2003 Chevy Impala Intermittent problems between high beams

Tiny
MELARCHIVAL
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 CHEVROLET IMPALA
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 86,000 MILES
I have been experiencing intermittent problems between the high beams, cruise control, and the a/c. The only constant is the high beams. When the key is in the on position, the high beams will flicker and occasionally the instrument cluster will reset. With the key in the off position, the high beams work fine.

After the car is started, sometimes the cruise control indicator will come on but the control won't work and if you turn on the fan, the cruise indicator will go out and the a/c controls will function after about 30 to 60 seconds; or the cruise control will operate as normal and then drop out at some point; or the cruise control will operate with no problems. The problem with the cruise control seems to be aggravated if the steering column is adjusted often.

I have checked fuses and everything checks out ok, I suspect something in the steering column but am not sure, any other suggestions? I'd just like to know before I take it in. I'd do it myself if it weren't for the airbag in the steering wheel.
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Sunday, September 28th, 2008 AT 3:03 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
To disable the air bags, remove the negative battery cable for 2-3 minutes, then you can check for loose conections at the column plugs, seperate the two halves, check for damaged pins and push em back together, If the instrument cluster is the problem, scan for codes, even if the check engine light isnt on, you will need a scantool that can read "B" body codes.A step up from most hand held ones sold in parts stores.
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Sunday, September 28th, 2008 AT 6:06 AM
Tiny
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Thanks. That's a start.

As a matter of fact, the check engine light is on. Odd thing is, the thing came back on the day after we had it serviced nearly six months ago. Since the owners manual says that it can come on for something as simple as the car not liking the gas that was put in it. Most of the stations here have gone to the 10% ethanol gas so I wasn't sure.
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Monday, September 29th, 2008 AT 1:10 AM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
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Let us know what you find!
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Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 AT 1:30 PM
Tiny
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I wasn't able to get the shell off of the steering column. I even took the two front dash panels off to give me room to slide the bottom piece toward the dash, but it appears that they are lipped and the backside of the steering wheel has to come off first. It's held in place with two star drive screws, similar to the one holding the pieces onto the steering column. Also the plastic on the steering column turned out to be brittle as one of the locking tabs broke with hardly any pressure used. After that, I gave up on any further dis assembly, for now.

A new event has also taken place. The check engine light is now off, and after switching on the fan control, once the fan kicked in, I was able to use the cruise without trouble last night, even after turning the fan back off.
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Saturday, October 4th, 2008 AT 12:33 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
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I suggest a code scan, even if the dealer does it! It is always the first step in diagnostics, But GM does also suggest looking for poor connections.
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Saturday, October 4th, 2008 AT 1:43 PM
Tiny
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  • MEMBER
Thank you for the advice.

I've decided to try and get it to a certified service center for repairs. With the plastic being as brittle as it appears to be, and my lack of confidence at having to work around the air bag system, I feel it's safer for me to let those familiar with the systems to conduct the repairs.

It might cost me a couple hundred, but I'll be safer for it in the long run, I think. And, I need to have the OnStar system deactivated anyway.

Thanks again.
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Monday, October 6th, 2008 AT 8:26 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
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Sure.
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Tuesday, October 7th, 2008 AT 3:19 PM

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