2004 Pontiac Vibe 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 67,000 miles
For the past 40,000 miles, I have had a noise problem. I had it in to the dealer several times but he could not duplicate it (or did not want to). After warranty, I had the serpentine belt repaired and thought it had gone away. It came back. As I was looking on a used car lot for a second car, I talked with a mechanic there about the noise. He though it might be the Tensioner (spelling) the keeps the belt steady. I put up with the noise for another 5,000 miles until my wife said: " enough". Almost at the same time, my oxygen sensor put my check engine light on. I asked around and found a highly marked mechanic (who turned out to be a high-school friend of my wife's). So, we took the vehicle there. With an oil change and the above repairs, the total came to $850. The noise is still there and I've had it back in to them 4 times. Here is my questions:
#1 Is the cost too high for these things (I think the oxygen sensor was like $225 just for the part)
#2 Do you have a suggestion of where I can stop this squeak? (Kinda sounds like a cat. Only seem to happen at a stop light or stop sign or when the motor has a little strain on it. Say, pulling out of the driveway - turning and putting a strain on the motor/body.
Could be a power steering pulley, AC pulley, Waterpump pulley.
If noise occurs all the time, remove serpentine belt and run engine for 30 seconds (cold engine), you may get some codes which will have to be reset.
If noise disappears, then problem is on assy. Side.
You most likely have a PS, WP, or AC pulley problem.
Also watch the pulleys with belt on and engine running, if you see any slight wobble on any pulley, then taht is most likely the cause.
May, 22, 2009 AT 10:04 AM
I appreciate that. I think the mechanic that did my work said it was " transmission lines". That did not seem right. But.
Also, I would like you to look over the invoice I received from this company. I'll attach it. Less the name. Tell me what you think. Please.
And again. Great call!
May, 22, 2009 AT 10:10 AM
Photo of the " bill" from the mechnanic
May, 23, 2009 AT 8:07 AM
The photo did not post. Use upload and insert picture link, insert as " standard".
There are many possibilities, if your mechanic is suggesting the trans. Lines (steel ones) are loose and causing the hum, it is possible.
The Vibe is basically a Toyota Matrix, and have a great reliability record, so this is unusual.
May, 26, 2009 AT 8:57 AM
Thanks for the continuing feedback. I drove this car yesterday to my wife's parents house. Trying to get another feel of what is happening. She drives this care normally. And the route is 3.5 miles, so, the car does not really warm up.
I think you are on to something about the pulleys. It's as if one of them is trying to seize up. When the car is under a strain. Say sitting at a light or stop sign or on an incline with the body flexing. It will make this " moan".
I call it a moan, because it starts at a low frequency and then gets to a higher pitch. I can run the rpm's up and it goes away. So, it is off and on.
One of the guys who worked on it said it might be power steering. Well, I tried that. The noise did not go away or get worse. But, it really seems that the AC has some impact. Turning it off and on. I will keep you advised as I have a chance to drive it. More later. Will try and reload the pic later. Thanks
October, 28, 2009 AT 10:23 PM
My '03 vibe makes a similar noise. I too was at first stumped and was nervous about the trany due to sound being linked to low RPM and seeming to try to shift into neutral. My noise is a chirp like, 'chirrr-ERP' as I go to stop at a stop-sign or quickly release the gas going steady at 45 MPH. Good news: my vibe has made this sound for about 35k miles and it hasn't gotten worse. I think it is caused by the idler-pulley. Just smile and tell your wife, 'that sound is why this car gets so good MPG.'
October, 29, 2009 AT 8:50 AM
Last year, I bought an old 99 ford wagon to use aound the house to haul stuff. When I was picking up the car, my wife drove me over to the lot, so I had the guy who buys and sells cars all the time listen to my noise. He thought it was the idler pulley, just like you mentioned. But, I had that changed as well as some other work done and $800 later.I still have the noise. The sound you described is almost exactly like what I have. And I have.I think, about 68,000 on the car now. With no solution in sight. But, the previous posts have suggested a couple of things. That may be very valuable. I have a " shade tree" mechanic I have used for years on such things as the old ford. And I'm going to get him and his son (who is pretty sharp too), to give it a listen. Thanks for your input. I will post. If.I get a permanent solution. PS Does this noise seem to increase in the " winter"?