Staying Reliable/What Fails Routinely?

Discuss any maintenance you've done to your Vibe & Matrix and ask how to perform maintenance on your vehicle
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Staying Reliable/What Fails Routinely?

Post by Hutchvibe » Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:44 am

I'm driving my '05 base salsa from Pa. to Colorado at Christmas and to avoid problems I have been doing maintenance and replacements. I have 123,000 miles that have been for the most part trouble free. For the trip I have installed new Michelin tires and winter wipers. I did a routine Mobil 1 oil change with new filter. Replaced the air filter and cabin filter. Put in new Denso iridium plugs and cleaned the throttle body (off the car) and cleaned the MAF sensor. Finally I installed a new Delco Pro belt tensioner and a Gatorback belt. Brakes checked, fluid flushed, new battery recently and trans fluid and coolant replaced.

All that being said I have a couple of questions about frequently replaced items and whether to change them out or wait for a problem. The alternator, water pump and wheel bearings are the first things to come to mind...they are all original and untouched at 123,000...should they be good to go if they exhibit no signs of failure or wear? I love the reliability of this little car and feel confident to jump in and drive coast to coast...I know there are no guarantees of anything regarding cars but I want to keep this one reliable and within reason I will spend the bucks to keep it fresh. Many of you have far higher mileage than me so with this in mind, what can you all tell me about the miles to come from your experience?

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Re: Staying Reliable/What Fails Routinely?

Post by petervivian » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:43 pm

I think cruising down the interstate is not a heavy work for most of the parts you mentioned. I suggest checking the clips and fasteners on the undercarriage. It will very annoying if some panel flaps under the car because its clips disappeared on the way.
05 Vibe (Frosty), 13 VW CC (Fortana Red)

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Re: Staying Reliable/What Fails Routinely?

Post by sideshowalan » Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:01 am

Water pump and wheel bearings will make a lot of noise for a long time before failing, no reason to replace them unless they start acting up. Family member had a failing water pump on their 08 and it groaned for 4-5 months before they told me so I could replace it.

Alternator could potentially fail at anytime but that's nothing unique to the vibe.

You've already taken care of the common things.....fluids and belt.
2008 Pontiac Vibe
2008 Toyota Sienna XLE
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Re: Staying Reliable/What Fails Routinely?

Post by cptnsolo77 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:26 am

I will have had my Vibe for 10 years come 2017, and im at 211K miles now. Bought car at 38K This is what I have replaced:

-pass & driver side door locks
- driver side window motor
-3 exterior door handles
-2 blower motor resistors
-fuel pump 3 months ago at 208K
- AC compressor

My wife and I share this car and it has been the only car we have had for 10 years. Keep in mind it sees twice the usage in one day than if we each had a car. She uses the car in the morning comes home and I take it to work at night. As for the AC compressor, I live in south florida and the AC is only off maybe 2 weeks out of the year...MAYBE less than that. This is a RELIABLE car 8-)
* 2003 Vibe Auto Satellite Silver w / Moons & Tunes
* Kenwood Excelon KDC-X597
* Polk DB651-Speakers
* Soundproofcow Roadblock R sound deadening in all doors
* Drop In K & N Filter
* NGK Iridium IX Plugs
* 27 MPG City/Highway with AC on

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Re: Staying Reliable/What Fails Routinely?

Post by vegetony » Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:50 pm

I've had my 04 Salsa Vibe for around 7 years. It has 208,000 miles. I've had a check engine light on for about 7 years and have driven it from Virginia to Florida, from Kansas to Florida, from Florida to N.Carolina, etc. There's a vacuum leak somewhere.

I have replaced the tires, battery, starter, serpentine belt. The engine was replaced shortly after I got it due to misuse by previous owner. Fortunately covered by warranty. I need to replace the clockspring as it went bad after the SRS warranty work. Other problems I have had are minor/cosmetic: paint peeling, window clip on drivers side breaking (again after window bolt warranty work), OEM radio knobs worn, air conditioner/recirc. actuator.

No trouble with alternator, water pump, nor wheel bearings.
I agree this is a reliable car and you have probably covered what is necessary.

Only things I can think of are:

1. Have you checked your spare? Is it up to 60 lbs.?
2. Do you have a working jack?
3. Did you check to see if your lug wrench can loosen the nuts if you have a flat? Sometimes the tire people overtighten the lug nuts and that little lug wrench doesn't have much leverage.
4. Is your overdrive on/off switch working? You say you're going to Colorado and it may be beneficial in mountains.
5. I may be paranoid, but I always bring a sleeping bag or some blanket if I am driving in cold winter. Of course you live in Pa. so obviously know this.

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Re: Staying Reliable/What Fails Routinely?

Post by Derf » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:21 pm

petervivian wrote:I think cruising down the interstate is not a heavy work for most of the parts you mentioned. I suggest checking the clips and fasteners on the undercarriage.
Agree on checking clips. Especially under the car, since you are in PA, check for rust on clips and fasteners. I had to replace my starter around 200k, not because the starter internals were bad, but because salt corroded the exterior wiring. Make sure the ground and wiring around the engine are clean.
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Re: Staying Reliable/What Fails Routinely?

Post by lannvouivre » Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:26 pm

The recirculate motor fails pretty routinely as well.
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Re: Staying Reliable/What Fails Routinely?

Post by Hutchvibe » Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:09 pm

My thanks to all who responded. The information was very helpful and reassuring.
Our little vibe performed like the trooper it is. Once out in the 75mph west, I set the cruise on 78 and cruised for hours on end. The little motor ran like a clock, the new freshly balanced Michelins were quiet and smooth and after 1500+ miles we averaged above 30mpg and didn't use enough oil to add any ( I have only used Mobil 1 after the first break-in change and never go beyond 5k). With that routine I can't remember ever needing to "top-up".
Most of the things that were mentioned I have covered in the past and with the confidence gained from all of your inputs, I feel comfortable driving this little gem anywhere I would drive a new vehicle.
Once back in Pa. I may put a new water pump on in the spring when I flush the system for the 3rd is fine but the O-ring that seals it to the block seems to be a potential fail in the future. I'm retired and have the time and tools to fool with the basic stuff and knowing everything is good gives us the peace of mind to take this car into the future without the urge to spend too much on a new vehicle.
Thanks again, this site has such great and knowledgeable people, a great asset to vibe ownership.

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Re: Staying Reliable/What Fails Routinely?

Post by ImUrOBGYN » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:37 am

Glad your trip went well, Hutch. I never had any doubts. ;)
I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered. - George Best

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Re: Staying Reliable/What Fails Routinely?

Post by Hutchvibe » Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:23 pm

Somewhere on one of those long straights when I had the cruise off, the GPS says I crept up to 94MPH. I've never stood on it till it quit to know just how fast it is. Anyone out there know where a base 2wd tops out?

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Re: Staying Reliable/What Fails Routinely?

Post by clownshoes » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:41 am

I don't know if other people have had this problem, but my vibe loves wheel bearings. I've done 4. Mind you it has over 350K kms on it, but still.
2005 Pontiac Vibe AWD

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