The Pontiac Vibe offers a lot of room and many SUV virtues, such as a slightly higher driving position, easy access, and optional AWD. You'll find a compliant ride, fairly nimble handling, and effective brakes. Notable shortcomings are a flawed driving position and a noisy engine. Overall, the Vibe is a good practical alternatives to a small SUV.
Alerts
There are 8 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
NA
2005
2006
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and side air bags available, standard from 2009. ESC available from 2005, standard from 2009. Head protection air bags available from 2006, standard from 2009.
Road Test

The Pontiac Vibe offers a lot of room and many SUV virtues, such as a slightly higher driving position, easy access, and optional AWD. You'll find a compliant ride, fairly nimble handling, and effective brakes. Notable shortcomings are a flawed driving position and a noisy engine. Overall, the Vibe is a good practical alternatives to a small SUV.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD, Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
wagon
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 4-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 1.8-liter 4 (118 hp)
  • 1.8-liter 4 (126 hp)
  • 1.8-liter 4 (180 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2003 Pontiac Vibe owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"Replacing the AC compressor was a routine maintenance given the age of the car. It wasn't cost effective, but it was important to us for summer cooling and winter defrost. The car would have operated fine without replacing the AC compressor."

Anonymous, WA (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"AC compressor failed at 133000 miles. Was replaced"

Anonymous, VA (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The electronic clutch failed and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, ID (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"A.c. did not work. Pep Boys checked and said compressor was bad"

Virginia M., PA (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"This went bad with less than 130,000 miles on the car"

Anonymous, OH (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"I had the whole A/C system repaired and now the blower is not working on the lower settings"

Anonymous, SC (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Compressor failed. Installed another compressor, refilled the coolant, does not work as good as before"

Anonymous, TN (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Stopped cooling. Repairs are being made by local Chevrolet dealer because we feel former Pontiac dealer, still in business as Buick, was ripping us off"

Douglas C., CA (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Don't know what a compressor is but had to replace air conditioner"

Maura P., FL (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Froze up and needed to be replaced"

James R., NC (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Original compressor died. Had to get a new one"

Anonymous, NC (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"A/C Compressor clutch failed. Fairly easy to fix, parts were $125. Labor was mine. This is a very common problem with these compressors"

William W., KS (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The A/C compressor has failed and will need to be completely replaced. I have avoided replacing this due to cost"

Anonymous, MI (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Slow leak. However, still working having only recharged the system at the GM Dealership"

Anonymous, ON (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The air conditioner stopped cooling, while continuing to blow air. The compressor had to be replaced."

Anonymous, OR (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Blower (fan) motor

"2 of the 4 fan settings wouldn't work."

Yves G., QC (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"It stopped working"

Anonymous, MI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Blower fan bearings are not durable and begin causing noise and vibration. Again, easy enough to fix, parts are $75, labor was mine"

William W., KS (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Condenser

"A/C Condenser developed a leak and lost refrigerant. A/C stopped cooling cabin. The A/C is unacceptable in this vehicle and is not cold enough. Because of a black dashboard, heat radiates from the sun and A/C can’t cool the cabin."

Anonymous, WI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Had to be replaced"

Anonymous, SC (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"broken due to rust"

Anonymous, QC (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Had to replace 3 times!!!"

Frank K., NY (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"failer at 108000 miles"

Anonymous, PA (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Oxygen sensor and catalytic converter both going bad"

Anonymous, OH (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Exhaust leaks

"A coupler needed to be replaced along with a metal holder"

Anonymous, OH (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Exhaust manifold

"had to change the exhaust manifold before it was making noise"

Yves G., QC (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Loose/rattling heat shield

"One of the heat shields came loose and fell onto the driveshaft causing a ridiculous amount of noise."

Anonymous, MN (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Rusted out"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Muffler

"Rusting out"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Other/unsure

"Brought car three times to original dealer under recall notice for air bag (which I notified them on when made appointment) and the problem was not fixed. Instead they kept the car for two hours while I waited, tried to sell me other services (once successful) and then eventually said they did not have the part to deal with the air bag recall."

Anonymous, OH (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Airbag few yrs ago Pontiac recall and they fixed, . Last yr the. Air bag light came on and I can’t afford to fix"

Anonymous, CT (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Pipes

"I currently have an exhaust leak at the union between the muffler and pipe. Probably an expected issue given that the vehicle is 16 years old."

Anonymous, MN (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"rusted out flange connecting pipes. Exhaust system never previously serviced."

Anonymous, ON (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"pipe rusted and needed part welded in"

Ken R., NY (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Had a hole in the tailpipe, which meant having to have cat. converter and pipe replaced because, unfortunately, it was all one piece"

Anonymous, ON (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Bushings

"worn out / broken"

Anonymous, QC (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"after changing suspension bushing were also broken."

Yves G., QC (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Power steering leaks

"The driver side power steering rack boot began leaking power steering fluid about 40,000 miles ago. Research indicates that the steering rack has non-replaceable seals on either end which can fail over time, requiring replacement of the entire rack. Such a replacement is quite involved as it requires either raising the engine (recommended by shop manual) or removing frame members to gain access. The cost of the part itself is quite expensive, at approximately $300. I purchased and have been using Blue Devil Power Steering Fluid Stop Leak in small amounts and the leak has significantly slowed to the point that the car does not leave fluid stains on concrete and only loses minute amounts of fluid while driving, to the point of only requiring very small amounts of PS fluid to be added once every other month or so. I plan to continue to use the Blue Devil Stop Leak until if/when the seal fails completely."

Devin S., MI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Power steering hose leaked and had to be replaced"

James R., NC (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The car seemed to be moaning when I would turn the wheel at low speeds"

Humberto O., NJ (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Shocks or struts

"Replacing the front struts was normal maintenance given the mileage and age of the vehicle."

Anonymous, WA (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"the struts wore out after 180,000 miles causing the front end to wonder on the highway replacing them fixed the problem"

Anonymous, WI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Aluminum parts bolted to steel made replacing shocks very difficult as they are not compatible materials"

Anonymous, MI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Seals on front struts were bad. Struts were replaced"

Mark S., NV (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"OE driver side front shock leaked and stopped working properly so both front shock were replaced."

Anonymous, MN (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The shocks were totally finished and I could not safely drive the car the car around."

Yves G., QC (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Tie rods

"I drove to Guatemala and back. Rough roads and many speed bumps. Had to replace tie rods, struts and shocks upon return"

Ben C., AZ (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Tire wear is uneven

"this was caused by the bad struts & shocked"

Anonymous, WI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

"Passenger side rear wheel bearing was noisy but still working"

Anonymous, BC (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Roof leaks , we just keep this old car in the garage when it rains."

Anonymous, MI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Sunroof leaks small amount of water in 1 corner. Runs out through a channel. Dealer couldn't fix"

Anonymous, OH (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Having an issue with water build up on rear passenger floor after heavy rain"

Anonymous, FL (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Rusting along the top of the front windshield has resulted in water collecting inside the transition point of the plastic and roof liner at the top of the windshield near the driver's side door. Upon acceleration the water will release and pour onto"

Anonymous, MI (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Leaks above the windshields"

Jeanne B., MI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"sun roof was leaking"

Anonymous, PA (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"I cannot go through a car wash because tonnes of water will spill into the rear hatch, and every rainy day water will spill into my lap from a leak in the drivers side door"

Anonymous, BC (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"I had to replace the engine mounts. There is still excess vibration that is noticeable when the car is put in gear or the AC is turned on."

Darian R., LA (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Heat shield rusted through and fell off"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Most annoying rattle is the sunroof mechanism within the roof"

Anonymous, OH (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"ABS Module failed causing right front wheel to seize up. Difficult to diagnose initially. Replaced ABS module to fix."

Anonymous, MA (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Normal routine brake wear

"Front brakes were worn"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The breaks take a lot of abuse from the hills where we live"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"In less than 20000 miles this car had premature brake problems ie the rotors. Until after warranty I went to aftermarket rotors and pads I have had less problems BUT it seems it is always something with the brakes or wheel bearings"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Rotors

"Rust, corrosion, warpage caused drag; calipers stuck. Seems like brakes have to be replaced far to often"

Anonymous, MA (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Routine maintenance"

Anonymous, KS (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"It might have been the calipers, but they were somehow bent and still make a bit of noise when braking"

Anonymous, TN (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"historically the vibe had had many brake problems from early excessive wear on pads, to replacing rotors and replacing parking brake cable that requires readjustment every 10,0000 miles"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaking

"I think it is just getting old but I have had to replace shields rear shocks exhaust resonators. I guess since it just happened this year the car is just getting old. I love this car. Cannot find one like it"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"some of the exterior plastic trim is starting to get loose in places"

Anonymous, BC (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The metal trim piece on passenger side is loose and makes a flapping noise plus wheels rusty and leak some air for tires"

Anonymous, CT (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"rear passenger door seal has become disengaged"

Anonymous, MI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"The Clear Coat has peeled off by about 60%"

Anonymous, ID (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The finish on this car has never been really good. I do not think it had a clear overcoat. The paint on the hood has peeled in numerous small circular areas which I have fixed with touchup paint"

Darian R., LA (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"clear coat peeled"

Ronnie G., FL (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Paint on the hood is constantly peeling in small areas. I have to use touchup paint."

Darian R., LA (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Rust

"Rust on rotors caused premature brake wear; brakes have been replaced twice in 70Kmi.Rust causes lugnuts to swell;this broke a stud in shop.$5 nut cost $100 to repair/replace"

Anonymous, MA (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"rusting just above the windshield: before I caulked it, it leaked when it rained!"

Anonymous, MI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

12V power plug

"Plug pulled out and wires came off when I removed a power cable from it. Not an easy repair!"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Gauges

"The gauges went blank. I couldn't read level of gas or speed or anything. I had to replace the whole front panel ($900)"

Linda M., CA (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Gas gauge stopped working. Always on empty. I believe there were problems with other panel items also"

Linda M., CA (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

"const. burning out blubs"

Anonymous, OH (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Changed the left headlight"

Abdelaziz K., AZ (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Filled with water. Appears to be common problem. Replacement cost was outrageous; 1 sealed headlight cost $328 - and that was after accepting an aftermarket (non-OEM) part"

Anonymous, MA (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Interior lights

"Console lights burned out, and are very difficult to replace. Too expensive to have pro do it."

Anonymous, MI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Interior lights for the radio display are starting to go out. In order to replace the bulbs, the entire dash has to be taken out. I am not planning on doing that. It's nothing major"

Ellen W., CA (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Wiper motor or washer

"passenger side wiper no longer working. Rear wiper has not worked in several years"

Anonymous, CT (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"I had a Hit & Run on this vehicle too. So I wouldn't have had a paint job and bodywork done if the Hit & Run hadn't have happened"

Michelle O., AB (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"The fuel tank door came off"

Humberto O., NJ (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Locks and latches

"The hinges on the fuel tank door broke, and the door came off, held only by the "cord" on the fuel tank cap. Secured the door with nice clear masking tape until I took it to the body shop On the driver side door - had an issue with the hinge where it would get "stuck" at a point near the maximum opening. Probably caused by the door being pushed by strong winds at building door"

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Hood latch is broken. Have had 3 repairs. It has flown open while I was driving"

Anonymous, WI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Vinyl inside cover for tailgate pulled loose and part of it is difficult to refasten"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Windows

"RECALL!!! RATTLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Trip G., TN (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"There is a leak over the driver coming from the seal on the window due to rust. This was repaired once before but has come back"

David P., NY (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"actually, I have not it replaced yet."

Anonymous, MI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"At the car's mileage (185000+), clutch replacement was expected and not unreasonable"

Anonymous, WV (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"When I bought the car it needed a new clutch. It was a big job and the new output seal did not seal so it needed to be replaced again."

Anonymous, AB (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"The transmission failed on this vehicle. It won't shift out of first. It's not worth it to fix it"

Anonymous, MN (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Transmission was hard to get into gear. Transmission rebuild by local mechanic was relatively inexpensive"

Donald D., VT (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"transmission replacement, which motivated a concurrent preventative clutch replacement (manual 5 speed)"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Car is on its third transmission. Fuel sensors and ignition elements replaced"

Anonymous, OH (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"A check engine light has been presenting intermittently for the last 40,000 miles of operation. The associated code (P0446) indicates a fault in the emission system, specifically the Evaporative Vent Valve Solenoid or the Purge Valve Solenoid. This CEL has not affected the operation of the car in any way, with no noticeable impact on performance. I can still obtain an average of 34 MPG, with as high as 47 MPG when implementing basic elements of hyper-miling. The largest concern is that the CEL being constantly illuminated from this issue will either burn out the bulb or will cover up a more serious underlying issue should another CEL code present. I operate a Scangauge E device which gives me real-time fuel economy feedback and engine performance specs, including the ability to check and clear CEL codes. Use of this device allows me to reset the CEL as needed to avoid these issues. The two possible items that require replacement can be obtained online for about $35 each. The process for replacing them is not that involved for the DIY home mechanic. I consider this a non-serious issue."

Devin S., MI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Mechanic unable to clear all check engine codes. Therefore car unable to pass state inspection. Mechanic changed oxygen sensors. Did not solve problem. Feels problem possibly could be solved by new catalytic converter but not 100% sure. Also possibl"

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"check engine light stays on"

Ronnie G., FL (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Replaced catalytic converter at great expense last year. Previously replaced it at about 70,000 miles"

Anonymous, OH (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"The computer said they failed, all replaced, ended up being the catalytic converter"

Kevin S., ON (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Sensors were changed due to failed state inspection but did not solve the problem. This answer is in addition to my previous answer"

Anonymous, NJ (2003 Pontiac Vibe GT 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Replacement of the sensor meant that the clutch assembly had to removed for access. This inflated the labour cost"

David T., ON (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Accessory belts or pulleys

"Serpentine belt nearly failed. Found the issue while doing maintenance"

Anonymous, NC (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"serpentine belt replaced"

Anonymous, MN (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Engine knock or ping

"It's still sittin' waiting to get the funds to get it to this guy"

Brian H., MI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"noise when cold goes away when engine has temp"

James B., IN (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Oil leaks

"Oil pressure sensor was leaking oil. Replaced it"

Yves G., QC (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"oil sender failed and oil drained from car"

Russ Y., MN (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Differential

"roaring sound coming from it. In the faze of failing"

Anonymous, NV (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"differential failed was replaced"

Anonymous, NV (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Routine maintenance"

Anonymous, IL (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Driveshaft or axle

"left rear axle bearing failed was replaced"

Anonymous, NV (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"did not maintain adequate engine oil level"

Anonymous, NC (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Apparently that engine in 03-04 had some piston design problem. I found a gentleman who had an engineering background with that engine and has made a business redesigning and rebuilding them. I was looking for another Vibe on Craigslist when I saw his ad. I also had an '05 Vibe that I managed to total in a weather related collision with a three foot Oak. the tree survived and is doing well. yes I like Pontiac Vibes! the '05 was a honey!"

Brian H., MI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Timing belt or chain

"Minor oil leak determined to be caused by timing belt that needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, MN (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

"Car was making a ticking noise on start up. Repair shop said it was a frayed serpentine belt. Had it replaced"

Anonymous, IL (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

"Linkage is exposed, subject to the elements and road grime. Every 4-5 wks I must have the linkages cleaned and lubricated"

David T., ON (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Rough shifting

"have had difficulty since under 100,000 miles shifting lower gears especially when cold."

Russ Y., MN (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Slipping transmission

"when accelerating, resists going into the higher gear, randomly kicks into higher gear"

Anonymous, CA (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Coil

"Bad coil caused engine to run very rough. Easy fix, not horribly expensive"

William W., KS (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Spark plugs or wires failure

"Replaced as a matter of course when a coil failed. Routine maintenance really"

William W., KS (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Starter

"Starter failed, was replaced"

Mark S., NV (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

"The radio system was dead and I had to have it serviced"

Abdelaziz K., AZ (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen difficult to see

"This is the radio's display screen. We now "tune by ear" -- knowing the frequencies of the stations we like to listen to"

Douglas C., CA (2003 Pontiac Vibe 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

"The display lights have gone out. I replaced the radio with one from a junk yard, but the same problem is occurring"

Anonymous, MI (2003 Pontiac Vibe Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

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