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Pontiac Vibe Engine Questions



  • cmhj2000cmhj2000 Se, Pa.Posts: 374
    You could have any number of possibilities and without any codes, from this vantage point I'd be guessing.

    Have seen dirty MAF sensors do similar things like you described.

    Also you don't mention mileage, air filter condition etc.

    Have seen this on other Vibes in the shop and on my 05 W/Auto. GM seems to look the other way. Doesn't mean you don't have a problem.

    Make sure the MAF is clean before jumping to all sorts of conclusions and guessing.
  • jstant1jstant1 Posts: 14
    Thanks for the insight. My Vibe has about 65,000 miles - mostly highway. I have a 70-mile daily work commute.

    I replaced the air filter a couple months ago, so that should still be good.

    Where is the MAF, and how do I clean it? I'm not a mechanic-type, so if it's something I need to have done in a shop, please let me know. I'd like to try that before I try the dealership.

    My PCM was replaced under warranty at about 35,000 miles because I was a victim of the infamous "warm-start" issue where the car would crank fine, but not start for several seconds. It would act sluggish when it did finally start.

    The new PCM seems to have taken care of that problem, but the idle issue has only arisen since it turned cold. The colder the temps (like this morning when it was 5 degrees with a 25 below zero windchill) the worse the problem.

    Anyhow, if cleaning the MAF sensor is relatively simple, I would appreciate instructions on how to do it. Thanks!
  • jstant1jstant1 Posts: 14
    About the codes - does the computer register codes even if the check engine light does not come on? It seems to me someone told me once that happens sometimes, but it's rare. I have had no check engine light since this problem started.
  • cmhj2000cmhj2000 Se, Pa.Posts: 374
    If you're know nothing about these systems then I'd suggest to take it to a pro. I see too many people get in trouble by trying things they shouldn't.

    Here's where it's located however.
  • jstant1jstant1 Posts: 14
    Thanks for the photo. I agree, I'm not going to mess with anything that I'm not confident about. I can at least suggest checking the MAF to the mechanic, and it's helpful to know where it is so I don't sound like a dork when I do so. :-) Thanks again for the photo - we'll see what happens!
  • joesmith2joesmith2 Posts: 26
    Is the 1.8 L engine a good engine?
    Thanks :D
  • motwnbromotwnbro Posts: 6
    hello... my 03 vibe started making a whizzing sound ...most notable on start machanic says it's a cracked fly wheel....any body got any feed back for me.....thank you
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    NEVER-ever discount that it could be a heat shield resonating. There are so many of the stupid things that they end up partially falling off and causing all kinds of noise. I had half the stupid things ripped off of my Corolla many years ago just to drive in some peace and quiet.
  • motwnbromotwnbro Posts: 6
    this sound seems to come from in side of something....not just a loose piece of tin.....the mechanics i usually go to are good ones and i do trust them.....but the $1100 bill ....made me balk at just saying go ahead fix i took it to a dealer for a second opinion....haven't heard back yet....i'm keeping my fingers crossed.
  • motwnbromotwnbro Posts: 6
    i got word from the dealer and they said the noise was just ware and charge.....but i think that they missed it ....when the car is in park there is no noise comming out of the engine, but when the car is in drive with foot on brake there is a scraping noise but not clattery..... i stopped at my oil change place and asked them to look under the car for loose metal shieldings....found none....but they were in agreement that the sound was eminating from the engine....which means that my original diagnosis from my mechanic was right.....cracked flex plate?.... well i will never know what was really wrong with it, for i traded it in on an 08 vibe..wish me luck.......i got 5 1/2 years and 10,000 miles with no problems with my 03 vibe
  • sullidjsullidj Posts: 3
    I understand that the oil filter for 1.8 engine is of a new design (paper cartridge inside a permanent canister). None of the Pontiac dealers in my local area have it. Does the 09 Matrix have the same filter and is it warranty valid for the Vibe???
  • markwizmarkwiz Posts: 4
    My 2004 Vibe has 65K Miles. I started to notice a knocking that almost sounding like marbles rattling around. I checked all the heat shields. Nothing. I even did the old Yardstick to the ear and placing it on the alternator, AC, etc... no luck. I have a fear it may be a bearing for the cylinder. The car runs great. Burns no oil. I have been running synthetic oil changing it regularly every 5K. I do mostly highway driving. Is there any service bulletins out for this? Only 65k on a corolla engine is just breaking it in. My 10 year old corolla has 125K and never had the engine touched. My guess is a bad bearing did caught by Toyota quality control.
  • motwnbromotwnbro Posts: 6
    i posted my vibe problem on the car talk forum.

    the resonsponse i got was; a broken flex plate (auto trans) will sound like stones rattling around in a tin can. it did. :(
  • beater1beater1 Posts: 5
    I've been getting a check engine light for o2 sensor. I read on the web of a
    method to reset the check engine light without disconnecting the battery. Tried
    it, it didn't work. You were to turn off the engine, depress the mileage reset button with the odometer mode in view, turn the ignition on and count to ten. Anybody
    got a method for resetting without buying a code-reader or going to a shop?
  • lauraw03lauraw03 Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 pontiac vibe that is burning oil, their is no noise under motor and it is not a constant burning, can someone please help me out. I t started out blue smoke when I started the vibe, now it's white smoke, please help
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    oil is getting around the engine seals and burning in the combustion chamber. For my 2003, I'm losing oil, yet have no external leak and have no smoke. In fact, I just passed the emissions test with flying colors. Sorry about your smoke problem laura. Shop around for a price on getting the seals replaced.
  • beater1beater1 Posts: 5
    I have a check engine light displaying. My mechanic scanned it and said the computer indicated a defective 02 sensor. He recommended replacing the 02 sensor ahead of the catalytic converter. I had him do it today and after paying 300, I took it for a test drive and after about 25 miles of interstate driving, the
    check engine light came on again. I'm taking it in tommorrow for another scan.
    Does anybody have any experience with 02 sensor failures? Is this a catch-all
    message which can refer to a number of possible problems? I'm not eager to
    start an expensive trial-and-error process of elimination if we can get directly
    to the problem. Maybe I should go to a dealer instead of an independent mechanic.
    Anybody got any suggestions?
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    yep, this corolla engine has had issues with oxygen sensors. I believe there are several of these sensors on the vehicle. The VERY FIRST thing you should check is to see if your gas cap is screwed in tightly. A loose cap with throw the same code. Simply screwing it on tightly will cause the engine light to go out after about 5 cycles of the engine (on/off). But most importantly, don't sweat check engine lights. If your engine does not immediatly start to studder or smoke, it likely is an oxygen sensor or a false alarm. Unless you are under the gun for getting your car inspected, don't go crazy over the light coming on. Check to see that you have oil in the crankcase, and if none of the symptoms are occuring with the car, take a deep breath and try to ignore the light (or do as I have done, put some tape over it to make it go away).
  • beater1beater1 Posts: 5
    Thanks for responding. I went back to the mechanic today and he scanned the
    engine and got the same o2 sensor diagnostic that led to the $300 repair. He
    didn't really have any idea what to do next. I'm going to try a long shot and use
    fuel injector cleaner in my next tankful using regular gas instead of ethanol
    but I don't have any real expectations of success. I was only trying to fix it because
    I was going to give it to my grandaughter who lives in a state that has inspections
    and I didn't want her to get stuck with the bill. The tape fix is what I'll do if I keep it.
    I'd like to see that the Pontiac dealer that sold it to me gets it back.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    For my 03 vibe, it was the vapor recovery cannister which is located next to the gas tank, accessible from under the rear seats. Once they replace it, the problem never returned. It is interesting that on the new 09 Matrix and Vibe, there is a index card attached to the shifter stating that you will likely hear a mechanical sound for the first few hours after you have shut off the engine, and that there is some kind of vapor recovery devise that is engaged during that time. Very odd.
  • beater1beater1 Posts: 5
    Nothing seems odd anymore where my Vibe is concerned. BTW, I didn't mention
    that the code that came up when the scanner did it's thing was PO420 which refers
    to the "Cataylst System Efficiency Below Threshold". Most of the time, the problem is an O2 Sensor supposedly but it could be the catalytic converter which
    is covered by an 8 yr- 80K mile warranty. I'd have to take it to the dealer, pay for
    the scan again, and hope they found the converter to be the problem and not
    some other educated guess that costs me money. Maybe I should just buy a
    lottery ticket.
  • beater1beater1 Posts: 5
    Just to close the loop on the saga of the engine light that wouldn't die. I decided
    to bite the bullet and take it to the Pontiac dealer. I expected to spend $100-$125
    for the diagnostic test but decided I'd wait and see what they found before spending
    any more for parts. Much to my surprise, they declared the problem to be a
    defective PCM (Power Control Module ie. "on-board computer") It was covered
    under warranty and when the new PCM was installed, the check engine light went
    out and stayed out. Apparantly emission parts are covered by an 8yr-80,000 mile
    warranty. I took the car out on the interstate and drove 110 miles and no light!
    Usually I'd get the light on before I had driven 30 miles. Hope my experience may
    be of help to others with a similar problem.
  • papoupapou Posts: 2
    I too had a problem with my airbags on my Vibe 2004. I am the original owner of my car and had my first car accident on Monday, August 19. We were going 40 mph when we hit a car, very front head on, and my airbags did not deploy. Yet, the front of my car is badly damaged. I even asked the police officier if this was normal, and with his experience, he confirmed that the airbags should have deployed.

    I called GM yesterday to file a complaint, but I am not sure if this will do anything.
  • My Vibe has the same problem. Did you ever find out what was wrong with yours/
  • Unfortunately no. I called back GM, and they asked me if my airbags light was on at the moment of the crash, but it wasn't, either before nor after the crash. The guy said that if the light is not on, they do not investigate. I told him the light could be diffective, but he reacted as if it was not possible.

    I currently have $9000 ($CAD) in repairs, and my car was worth $12'500!!! I went to the GM garage, and they agreed with me that the airbags should have deployed, but they refused to help me in my complaint. I do not know where to turn to anymore. I am considering contacting a News Reporter... to see if he can move things. Big companies usually do not like bad publicity.
  • I have had my new vibe for about 2 weeks, and the idle speed seems a little too high when i start her up in the morning, it's around1500. It actually fluctuates a little between 1300 and 1600. Is that normal. Shouldn't it be around 800 for a manual car. I even found a youtube video on a vibe idling at 2000ish rpm. Has anbody had simliar experience? Should I get the idle speed control valve checked?
  • The low fuel light cam on ant then withing a few miles the engine quit(according th the wife). When I arrived Iput 5 gals of gas in it. Still would not start. Pulled off 1 coil and didn't see any spark. Pulled off #2 and spark - and engine actually started on 3 cyls. Put coil back on and engine started but would only run for 10 seconds.
    When I started it the 4th time, I tried giving it some throttle and was if the throttle was not connected. Ended up towing to Pontiac stealer. They tell me now low compression in 2 cylinders although it was running perfectly before it quit and it may have a timing chain issue (bs). The car uses no oil and is supremly kept up.
    I can't find any issue relating to this as its pretty bullet proof. I believe it to be a sensor, ignition or fuel pump issue. Any answers?
  • loosenutloosenut Posts: 165
    sounds like they are giving you "the song and dance"..a motor that's been running fine-quits..suddeny,#2 is low on compression? the area service rep,and have them then show you BOTH,-while both you and the service rep are watching-,..
    unless it ran low on oil,or some other catastropic failure happened,you're being fed a large steaming plate-of bull ! ! personally,i understand when they don't know for shure-untill they check a few things out,but i detest being LIED to..
    watch these people like a hawk!!
  • dluxedluxe Posts: 2
    How do you move the tensioner pulley down to get belt on?
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