NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling Problems

CarComplaints.com Notes: The Pontiac Vibe is the mechanical twin of the Toyota Matrix.

Both models were a joint GM-Toyota venture, manufactured together at a NUMMI production facility in Fremont, CA. Only the heating & A/C systems are different.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,013 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Pontiac Vibe engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Pontiac Vibe Owner Comments

problem #6

Dec 072010

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 31,000 miles


I had to have a new waterpump, thermostat, outlet seal installed as I could not get any heat. It was as if I went faster I would get a little heat. When took to S&K they told me I needed a new waterpump, etc. They were not going to pay for it. I could not understand this as I went online and researched this and saw many others had the same problem with the 2004 Vibes. Something about when checking anti freeze and the over flow it was to be burped. This happened at the dealer did a complete check up for winter. I tried to explain to them that they caused this because they checked my antifreeze without burning it after they checked it. I then took it elsewhere to have it repaired as I could not afford the $500. I am retired and a senior citizen. The place I took it too was wonderful and agreed that they did not service it like it should have been. What is anything can be done about this? everytime I take something to S&K something else goes wrong. I took it in for the first recall on the airbags and now my lights on the radio, etc. Are faded. What they did I do not know. What should I do to have this properly taken care of. I love my Vibe and today have only 42,000 miles on it and it is still like new. Just that the problems with the heat and lights make me sick. I need my heat as I have a lung condition and have to stay warm.

- Springfield, IL, USA

problem #5

May 112011


  • 60,750 miles
Clicking sound behind glove compartment. The contact owns a 2004 Pontiac Vibe. When the vehicle is started, it makes a clicking sound. The only way to stop the noise is to turn on the recirculation/air conditioner.. the current mileage was 60,800 and failure mileage was 60,750.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #4

Jan 202011


  • 89,000 miles
Two issues that I have are, the air circulation vent makes a clicking. When I opened it up, I saw that it was because the vent would not close properly, I had to stick a pencil in it to make it stoip clicking, because I will not spend 100 dollars to have it replaced. Also, we live in Montana, and our new battery will not start under 20 degrees. We have extreem weather here, so it leaves us with only one car, and oftem we are not able to get to work on time. Many other people in cold weather enviroments have complained about this. It seems to be something with the starter. This should be recalled, because it could leave us in very dangerous situations. Cell service is not often available in this area, and it frightens me to think we could be stuck at some point.

- Red Lodge, MT, USA

problem #3

Sep 042006

Vibe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


January 2005 we purchased a certified used 2004 Pontiac Vibe from wade raulerson GM Pontiac. The warranty was extended to 39,000 miles. During the course of ownership a ticking noise was noticed and became progressively worse. The vehicle was brought in at approximately 40,000 miles when the service department informed us that an entirely new engine was needed and the cause of the damage was excessive wear and tear. During our ownership a 71 year old woman has driven this vehicle placing 6,000 miles on the vehicle in 18 months. It is obvious that the certification process was flawed and the dealership and the manufacturers sold us a defective product. GM and the dealership offered to replace the engine at a cost of $10,026 with a 50/50 split or a used engine for a cost to us of little under $5,000. The final written estimate provided to us was for $3800 plus to be charged to us. It is again obvious that a dealership which certifies an engine that so miserably fails is not qualified to be licensed and a manufacturer who puts a product out such as this is negligent. Children were driven regularly in this hunk of junk and it is by grace that nothing happened. Any assistance you can provide whether mediation of the problem or sanction of the dealership/manufacturer would be appreciated.

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #2

Jan 172004

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130 miles
The contact stated the vehicle had many different problems and safety defects. The first problem started just seven days after purchasing the vehicle. While pressing on the brakes they sounded like they were falling apart. The next problem concerned the engine. At times there was noise and the vehicle shook very badly. Also, the vehicle lurched forward without warning. The third problem involved the electrical system. When the vehicle was started the radio made a cracking sound, and the power door locks worked intermittently. The interior lights flashed/turned off and on. Due to the lack of illumination, and the instrument cluster was very hard to see. When the power windows were rolled up one can hear a buzzing sound.while parked in a parking lot the keyless entry opened another vehicle that was 30 feet. Away. Also, the smells of raw gas fumes were coming from inside of the vehicle. The dealership inspected the vehicle, and found the firewall shield screws were loose. The manufacturer has been contacted, and was currently in arbitration.

- Lilburn , GA, USA

problem #1

May 142004

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,200 miles
2004 Pontiac Vibe with 5,200 miles had engine seize. Experts say due to engine failure, GM won't honor warranty, GM rep visited with me and said don't tell anyone from GM I was talking with you and lied during conversation, yet submitted report and said deny claim, other vehicles have same problem.

- Melrose Park, PA, USA

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