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Owens News : Site and Pontiac Vibe GT Update
Posted by owen on 2009/7/10 13:05:18 (2992 reads)

It's hard to believe its been so long since I've posted here on my site. I took everyones advice from genvibe and got the Vibe GT as we all here know. About 60,000 miles have passed. I now have 100,000 miles on it and just replaced the clutch for the first time. I have to say I'm very impressed with the car, its done me well with very few problems. Here are a list of them in no particular order, I could have split them up into separate posts but figured it would be easier to just sum it up here.



Some of my issues are still unsolved and I'd appreciate any help any one can give!

Lets start with what I've fixed.
I was driving down the road one day, when my exhaust snapped. I heard a "clunk" when I came to a stop and then some sort of race car sounds. I was on a two lane highway in the left lane and I thought some racer had pulled up beside me. Nope, turns out the sound was coming from my car. I pulled into food lion, popped the hood, trying to figure out where the noise was coming from. I had no idea when I first heard it, but it became apparent. My exhaust had cracked over the miles. I drove to a friends house a couple of miles away sounding like a racer. I had to record it, and I think I still have the recordings. It was so loud my mirror was shaking, and I had to ride with the windows down for noise and fumes. My friend said he heard me coming before I pulled into the apartment complex, and he lives all the way at the back. I called exhaust shops, everyone told me it would take two days, and I explained it just needed to be welded. If your in the Charlotte NC area and need an exhaust go to the one in the BJ's at Concord Mills. They made no promises, took a look at it and quoted me $120. 6 Hours later they called me saying it was fixed. They had ground the two surfaces smooth, welded it back on, and put heat putty and an extra brace around it because they said it wasn't adequately mounted. It had snapped right after what I thought was the catalytic converter, or exhaust chamber. I'd never had ANY problems with it until then and hope that it stays that way. I think I may have hit a speed bump a little too fast one day and just knocked it. Then after a while it just snapped. Not a big deal.

That was the biggest problem I've had until I replaced my clutch. The next ones are ones that have not yet been solved.

This is a minor one. My foot rest just one day started falling off. I think because my Vibe never came with mounts for the rugs. Its rather annoying since I have no where to rest my foot, and it really makes a difference. If anyone knows where I can get one, or has one they'll sell I'd appreciate it. I've tried junk yards but they all say "thats too new"
Basically the plastic just kind of snapped, I would try and repair it but it seems like it would be tricky for something so minor.

My Window molding, whatever since I got the car on the passenger side has been completely bad. It sucks because I have to keep the windows locked so that a passenger doesn't open the window. When I got the car, I fixed the molding and kept the window closed for at least 3 months hoping that the sun would head it up and put it back in position. Some one opened the door and it popped right back out. FAIL! Well, now my drivers side is doing the same thing. No one has broken in since I got the car, but its possible some one could have broken in before hand. I've had no problems other than the passenger side with the windows. If I could find the molding I'd install it myself on both Windows and it would be great. I don't use the passenger side, or try not to but some times it opens, taking me a while to close it and having a small gap in the corner until I jiggle it up and down enough. A PAIN to say the least, but livable.
Does any one know where I can get the molding from? I've searched but can't find it anywhere. Same story with the scrap yards.


This is the biggest issue I've had so far. My Motor mounts. or engine mounts.

It was fine after I got it back from the clutch replacement, but a few days later I noticed a popping sound from under my hood. At first it sounded kind of like if you leave the parking brake on a car and try to move kind of a rubbing noise, but with more "pop" I couldn't tell where it was coming from. I got home, and started poking around. There are a few bolts missing, and trim was not properly placed after the clutch got done. not a big deal about the trim but the bolts are kind of worrying. What happened to them? How long had they been missing I thought. Nothing really seemed to be about to fall out though. After further examination, and revving the engine, I noticed the front motor mount bucking a bit more than I would have expected. It was in alignment, but it appears that a bolt is missing from it. I put one in from tractor supply, and now it doesn't make the god awful sound every time I shift, only when I go around corners, or randomly in normal driving. My dad picked up a bigger nut and bolt to put in there, and I hope that it fixes it. I got the wrong size from Tractor Supply since they were rushing me out. It was also grade one, I've got a better, grade and thicker with enough thread on it. I hope that it fixes the problem, and has any one else had this problem?

I think that the mechanic probably put it in but didn't torque it all the way down. Therefore eventually it just fell out. What a PAIN, I'm trying not to drive on it until I receive the new bolt, but have to go 5 miles two and from work everyday. I know that engine mounts can cause other problems because my previous Cavaliers kept falling out (pre lock tight) and it kept puncturing the oil filter.

Are there any consequences, other than the annoying sound that will happen if I keep driving on it? I assume transmission damage.

What if the new nut and bolt doesn't fix it? I think there is suppose to be movement there, since it looks more like engine suspension as its FWD and the engine would "buck" before when revving. I think perhaps its the sideway swaying movement of the engine causing the sound. What else could the phantom popping sound be? It doesn't sound like a CV axle. I really hope its not the transmission... Funny story though, it happened right after my friend said:
"Hopefully you won't need a new transmission like I did after getting a clutch" granted his car was a ford truck. Not a quality Toyota engine.

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