Chevy Impala Problems

My parents are on a trip in Arizona. What a great time to be out of Minnesota… that was until their Impala starting having problems. Before they left they had an oil change at the dealership and they checked everything. Last week the car would not start. They called the dealer and they said to try the other key - thinking maybe it was just a sensor. Then on Sunday the car wouldn’t start again - with either key. They took it to the nearest dealer and fixed the problem, but also told them that their air filter is dirty, the transmission fluid is dirty and some other issues - totaling over another $500. Now their gas gauge isn’t working. Is it just bad luck or what? Help!

Reliability is no better than average by Consumer Reports. It is not bad luck. It’s failure to subscribe and read between the lines. As far as dirty fluids and air cleaner go, the dealer always wants to sell you more. The gas gauge isn’t usually a problem but mediocre makers can foul up at random. Check all main grounds.

Well someone could have bumped the wire to the gas gauge but without more information like the age of the Impala and the mileage, it makes guessing difficult.

Maintenance like air cleaner etc, should be listed in the owner’s manual and should be strictly followed. I, and many others around here, tend to suggest that for some unknown reason the manufacturers are not recommending transmission fluid changes often enough. I suggest every 30,000 to 60,000 miles for automatic transmissions.

As for all the things they may have listed or suggested, without more information I can’t comment. They, or at least some of them may well be needed and others are likely not a good idea unless you are a stockholder in the dealership.

My parents are back from their trip and no problems with the car. They had the car looked at by another mechanic in their home town and nothing was wrong with the air filter or transmission fluid. They figured they saw the MN license plate and thought Tourist $$$'s. Thanks everyone!