14th Aug 2005, 01:06

Or the clutch/tranny may be undersized for the power the engine is putting out (173hp)! It is not always the driver's fault. You can't compare an 85hp Cololla's clutch to this.

16th Aug 2005, 08:03

2 quick tips on clutch preservation:

1. When driving away from a dead stop, keep the revs low and let the clutch out quickly without too much slipping. Then accelerate from the lower rev range with the clutch fully engaged. When a clutch slips, it wears. More slipping, more wearing. The faster the engine speed when slipping, the faster the wearing.

2. Give a shot of gas before engaging clutch on a downshift. You are trying to match the engine speed with the transmission speed to reduce clutch strain. If you find this difficult, then don't downshift when coming to a stop. Use your brakes, they are much cheaper to replace.

24th Mar 2006, 14:11

I am the originator of this rating. To date I have had no problems with the clutch. I think I have 41,000 miles on it and so far so good. I've only driven standard transmissions (been driving since 1989) so I don't know if it's my experience or not. My last car was a Mazda 323, which I had for 10 years, and never had to replace the clutch so I hope this one will last the same. I do admit that I drive this one a bit harder (naturally, it's a GT) than my little Mazda so I hope I am not pressing my luck. My hope is, since it's a Toyota inside, it will last a long time. I still love this car!

24th Apr 2006, 08:04

I've also had the experience of my clutch burning out at 28000 miles! I resented being told that it was my fault, and have investigated to find that many other Vibe drivers have had the same problem and frustrations.

13th May 2006, 22:48

Just shift without the clutch then. Then you can't be blamed for it going out on you. :) Just kidding. I had a Honda with 300K on the original clutch, but I often shifted without the clutch, so naturally it couldn't wear out. But, it seems like the Vibe GT uses the same clutch as the standard edition, so that could explain it. Too much power, not enough part.

2nd Jul 2006, 13:09

It IS possible to shift between gears without using the clutch. You have to get the engine speed just right without any load on the drive axle (ie. no acceleration or deceleration) and you can go between gears without grinding. Some cars do it better than others. It was easy in my Mustang and Subaru brats,but much harder in the Forester that I owned. In fact in the Brat my clutch cable broke and I drove the car 20 miles to pick up a new one. Starting the car in gear at red lights and shifting without the clutch in the upper gears. Gotta do what cha gotta do.

10th Jul 2006, 22:08

Yeah, what you are talking about is flat shifting!

The latter is the worst possible lunk head idea you can perform on a relatively cheap clutch and drive-train.

Executing the latter will cause a multiple amount of problems regardless as to how experienced you are.

The above was used in the 70s drag race days where the majority of the components were american steel and very strong/durable.

Needless to say the concept of flat shifting even in the 70s was very subjective since a poor shift would spew many components within the gearbox; a no-no!

I agree the Vibe GT manual setup is weak, a stick should be designed with the attitude that the driver is going to rip through the gears.

The above includes down shifting around corners and when slowing down to stop.

In the event the above cannot be performed on a regular basis what good is having it?

I noticed many Vibe GTs are traded in with only 30K miles on the odometer, one has to ask why?

The above is highlighted throughout this thread, the clutch is weak and when it fails at 30K the owner has had his/her fill; it is then traded-in etc...

Today, we have to be very careful when purchasing a manual/clutch vehicle.

Sadly, most newer vehicle cannot withstand the purist that desires to drive a 5-6 speed as intended!

The majority of manufacturers continue to keep the manual transmission alive as a simple nostalgic interlude.

Sure, the warranty is provided, but who can be without their vehicle for a week?

Remember, warranty work at a dealership is slow, the latter mechanics place ALL paying customers before warranty work!

When purchasing any kind of warranty on a vehicle make SURE it will come with a LOANER policy, the latter is positive assurance the dealer is on the level and caring!

Otherwise, the dealer is a crook/thief, he/she is so-caring and friendly when you are buying the vehicle, stop back the next day with a problem and you have just become a victim...

24th Jul 2006, 14:42

I'm pretty sure that with a hydraulic clutch such as the one on the Vibe GT you should not be flat shifting.

28th Aug 2006, 20:24

My clutch has failed as well (2003 model bought in Nov.). It started in the mid 40,000 miles. The dealer wanted $1,200 to fix it, but the service manager was really great and is actually calling GM about it since he also believes that the clutch is the problem and not the driver.

Heck I owned a Ponitac LeMans for 8 years (manual) and never had a problem. It was an $8,000 car and it was amazing. So I bought another Pontiac.

I have always driven manual transmission and I am a woman. I learned to drive in an Alpha Romeo in the hills so I had better know what I am doing. It is definitely the car.

18th Sep 2006, 17:12

I wish I would have read these comments before purchasing the GT with a manual tranny. I figured with a Toyota drive train, I would have no problem with the clutch. Mine just blew out at 34,000 miles. The guy I took it to says that he has never seen one go so fast, and that it definitely should have lasted longer.

Anyways, $900 and I am back on the road. Needless to say, from now on I will have to treat my wonderful Toyota engine, like a fragile piece of glass, just so I don't blow another clutch. I guess next time I will be sure that I look for all around quality in a car, not just the engine.

11th Jan 2007, 16:22

We purchased a 2003 Pontiac Vibe GT with about 50,000 miles on it 18 months ago. The clutch went within days of purchase and was obligingly replaced. 25,000 miles later, the second clutch is burned out. The problem does seem to be that the engine is overpowered for the clutch.

15th Feb 2007, 14:16

I have an 03 Vibe GT with 68K miles and the clutch is slipping. I bought it used and hadn't read about all the clutch problems. Because it is a performance engine, does anyone know if there is an after-market clutch better suited for this engine. I use it as a commuter vehicle and rarely use the lift function of the engine. If I have to replace the clutch, I certainly only want to do it once. Please help!