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Pontiac Vibe Electrical/Lighting Issues



  • I have same problem and couldn't find what causing this.
    I have good fuse, new brake light switch, all good light bulbs.
    I tried emergency parking brake trick too but it's not working.
    could you please tell me what was the problem?
  • We have a 2009 Vibe, AWD, sun and sound, etc. It's been a great car for 22000 miles, just as all the buying advice predicted. However, we recently had a big problem with it, and I'm posting some details to provide some advice to other owners.
    My wife (its primary driver) has experienced five incidents of total lock-up/no key turn allowed/no starting/no shifting to neutral for towing onto flatbed, etc. During one of these lock-ups, someone suggested she get out and try to rock the car a bit. She did so, but dented the fender ($700 repair), and she is a smallish woman.
    In all of these incidents, she did eventually start the car. The last one, the most severe, stranded her in a parking lot until the OnStar-supplied tow truck came along. The driver, giving one last try, started the car before towing. At that point, we took it to selling dealer.
    The service manager (and other service managers I called, both Pontiac and Toyota) had never experienced this problem with this car. But, after a lengthy service stay (about a week), and much-appreciated "hand-holding" by GM/OnStar, the technicians took apart the steering column and found a defective part.
    This part, stamped "Toyota," is a cast metal "ignition lock cylinder case" which was "damaged internally." Note that we've babied this Vibe: no rough use, regular maintenance, two adult drivers.
    Again, I'm posting this note so that other Vibe and Matrix owners will have some helpful information when and if they encounter this "lock-up" problem in their cars. This problem is serious enough so that we were at the point of car-shopping for something else!
    The car seems fine after the part replacement. Now, I'm working on getting some kind of relief on the $700 body damage that resulted from its refusal to start.
  • mine wont do it either. i actually just bought my 04 vibe yesterday and at the car lot it didn't seem to be a problem but now it wont unlock or lock with the keyless entry. I would like you know what you did with yours!
  • My wife has a 2006 vibe with 96,000 miles. We have never had a single problem until now. The dash went entirely blank except for the battery light. We drove to a goodyear where they tested the battery and said that it had a bad cell and they replaced it. After replacing the battery they tested the alternator and said it was also bad. The next day we had our regular mechanic replace the alternator and do a full tune up on the car since it was getting close to 100,00 miles. After replacing the alternator as we were driving it home the battery light came on again and after returning and have them test the new alternator they determined it to be faulty and replaced it again. After replacing it again the battery light was still on. Both new alternators bench tested fine at 14.5 volts but when placed into the car they were both producing 16.5 volts which was setting off the battery light. He checked all the wiring, cables, and grounds and nothing is proving faulty. He told me to take it to a dealer and there was nothing else he could do. I don't know what is wrong I'm planning on going to the dealer this weekend I'm just curious if anyone else has had a similar problem
  • jpdepuccijpdepucci Posts: 3
    I have a 2005 vibe and the both the tail lights and front running lights were not working. (Brake lights work) Took it to a reputable electrical automotive engineer. Turns out that the headlight relay switch located under the steering columng is the culprit. Nobody has the part of course - had to be special ordered - cost 100 bucks - labor 120 to replace it. Good luck.
  • brandcoatsbrandcoats Posts: 1
    edited June 2011
    I have had the same issue with my 05 Vibe. The radio and lighter stopped working. I had found the fuse box, but I am so confused as to which fuse is for the radio. Who knows which one it is??
  • jpdepuccijpdepucci Posts: 3
    Hello- There is a fusebox under the hood as you are facing the front to the right. Once you pop the lid off of it, you look underneath the cover and it will say which fuse is which. Additionally there is another fusebox located on the drivers side underneath the steering column under the instrument gauges. You have to like get on your back with a flashlight and basically get the back of your head by your gas pedal to see it. There is a black lid that pops off and again, on the underside it will tell you which fuse is which. Also- if you have a manual- that will tell you as well and is much easier to read. If it is not a fuse I can promise you that your headlight relay switch is bad. You will need an authorized automotive mechanic to fix. Addionally as I mentioned in my previous post- the part is about 100 bucks. Good luck!
  • I was driving along in my '05 Vibe and there was a slight click and the entire dashboard went out. Now, if I turn the key all the way but just before turning the engine over, the dash lights come on, but the headlights don't. Once the engine starts, the dash lights go out and the headlights go on. Certain lights on the dash do work, such as turn signals and the "lights are on" indicator. Don't know if these next two issues are related, but a while back, the left side of the radio illumination went out so it became hard to read the channel and time. And very recently, I have to jiggle the plug in for my GPS in the cigarette lighter so that the charger will work. Suggestions ??
  • jpdepuccijpdepucci Posts: 3
    Your most likely issue is your headlight relay switch which is located in your steering column. Only do it yourself suggestion is to check the fuse box under the drivers side instrument panel. The bottom of the fuse box indicates which fuses go to what electrical components. For good measure there is also one under the hood on the drivers side. May want to check all fuses first.

    Sounds more like the headlight relay switch or a short moreso than a fuse. All of the wiring to your instrument panel goes through that headlight relay switch. So that may be your problem area.

    Good luck
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055

    Were you planning on having the vehicle diagnosed? Please keep me posted on any information.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • I thought that the problem of no dash backlighting had gone away on its own, but now they work perfectly fine during the day and not at night !! Weird. Interestingly, if the key is turned so that the dash lighting goes on (without starting the engine) and I then turn the headlights on manually on the turn signal arm, the dash lights will go off.

    Diagnosis is scheduled for Monday.
  • Turns out that in cleaning the car, the dash light dimmer dial was inadvertantly moved. In resetting the dial to its proper position, the dash lights now work normally and in fact, the previously darkened left side of the radio is now normal. While this still doesn't explain why the lights shut off suddenly a few days ago, and doesn't explain why the lights weren't going on at all at night but were fine in the daytime, with the dash lights now working, I am not going to spend money at the dealership. At least until the problem recurs.
  • in My 05 Vibe i hear a click in the dash and the lights go out & my Radio is just the same. Has it happened to you again since?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055

    Were you planning on having the vehicle diagnosed by a GM dealership? Please keep me posted when the issue has been taken care of.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • Hi Caron,

    Going to have the ECM recall done next week. I bought my car from a Toyota dealership and it has a 60 warranty so i will have them diagnose the issue for me. I will let you know what happens

  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055

    I understand. I look forward to hearing from you when the dealership has diagnosed the vehicle.

    Thank you and have a great weekend!
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • I have an 06 Vibe and have experienced the buzzing fan noise unless I have both the fan and the internal circulation buttons engaged. I also now have no low beams or daytime running lights. I changed the fuse on this to no avail. Any other suggestions to look toward resolving either of these issues?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055

    Were you planning on having the vehicle diagnosed by a GM dealership? Please keep me posted.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • Caron,

    Went to the dealer, they seem to know all about this issues. As the GM rep, why is this not a warranty issues since it seems to be recurring in the Vibe?
  • fishguy59,
    The 2006 Vibe had a 3 year/36,000 mile Bumper to Bumper warranty against manufacturing or material defects as a new vehicle; however, as you know this warranty will have already expired due to time.

    If we can look into this further with you, please contact us via email (include your name/Edmunds username, the last 8 digits of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your dealership).
    GM Customer Service
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