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Pontiac Vibe Tire/Wheel Questions

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
edited March 2019 in Pontiac
Discuss your Vibe tire and wheel options and problems here.


  • nichul37nichul37 Member Posts: 10
    I bought an '05 Vibe at the end of September 2004. Since then, I have put on almost 29,000 miles (140 mile a day RT commute). Because I drive so much, I am sure to have the oil changed every 3-4K and then tires rotated every 6-8K (every other oil change). I went to have the tires rotated at 27K and they told me they cannot rotate them and I needed 4 new tires. :cry: WHAT!!?? It seems crazy that I need 4 new tires when they don't even have 30K on them.

    Has anyone else come across this tire wear? :confuse:
  • maxx4memaxx4me Member Posts: 1,340
    ...with the original Continentals, yes. They were pathetic. I switched to the H rated Firestone Dayton Daytonas. They are terrific: great treadwear and grip.
  • nichul37nichul37 Member Posts: 10
    Thank you. I'll take a look at those as I price shop!
  • 01le01le Member Posts: 18
    I'm new to this forum. I traded my 2001 Pathfinder for a 2005 base Vibe last year and I am loving my Vibe. I recently put 225-50-16 Cooper Zeon ZPT tires on the factory alloys. Wow, my vibe now handles awesome compared to the stock Gyear tires. I however lost about 1 to 1 1/2 mpg (now 28.5 - 29.2 mpg combined driving), but so well worth it for the extra handling that comes along with the wider tread footprint. I do agree with other postings about the lack of an arm rest, I find myself getting restless trying to get comfortable.
  • mikey00mikey00 Member Posts: 462
    Your mpg are still the same. What changed is your tire size which now makes your odometer and speedometer 3.5% less than actual mph and distance traveled. The circumference of your new tires is 80.9 compared with 78.2 for the stock size. Think about it: for every 80.9 inches traveled the speedometer/odometer thinks you only went 78.2 inches because the speedometer is calibrated for the stock size.
  • novascotianovascotia Member Posts: 9
    Boy, I never thought rotating tires would be such a big deal. First, it took me a while to figure out how to remove the plastic wheel cover. Now, after removing all the lugs, I cannot get the tire off!

    Is there something else that needs to be removed? What else could be holding the tire on?
  • steine13steine13 Member Posts: 2,818
    What else could be holding the tire on?

    Rust. I've had trouble before removing wheels off the hub... the way I did it on our van last week when I put the snow tires on was to put the lug nuts back on without tightening them, then back down the driveway and come back. That busted the rims off the hubs. Next time I'm gonna put grease between rim and hub... cheap paint works, too, from what I understand.

    Good luck,
  • novascotianovascotia Member Posts: 9
    I'll try your solution. Just seems odd because the wheels do "wiggle" and using a rubber mallet didn't seem to help either ........
  • novascotianovascotia Member Posts: 9
    I got them off! Thanks for the advice.
  • k2qok2qo Member Posts: 10
    Hi Gang,

    FWIW, just got my 1-yr old AWD new winter rubber. The GY RS-A's are real crap in the snow and slick as a bowling ball on ice. The new tires are Semperit Ice Grip 2's from Dunn Tire here in WNY. With so few reports on real snow tires, I'll do a mini review once we actually get some snow here again in the Buffalo, NY area.

    Best regards,
  • antonioantonio Member Posts: 12
    Hey Vibers!

    I just purchased a used 2004 AWD Vibe and am getting vibrations when I hit 60mph or more. I had the dealer balance the tires before I drove it off the lot becused it was obvious they were off and then again at a well repected dealer where I live. The dealer in my area said these tires would NOT BALANCE! Has anyone esle had this issue? Upon a little investigation I found that these tires come from WalMart (a place I do not patron).

    Wondering if I am just looking at 4 crappy quality tires? Has anyone else had balancing issues on their Vibe with other tires? (I did see a couple of posts speaking to balancing)

    Any recommendations on good quality all seasons? Anyone using the GoodYear Triple Tread?

    Many Thanks!

  • k2qok2qo Member Posts: 10

    Check out TireRack.com and you'll see that users rate the GY TT very well. Consumer Reports rates them #1. My Vibe has the original RS-A's and after 12K miles they are in perfect balance and are wearing nicely. It is hard to believe that you have a full set of tires with slipped belts or other issues, but anything is possible especially if the previous owner never maintained them.

  • hal517hal517 Member Posts: 8
    Have 2006 vibe , wife had it in for service dealer lowered the air pressure from 40 lbs to 32 lbs.. what are most people running this seems low ,
  • beliverbeliver Member Posts: 155
    hal: geez, 40psi would rattle your teeth, rock hard ride. The stupid dealer that preped the car forgot to bleed off the extra pressure they put in the tyres when they lash them dowm on the transporter. Kinda makes you wonder what ELSE they forgot to do doesen't it ? No harm done.

  • roy15roy15 Member Posts: 16
    I had my 04 Vibe serviced: change oil & flush cooling, also told them to rotate tires mileage was 28,227. They came out and said we can't rotate your tires the back tires are wearing on the inside. Go to tire dealer and get 4 wheel alingment. Then he talked to me again and said we will order the shim kit, call you and do the alignment. That was 26 days and 1000 miles ago,now tires are very worn. I sent dealer an e-mail today. saw one other post Re: wear on back tires are there any more out there. So y'all say dealer won't stand behind the car?
  • galloway1520galloway1520 Member Posts: 11
    Have a question for those in the know:
    What would be the performance/ safety issues with putting 205-60-R16 on the original rims [205-55-R16 now]?
    I know the diameter would increase, but by how much?
    Any & all help/ suggestions welcome.
  • lostwrenchlostwrench Member Posts: 288
    With the 205-60-16 tires, the only gain would be a softer ride. You would lose some performance and safety.
    With the 205-60-16 tires, your wheel would be .4035 inches higher off the ground. Your tire diameter would be .8070 inches more than the 205-55-16 tire. That is a significant difference. I would stay with the 205-55-16.
  • galloway1520galloway1520 Member Posts: 11
    I can relate. We just put new tires on our 05 Vibe at 30.1k miles. Went to rotate them at 29k & guy shows how they're all worn out. The OEM Goodyear Eagle tire they put on them new is crap, with only 240 treadwear.
    We just put 4 Kumho Solus KH16's (440 treadwear) on it & they sound & ride great; Were well recommended by consumer reports last issue, also. Got them thru tirerack.com for $65 ea + S&H. Will get lifetime allignment for $99 & rotate every 6k miles. These we expect to hit 75-80k miles with.
  • eveloneevelone Member Posts: 2
    I just purchased Enkei wheels and two new tires. The new tires are BFG tires that were highly rated performance tires. Since I made the change to the new tires and wheels my car rides really rough. It is an 05 automatic Vibe. Anyone else have any experience with anything like this? I swear my car randomly pulls to the left/right but it is not continuous so it is really confusing. Help.
  • jaegsjaegs Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Vibe and noticed after about 8500 miles that there was a vibration when braking, even at slow speeds (25MPH). I took it in to the dealer to have them check the brakes, and they said it was a cupping problem with the front tires and so was not covered under warranty. The back tires were still perfect. I asked what could be causing the cupping, that it didn't seem normal, and all I got was a shrug. They rotated the tires and the vibration stopped, and I'm waiting to see if the front tires again develop the cupping. I need to do something before the warranty runs out in December. I've read on the forum about bushings or bearings that need to be replaced, but don't know how to express the concerns to the dealer.
  • sforemansforeman Member Posts: 3
    H rated firestone Dayton Daytonas, we need good grip on our 2005 Vibe. Noticed the other day that the psi was 40 - 44 and was amazed. Have not been happy with the traction, and was annoyed that the tires are so expensive, and they are low profile which wears it seems quicker. How are the tires?
  • shelarooshelaroo Member Posts: 2
    reading all the posts reguarding the tires and wearing problems. Upon research I have found the the tires have rating of maximum PSI-low profile up to 44 in some cases (this allows for different weight vehicles to use these tires), in actuality you need to look inside the driver side door for the rating of PSI for your vehicle and the recommended size tire... for my 2008 Vibe the tires say do not inflate more than 44 PSI, inside the door it says for this size tire to inflate to 32 PSI, upon checking the PSI of my tires they were at 35 PSI which will cause tires to wear funny also I have noticed that it is a not as bumpy ride. Hope this helps, over inflated and under inflated tires is dangerous!! Happy driving!!
  • sforemansforeman Member Posts: 3
    Thank you for the post, we did figure that out, about the rating of tires and 44 is too much. Looking for an agressive tire that will give us better traction, and not slip when the weather is snowy.
  • shelarooshelaroo Member Posts: 2
    regarding the rough ride: check the tire pressure, look inside your driver door
    to see what is the PSI rating for your tire size. my car is a 2008 the PSI is 32
  • catasailcatasail Member Posts: 5
    If you purchase a new Vibe, which is a great car. I would drive it out of the show room and then take it to the service department to have the alignment checked. I have a 2005 that started to make noise via the tires so I rotated at 5k. It got worse by 10k, rotated again. This went on to 22k when I took to dealer and said this thing is so loud you can not hear the radio. The said the tires were notched and the only way to get new tires. The tires looked to be about half worn. Had new 80k tires put on and had the alignment check. The rear was out and that was the cause of the problem. The only way to align this car is the put shims in and it will cost you over 300 dollars. Called customer relations and they will not help at all because it is a maintenance issue. They have had the car now for two days because the wrong shims were sent. The way I understand it they have to take the suspension apart put the shims in and then put it back together then check it again. Possibly many times. Pontiac/Toyota has had a problem with this cars suspension, but they willl not help you if the car is not brand new. If I were to purchase this car again, I would put it in the deal that they would check the 4 wheel alignment day one.
    Talking to factory rep now, if they do not cover this is the last GM car for me.
  • catasailcatasail Member Posts: 5
    Talked to Pontiac again, they will not help. It cost 300 to align the rear. They have to tear apart the suspension and put busings. Then check it and redo if not right. It came down that I told the Pontiac person that they say I did something to cause this and I say that it has been that way since day one. In the end, I will never buy a Pontiac again unless I find out that the rear suspension can be adjusted easily like it is on Nissan Sentra. Now I have to wait to see if the new 500 dollar tires that are suppose to be good for 80k make it past 22k. I am still going to write them, but probably will not get anywhere. It is a shame that they spend a lot of rebates ect, but when you get to the point on a repair that is in the gray area they would rather lose the customer.
  • cmhj2000cmhj2000 Member Posts: 381
    While you'd like to blame Pontiac remember this is a Toyota product.
  • nwroadsnwroads Member Posts: 3
    I recently bought a Vibe in serious need of tire replacement. (surprised the previous owner was still driving on these tires. :surprise: ) I've started searching through CR etc. for tires, but would appreciate any suggestions.

    Looking for just a basic, good all-around tire that will last a decent time but not expensive. Average driver, mostly in city (freeway/city streets) driving. Handling is probably a bit more important than noise, but both would be nice. I'm in the Pacific NW: plenty of rain, not much snow, but I do go up to the mountains on occasion.

    My Vibe is 2005 model, manual-shift, 2WD, no extras. Any recommendations would be much appreciated! Thank you.
  • sforemansforeman Member Posts: 3
    Ours is a 2005 and it's 44psi. All are different. Ours is a manual. They don't make them after 2007. We also have BFG tires. I don't like them, they keep going flat. This has been the only car I've had that picks up things or the tires loose air pressure. We talked to a tire guy and he made the suggestion 205 R 60's instead of 205 R55's. They would be slightly narrower, 1/4 of an inch taller but narrower. Because you will be traveling at a higher rate of speed than your spedometer would register, you just need to keep that in mind. If you were traveling 65, you would be doing about 67. Not that much. I would rather do that. He also recommended a better tire. If you go to a good tire guy, he should also be able to help you.
  • tuneduptunedup Member Posts: 5
    Interesting, that changing tires creates such a significant speedo/odo difference. My new GT came with low-profile tires, and my speedo reads 4-5 mph fast at freeway speed. I see 65 on my speedometer when I'm actually traveling at 60. This is per three different tests: driving behind my husband as he goes 65; looking at my Tom Tom; and readings from two different dealerships.

    Shouldn't the manufacturer have the instruments calibrated to match the tires their vehicles come with? And can this be fixed? It's a little distracting, trying to figure how fast I'm actually driving, when the dial could be off by only 2 at 35 mph or off by 6 or 7 if I'm going over 65.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207
    Actually Honda got sued on the odometer shows more mile, not reflecting the actual mile. If the odo. reached 36,001 miles (new car warranty expired), while the actual mile is 33,001 miles (still under warranty) .... in your case, your odo. probably shows 65,000 miles while you actually drove 60,000 miles ... yours 2009 is new car, tire measurement should be spec. of OEM.
  • crimar30crimar30 Member Posts: 8
  • tuneduptunedup Member Posts: 5
    I have the same tires and my ride is great. I wonder if it's something else. How's your speedometer, by the way? Mine's off by 5 mph at freeway speed.
  • crimar30crimar30 Member Posts: 8
    What's the tire pressure in yours? Haven't noticed any error in the speedometer.
  • tuneduptunedup Member Posts: 5
    Unfortunately I can't tell you right now. My new baby is in the shop. I let my teenager drive it... well, that's parenting. It won't be back for a few weeks. Try not to back into anything, the rear is apparently not well protected.
  • vgenevgene Member Posts: 1
    We have a 2003 Vibe.  At about 8000 miles I started hearing what I thought was a bad wheel bearing in the rear axle.   The Pontiac dealer was upset with us for not rotating the tires at 6,000 miles.   He rotated them.  This left two noisy front tires and in a short time the back tires were also noisy.  We put up with the noise for a couple of years, bought a set of new tires at 27,000 miles.  The Pontiac dealer and our tire dealer said we had two bent rims.  We spent $180 for new rims for the back tires.   After I got the rims home I checked them and they were ok, but the new rims were worse than the old ones.  The new tires were not working.  The tire dealer then recommended we go to 80,000 mile Michelin tires.  Paid $500 for them at 38,000 miles.   Been rotating them regularly.   Recently noticed the noise from the back tires again.  We took the Vibe to our tire dealer and had the wheels rotated.   The noise then moved to the front tires.   I returned to the tire dealer and had them rotated back.  No sense ruining 4 tires.   The rear tires are getting chewed up. We also have replaced the rear wheel bearing.
  • catasailcatasail Member Posts: 5
    I think you will find that the alignment is off. It cost about 300 to align this car. Ther is no adjustment other than taking the rear apart and putting shims in it and then checking it again after they put it back together. My dealer had to do it three times. They hate these cars. I talked many times with Pontiac and they said it is not part of the warranty in my case even with only 22,000. After the last conversation with them I told them this would be my last Pontiac. I realize that it really is a Toyota, but Pontiac should have taken care of the problem. I have about 31000 on our Michelins and it does seem fine so far.
  • skateboardskateboard Member Posts: 5
    wow! my car did the same thing. i have a 2003 vibe and got new tires in 2004. now the steering wheel vibrates at 60 mph! :cry:
  • loosenutloosenut Member Posts: 165
    my nephew has a -06 base vibe,auto,windows,locks,..not the cheapest,but not quite the gt..
    ..he's wanting to put the 17" gt rims on it,replacing the stock 16" ones,so i'm reading up on what y'all are saying as far as issues.
    -i see where some are complaining about speedo reading wrong,and can tell you,as a former grease monkey for pontiac-back during the trans am-burt renolds days..
    change the gear drive in the transmission..should be almost a do it yourself job with these front wheel drive cars,as i don't think you'd even have to get under the car,as i did with the trans am's..
    -go to the service/parts department,-with your tire size,and ask them for the correct toothed gear for your vibe and your tire size..they should have a chart..if not,you'll nhave to experiment..but by changing that gear-witch is done by following the spedometer cable to wherew it hooks into the transmission..the cable threads on-not unlike the coax on your cable tv hookup..there should be a clip holding down the gear..usually only one bolt..don't unthread the cable,as you'll need to pull on that to get the gear out..
    -the gear should be about the size of your thumb....the way they index them is by color!..and each color will tell you how many teeth it has..
    --if your speedo's reading fast,put in a smaller gear-usually with one less tooth..if it's reading slow,put in a gear with one more tooth!!--it's only a little plastic gear,should only cost a couple of bucks($3.00 in th -80's)so,even at the dealer,youn should get outa there for less than a jackson-for the parts,at least!!
    SERIOUSLY,..this should fix your speedo's readout problem..
    -i learned this lesson the hard way,i pulled the speedo out of the instrument panel(not a easy job),and took it to the parts counter-for either repair or exchange..they got a BIG laugh out of the stupid kid,and THEN told me about the gear thing..i wasted a entire day-doing a job that should have-and only paid,less than a hour,but i never did that again!!
  • loosenutloosenut Member Posts: 165
    a 4 wheel alignment,and-NO CHEAP TIRES!
  • duchscherduchscher Member Posts: 3
    I have the same problem. They replaced my instrument cluster twice. Then the dealer received a note from pontiac saying their accuracy rating on their speedometer can be +-4 MPH. I have the bulletin. This is crud.

    I'm going to start to call the state and see if I can get a consumer advocate group on them. Maybe they will fix it if they get enough negative publicity
  • tuneduptunedup Member Posts: 5
    I got as far as the state attorney general. I learned the legal standard is 5% variance in speedometer accuracy. I think if I had sent better documentation, such as at 35MPH, my speedo still reads 39, so at that low speed the difference is way over 5%, they would have pursued the complaint. Instead they sent me info on lemon law. I'm guessing GM doesn't care because if they can delay a recall, they are saving money.
  • duchscherduchscher Member Posts: 3
    I filed a product liability issue with Pontiac. They called me back and said their speedometer can be +- 5mph off. They are not going to do anything about it. The dude I finally got to (a Team Supervisor) would not pass me up the chain or give me any number to call in quality.

    Dealer has advised me to file a lemon law complaint which I have done. We all need to do this to put pressure on pontiac and to let people know that they can expect to live this type of quality.


    Easy to file and after the answer I received, it wasn't even a choice

    No wonder GM is heading down the tubes
  • duchscherduchscher Member Posts: 3
    I filed a product liability issue with Pontiac. They called me back and said their speedometer can be +- 5mph off. They are not going to do anything about it. The dude I finally got to (a Team Supervisor) would not pass me up the chain or give me any number to call in quality.

    Dealer has advised me to file a lemon law complaint which I have done. We all need to do this to put pressure on pontiac and to let people know that they can expect to live this type of quality.


    Easy to file and after the answer I received, it wasn't even a choice
  • tuneduptunedup Member Posts: 5
    This ticks me off enough to complain, but if GM isn't going to replace the speedometer, I don't want to file a lemon law complaint and have to part with my car. I still love driving it. The worst thing is, if I sell it later, it's a liability. I've been using my GPS to gauge my speed.
  • CapeCodCapeCod Member Posts: 117
    I currently own a 2003 Vibe. It has been a very dependable car. I would like to move up to a 2009 BUT I have promised myself I will get a quieter car. My 03 has terrrible wind noise (starts at 40 mph) and tire roar. I do not want to buy the same problems. Last week I test drove a 2.4l with Goodyear RS-A tires. Am I wrong or are these tires LOUD on coarse pavement? Maybe even louder than my 03 tires. Wind noise did seem somewhat better... but still there. Bottomline: Will I be making the same mistake all over again??? My other choices are going to be a Malibu, Mazda3 5door, or Mazda5. I want quiet !!! :)
  • newvibebuyernewvibebuyer Member Posts: 14
    We had an 04 Vibe and had a LOT of trouble keeping the tires from cupping starting about 25,000 miles. Happened with the original Goodyears as well as replacement tires. They howled like a banshee on the highway when they were cupped. Balance and alignment from a reputable shop did not help. After wrecking that one at 105,000, we bought an 09 Vibe (base model) with Goodyear RSA. So far, this car is quiet and we like it a lot.
  • CapeCodCapeCod Member Posts: 117
    09 Vibe is definitely quieter than 03.
    I might try a wind deflector for my 03 moonroof to see if that helps.
    I was surprised you found the RS-As quiet.
    I drove an 09 and thought the tires roared...
    My guess is the tires do better on some pavements...
    worse on other pavements.
    My next car will likely be a Certified CR-V...
    We now own 2 "orphaned" brands... Olds & Pontiac!
  • newvibebuyernewvibebuyer Member Posts: 14
    Why do you say that Pontiac is orphaned? I haven't heard anything about GM not making Pontiacs unless you are assuming GM is going under.

    On the '09 you drove - was it the base model (1.8 L) or one of the upper models with wider tires?
  • loosenutloosenut Member Posts: 165
    time to wake up and smell the exaust fumes...with the way the exec's at "general malfunction" run things,and IF they survive this slower market-pontiac,and especially the "collage" of parts that come together to make a really nice car that the VIBE is,with it's toyota driveline and g.m. body..
    -while the final product is a pretty good one,and allowing the "buy american" croud the ability to get the dependability of a toyota,while wearing a "made in america,well-final assembly in america" badge,pontiac ain't got mutch left to distinguish itself from buick or chevy..rember the toy-let??-80's model sold under the chevy brand,as a "nova" a 4 door econo-box with a 1.5 or 2 liter toyota motor..they ran good,just not verry exciting-unlike the vibe..
    --vibe gt,with some tweaking,COULD run with subaru's wrx..,but i dunno..gm's treading water right now..i'd like to see the vibe platform survive with a hybrid ,or hydrogen cell, or SOMETHING more future-thinking,rather than regressing to the same stuff they've been shoving down our throats for the last twenty-some years..give us something NEW to get excited about,and american car buyers might start buying again!!
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