Hello all. New Vibe owner here.

General discussions about the Pontiac Vibe & Toyota Matrix. New members, introduce yourself here!
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awdVibeNoobie
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:56 am
Location: Michigan

Hello all. New Vibe owner here.

Post by awdVibeNoobie » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:57 pm

I recently bought a 03 awd Vibe with 194,xxx miles. It's black with black interior. I bought it as a backup vehicle. It's in decent shape. The previous owner has taken care of fairly well. I haven't had a chance yet to look it over closely but hopefully I'll get a chance to this weekend.
03 awd Vibe my backup vehicle

Bookworm
Posts: 454
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Hello all. New Vibe owner here.

Post by Bookworm » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:10 pm

Hello!

From whence might you hail? It helps the folks here give you advice on where/how to get parts and help.

As for the mileage? You have some maintenance work to do on the vehicle, but shouldn't have too much issue getting to 300,000 miles. From my experience, it's all the fluids, spark plugs, (possibly coils soon), shocks, and the front control arms, ball joints, and tie rods. Plus starters.

awdVibeNoobie
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:56 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Hello all. New Vibe owner here.

Post by awdVibeNoobie » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:02 pm

Sorry. I'm in MI.

According to receipts I got from the previous owner this past January it got a reman starter installed. I see this Vibe got some major work done in the fall of 2017 at 174,xxx miles, new front pads and rotors, trans fluid flush, replaced valve cover gasket, replaced front crankshaft seal, new pcv valve, new spark plugs, new spark plug boots and clean and adjust rear brakes. About a month later after all that major work, the Vibe had the transfer case rear output seal replace. The fall of 2015 at 150,xxx miles the Vibe had a rear (passenger side) axle seal replaced. Fall of 2014 at 133,xxx RF bearing was replaced.

I have no records of the shocks, tie rods, ball joints, or front control arms ever being replaced.
03 awd Vibe my backup vehicle

Bookworm
Posts: 454
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Hello all. New Vibe owner here.

Post by Bookworm » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:48 pm

I'm absolutely astonished that it's had _that_ much work done on it. Especially the crankshaft seal (front? It doesn't have a front seal. It's a transaxle engine), and the transfer case rear output seal.

Mind you, I've never laid hands on an AWD. There are several folks here with one, or more, of them.

Shocks are going to be absolutely necessary. By now, the boots on the original struts are going to be shot. Mine are, at 175,000 miles. That's on my "need to do soon" list.

I'm _not_ shocked (pun expected) that the starter has been replaced. By 300,000 miles, I had replaced my starter twice.

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tpollauf
Posts: 3470
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:37 am
Location: Toledo/Oregon, Port Clinton Ohio
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Re: Hello all. New Vibe owner here.

Post by tpollauf » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:37 pm

Welcome to GenVibe. What part of Michigan? (update profile) I'm just a few miles from the state line, thus you could be my neighbor! Post pictures when you get a chance. Thanks for finding us and joining. Being a member here will BENEFIT you greatly when it comes to repairs & mods to your Vibe! Visit often ;)
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"everything is modifiable"

zbyers
Posts: 884
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:12 pm
Location: Sheffield, Pennsylvania

Re: Hello all. New Vibe owner here.

Post by zbyers » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:55 am

Welcome to the party! Post some pics.

Please check under the side skirts for rust, as well as the rear subframe. If anything is going to kill your car outside of an accident, it's rust in those spots.
(2) '03 Bases, '04 GT, '04 AWD, '06 AWD, '07 Base, '17 Frontier CCLB
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awdVibeNoobie
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:56 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Hello all. New Vibe owner here.

Post by awdVibeNoobie » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:48 pm

Thanks for the welcome everyone.
Bookworm wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:48 pm
I'm absolutely astonished that it's had _that_ much work done on it. Especially the crankshaft seal (front? It doesn't have a front seal. It's a transaxle engine), and the transfer case rear output seal.

Mind you, I've never laid hands on an AWD. There are several folks here with one, or more, of them.

Shocks are going to be absolutely necessary. By now, the boots on the original struts are going to be shot. Mine are, at 175,000 miles. That's on my "need to do soon" list.

I'm _not_ shocked (pun expected) that the starter has been replaced. By 300,000 miles, I had replaced my starter twice.
About that front crankshaft seal, the receipt states crankshaft oil seal under labor. I will eventually replace the shocks.

tpollauf wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:37 pm
Welcome to GenVibe. What part of Michigan? (update profile) I'm just a few miles from the state line, thus you could be my neighbor! Post pictures when you get a chance. Thanks for finding us and joining. Being a member here will BENEFIT you greatly when it comes to repairs & mods to your Vibe! Visit often ;)
I'm live fairly close to Lake Michigan, that's all I'm going to give out as I'm a private person. Heck I don't have facebook. With all of this social media, there isn't any privacy now a days. Since this is my back up vehicle, I'll be mainly doing maintenance/repairs when necessary. I won't be doing mods really. Sorry I'm not one of those ricers *ducks*.
zbyers wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:55 am
Welcome to the party! Post some pics.

Please check under the side skirts for rust, as well as the rear subframe. If anything is going to kill your car outside of an accident, it's rust in those spots.
I will eventually post up some pictures when I'll get around to it. I haven't check under the side skirts yet but I did check the rear subframe. It is fairly rusty but not rotted out yet. When I was searching Craigslist before I actually bought this Vibe, I saw a ad for the rear subframe for awd Vibes that's for sale as apparently the rear subframe can rot out in the rust belt area. The ad said the rear awd subframe is NLA and it's best to find a good used replacement from out west.

I got a chance to look over the Vibe alitte closer and it's in fairly decent shape mechanically. The first repair that will need to be done is the front brakes.
03 awd Vibe my backup vehicle

zbyers
Posts: 884
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:12 pm
Location: Sheffield, Pennsylvania

Re: Hello all. New Vibe owner here.

Post by zbyers » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:32 am

RE subframe-- You can use one from the following cars:
03-06 AWD Vibe/Matrix.
09-10 Matrix/Vibe AWD or XRS/GT (they have the same IRS, despite not being shown as interchangeable)
99-06 Celica GTS (this is where the IRS setup came from originally)
(2) '03 Bases, '04 GT, '04 AWD, '06 AWD, '07 Base, '17 Frontier CCLB
Byerscrew Garage, GenVibe Facebook, How-To Index
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awdVibeNoobie
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:56 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Hello all. New Vibe owner here.

Post by awdVibeNoobie » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:32 am

Thanks for the info! What is this IRS you speak of?
03 awd Vibe my backup vehicle

zbyers
Posts: 884
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:12 pm
Location: Sheffield, Pennsylvania

Re: Hello all. New Vibe owner here.

Post by zbyers » Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:29 am

Independent rear suspension. It has a "double wishbone" setup in the rear, versus the solid axle beam the FWD has.
(2) '03 Bases, '04 GT, '04 AWD, '06 AWD, '07 Base, '17 Frontier CCLB
Byerscrew Garage, GenVibe Facebook, How-To Index
Everything You Need To Know About the Pontiac Vibe

awdVibeNoobie
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:56 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Hello all. New Vibe owner here.

Post by awdVibeNoobie » Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:46 pm

Ah. Thanks for the info!
03 awd Vibe my backup vehicle

pwyu1969
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:25 pm

Re: Hello all. New Vibe owner here.

Post by pwyu1969 » Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:02 pm

Hey,
Since buying my first vibe in 2015, I’ve had a total of 5, currently own 3, well, 3 that run, the 4th is my parts car. I’m in W MI too, by Lake MI.

3 of my 5 vibes needed a new heater/AC blend door actuator. You will know as you will hear a clicking sound from right behind the glove compartment. The key is wrapping the ratchet head with double sided tape so you can spin the screws off with your hand. Otherwise you have to take off the whole dash board.

Also, 3 of my 5 vibes don’t have A/C. Haven’t gotten to fixing the two that run. Hopefully it’s a slow leak that a recharge will fix.

Finally, I just got done rebuilding the front end of my ‘09 FWD with 185k miles. It for sure needed new cv axels and struts. So, as long as I was under there I switched out the ball joints, outer tie rod ends, strut sway bar links and driver’s side control arm.

That said, DON’T touch the control arms unless you absolutely have too!!! As in a qualified mechanic from MI tells you you need to. I got the idea of performance bushings from elsewhere on this form and the YouTube video I saw made it look like a 30 minute job, which it is, if you live down south.

If the car is from north of the Mason-Dixon Line, the bushing is most likely rusted to the bolt. I didn’t know this. I snapped the front bolt head right off. It took me two months of mental preparation and asking around before I got the nerve to cut the control arm out. It’s a harden bolt and bushing you have to cut through with terrible access. I probably should put up a thread on it, but in short, I had to use an oscillating saw with carbide tip bits to cut the bolt at the frame. Then I had to drill out the center of the broken bolt up to 3/16 to get an easy-out in there. It spun right out. Took a solid two hours to cut and drill. Fortunately the back bolt and bushing came right off. Had I snapped that one... nightmare. Repeat, don’t touch then control arm unless you’re ready to go all in.

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