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Pontiac Vibe Starter Chipping Flywheel

I have a 2006 Pontiac Vibe 1.8L FWD, 117,790 miles. I bought it new and it has never had to have any work done. I started noticing a noise when I would start the car a few months back that would settle down after the car had started. Now my car will not start. When the ignition is turned, the starter makes a sound (whining) as though it is powering on, but the engine does not try to fire up. I can observe the alternator and other pulleys turning so the engine does not appear to be seized.

I removed the starter and took it to AutoZone for testing. It passed all tests, twice. The guy there told me the starter is not lined up correctly with the flywheel. He pointed out the starter drive was chipped and said the flywheel probably was, too, and probably because they were not lining up correctly. I inspected the flywheel and its teeth are chipped. This is installed from factory and has never been removed, so I do not understand how or why this happened. When I removed the starter, all bolts were tight and had to be broken loose, so the starter has been snug in position.

The AutoZone guy told me to contact the dealer to ask whether installing some shims would fix the chipping problem. I have not replaced the starter yet. Is this a factory issue or what course of action should I take, such as replacing the starter, installing shims, selling the car, etc? AutoZone did not have shims.


  • lubeexpertlubeexpert Posts: 16
    Strongly suggest you have the Vibe towed to a GM Dealership & let them take care of it. I have had so much WRONG information (even LIED to) from Auto Zone people that I quit doing business with them.
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