2009 Vibe dropping out of 5th gear

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pwyu1969
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:25 pm

2009 Vibe dropping out of 5th gear

Post by pwyu1969 » Wed May 12, 2021 9:04 am

Hi all, I have a 2009 vibe, 2.4L, 5 speed manual. 220K miles on it. I was driving on the highway, call it 80mph on cruise control, went over a hard bump, and bam, the car dropped out of 5th into neutral. It will go into 5th, but won’t stay in 5th (with or without cruise control). Runs fine in 1st to 4th. Here are my questions. One more note. Right before the trip I changed the real calipers and bled the brakes. My brake fluid is low and I forgot to fill to max before I left for trip, which isn’t the brake fluid same as manual trans cylinder? Finally, I am also about 200 miles from home visiting family so away from my garage/tools. (1) any ideas or quick check/fixes I can look at by crawling under the car? (2) If not can I drive it home, in 4th gear, @3500 rpms, which is 65mph? (3) If I try driving in 4th longer term, how long, if at all, before 4th drops, and then 3rd, 2nd... and so on.

jolt
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Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota

Re: 2009 Vibe dropping out of 5th gear

Post by jolt » Wed May 12, 2021 9:41 am

When you say "won't stay in 5th", do you mean that it does shift into 5th gear smoothly? When it comes out of fifth gear is it only when power is applied ( accelerating )? Can you shift into fifth gear and hold the shift lever so that the transmission stays in fifth gear? Does the shift lever want to push itself back into neutral all the time or only when power is applied? Any noise shifting into fifth gear?

Brake fluid has nothing to do with the transmission. Brake fluid is used for the hydraulic clutch, which has its own master and slave cylinders.

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

Re: 2009 Vibe dropping out of 5th gear

Post by pwyu1969 » Wed May 12, 2021 10:46 am

Yes, so I can shift in 5th, and I can manually hold the shift lever and it will hum along in 5th fine. But once I take my hand of the shift lever, it just pops back into neutral. So technically, I could drive along in 5th, as long as physically hold it in 5th, but that doesn’t seem like it would be good for transmission. Also, I think on the 09 vibes, the brake and clutch hydrolics share the same resevoir.

andrewclaus
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Location: Golden, CO

Re: 2009 Vibe dropping out of 5th gear

Post by andrewclaus » Wed May 12, 2021 7:01 pm

Could be worn mounts, bearings, gears, contaminated gear oil, or shift linkage. None of that has to do with the clutch.

Fifth is overdrive, and you can drive all day in 4th. The cars I grew up driving didn't have overdrive, and most didn't even have 4th.

jolt
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Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota

Re: 2009 Vibe dropping out of 5th gear

Post by jolt » Wed May 12, 2021 8:28 pm

When your transmission jumps out of 5th gear under load, it is most likely a bad synchronizer ring and related parts on 5th gear. The transmission would have to come out and be rebuilt.

As a temporary work around to get you home, you could rig up a bungee cord or rope to hold the shift lever into 5th gear until you get home.

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tpollauf
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Re: 2009 Vibe dropping out of 5th gear

Post by tpollauf » Fri May 14, 2021 6:51 am

Are you the original owner of this Vibe? If not, what was the mileage when you got it. Prior owner could have abused it somewhat :?
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2009 Vibe GT (manual), 2009 G8Gt, 2009 Vibe GT (auto)
2014 Silverado, 2004 Vibe GT, 2003 Vibe GT (project car)

"everything is modifiable"

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

Re: 2009 Vibe dropping out of 5th gear

Post by pwyu1969 » Sun May 16, 2021 10:10 am

I am not the original owner, I do believe it was an abused vehicle. I paid $2,200. The guy I purchased it from owned a service shop and said he was given the vehicle because a friends daughter ruined the motor by not ever changing the oil (Since the 2.4L is notorious for burning oil like crazy). He said he got a new motor and had his guy put it in. The ‘new’ motor was suppose to have something like $180K, though the odo was more like 200K. I think he tried to get more $ for it, but couldn’t sell it because its a 5-speed manual and it has a big scratch across the door (no biggie since I paint and do body work).

AFTER buying it, I kinda question his story because there are some bolts that don’t look like they were touched that probably should have been touched had a motor been changed out... but no matter. It is what it is. That said, I wonder if the engine mounts are also bad because within 5K of owning it, the right CV joint went bad (the kind with a carrier bearing). That was a fun learning experience for me.

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

Re: 2009 Vibe dropping out of 5th gear

Post by pwyu1969 » Sun May 16, 2021 10:52 am

Alright folks, here is my follow up. I drove it home, 200 miles or so, going about 65/3500 RPMs in 4th no problem. I don’t think the mileage was too bad either... The past day I’ve been driving it around playing with 5th gear. Here is my observation. When I’m driving around I can put it in 5th, and even let up on the clutch, but once its under load, it does pop out of 5th. I can also drive around in 5th if I hold the stick in 5th, and I can feel the back pressure of the transmission pushing back on the stick when holding it in 5th. But in 4th, when it stays put, there is no back pressure on the stick. IF it is a bad transmission, where is the cheapest way to get one? It it worth considering for me to ‘rebuild’ this one to save money?

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