Pontiac Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Pontiac as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

One or more heater & AC (HVAC) air delivery and/or temperature mode door actuator may fail. This can result in incorrect air delivery or temperature. If this occurs, fault code(s) stored in the HVAC control module should be available to assist with diagnoses.

The fuel pump may fail causing engine to stall and not restart.

The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) tube which connects the EGR valve to the intake manifold may develop an engine vacuum leak, causing the Check Engine Light to illuminate with code P0171 and/or P0174 stored.

The ignition module or crankshaft position sensor may fail causing the engine to die and not restart. Diagnoses will be necessary to determine if the module or crank sensor is causing the no start condition.

Vehicles with a 3.5L or 3.9L V6 engine may develop an engine oil leak from the front crankshaft seal. Our technicians tell us a revised front crankshaft seal is available to correct this concern.

The steering may develop a clunk type noise from the upper intermediate steering shaft.  Our technicians tell us that you should check with your local GM dealer to find out what the latest repair is for this condition.

The 2005-2008 Pontiac Vibe 1.8L I4 models have issues with the circuit board in the electronic control module (ECM) cracking. There is no advanced warning for the issue, and when it occurs drivers will experience:

  • Harsh shifting
  • Possible check engine light
  • Engine stalling while driving

Replacement of the ECU is the only solution if this problem occurs. 

The head gasket may fail due to a defect in manufacturing of the cylinder block.

On this vehicle, the head bolts are known to pull the threads out of the engine block, allowing the head to slightly lift, and causing head gasket failure. Symptoms may include:

  • Overheating
  • White smoke from exhaust
  • Rough running conditions and/or inability to start or idle
  • White or cream colored oil on dipstick
  • Check engine light 
  • OBD Trouble Codes P2181, P0300

When the head gasket fails, the bolt holes for the head bolts must be repaired before the cylinder head can be remounted. 

This issue is not always preventable, but to help avoid it, never run the engine if the engine temperature is ever above the normal range. 

The 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe may develop an excessive oil consumption condition between oil changes, even to the extent of the engine oil warning light displayed on the multi-function display.

This issue is known to be caused by infrequent oil changes causing engine sludge, or worn piston rings. 

The engine should be cleaned of oil sludge, and if oil consumption remains excessive, the engine may need new piston rings, or other internal components replaced. 

To avoid this issue, change the engine oil and filter every 3,000 miles, and ensure the proper grade of oil is used. 

Illumination of the Check Engine Light can be caused by a loose or worn gas cap.

Various electrical issues may be caused by poor terminal contact at the body control module (BCM) electrical connectors. Proper diagnoses will be required to confirm faults are related to poor BCM connections.

The mode and temperature door actuators may fail causing improper air flow or temperature output from the heating and AC (HVAC) system.

Illumination of the Check Engine Light can be caused by a loose or worn gas cap.

The oxygen sensor can fail causing Check Engine Light illumination and the engine to run rich (burn more fuel than normal).