $75 to $95 per hour.

Therefore, it is recommended to compare insurance rates using the Jerry app to find a cost-effective option.

How long do Impala transmissions last?

the Chevrolet Impala transmission can last up to 150,000 to 200,000 miles with proper maintenance. However, Impala transmissions are not known for their longevity, and some may have issues in less than 75,000 miles.

On average, owners of various Chevy Impala year models have reported that the vehicle lasts about 160,000 miles before running into issues, including transmission problems. Therefore, it is difficult to determine an exact lifespan for an Impala’s transmission.

Steve P.

Steve is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Riviera. Steve is based in Boise, Idaho.

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