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2001 Impala LS 3.8L

I am having a problem with rough starts/ normal starts. This issue is intermittent. Once in a while when turning on the car I’ll get white smoke and a pop noise from under the hood on the driver side. It smells electrical in nature. Other times like 80% of the time it starts normal. Also I have an issue with some of the cluster panel being lit while other are dimmed slightly. What is the cause of this problem? Where should I start to look to fix these issues? Thanks everyone.

Have someone remove the large bulkhead connector at the firewall and see if there’s any burnt contacts such as this.


Ok. I will have someone check and report back.

While checking, have them check the wiring harness under the hood on the passenger side, I believe just to the rear of the battery, where it makes a bend at the strut tower area.
GM issued a bulletin on this area of the harness insulation wearing through and causing a laundry list of different starting/running/performance, intermittent issues. Included in the bulletin was the 2001 Impala 3.8L. We own one, an LS, also.


Ok found out the starter wire was damaged. It was replaced. The dash cluster light wire was also replaced due to it grounding against the body causing the white smoke that was located on the driver side underneath the dash. However I am still having hard start issues. When I let the car sit for like 10 minutes it will not crank over till the second or third try, sometimes giving gas helps it turn over. I get this noise like something slipped almost muffled like something spun when I try to crank it the first time.