Last post on Nov 12, 2012 at 12:35 PM
You are in the Pontiac Vibe
What is this discussion about?
Pontiac Vibe, Wagon
#2832 of 2977 Re: perfect dogmobile [suydam]
Jan 19, 2008 (12:11 pm)
We are looong time owners of various models of Toyotas. Knowing that the Matrix is a Toyota mechanically, we decided that if we were going to buy used, why not buy a Vibe instead of a Matrix. Here in southern California, the Matrix commands a much higher resale price than the Vibe, simply beacuse the Vibe is badged as a Pontiac. The values between the cars are very different, so much so that we picked up a Vibe base model with 100,000 miles and manual transmission for $5700 in April of 2007.
The car (according to Car Fax) was not in any accidents and was not a salvage title. Just needed a little maintenance from my mechanic who only repairs Toyota's, Lexus and Scion's. As soon as I brought it in (he's from Thailand so the communication skills between us are not always the best, but we make it work) he said oh great you got a Matrix, but he took another look and relaized it was a Vibe.
All the parts he installed were from Toyota.
The great thing here after having a tune-up and the transmission system flushed, new belts and new tires, the car runs like a champ. The seating is great (I'm tall) and the a/c is very cold. The only thing I don't like is the lack of power windows and locks, but for the price, we work around those things.
We needed a car for four Golden Retrievers that we take to the foothills and the beach and did not want to spend a pile of money for a dog car. We thought about a pick-up truck, but felt that being enclosed was safer for the dogs than being in an open cab with such as a pick-up truck, and for vehicle that we would not use that often. Ironically, it has become our vehicle to haul things in so that we don't dirty up our nicer, newer cars.
The plastic trim in the cargo area and on the back of seats is the greatest. Just fold down the back seats and the dogs have plenty of room for our short rides to the park and/or beach. I like the fold down passenger seat with it's hard plastic surface to boot-up the laptop and use that nifty electrical outlet.
Too bad that with GM de-contenting the car for 2009, the base Vibe will no longer have air conditioning, the roof rack or the fold down passenger with hard plastic as standard features. I guess they had to make-up the costs somewhere. The cost to upgrade will be more expensive.
If I were buying new, I probably would not buy a Vibe simply because of the resale value as compared to the Matrix. As a used car, the Vibe is a great deal.
#2834 of 2977 Will the Vibe fit a bike?
Apr 03, 2008 (4:42 pm)
I am shopping around for a car and am looking for something with a hatchback that can fit a lot of cargo but also is good on gas. The Pontiac Vibe has really piqued my interest because of the amount of interior space for its small size. However, my question is will a regular adult bicycle fit inside it with only the backseats folded down (not the front passenger seat)? If not, do you have any other recommendations that may suit my needs? Thanks!
#2835 of 2977 Re: Will the Vibe fit a bike? [rabidpigbunny]
Apr 04, 2008 (4:12 pm)
Normally, I would steer clear of anyone with a name like "rabid big bunny".
I scare easily.
OTOH, you said "piqued my interest". So maybe you're not so scary.
Seriously, though, I can answer your question. I dunno about "regular adult bicycle" but my Cannondale touring bike, 23 in. (58.x cm) frame fits fine without removing the front wheel. I *do* have to move the front seat up quite a bit, though, so if I had a passenger and a long way to go, I'd remove it.
I don't have any other recommendation except maybe the 2003+ Ford Focus wagon. In either case, I'd recommend a stick shift. I'm on my second Vibe and really like 'em. The car also hauls two canoes if necessary, and a trailer hitch is easily attached.
#2836 of 2977 Re: Will the Vibe fit a bike? [rabidpigbunny]
Apr 06, 2008 (7:51 am)
My bike fits fine without removing the wheel. That was one of my requirements for this car, along with being dog-friendly (which it is!). With the plastic backs you don't have to worry about catching and ripping fabric either.
#2837 of 2977 Owning a Vibe 2003 is the worst experience ever
May 06, 2008 (8:48 am)
Vibe 2003 is my first car that I bought a year ago, and it is literally falling apart. I hardly ever drive my car, and I am a very careful driver. This car has had problems ever since I came home with it. First the rear window stopped working. It is not functioning at all. Now the AC is giving me grief. The air is starting cold and then the air coming out of the vent starts to get warm within 3-5 mns of driving. It is crazy. It is like a nightmare. The only reliability is the Toyota engine but everything else is so cheap and falling apart so fast. There are weird rumbles coming from the car. This car has only 50000 miles on it. The rack up top has loosended up for some strange reason even though I have never used it. I am afraid that one day I will open the door and it will come off. This was not supposed to be such a terrible experience. I was always against people'e prejudices about American cars, but now I can't help agreeing with those people. My friend has a 1998 Toyota and the AC is working so well. I can't help being envious sitting in the car with all the heat in the car and the Toyota engine doesn't do much after all when your brain is boiling in the sun (I live in Florida BTW). If I buy a new car again, it will never ever be a Vibe or a Pontiac for that matter. Now if any of you out there could give me any feedback about my AC problem, I would really appreciate it. I already did the freon and got the AC checked for problems. Tires Plus told me that there was nothing wrong with it and I still have no air and the noises coming from the door (the door starts making strange noises as well BTW) and the rack up top are becoming more and more irritating.
#2838 of 2977 Re: Owning a Vibe 2003 is the worst experience ever [vibesucks]
May 06, 2008 (2:53 pm)
"Now if any of you out there could give me any feedback about my AC problem, I would really appreciate it."
There was a problem with early Vibes where the "flapper" that mixes hot & cold air would not go all the way to "cold," therefore always mixing hot air in. This is fairly simple to fix.
For details, go to genvibe -- website has the obvious name, but Edmunds does not allow links to competing websites -- and do a search.
"I already did the freon and got the AC checked for problems."
I have no idea what that means. Never mind, get the flapper fixed or do it yourself.
The Vibe is one of the least troubleprone model on the market today. Your mileage obviously varies. It happens, and I understand it's frustrating. At least you're bearing up under the strain...
#2839 of 2977 Re: Owning a Vibe 2003 is the worst experience ever [steine13]
May 06, 2008 (4:11 pm)
Thank you for your response, Mathias. I will have to take my car to a shop because I am a woman and there is no way I could change that flapper:-) However, I learned one more thing about the components in my car, and I can at least tell the people at the shop about the problem. How much do you think it would cost to fix this problem just so that I can tell if they are giving me the right estimate? Also, somebody told me that there could be a leak somewhere in the AC that lets the freon gas out little by little and this causes the AC not build up enough pressure to cool the air, and if this is the case, then this leak will need patching. I guess they do some kind of test to understand where the leak is. What is your comment about this? Would the AC start with cold air and then turn hot because of a leak? Or is this symptom related with the flapper for sure?
Thank you so much for helping me understand the problem.
#2840 of 2977 Re: Owning a Vibe 2003 is the worst experience ever [vibesucks]
May 06, 2008 (5:20 pm)
As I understand it, the flapper does not need to be changed, just the cable adjusted. At any rate, I have no idea what it should cost, go to genvibe and look around.
Yes, there "could" be a freon (Actually, R134a) leak somewhere, but on an '03 that would be very unusal, plus you apparently had that checked.
I would not want to make a dissertation out of this, it's a known problem on many '03's and it may very well be the problem on yours. The job requires no parts, just labor, and they'll know whether or not that was the problem.
Keep in mind, the first '03s were sold more than six years ago. Stuff like this happens. You are right, though, that a broken window regulator is unusual on a 50k car.
Nice userid. I would suggest not making yourself miserable over annoying but ultimately trivial failures on a car... it's not like the transmission failed or the car left you stranded...
#2841 of 2977 Re: Owning a Vibe 2003 is the worst experience ever [steine13]
May 06, 2008 (7:25 pm)
Thanks for the encouraging remarks. I will be taking the car to the shop next week. I will let you know about the result so that you can inform the other Vibe owners who go through the same problem. I see a lot of your postings in the forum. I am sure people are thankful to you for your helpful responses.
All the best,