When I got it, it had these notes from a mechanic:
- Brake Fluid Moisture: 1%
- A/C Temperature: 38 degrees Fahrenheit
- Alternator Output: 13.9 Volts
- Battery Cold Cranking Amps: 557 (93% charge)
- Oil appears recently changed
- Transmission flush needed ASAP
- Radio knobs broken; will not turn on
- Two out of the 12 defroster lines are not working in the rear window
- Cabin air filter is disgusting
- Tires at 5/32nds
- Rear brake pads at 30% life
- Dents/scratches underneath
- Transfer case leaking (fluids and seals likely need replacing)
- Rear differential axle seal leaking
- Open airbag recall
- Evidence of dog hair under the steering column and in door jams; no smell
What I've done so far:
- Transmission flush
- Air filter replaced
- Tires/wheels replaced with 225/60/16 Continental's (the ride is significantly less harsh and we gained a little bit of extra ground clearance; the speedo was about a little off in one direction and now it's a little off in the other)
- "Quick and dirty" replaced the radio with a Sony XAV-W651BT (not a fan of super glowy radios, we wanted something simple) (unfortunately it doesn't sit completely flush, and some stations still don't get ideal reception; there's also static so I need to double check the ground...)
On the radar:
- Airbag recall. A local Chevy dealership ordered a part, it didn't work, so they're ordering again. My wife refuses to sit in the passenger seat until this is fixed.
- TC and rear diff fluids/seals.
- There's a groaning noise occasionally happening from what seems like the right rear that's hard to replicate. I've heard it when backing out of a parking spot, when turning into a drive-thru, when slowing around a bend on the interstate...
- It handles well overall, but occasionally shifts hard into 3rd or 4th gear. I'm trying to pay more attention to when it happens; it might be nothing, but combined with the super dirty transmission fluid... hopefully I'm just being paranoid.
- If idling too long in one spot, it will not "idle forward" as expected, it'll just sit there until I give it gas
- Rear brake pad replacement
- Determine oil
- Determine what the next services needed are, and if there's anything specific to this car to watch out for
- Get the windows tinted
- Re-do the radio install right and proper. I ordered the Metra 70-2105 harness and ended up with two of them, so I'm thinking of cannibalizing one of them to see if I can pin the steering wheel controls and the dimmer. Tapping the accessory fuse was also annoying and I wonder if I can find the right pin for that too.
Car at present:
So far, we've put shy of 1k miles on it traveling up and down the Oregon and Washington coast. We'll be taking it to the Olympic National Forest this weekend. If you ever see a Vibe like this with a tiny goat sticker in the passenger-side rear window, that's us!
Any suggestions/recommendations are welcome: we want to take good care of the car and hopefully have it for a long time yet.
Do you guys use Toyota dealerships for maintenance? DIY? The mechanic tried to be very thorough, but is there anything else I should be doing/checking for?