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Check engine, vehicle stability control and traction control system lights all on at same time

I have a 2009 Pontiac Vibe with 43,000 miles. Recently the check engine light, the vehicle stability control light and the traction control system light all came on simultaneously. Since then they have all come on or all gone off several times. Usually once they come on, they stay on for the remainder of the trip. Sometimes they will still be on when I next start the car, sometimes they will be off.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what might be causing this?


The reason why the VSC & TCS lights are lit up is because the engine must be working at its optimum in order for those systems to work properly. When everything is not working at its optimum, the VSC & TCS are shut down–thus the warning lights.

Your OBD system has detected a problem with the engine (or the emissions control system), and thus, things are not working at their optimum. Until you find out why the CEL is lit up, and then correct the underlying problem, there will not be a resolution to your multiple warning light problem.

So, my suggestion is to go to an auto parts retailer (Auto Zone, Advance Auto, O’Reilly, possibly Napa), and have the OBD’s stored trouble codes read, free-of-charge. Then, come back to this thread & post the exact codes (the format is similar to P0123) for more specific advice. Until the trouble codes are known, nobody can advise you as to a possible fix.

AutoZone came up with P0352 - ignition coil. I took a look under the hood and didn’t see anything I recognized (except the dipstick and oil fill cap) or even anything I could get a wrench on. Boy, have things changed since my last car. I think the days of DIY car repair are over for me.

Your engine uses the COP system (coil on plug) for ignition, so most likely one of two scenarios has taken place:

One of the coils is bad & needs to be replaced
There is a loose connection leading to one of the coils

If there is little that you recognize under the hood, then clearly this is not a job that you should attempt on your own, especially since you most likely lack the proper tools & equipment for the job.

Any competent mechanic should be able to sort this out in a relatively short period of time, but I urge you to NOT go to a chain operation like Midas, Monro, Meineke, Sears, Pep Boys, or AAMCO. You also don’t need a dealership for this situation. Instead, go to a local independent mechanic with a good reputation.

VDC is right. Best take this to a reputable Indie shop. (Look one up on this websites’ list, you’ll probably find one near you.) If a coil is bad, then one of the cylinders is misfiring, or isn’t even firing at all, in any cause, the engine is probably in “limp mode” (Have you noticed a decrease in MPGs, and maybe starts a bit harder?) and that would cause the computer to shut down the anti-lok and traction control (Both systems use the same basic components.) until the problem is fixed.

The code P0352 is for “Ignition Coil B Primary/Secondary Circuit”. With all the other things going on also I wonder if the trouble could be due to a power problem to those areas. Perhaps a bad connection to power is causing lower than normal supply voltage to those areas.

You guys are awesome, I have the same problem ('09 Vibe) and you probably saved me countless hours of searching.


I have the same problem w/ an '09 Vibe, except my three lights never turned off and now the car won’t start at all. It wasn’t even driven 20 miles w/ those warning lights on and it has about 105k on it. Any ideas that might get it running so I don’t have to pay for a tow? Thanks.

It looks like '09 Vibe/Matrix drivers should do a search of TSBs for ignition coil issues.

@TBrock, you have to leave open the possibility that having the 3 lights on and a non-starting car is a completely different kind of problem. There are hundreds of error codes. So the place you need to start is by reading the error codes. Many big-box parts stores have “loaner tool” programs and some might have OBD2 code readers in them. You buy the tool, and get a full refund when returned (usually w/in 90 days) Call around and see if you can get your hands on a code reader. Pull your codes and report them.

I have a 2009 Vibe and have recently had the same issue with the lights coming on. The only difference is that my car starts just fine. We are in the middle of a polar vortex here in Chicago and that seems to be when the lights first came on, could be just a coincidence. The VCS, Traction Control & Brake light all came on a couple of weeks ago for a couple of days and then went off. Then last week they came back on and have stayed on. I got the codes tested and they said it was code C0210, Right Rear Wheel Speed Sensor. Would this be the cause?


Here you go

It happens to be for a 2009 Matrix, but I’m willing to bet $5 that your 2009 Vibe uses exactly the same brake parts as the 2009 Matrix, and therefore has the same problems

I had a similar pattern in a 2005 Lexus IS300 and it was fixed by replacing an old battery. You are all in pretty harsh, cold weather and that’s when batteries fail. I’d have it checked.

I’ve recently had the same issue with my 2009 Vibe. Seems that the lights come on when I’m about 1/4 tank of gas. As soon as I fill up, the lights go away.

As mentioned in the posts above, many different kind of problems can result in those lights coming on. The number of lights that come on isn’t proportional to the severity of the problem either, could be something fairly simple. If you manually turn the lights off with a code reader say, or disconnect the battery, then they come back on at 1/4 tank, that’s probably just the computer doing its thing. It runs a set of tests after the computer gets reset, and some of them involve transitioning between certain gas tank levels before the test completes. So it may be the test completes, and it failed, so the computer turns the lights one then. Suggest to post the diagnostic codes here, read them out when the lights are on. You might get more help if you post as a new topic.

I tested the vehicle and got a C1201 code. After doing a basic search here for the code, I found an entry stating the C1201 code is more than likely caused by a bad gas cap or dirty filler neck. The post went on to say that the filler neck should be cleaned with WD40 on a rag. It went on to say that, after cleaning the filler neck, drive the car for a few cycles with full start-up and shut down. I did this and the codes went away. I am totally grateful I found this sight! I am hoping the lights don’t come back. If they do, I’ll let you know.

C1201 is an ABS fault that indicates there is a fault present in the Powertrain control module.

C1201 seems to mean different things for different manufacturers. Since the POntiac Vibe is similar to a Toyota Corolla, like Nevada says above, it may indicate a fault in the brake system. Perhaps OP posted the wrong code number? Either that or what the OP did w/the gas filler was what was needed anyway! Or it just needed to complete a new drive cycle perhaps.

Chrysler:Front Traction Control Inlet Valve Control Circuit Low
Dodge:Front Traction Control Inlet Valve Control Circuit Low
Ford:left front inlet valve coil circuit short to ground
Jeep:Front Traction Control Inlet Valve Control Circuit Low
Lincoln:left front inlet valve coil circuit short to ground
Mazda:left front inlet valve coil circuit short to ground
Mercury:left front inlet valve coil circuit short to ground
Mitsubishi:FR wheel SPD.SNSR.invalid signal
Toyota:Brake Boost Sensor Circuit Range/Performance

There must have been a P044# code but it hasn’t been reported to us. The ABS module will set C1201 for any PCM fault.

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I have a 2009 Pontiac vibe now and 3 lights came on, the codes are P0455 and P0441, EVAP system leak.

I have a 06 vibe the check engine light came on bout ten seconds later the vsc and traction came one scanned it said catalyst something then catalac coverter cleared the codes then they came back