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)
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.
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
- Leaking oil
- Oil burning smell
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.
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
The O2 sensor in this example is located next to the valve cover, after the exhaust manifold and before the catalytic convertor.
There is another O2 sensor underneath the vehicle that monitors the catalytic converter.
Pontiac Vibe 2nd Generation Model Years
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