Buy a Vibe with a leaking rear differential?

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doppelganger
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Location: Fort Wayne, IN

Buy a Vibe with a leaking rear differential?

Post by doppelganger » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:53 am

Hi,

New member here. Not a Vibe owner (yet), but I'm considering buying one.

There is a 2004 Vibe with AWD that is going to auctioned off at an estate sale next month (http://smauctioneers.com/html/0913.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;). I went to look at it recently, and the body and interior seem to be in great shape. The engine bay is kind of dirty, but it sounded fine. (I have a Toyota Celica with the same 1ZZ-FE engine.) Fluids looked clean from what I could tell (may have been changed recently). Car has 126,000 miles, and I think most components are probably still original.

However, there is a leak of some sort from what I think is the rear differential. (I took a picture from under the back bumper, but it's not a very good view.)

I'm not sure if it's just a seal, or if it's evidence of needing to replace additional components. The auctioneers allow visual inspections, but not road tests, so I wouldn't have a chance to drive it to listen for any unusual sounds while driving.

That leads me to my two questions:

1) Can you confirm based on the attached photo if that appears to be a leaking rear differential?
2) How big of a concern is this? Should I pass on this car, or just lower my bid assuming that I may have to repair/replace the rear differential?

Thanks for your input!
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hotbug1776
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Location: Erie, Pa and Bellevue, Oh

Re: Buy a Vibe with a leaking rear differential?

Post by hotbug1776 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:12 am

yes rear diff leak, listen for any noises, replace the gasket and refill the rear diff oil ASAP if it's quiet still. gasket is/was prone to leakage, not sure if there were design changes to eliminate this.
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Nasmfell
Posts: 364
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: Buy a Vibe with a leaking rear differential?

Post by Nasmfell » Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:34 pm

hotbug1776 wrote:yes rear diff leak, listen for any noises, replace the gasket and refill the rear diff oil ASAP if it's quiet still. gasket is/was prone to leakage, not sure if there were design changes to eliminate this.



OP can't do this unless he bids and is the winner. The auctioneer is only allowing visual inspection, no test drive, or probably even turning the key unless won, He/she is taking a risk that might turn out to be expensive to fix.

Nasmfell
Posts: 364
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: Buy a Vibe with a leaking rear differential?

Post by Nasmfell » Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:37 pm

doppelganger wrote:Hi,

New member here. Not a Vibe owner (yet), but I'm considering buying one.

There is a 2004 Vibe with AWD that is going to auctioned off at an estate sale next month (http://smauctioneers.com/html/0913.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;). I went to look at it recently, and the body and interior seem to be in great shape. The engine bay is kind of dirty, but it sounded fine. (I have a Toyota Celica with the same 1ZZ-FE engine.) Fluids looked clean from what I could tell (may have been changed recently). Car has 126,000 miles, and I think most components are probably still original.

However, there is a leak of some sort from what I think is the rear differential. (I took a picture from under the back bumper, but it's not a very good view.)

I'm not sure if it's just a seal, or if it's evidence of needing to replace additional components. The auctioneers allow visual inspections, but not road tests, so I wouldn't have a chance to drive it to listen for any unusual sounds while driving.

That leads me to my two questions:

1) Can you confirm based on the attached photo if that appears to be a leaking rear differential?
2) How big of a concern is this? Should I pass on this car, or just lower my bid assuming that I may have to repair/replace the rear differential?

Thanks for your input!


Hi You have doubts, you can't road test=PASS

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lannvouivre
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Re: Buy a Vibe with a leaking rear differential?

Post by lannvouivre » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:36 am

Sounds a bit too risky. If they won't let you drive it, I'd say they're hiding a major problem. The most I'd bid on it is like $500.
"If you don't love me at my diddliest, you don't deserve me at my doodliest." - User ktluvscricket of reddit

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ImUrOBGYN
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Re: Buy a Vibe with a leaking rear differential?

Post by ImUrOBGYN » Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:31 am

lannvouivre wrote:Sounds a bit too risky. If they won't let you drive it, I'd say they're hiding a major problem. The most I'd bid on it is like $500.
Passing on it simply because they won't let him test drive is a bit unfair given the it's an auction. No harm in him deciding what's it's worth to him given the possibility of simply having to change a gasket. Hard to know if it's worth it to the rest of us given there's no price.

You can always slyly spread your concern to other prospective bidders about the rear diff. :twisted:

To the OP, once you've decided on a max bid, stick to it.
I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered. - George Best
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Nasmfell
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Re: Buy a Vibe with a leaking rear differential?

Post by Nasmfell » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:50 am

ImUrOBGYN wrote:
lannvouivre wrote:Sounds a bit too risky. If they won't let you drive it, I'd say they're hiding a major problem. The most I'd bid on it is like $500.
Passing on it simply because they won't let him test drive is a bit unfair given the it's an auction. No harm in him deciding what's it's worth to him given the possibility of simply having to change a gasket. Hard to know if it's worth it to the rest of us given there's no price.

You can always slyly spread your concern to other prospective bidders about the rear diff. :twisted:

To the OP, once you've decided on a max bid, stick to it.

Would you take a risk and bid on it, if you were in that situation? :)

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hotbug1776
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Location: Erie, Pa and Bellevue, Oh

Re: Buy a Vibe with a leaking rear differential?

Post by hotbug1776 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:19 am

I would take the chance. Repair wouldn't break the deal for someone who is willing to put time and care into a car that is a proven quality machine.
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ImUrOBGYN
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Re: Buy a Vibe with a leaking rear differential?

Post by ImUrOBGYN » Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:18 pm

Nasmfell wrote:
ImUrOBGYN wrote:
lannvouivre wrote:Sounds a bit too risky. If they won't let you drive it, I'd say they're hiding a major problem. The most I'd bid on it is like $500.
Passing on it simply because they won't let him test drive is a bit unfair given the it's an auction. No harm in him deciding what's it's worth to him given the possibility of simply having to change a gasket. Hard to know if it's worth it to the rest of us given there's no price.

You can always slyly spread your concern to other prospective bidders about the rear diff. :twisted:

To the OP, once you've decided on a max bid, stick to it.

Would you take a risk and bid on it, if you were in that situation? :)
Quite possibly. I'm not there to actually see it, however, I'm very familiar with auto auctions and do all my own mechanical work. Now, if you're asking me whether I'd bid 10k or something, then no. :D Obviously, it comes down to what it's worth to different people. Worth to me may be different than someone who isn't mechanically inclined and has to budget for repairs AND labor. I would simply bid what I thought it was worth given whatever repairs may be needed.

Think about this: How am I still taking a risk if I'm determining my maximum price? By determining my maximum price, I've already put a price on said risk, eliminating it.

You can't eat a donut hole. :D
I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered. - George Best
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