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05 Vibe has a stubborn streak! Starts in the mornings, no problem, but after work it wont start

I have a 2005 Pontiac vibe. It has 170K miles. I just bought it for a steal, or at least I thought, for $3000. It is in excellent condition except for one tiny little problem. I can start the car and drive to my destination, rather it be to store 5 mins away or to work 30mins away or even a long car trip. No problem. No overheating. Runs perfectly. I arrive at my desination and but when its time to go, I insert the key, the darn thing won’t start. It won’t turn over or anything. So ur stranded and ur grumpy hubby has to come rescue you. The next day we go back to tow the car and it starts just fine…and then ur hubby thinks ur crazy! But all i could think was…Yippee, we are so lucky it works (or so we thought).

The car continues to start right up and you can go where you need to, but if you don’t leave the car running, it won’t start back up again. We tried starting the car and going to gas station and turning it off and turning it right back and nope won’t start. We’ve tried waiting 4 hrs and trying to start it back up and nope won’t turn on. But always, without fail, it will start up just fine the next day. What the heck is wrong with my CRAZY vibe. Oh, also the check engine light came on when this first happened but the code that auto zone pulled was generic about maybe bad gas. Pretty please with a cherry on top, will you help me solve this mystery? Brooke

Can you post the exact code, please.
Perhaps that code is somehow meaningful.

My guess would be a cam or crank position sensor. It would be nice to know the code it threw.

let me look for the piece of paper i wrote the code on, if i cant find it i’ll go back to auto zone tomorrow. Thanks!

it was a right bank misfire? Also i just remembered another strange thing, i had a puff of smoke come out of the hood, but i had just gotten my oil changed. I drove it home and my hubby couldnt see anyreason for the smoke and we just assumed some oil spilt. But when i tried to start it up, it would start and that was the begining of the whole starting and driving to destiniation but not being able to start it agin until the next day. Laughing, i think i’m in trouble with this one!

My recommendation would be to find a dealer, let them know the problem, then make that your first stop and let them analyze it in failure mode.