New Vibe Owner here! Full intro/info with questions at the end!

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littleVibber
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Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:15 pm
Location: Midwest

New Vibe Owner here! Full intro/info with questions at the end!

Post by littleVibber » Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:31 pm

After doing research on a replacement car, and with a suggestion for a new car from my brother (professional mechanic), he suggested that I look for a Pontiac Vibe or a Matrix knowing what I do and want out of a car. After a week of searching, I found a private listing on CL for a vibe a couple miles away from my home, and I decided to take it for a test drive. Needless to say, I liked the car, and and the functional interior and decided to bite the bullet and make the purchase. So here is the information on the before, and after purchase, and a question section that I am interested in getting help with.

-----Before Purchase-----
Identified the car as a 2004 Base model with a 1ZZ-FE, A246E transmission, 2WD, with the moon and tunes package in the Neptune Blue color, with cloth seats.
Looked at a vin checker for accidents and flooding, and it came back clean.
Test drive of the car, easy startup, but had a very rough idle, the codes had been reset in the computer and the check engine light was on.
After a few miles of driving and warming up, it became apparent that the timing chain was loose and needed to be replaced.
Noticed that there was green dextron in the radiator, and there was a leak in the hose and in the lower plastic section of the radiator.
Engine had signs of being worked on (hoses, aftermarket coil pack, valve cover gasket with RTV,), but the owner did not disclose much information about the car, but claimed that the oil was changed every 3,000 miles and had records to prove it (owner used only purolator filters, and 5-30), the owner was the second owner of the car.
Water pump was squeaking like crazy and had play in it.
Belt tensioner was leaking hydraulic fluid and the tensioner pulley was slightly shaky, also the belt was worn and had cracks.
Body of the car had a crack in the front lower part of the bumper from hitting a "pet carrier" on the highway that was empty.
Cruise control doesn't work, and the stem doesn't work.
Front brakes were worn and so were the rotors, rear brakes seemed to be making noise when stopping as well.
Radio has a burnt out display light making the radio basically useless.
Engine bay, for the age of the car, seems quite clean, other than the oil leak and radiator fluid.
Horn does not work, doesn't beep when you lock it.
Battery, tested fine, but it is an Advance Auto Parts battery, and leaks battery acid like crazy, but the battery connections were so corroded on the positive side that you couldn't even see it under the layer of green corrosion.
Rust, from what I can see, the car has average rust on it on the frame and suspension parts, and the wheel well plastic protectors seem to have saved the car from rusting up here in the rust belt for the most part.
Vacuum leak on the intake.

Even with all of this, and the exterior of the car having dents and scratches, clear coat coming off it, the owner wanted $2850 for the car. It had 137k miles on it. I talked the owner down to $2400, and because of the Toyota drive train, I was relatively confident with the purchase for a commuter car that is going to see mostly highway miles.

-----After Purchase-----
Drove the car home and started ordering from Rock Auto!
The list of parts is:
NGK Lazer Iridium Spark Plugs
Gates Belt Tensioner
Dayco drive belt
Centric Ceramic disc brake kit with all hardware
Centric Rear Drum brake kit with all hardware
ACDelco OEM Thermostat
Thermostat housing seal
Thermostat gasket
ACDelco Upper and lower Radiator Hoses
ACDelco Valve Cover Gasket
Throttle Body Gasket
Oil pan with Baffle
Oil Pan Gasket
--Amazon-- 5-30 Full Synthetic 5qt oil
Wix XP Oil Filter
ACDelco Transmission Filter
Transmission pan gasket
Air Intake Filter
SKP VVT Solenoid
Melling Timing set
Timing cover gasket set
Cabin Air Filter
4 Gallons Zerex Asian Vehicle HOAT coolant
1 Gallon Idemitsu AFT - TLS (T-IV)
Intake Manifold Gasket
Water Pump - aftermarket, I'm embarrassed to say the only one available yesterday was a ValueCraft pump....might replace later, but it isn't leaking and it is doing it's job now!
ACDelco Radiator
Boss (cheapie) head unit from a car audio place online with mounting and wire harness adapter kit.
3D Maxpider Toyota matrix custom fit front floor liners - plastic/rubber form fit
PCV Valve

Along with all of this, I bought all of the cleaners/fluids you need to do all of this work, MAF cleaner, Electronics cleaner, battery acid neutralizer, battery contact cleaner, 8 bottles of Brake Cleaner, WD-40, Fuel System cleaner, brake fluid, Power Steering fluid, PB Blaster.

---Work done---
1. Timing Chain, sprockets, tensioner, VVT Solenoid, VVT oil filter cleaned, Timing chain cover mounting surfaces cleaned, checked the spacing on the cam shaft lobes and there was basically no wear that could be measured with a spacer, and all of the surfaces were clean from any visual wear as well! The timing chain was visually loose on top of the cam shaft sprocket and VVT sprocket and was moving from side to side with ease, but the teeth on the VVT sprocket were like new, while the exhaust sprocket was slightly worn (replaced).
A. Found that the water pump was shaking and needed to be replaced, so I ran down and picked up a new pump from the local parts store.
2. Oil Pan/Gasket Changed, cleaned the pan to find 0 particles in the oil or on the pan.
3. Transmission Gasket/Filter, cleaned up only to find a coating of metal powder on the magnets and 0 particles that could be seen visually after cleaning with a shop towel and getting all of the old fluid off the pan.
4. Front and Rear Brakes, the front rotors were corroded to hell, and the brakes barely stopped the car, the rear brakes looked like they had never been changed!!! All new parts went in after cleaning them off obviously.
5. Radiator and hoses replaced, but found a large dent in the AC Condenser, however the AC works well!
6. Spark plugs - Replaced, checked the pistons while we had them out, and no sign of head gasket failure, and nothing in the cylinders. The original spark plugs weren't terrible, but the gaps had obviously spread with the iridium being essentially gone.
7. Intake system - Took everything apart and found cracks on most of the hoses connecting to the intake system as well as PCV Valve and other air hoses, so after cutting off 1/2 inch of material from each of the hose ends of each of the hoses, along with intake and all other gasket replacements in the car, fixed the intake leak.
8. Cleaned the MAF, all throttle Body parts, cleaned the intake and checked the intake valve stems while we had the intake off the car, All the parts looked like I could have ate off of them, extremely clean with 0 wear or carbon buildup.
9. Discovered that a wheel stud was cross threaded and had to pound it out and get another one on one hub.
10. Head unit install was seamless, and after reading here that you need to connect the amp signal wire to the ignition wire, made installing the new head unit a breeze.
11. Brake fluid flush/bleed of the whole system all 4 tires.
12. Power steering system fluid change

After all of the work was done on the car, we reinstalled the clean battery and turned it over with the fuel pump relay disconnected to ensure it was turning over correctly, pump oil up into the engine and circulate the ATF fluid, and also to start bleeding the air in the coolant and fill it back up with fresh coolant.
We reinstalled the Fuel pump relay after confirming that the car turned over fine, and lo-and-behold, the car lives again! I watched a video on the idle reset procedure and combined withe about 50 miles of giving the car an Italian tune up, the car runs like a clock! Smooth shifts, engine shaking gone from rough idle, no timing chain noise what-so-ever, and after a little oil burned out of the engine, the car runs great!
I refilled the ATF with the hot high/low dipstick measurement over the next 20 miles until I confirmed that it is full, and as of then, thought the car was good to go!

---Questions---
First... so I must be crazy to have done all of this, and to have paid what I paid for the car right? Honestly, I don't feel like this was a bad decision, but I am open to suggestions on what I could/should have done differently.

After flushing the oil coolant out, I notice that I have white flakes from the Dex that the previous owner used in the coolant visible from the radiator cap. Is there anything else I should do other than doing another coolant change in another 200 miles? Should I change the fluid now?

I think after cleaning the battery contacts and getting out all of the corrosion, the ECU is liking running off of battery power better than it did the running essentially off the the alternator, but I am able to get more diagnostic information about the car now, and the OBD2 system doesn't kick my brother's scan tool off scanning it anymore, which might also have been affected by the old coolant conducting electricity.

Now that the car is together and running like a top with the 50 miles I've driven so far, I am not getting an air bag warning light on and now I am getting the following codes -
B0101- Open in "D" squib circuit
B1181-Open in "D" 2nd squib circuit
Does anyone have any suggestions for fixes on this? From what I can tell from recall information, this car doesn't have any recalls that need to be fulfilled, but the takata airbag system and the steering wheel clock spring need to be replaced. Is there something going on here I am missing? The ribbon cable that most people report on this car as being an issue seems to have already been fixed, but would Toyota or GM fix this since it has been recalled? If not, is there a code clear that I can do to get back my horn functionality and ensure my safety while driving the car (airbags)? Keep in mind, I have a mechanic at my disposal (yes I do pay him, and pay him well for his time and expertise just fyi).

I noticed that there is more rust on the rear axle assembly than anywhere else on the car. Other than a junk yard, is there any place to get a new assembly for this vehicle?

Other than a couple issues, and needing to detail the car myself since the seats and front door fabric trim are nasty (old owner claimed that she is allergic to all cleaning chemicals), I am also going to install legal tint for the states I travel in the car, I have a rear backup distance sensor system to tie into the back-up light, and covering some of the chrome dash trim with matte grey 3M vinyl (the light it reflects drives me crazy already), I am extremely happy with the driving of the car already and how it runs, as well as the functionality of the interior of the car.

Is there anything else that I should change out or do maintenance on in this car?


I noticed that the front and rear strut assemblies are coming to the end of their life, the front control arms and tie rod ends will need to be replaced in the spring (not much wear right now), I was thinking of doing new wheel bearings, and a full suspension kit for the front and rear in the spring as well. All of the motor and transmission mounts have started to crack, but still hold the engine properly, but will be added to the list of things to change in the spring. Being 15 years old, I am also considering ordering new bearings and hubs for the car, possibly new CV axles, possibly replacing the alternator which is not putting out the full 80 amps that it should currently.

Along with all of that, I might have the rust repaired by a professional body guy I know to prevent further rust, and repair any current problem areas (but from what I inspected on the underside of the car, the rust isn't all that bad at all except on the rear axle.

I also noticed that on the moon roof, that the rubber is starting to wear out, is there anything I can do, or product anyone would suggest for helping to restore the rubber seals? Not just there, but everywhere on the car.


Overall, with my maiden voyage having gone extremely well, the car runs like a clock now, after all the work my brother and I have done on this car, I am happy to be an addition to the GenVibe community and look forward to at least a couple hundred thousand miles of worry free (if a bit slow) driving in this car!
2004 Pontiac Vibe - 1ZZ-FE - 4 Speed Auto - 137k and going, moon and tunes package, Neptune Blue

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Caretaker
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Re: New Vibe Owner here! Full intro/info with questions at the end!

Post by Caretaker » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:08 am

This reads like a person who just bought a turn of the century brick colonial that was gutted by fire in south Detroit and saw the potential of bringing it back to life. :shock: First, kudos for having the ability to perform as many kinds of surgery as you have on the Vibe. Second, kudos on finding a private owner to buy your car from. Unfortunately I think you missed a huge red flag when you state that the owner wasn't forthcoming on some of the questions you asked. That is precisely why you buy from a private owner. They should freely and without hesitation, be able to answer ALL of your questions, unless as the second owner they only owned the car for a year (which is another red flag in itself). Tell your brother that the next time he wants to recommend a 16 year old used car to someone that he recommend a Honda instead. I do hope the "certified" and weekend mechanics on this page will help you to finish surgery on your patient and make it worth your money in the end. You certainly are now "in for a penny, in for a pound" and I wish you luck.
Live it up: There will be plenty of time to be old when you die.
** 2009 Vibe: 1.8 liter automatic **
** 2010 Hyundai Elantra Touring **
** 2007 Honda Fit Sport **

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tpollauf
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Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:37 am
Location: Toledo/Oregon, Port Clinton Ohio
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Re: New Vibe Owner here! Full intro/info with questions at the end!

Post by tpollauf » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:29 am

Welcome to GenVibe :D Awesome first introduction post and hope you didn't get "writers cramps" from the hour PLUS, that it took you to prepare it for us to read :lol: Just curious as to the total $$$ you spent on all those listed parts (not labor). Also how many hours of labor went into all this work? Post pics in the future and keep us informed on future work.

To the best of your knowledge, was this car owned/driven in the midwest all of it's life? The reason I ask is because of the rust and future corrosion issues that are inherent while driving in the winter here (salt/brine). You may want to look into the Krown or RustChek treatments which will prolong the life of your car, specifically the undercarriage. Krown may be exclusively only available in Canada, whereas RustChek is available here in the states. I have my newer Silverado treated every other year and feel it will pay off some 20 years down the road where all other Chevy trucks are rusting out and mine will still look new. Just a suggestion.

Finally, not sure specifically what part of the midwest your in, but I'll assume it is a colder part and you could definitely benefit from heated seats! I'd recommend https://www.checkcorp.com/ and they're located here in the midwest, Troy Michigan. I've installed a couple of their heated seat kits and have NO regrets doing such work. Considering what you've already done, this will be a breeze for you!

Thanks for joining up here and visit often!
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zbyers
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Location: Sheffield, Pennsylvania

Re: New Vibe Owner here! Full intro/info with questions at the end!

Post by zbyers » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:58 am

---Questions---
First... so I must be crazy to have done all of this, and to have paid what I paid for the car right? Honestly, I don't feel like this was a bad decision, but I am open to suggestions on what I could/should have done differently.
I would have tried to talk them down more...for the probably $500+ in put into it already, plus the extra you will continue to put into it based on the reset of your post, it probably wasn't worth that much of an investment. While it should be a great car all said and done, it's also a 15+ year old car that is going to have it's issues.
I think after cleaning the battery contacts and getting out all of the corrosion, the ECU is liking running off of battery power better than it did the running essentially off the the alternator, but I am able to get more diagnostic information about the car now, and the OBD2 system doesn't kick my brother's scan tool off scanning it anymore, which might also have been affected by the old coolant conducting electricity.
While cleaning the battery certainly helps, I wouldn't suspect that would cause the scan tool to disconnect. I also wouldn't anticipate the old coolant causing it either.
Now that the car is together and running like a top with the 50 miles I've driven so far, I am not getting an air bag warning light on and now I am getting the following codes -
B0101- Open in "D" squib circuit
B1181-Open in "D" 2nd squib circuit
Does anyone have any suggestions for fixes on this? From what I can tell from recall information, this car doesn't have any recalls that need to be fulfilled, but the takata airbag system and the steering wheel clock spring need to be replaced. Is there something going on here I am missing? The ribbon cable that most people report on this car as being an issue seems to have already been fixed, but would Toyota or GM fix this since it has been recalled? If not, is there a code clear that I can do to get back my horn functionality and ensure my safety while driving the car (airbags)? Keep in mind, I have a mechanic at my disposal (yes I do pay him, and pay him well for his time and expertise just fyi).
The clock spring that is problematic on these is NOT part of the recall. You can purchase one on eBay or from a junkyard for $20 or so. I would call the dealer with the VIN to verify any outstanding recalls, as a new one has recently been issued. Once the recalls are completed, if you're still throwing the SRS light, chances are the issue is the clock spring. Outside of that, with the amount of love the car needed, is it possible it was in a wreck and the previous owner repaired it themselves?
I noticed that there is more rust on the rear axle assembly than anywhere else on the car. Other than a junk yard, is there any place to get a new assembly for this vehicle?
junkyard is the best bet. and given that it's FWD, unless there are visible holes through it, I'd probably leave well enough alone.
I noticed that the front and rear strut assemblies are coming to the end of their life, the front control arms and tie rod ends will need to be replaced in the spring (not much wear right now), I was thinking of doing new wheel bearings, and a full suspension kit for the front and rear in the spring as well. All of the motor and transmission mounts have started to crack, but still hold the engine properly, but will be added to the list of things to change in the spring. Being 15 years old, I am also considering ordering new bearings and hubs for the car, possibly new CV axles, possibly replacing the alternator which is not putting out the full 80 amps that it should currently.
I'd replace what's necessary (struts, blown ball joints, etc.) and leave well enough alone on the rest until they go bad or start to show signs of wear.
Along with all of that, I might have the rust repaired by a professional body guy I know to prevent further rust, and repair any current problem areas (but from what I inspected on the underside of the car, the rust isn't all that bad at all except on the rear axle.
Take the side skirt/rocker covers off. Depending on your location, I bet you will have a very significant amount of rust there. You will see on other posts I've commented on pictures of the rust I encountered underneath the vehicle.
I also noticed that on the moon roof, that the rubber is starting to wear out, is there anything I can do, or product anyone would suggest for helping to restore the rubber seals? Not just there, but everywhere on the car.
You can get a new sunroof seal from Toyota, if you really wanted to replace it. I don't think I've ever touched the rubber seals on our fleet and they are still fine.



Outside of that, welcome to the party! Where are you from? PS: we love pictures too!
(2) '03 Bases, '04 GT, '04 AWD, '06 AWD, '07 Base, '17 Frontier CCLB
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Bookworm
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Location: Houston, TX

Re: New Vibe Owner here! Full intro/info with questions at the end!

Post by Bookworm » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:59 pm

A couple of things.

I agree that you probably should have gone a bit cheaper on the car, considering what you knew up front you were going to have to put into it. Especially with the timing chain being involved.

When you replaced the radiator (I had to do that on my old Vibe), did you do a _full_ flush, or just a drain out/fill and burp? IF just a fill and burp, I'd recommend doing a full system flush with distilled water. (Disconnect outlet hose, route to grass or drain bucket. Open top of radiator. Start car with heater on full. When coolant runs out of the outlet hose, start pouring in distilled water. Do this until the water run clear. Start adding concentrate until you've hit 50% of the capacity of the system (40-60% depending on where you are), and shut off engine. Reconnect outlet hose to top of radiator. Top off, and flush out the overflow tank)

Rear brakes probably have not been done. They often last until the car dies, as the front disc brakes take the brunt of the wear.

Flush out the power steering fluid (I don't recall having seen that).

Jbenrod
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:58 am

Re: New Vibe Owner here! Full intro/info with questions at the end!

Post by Jbenrod » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:09 pm

Alternators have not been a problem with these vehicles so my guess is the alternator is operating normal. I would not plan on replacing it unless you are certain there is a problem.

Horn and cruise control will probably work again after you replace the clockspring (spiral cable). I think you will need a Torx T30 for the airbag removal.

littleVibber
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:15 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: New Vibe Owner here! Full intro/info with questions at the end!

Post by littleVibber » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:30 am

Caretaker wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:08 am
This reads like a person who just bought a turn of the century brick colonial that was gutted by fire in south Detroit and saw the potential of bringing it back to life. :shock: First, kudos for having the ability to perform as many kinds of surgery as you have on the Vibe. Second, kudos on finding a private owner to buy your car from. Unfortunately I think you missed a huge red flag when you state that the owner wasn't forthcoming on some of the questions you asked. That is precisely why you buy from a private owner. They should freely and without hesitation, be able to answer ALL of your questions, unless as the second owner they only owned the car for a year (which is another red flag in itself). Tell your brother that the next time he wants to recommend a 16 year old used car to someone that he recommend a Honda instead. I do hope the "certified" and weekend mechanics on this page will help you to finish surgery on your patient and make it worth your money in the end. You certainly are now "in for a penny, in for a pound" and I wish you luck.
Thanks! Wouldn't have been able to do ALL of the work without my brother though. I have a healthy skepticism about taking loans out on cars after I purchased a 2013 Dodge Avenger SXT Plus roadtop edition that got wrecked and I lost all the money that I had into that car. So I'll do just about anything to avoid car loans after that experience, including buying an old Corolla/Matrix/Vibe haha.

I agree that it should have been a red flag, for sure, but I mean, we checked the car over and knew exactly what we were getting in to, and now after 300 miles put on the car over the last weekend, I'd be confident in driving this car anywhere in the country.... so far, not bad.
2004 Pontiac Vibe - 1ZZ-FE - 4 Speed Auto - 137k and going, moon and tunes package, Neptune Blue

littleVibber
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:15 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: New Vibe Owner here! Full intro/info with questions at the end!

Post by littleVibber » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:38 am

tpollauf wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:29 am
Welcome to GenVibe :D Awesome first introduction post and hope you didn't get "writers cramps" from the hour PLUS, that it took you to prepare it for us to read :lol: Just curious as to the total $$$ you spent on all those listed parts (not labor). Also how many hours of labor went into all this work? Post pics in the future and keep us informed on future work.

To the best of your knowledge, was this car owned/driven in the midwest all of it's life? The reason I ask is because of the rust and future corrosion issues that are inherent while driving in the winter here (salt/brine). You may want to look into the Krown or RustChek treatments which will prolong the life of your car, specifically the undercarriage. Krown may be exclusively only available in Canada, whereas RustChek is available here in the states. I have my newer Silverado treated every other year and feel it will pay off some 20 years down the road where all other Chevy trucks are rusting out and mine will still look new. Just a suggestion.

Finally, not sure specifically what part of the midwest your in, but I'll assume it is a colder part and you could definitely benefit from heated seats! I'd recommend https://www.checkcorp.com/ and they're located here in the midwest, Troy Michigan. I've installed a couple of their heated seat kits and have NO regrets doing such work. Considering what you've already done, this will be a breeze for you!

Thanks for joining up here and visit often!
1. Yes, it took quite a while for me to write it out! But I thought I would give myself some breathing room and see the replies I would get, plus I am in school right now, so I wanted to get this all out at once! haha.
2. So far, I am at $1100 in new parts for the car. But to me, about $600 of that was maintenance, brakes, fluids, filters, gaskets.... I would have done that to any car that I purchased that is 14 years old just for peace of mind.
3. Over the weekend, two (very drunk) individuals, took 16 hours?
4. Yes, the midwest most of it's life. I am going to keep the car clean over the winter and deal with rust in the spring, but I will probably take it for a bath every few days with undercarriage spray.
5. Never heard about RustChek, but I was going to plan on doing a rust converter.... From what I understand now, they are the same thing? Right?
6. Yikes! Those seats are a bit salty for me! I think I might just have to plan on just bundling up for those Indiana winters.

Once this next week is over and I am done with a couple classes, you guys will be seeing much more from me while I start the REAL restoration of this car. haha.
2004 Pontiac Vibe - 1ZZ-FE - 4 Speed Auto - 137k and going, moon and tunes package, Neptune Blue

littleVibber
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:15 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: New Vibe Owner here! Full intro/info with questions at the end!

Post by littleVibber » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:10 am

zbyers wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:58 am
---Questions---
First... so I must be crazy to have done all of this, and to have paid what I paid for the car right? Honestly, I don't feel like this was a bad decision, but I am open to suggestions on what I could/should have done differently.
Hey ZByers,

I'll just address this point by point to make it easier and not to blow up this discussion.

1. Price -
I definitely think that I overpaid for the car, but I was pretty specifically looking for a Camry, Vibe/Matrix, CR-V, RAV-4, Accord. And in the area I am in, it seems like all of the Japanese cars get snatched up really quickly by dealers/people that buy and sell cars on the side for profit. The next best option I found was a CR-V in my price range that needed a new engine altogether and had no drive shaft the 4wd, but the body was nicer. All my other options were over 200k miles and over the cost I paid for the Vibe.

2. Battery -
I agree. Probably didn't make much of a difference if any at all. That was a dumb point.

3. Clock Spring/Recalls -
I checked with the dealer and all recalls have been performed on this car. After reading your post on this though, and after confirming with other forums and research, I have the new clock spring in my house, it's aftermarket, but brand new with a warranty. When purchased, we checked the frame/body panels/alignment, and didn't find anything to be out of wack, but I am worried if it was in a front end collision that it might be the SRS control module that might need to be replaced. Just hoping it's not that.

---I will update after we install the new clock spring, I am optimistic that is the fix for the issues that I am having now.

4. Rear Axle -
You're right. I'm just going to let it be for now. I'll deal with that later if/when it actually becomes a problem.

5. Suspension -
No noticeable clunks or issues, you're right, most likely just need to let it be.

6. Rockers -
This weekend when I do the clock spring and do some work on the body trim/paint, I am going to take the covers off and have a look to see what is going on under there. Excellent point. I can see rust on the frame near the control arms up front, so I wonder what else is going on under those covers. Best to find out sooner rather than later!

7. Seals -
I found a rubber/seal revitalizer that ol' boy Scotty Kilmer suggests using. It's only $10 and doesn't take away material, I might just give that a try to appease myself rather than spending that crazy dealer money on a new seal haha.

I'm from northern Indiana! And I will get around to pics here in a while, but I'll warn you guys, she isn't a looker right now. Steelies without the covers, rough paint in areas, crack in the lower front right of the bumper.... but she's paid for, and she's mine!
2004 Pontiac Vibe - 1ZZ-FE - 4 Speed Auto - 137k and going, moon and tunes package, Neptune Blue

littleVibber
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:15 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: New Vibe Owner here! Full intro/info with questions at the end!

Post by littleVibber » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:13 am

Jbenrod wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:09 pm
Alternators have not been a problem with these vehicles so my guess is the alternator is operating normal. I would not plan on replacing it unless you are certain there is a problem.

Horn and cruise control will probably work again after you replace the clockspring (spiral cable). I think you will need a Torx T30 for the airbag removal.
Based on the posts about the clock spring issue in this car, I have to agree with you and ZByers.... I have the new part ordered, and going to install this weekend.

I am going to leave the alternator alone on this car for the time being. Battery was tested and strong, so until I get the battery and brake light on in the car, I'll leave it be.
2004 Pontiac Vibe - 1ZZ-FE - 4 Speed Auto - 137k and going, moon and tunes package, Neptune Blue

littleVibber
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:15 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: New Vibe Owner here! Full intro/info with questions at the end!

Post by littleVibber » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:22 am

Bookworm wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:59 pm
A couple of things.

I agree that you probably should have gone a bit cheaper on the car, considering what you knew up front you were going to have to put into it. Especially with the timing chain being involved.

When you replaced the radiator (I had to do that on my old Vibe), did you do a _full_ flush, or just a drain out/fill and burp? IF just a fill and burp, I'd recommend doing a full system flush with distilled water. (Disconnect outlet hose, route to grass or drain bucket. Open top of radiator. Start car with heater on full. When coolant runs out of the outlet hose, start pouring in distilled water. Do this until the water run clear. Start adding concentrate until you've hit 50% of the capacity of the system (40-60% depending on where you are), and shut off engine. Reconnect outlet hose to top of radiator. Top off, and flush out the overflow tank)

Rear brakes probably have not been done. They often last until the car dies, as the front disc brakes take the brunt of the wear.

Flush out the power steering fluid (I don't recall having seen that).
I agree that I should have gone cheaper, and I probably could have gotten by with a tensioner replacement for a while with the car, but for me, after seeing the play in the timing chain once we had the cover off, I just feel better about running the car around between states with new timing components.

Right, we did a drain and fill/burp, I did a single flush last week, and this week now that the new coolant has had time to run through the system, we are doing a full flush of the cooling system and we are going to back-flush the heater core lightly to get out any of the deposits left by the dex. My expansion tank is full of white flakes from that crap.

Although I don't accelerate fast, I do like taking corners hard and like the peace of mind of having new brakes, so even though the drums and shoes in the back weren't terrible, I just feel better about it since this is going to be a primarily highway car for me.

You can flush power steering by re-routing the hoses from the pump, WITH THE CAR OFF, to redirect the outlet hose to a bucket, and just turning the car to ACC, and turning the wheel back and forth to pump fluid from the res out of the pump. Works really well, here's the basic procedure for this, makes it crazy easy to flush the system, but I'd suggest doing this with two people just to make sure that you aren't damaging the system.

https://youtu.be/WqO3E6noQj4
2004 Pontiac Vibe - 1ZZ-FE - 4 Speed Auto - 137k and going, moon and tunes package, Neptune Blue

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Re: New Vibe Owner here! Full intro/info with questions at the end!

Post by vibrologist » Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:53 pm

Welcome to the Vibe family!
You already have learned a lot about your VIbe and cars in general and you will probably learn some more yet. That's a benefit of buying a car with problems and it should not be under-estimated. Also you are now the beneficiary of the repairs that have been done. I don't understand the people who do a lot of repairs just prior to selling a car. I'd rather sell a car cheaper.

Don't forget that there is a good number of How-To articles and videos available for the Vibe/Matrix/Corolla. There is a sticky thread in the Maintenance Bay. It's quite helpful to look at videos and read articles prior to diving into a job.

Vibe on!
Vibrologist
'05 Vibe

"It is important to know the difference between 'accurate' and 'precise' even if you are neither!"

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