2007 Vibe Noise on Startup

Discuss any problems, warranty, repair, or replacement issues you are having with your Vibe & Matrix
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woodworker
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:28 pm

2007 Vibe Noise on Startup

Post by woodworker »

I have a 2007 automatic Vibe 1.8L with 90,000 miles. No problems until 3 days ago, when it was slow to start. Instead of starting right up immediately, it takes a few seconds to actually start running, but it DOES always start. I haven't driven or started it much since then, since I don't want to make anything worse. I took it to the auto parts store and they tested the battery and alternator (but not the starter), and said the battery was low and charged it. The first time starting after charging the battery it started almost normally, but still a little hesitation. I only drove it once after this, but it was back to the previous time of slow starting, like before the battery was charged. But again, it always starts.

Then I happened to notice a noise when I turn the key. This is before it begins to start the car, before anything on the car starts to make noise. I turn the key just a little and I hear a weird noise, I guess I would describe it as a grinding noise. It is a strange noise that I've never heard on a car before, and it's not very loud; you wouldn't normally hear it or pay attention to it when starting your car. But it is DEFINITELY THERE, and it doesn't sound good. Something is definitely not right, and coupled with the slow start, I know something is going on that needs to be fixed.

I've looked online and see a problem with the VTC camshaft actuator, but I'm hoping it's something else, of course. I think the noise you hear with the VTC is when the motor is actually starting, and at this point I don't hear that noise when starting it, just when initially turning the key, but the sounds are a little bit similar.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I love my Vibe and it has relatively low miles. I really need to avoid a huge repair bill if at all possible. Thank you in advance for your help.
SSizler
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:06 pm
Location: Urbandale, Iowa

Re: 2007 Vibe Noise on Startup

Post by SSizler »

If the noise before you start the engine sounds like it is coming from behind the dash in front of the passenger seat it is the blend door actuator.
The gear teeth are plastic and eventually a few break off or wear flat, causing the clicking noise.
It is a very common problem on theses cars, and there are many videos on YouTube about how to replace it.
I find it is easiest for me to remove the passenger airbag and get to the almost impossible to reach top screw from that access point.

Sounds like you may be ready for a new battery before winter also.

Let us know how your repairs progress.
2003 Vibe Base / Frosty Mono / Moon & Tunes / Auto / 206k mi / Total Loss 1-23
2006 Vibe AWD / Lava Mono / Loaded w/Leather and Sport Pkg / 150k mi
Many other 2 & 4 wheel toys :mrgreen:
40 years with a wonderful woman / 2 adult kids
woodworker
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:28 pm

Re: 2007 Vibe Noise on Startup

Post by woodworker »

Oh, I see. I will definitely check that out. Thank you for the info, very helpful. I was thinking about the hesitation in starting, and wondered if it might be the fuel pump regulator. I saw online that if you just turn the key without starting it a few times to build up some pressure, and then it starts normally, that will tell you if it's the regulator. I tried this and it started much better, though not quite normally, so I'm thinking it may be the regulator, as well as the blend door actuator. Any further input is appreciated.
woodworker
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:28 pm

Re: 2007 Vibe Noise on Startup

Post by woodworker »

I checked and it doesn't sound like the blend door actuator. It sounds like it's right at the ignition switch, but behind the the panel. Any idea what this sound could be?
woodworker
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:28 pm

Re: 2007 Vibe Noise on Startup

Post by woodworker »

Update: I don't know what's happening with the noise on startup behind the ignition switch, but I'm concentrating on the hesitancy on startup, as that was the initial thing I noticed. The battery is now completely dead and I'm taking it to a store to have them charge it. I have noticed that since this started, the RADIO always comes on when I start the car. It has never done this before; it was always OFF when I started the car. Then one time, it looked like it was still on for a second after I turned the car off, but I wasn't able to replicate this. I did see on Genvibe where someone had the problem that after a long trip, their radio stayed on after turning the car off, with no obvious explanation for this. It had never done it before, just started doing it suddenly after a long trip. Well, I did a long trip right before my car started to be hesitant to start, and now the radio is on when I start it, so I thought maybe the radio is what's causing it. I removed the cig fuse (I believe that's the radio fuse) and once the battery is charged, will see if that has solved the problem, or at least part of it. I just wanted to give an update in case anyone has any additional information, and also in case this might help someone else.
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