Pontiac Vibe Problems: 2nd Generation (2009 to 2010)

The Pontiac Vibe was built on the same platform as the Toyota Matrix, and these cars are similar. As our mechanic says in the video below, Toyotas aren’t known for having a lot of problems and there’s nothing particularly wrong with the Pontiac Vibe. While it’s common for owners to have a Pontiac Vibe with problems like the gas cap or valve cover failing, these top problems are simple repairs novice DIYers can do themselves.

2009 to 2010 Pontiac Vibe Problems (2nd Generation)

Mechanic under the hood reviewing the top 5 problems with the Pontiac Vibe

1. Gas Cap Failure

Symptoms of Problems with the Gas Cap in the 2009 to 2010 Pontiac Vibe

  • Check engine light for an EVAP code

Causes of a Bad Gas Cap

The gas cap is known to fail on the 2009 to 2010 Pontiac Vibe.

How to Fix a Bad Gas Cap

Check the gas cap and make sure it’s not loose. See if the cap is ratcheting properly and check the seal for damage. Replace the gas cap if it’s faulty.

More on how to inspect a gas cap

2. Fuel Pump Failure

Symptoms of Fuel Pump Failure

  • Vehicle stalling
  • Vehicle may crank but won’t start
  • Drop in fuel mileage

Causes of a Bad Fuel Pump

You most likely won’t get a check engine light for a bad fuel pump in the 2009 to 2010 Pontiac Vibe, but you may notice a difference in fuel mileage if the pump is failing.

How to Fix a Faulty Fuel Pump

You can access the fuel pump from the back seat. Grab the two front corners of the seat and lift it. Then push down on the middle of the seat and slide the seat out. Then remove the screws or heat up the glue with a heat gun from the cover to access the fuel pump.

3. Valve Cover Gasket Leaking

Symptoms of a Leaking Valve Cover Gasket

Causes of Valve Cover Gasket Leaks

The valve cover gasket is known to wear out and fail. The most common sign of a bad valve cover gasket is leaking oil. You may also smell oil burning if it’s leaking onto the exhaust.

How to Fix a Valve Cover Gasket Leak in the 2nd Gen Pontiac Vibe

Remove the bolts from the engine cover and remove it to access the valve cover. Then remove the valve cover, replace the faulty seal, and torque the bolts to spec.

More on how to fix a leaking valve cover gasket

4. Ignition Coil Connector Failure

Symptoms of Problems with the Ignition Coil Connectors in the 2009 to 2010 Pontiac Vibe

  • Engine misfire
  • Check engine light flashing

Causes of Bad Ignition Coil Connectors

The ignition coil connectors can break down over time. As the plastic brittles, the connector can break off and make a bad connection. Sometimes the terminals can spread internally.

You may find yourself replacing all of the ignition coils and spark plugs only to find the engine continuing to misfire.

How to Fix Faulty Ignition Coil Connectors

The ignition coil connectors are attached to the ignition coils. Inspect the connector for damage like brittling, and replace it if it’s defective.

5. Oxygen (O2) Sensors

Symptoms of Bad O2 Sensors in the 2009 to 2010 Pontiac Vibe

  • Check engine light turns on

Causes of Bad O2 Sensors

The O2 sensors, also known as air-fuel-ratio sensors, monitor exhaust gases to help adjust the air-fuel ratio. They can cause issues like a check engine light. A code may appear for either sensor, which monitor the engine and catalytic convertor.

How to Fix O2 Sensor Failure

2009 to 2010 Pontiac Vibe O2 sensor that monitors the engine

The O2 sensor in this example is located next to the valve cover, after the exhaust manifold and before the catalytic convertor.

2009 to 2010 Pontiac Vibe O2 sensor that monitors the catalytic converter
O2 sensor that monitors the catalytic converter

There is another O2 sensor underneath the vehicle that monitors the catalytic converter.

Pontiac Vibe 2nd Generation Model Years

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Pontiac Vibe Problems - 2009 to 2010 - 2nd Generation - 1A Auto
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Pontiac Vibe Problems - 2009 to 2010 - 2nd Generation - 1A Auto
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Want to find out the top 5 issues with the Pontiac Vibe? It's common to have a Pontiac Vibe with problems like the valve cover gasket leaking. Learn the 2009 to 2010 Vibe's most common problems and their fixes with this post and video
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1A Auto
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