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Common Pontiac Vibe Faults: Reliability, Depreciation And Breakdowns!

It’s impossible not to mention the Pontiac Vibe when it comes to reliable compact cars. The Vibe is known for having impressive crash test scores and great fuel economy in all model years. But just like other vehicles, it can exhibit some common Pontiac Vibe malfunctions as the mileage accumulates.

Stick around and take a look at the most common problems through its model years, so you’ll know what repairs your Vibe may need if you’re interested in buying one in the future.

How good is the Pontiac Vibe?

In terms of reliability among all Pontiac models, the Vibe ranks ninth out of 17 models with a reliability score of 8.84 compared to the average of 11.72. This means that it is less likely to have serious problems compared to other Pontiac models.

Compact cars like the Vibe have an estimated cost of repair and maintenance of $530 per year with an 11% chance of needing a major repair.

The most recent model of the Vibe, the 2010 redesign, also received a 4.7 out of 5.0 consumer rating . This score is due to the fact that it attributes the car’s four-wheel drive, 110-volt power outlet, and roomy interior for the high score.

Common Pontiac Vibe Problems and Faults

Like any other vehicle, the Pontiac Vibe has its fair share of problems through different model years. Here are the common Pontiac Vibe failures as reported by their owners:

1- Problems with the gas cap

A loose gas cap is one of the common Pontiac Vibe failures reported in all model years (2003-2010). It is usually accompanied by an on check engine light. If left unchecked, a loose or missing gas cap can create emissions system problems and release harmful fumes into the atmosphere . It can also lead to decreased fuel economy, forcing you to spend more money on fuel in the long run.

2- Pulsating brake pedal

A squealing, pulsating brake pedal has been a known issue on some 2003-2010 Pontiac Vibes. And owners of affected models have complained of these issues even after replacing the faulty parts multiple times. Some also experienced their vehicles vibrating excessively when applying the brakes. A replacement brake disc and pad kit can cost anywhere from $80 to $350 plus labor costs.

Keep in mind that making sudden stops, hitting the brakes, and using worn brake pads can wear rotors unevenly. So avoid these practices to prolong the life of your vehicle’s brake rotors.

3- Failures of the center caps of the wheels

The 2009 Pontiac Vibe has been reported to have problems with its wheel center cap. Some owners of this model have reported that the covers fell off despite having replaced them several times. This part can cost $20-$30 to replace plus labor costs.

4- Excessive oil consumption

Another commonly reported problem with the 2009 Pontiac Vibe is excessive oil consumption. Many owners of this redesign have complained about the need to top up the engine oil more often than necessary. And most found that the partnership between Toyota and General Motors (GM) in powertrain manufacturing has made fixing the problem more complicated.

There are several factors that can cause the vehicle to consume too much oil. These include worn seals or gaskets, poor oil quality, worn piston rings, and high oil pressure, as well as engine age.

If left unchecked, excessive oil consumption can cause carbon deposits to form on the valves, combustion chamber and pistons. This will reduce the air flowing in the cylinder, which will cause a loss of power and poor engine performance.

5- Failures in the mounting bolts of the window regulator

Many restylings of the 2003-2007 Vibe had problems with their window regulators. Some drivers have reported a loose window that does not go up or down smoothly due to loose mounting bolts. Others had to deal with a detached window clamp and a damaged regulator arm. There have also been cases where the windows were completely broken or made unusual clicking noises.

These problems prompted the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to recall some 2003 and 2004 Pontiac Vibes in 2008. According to the official report, the window glass bolts can loosen and cause the door glass to separate from the window regulator. If left unchecked, the door glass may break when using the power windows, which could injure passengers.

6- Transmission failures

Transmission failure has been a common problem found in many redesigns of the 2003 Vibe. Owners of affected models have reported having difficulty shifting despite having less than 100,000 miles on their odometer. Their engines also shut down without warning. The most common causes of transmission failures include a bad torque converter or clutch, low transmission fluid level, and a bad transmission solenoid.

In addition to a dead engine and shift problems, transmission failure can cause your vehicle to display various symptoms. Watch for the check engine light, buzzing, rattling, squeaking and jolting, overloading, and rough motor performance. Have your vehicle checked by a licensed mechanic immediately if it exhibits these symptoms.

7- Bearing noise

Bearing noise has been another problem reported by many owners of the 2003 Vibe redesign. Most drivers have complained of hearing knocking and clicking noises that get louder over time each time the clutch is engaged. Factors that can cause unusual noises from transmission bearings include manufacturing defects, poor lubrication, and contamination.

In conclusion

Even a compact car as reliable as the Pontiac Vibe can have damaged or worn parts that could affect your drive quality and safety. Therefore, it is important to take into account the most common problems of the model. This way, you’ll be prepared to fix problems with your Vibe before they become serious and require expensive repairs. It’s also essential to follow your daily driver’s maintenance schedule to keep your car performing at its best.

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