I am a Vibe AWD noob,

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mickybluesb
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:46 am

I am a Vibe AWD noob,

Postby mickybluesb » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:06 am

Hi there so i now own a 2003 black vibe awd thats in decent shape that i got for 1800$, it was more but after further discussion with previous owner it doesnt have the original engine, so the odometer says about 150k miles the engine has about 250-260k... I can live with that because the interior is actually in great shape, it just has a couple little cosmetic issues like the glove box barely works, (previous owner from what i can tell is not mechanically inclined) previous owner changed the cabin air filter and didnt put it back together,... I havent had a chance to fix it yet, ive had other things i had to get sorted first, like detailing and polishing the paint, it needed it BADLY, and some clear coat is peeling on the roof between the windshield and sunroof, its too bad but i have some ideas, either vinyl wrap or plasti dip the roof, something along those lines will work.

So i have some questions i need help answering...(ive tried searching on here, i just havent figured out this forum yet) I discovered the AWD model gets much worse mileage than the FWD model, which i wasnt impressed with and the gas tank is only 11 gallon (my old car had 19 gallon) so thats gonna take some getting use to refilling more often.
Also it just feels super slow, like you can feel it through the intake and exhaust that its like its breathing in and out through a straw. Im thinking of modifying the factory air box to let more air in, the tiny 2" hose going in there looks pathetic.

Things ive done so far is replaced the spark plugs with denso twin tipped iridium plugs. changed the oil. detailed the inside and out,

#1 what are my options for improving the gas mileage? Like intake, exhaust, ecu chips etc

#2 Is there a way to disable the AWD and would that improve the gas mileage? Like removing the drive shaft wouldnt that reduce the friction and weight?

#3 has anyone here hacked away at the factory air box with any decent results? Ive done it to many cars and it does help.

#4 whats the best paper air filter brand as far as FLOW is concerned?

#5 can the mass air flow sensor be cleaned? and if so how?

#6 has anyone ever installed a bigger gas tank in a vibe or matrix before?

#7 The ciggarette lighter is stuck, and i cant remove it, ive heard this is a problem but cant find any information besides "goto a dealer" to fix it.

#8 This should be further up, where should the engine temp be on the gauge when warmed up? mine is like 1/3 of an inch south of the middle line, im guessing needs a new thermostat?

Who ever answers all 8 questions satisfactorily will get a prize from me :D



Im sure theres more, ive only had this a couple of weeks and just havent had a lot of time to sort it, its kind of been like one week do a little thing here and there...

But apart from those things i really like it, i love the practicality, it totally fits my personality of having room for just about anything and everything. Ill post a picture later, it still needs some more detailing, its got some scratches and dings that ill address in a couple of months.

andrewclaus
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:38 pm
Location: Golden, CO

Re: I am a Vibe AWD noob,

Postby andrewclaus » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:58 am

Definitely clean the MAF sensor. Get the right cleaner and follow instructions you can find online. It's an easy tune-up item. I did mine a few weeks ago and as I recall I only needed a screwdriver to get it out and it took a few minutes.

Also run some fuel injector cleaner, like BG-44K or Seafoam. It might actually be fuel-starved.

Replace the PCV valve too, another easy tune-up item.

Hopefully those will solve the power problem. Some here have modified the air intake and there are a few recent threads about it, and sometimes the MAF gets messed up I think. I'm a noob here too so I can't help too much. And I'm not going for your prize, no way.

I'm not familiar with the Vibe AWD, but I doubt your idea is feasible. You may really mess up the transaxle inputs. Edit: I just did a little research and found out the AWD has a viscous coupling rear differential, so it may indeed be possible to disconnect the rear axle.

Check tire condition and pressures, maybe over-inflate a little (36 psi) to help with fuel economy.

Are you good with pulling dash trim? That's probably what you'll need to do to fix the lighter. I found this link here, helpful for some repairs: http://madstyle1972.com/Repair/

If the temp gauge stays steady within the normal range and the cabin heat is good, the thermostat is probably okay. Mine runs just below middle all the time. That depends so much on the tolerance of factory resistors, etc. If I suspected a problem, I'd use my non-contact infrared thermometer to check the actual engine block temp at the sensor at the water pump.

Can you tell the condition of the coolant? Do you have the orange GM stuff in there? If it's time to change it, you can replace the thermostat then. Get a high quality OEM part.

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vibenvy
Posts: 7067
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:38 am
Location: Sandwich, IL

Re: I am a Vibe AWD noob,

Postby vibenvy » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:06 am

Welcome to GenVibe! Unfortunately, I'm of no help because I'm not too familiar with the 1st gens (03-08) or AWDs. I'm sure some 1st gen and/or AWD owners will chime in any time now though. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for pictures of your "new" Vibe ;)!
Image
2009 Liquid Platinum Metallic Vibe GT - 5-Speed Auto – Garage
2009 Steel Blue Metallic Vibe GT - 5-Speed Auto – Garage

mickybluesb
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:46 am

Re: I am a Vibe AWD noob,

Postby mickybluesb » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:07 pm

I am not too quick on responses...

Recently i fixed my broken glove box, the latch was bent upwards so i bent that back down so that works..... I got aggressive with some vice grip plyers and forced the ciggarette lighter out...

I had the gear oil changed in the rear diff and front diff and thats when i noticed the leak in the front diff...

My mechanic says its possible to remove the drive shaft and it would improve mileage responsiveness and power because the rear end only engages when the front wheels slip, so its driving the drive shaft the entire time.

Ill do the injector cleaner soon im going on a trip out of town and ill have to check into MAF cleaners.

The big thing i discovered is, i thought my starter was having issues...

EVERY TIME i get gas, the car refuses to start for a good 5-10 seconds of the engine turning over before it starts up. I suspect fuel pump? Someone told me it could be fuel pressure regulator? Its as if the pressure in the tank gets released and it has no pressure in the fuel lines to start the car

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joatmon
Posts: 9086
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2003 5:19 am
Location: SMC MD

Re: I am a Vibe AWD noob,

Postby joatmon » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:20 am

sometimes it can be hard to search here, especially if its for common or frequently used terms. I have sometimes resorted to doing a google search of genvibe, using a search string that ends with site:genvibe.com

1 The 03 AWD was rated at 123 HP, the nonAWD base at 130 HP, not that much of a difference. One main thing attributed to cause the difference was that the exhaust on the AWD was more convoluted to work around the rear driveshaft and differential. One member (pmh013) had a lot of power and economy problems with her 03 AWD from catalytic converter clogging, so thats something you might consider checking. I don't remember anyone here having any real benefit from an ecu tweaking chip.

2. Removing the driveshaft might help some, but I don't know if it would help enough to be worth it, especially if you'll be putting it on and off depending on when you might actually want to have a functional AWD

3/4 Some people have put a cold air intake on their vibe, replaces the air box with an open air filter, and they say it helps, but I've never done it.


5 Any chain auto parts store will sell something marketed as a MAF sensor cleaner. Its easy to do, 2 phillips screws and one connector to remove the MAF, then spray the crap out of it with the cleaner, let it dry and put it back in.

6 The smaller gas tank (11 vs 13.2) on the AWD is also due to having to accomodate the rear drive parts, I'm not sure its feasible to try to put a bigger gas tank in there. Easier to carry around a gas can.

7 sounds like you got that one. I had a lot of trouble with that outlet in my first vibe, blew the CIG fuse regularly.

8 Like andewclaus, it sounds like your temp gauge settles about where mine does. Vibes came form the factory with Toyota red coolant

mickybluesb wrote:EVERY TIME i get gas, the car refuses to start for a good 5-10 seconds of the engine turning over before it starts up. I suspect fuel pump? Someone told me it could be fuel pressure regulator? Its as if the pressure in the tank gets released and it has no pressure in the fuel lines to start the car


The car has an electric fuel pump, and I'm pretty sure it powers up when the key is switched to the run position, doesn't need the engine to be actually turning over. Also, in general, the car tries to put a vacuum on the gas tank, not pressure, for evaporative emissions control, so if you hear an air movement sound when you take the gas cap off, its air rushing into the tank, not pressure being released. Have you tried turning the key to run and waiting 5-10 seconds before kicking it to start?

Coolharts
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:55 pm

Re: I am a Vibe AWD noob,

Postby Coolharts » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:33 am

The AWD Vibe is not a powerhouse and never has been. I have 258,000 on mine and we have owned it since new.

The AWD system is a mechanical connection between the front and rear wheels. The AWD is actually 4WD, always engaged. The drive shaft is a 2 piece unit that connects to the rear axle and as stated before uses the viscous coupling in the rear hogs head, two drive axles come out of the hogs head. As for disconnecting it you will have to remove the drive shaft and plug the transfer case AND rear axle hogs head to prevent leaking.

Modifying the air box improperly will allow dirt into the engine.

On the plus side the AWD VIbe is a snow monster, it will go through 10-12" when other cars are stuck. The production numbers of AWD Vibes is low compared to FWD, also many of the parts are completely different from O2 sensors to the configuration of the throttle body.

The AWD Vibes are in demand, if you want a FWD car sell it, pocket the cash and buy a FWD car, changing everything over will be very intensive and may have unexpected results.

ehoff121
Posts: 741
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:19 am
Location: Conn.

Re: I am a Vibe AWD noob,

Postby ehoff121 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:33 am

Coolharts wrote:The AWD system is a mechanical connection between the front and rear wheels. The AWD is actually 4WD, always engaged. The drive shaft is a 2 piece unit that connects to the rear axle and as stated before uses the viscous coupling in the rear hogs head, two drive axles come out of the hogs head. As for disconnecting it you will have to remove the drive shaft and plug the transfer case AND rear axle hogs head to prevent leaking.


Just to add a clarification to that: the AWD is always connected via the drive shaft, but the viscous coupling in the rear differential engages the rear axles only when the front wheels slip. Also, there is little chance of leakage from the rear diff by disconnecting the drive shaft as it is just 4 bolts to the viscous coupling and there is no gear oil circulating around the coupling thanks to the oil seal behind it. Leaks from the rear axle seals are a different matter... ;)
2005 Pontiac Vibe AWD - Platinum

Coolharts
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:55 pm

Re: I am a Vibe AWD noob,

Postby Coolharts » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:16 pm

Just to add a clarification to that: the AWD is always connected via the drive shaft, but the viscous coupling in the rear differential engages the rear axles only when the front wheels slip. Also, there is little chance of leakage from the rear diff by disconnecting the drive shaft as it is just 4 bolts to the viscous coupling and there is no gear oil circulating around the coupling thanks to the oil seal behind it. Leaks from the rear axle seals are a different matter... ;)


Yes, the AWD is always connected but runs at a 70/30 in normal driving, it is always in AWD mode, I have actually spun the rear wheels on mine and the front pulled it, kind of a weird feeling having the back wheels spinning in the snow. I drove through 12 inches of snow a couple of weeks ago and I felt the AWD do all sorts of things.

I had the drive shaft out of mine this weekend to replace the transfer case seal. Fluid does leak from the rear end when the drive shaft is out. BTW, that drive shaft is heavy.

ehoff121
Posts: 741
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:19 am
Location: Conn.

Re: I am a Vibe AWD noob,

Postby ehoff121 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:10 am

Coolharts wrote:I had the drive shaft out of mine this weekend to replace the transfer case seal. Fluid does leak from the rear end when the drive shaft is out. BTW, that drive shaft is heavy.


Assuming we are both talking about 1st gen AWD, there should be no fluid at the connection point of the drive shaft to the viscous coupling. If there is, there's either a missing/leaky oil seal behind the VC or maybe you removed the drive shaft with the viscous coupling still attached. When I removed mine, I disconnected it from the VC (4 bolts), then removed the VC & cover (also 4 bolts); there was fluid behind the VC shaft from the rear diff housing and it will spill if you aren't expecting it. :D
2005 Pontiac Vibe AWD - Platinum

Coolharts
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:55 pm

Re: I am a Vibe AWD noob,

Postby Coolharts » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:26 pm

ehoff121 wrote:
Coolharts wrote:I had the drive shaft out of mine this weekend to replace the transfer case seal. Fluid does leak from the rear end when the drive shaft is out. BTW, that drive shaft is heavy.


Assuming we are both talking about 1st gen AWD, there should be no fluid at the connection point of the drive shaft to the viscous coupling. If there is, there's either a missing/leaky oil seal behind the VC or maybe you removed the drive shaft with the viscous coupling still attached. When I removed mine, I disconnected it from the VC (4 bolts), then removed the VC & cover (also 4 bolts); there was fluid behind the VC shaft from the rear diff housing and it will spill if you aren't expecting it. :D


It is a Gen 1 Vibe. The rear bearings in the diff were replaced about 3 years ago (80,000 miles) and ever since I religiously change the diff oil, it is never low. Yes, when I pulled the shaft there was a trickle of oil that came out but the way the shaft attaches it will be hard for fluid to get past the mounting flange of the shaft.

Coolharts
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:55 pm

Re: I am a Vibe AWD noob,

Postby Coolharts » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:40 pm

In my gravel drive last night I hit the gas hard and the rear wheels kicked gravel, before the front wheels engaged.


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