Problem with Vibe

I have a 2003 Pontiac Vibe and recently have had problems…after I drive 15-20 minutes the car will begin to slow down…even if I give it
more gas the car will stay a constant speed…say 30 mph and will not go faster…if I down shift…(manual trans)… I can get the car back
to normal speed…and sometimes it smells hot when I get out…like brakes…on the highway the car will begin to slow as well and stay
at 45…then come back after downshift…

Sounds like you honestly answered your own question. Sounds like your brakes are dragging. Get the car on a lift and check wheelspin. Can you tell if the smell is from the front or rear?

I think it’s rear…would it really slow down that drastic?

Yes, if a caliper was stuck or a hose was collapsing. Either way, it’s simple to confirm/deny whether the brakes are sticking once the wheels are off the ground. If they turn freely, then the brakes are not sticking.

The next time this happens, check carefully if any wheel is noticeably hotter than the wheel on the other side. If you find one, your brakes are dragging there.

I think you better check the oil level in the transmission, ASAP. Make that transmission and both differentials if AWD.

The parking brake could also be sticking. I’m not saying this is the problem but it should be checked.

When The Vehicle Slows, Does The Engine Slow, Too, Or Does The Engine Rev Up As You Feed It More Gas While The Car Is Slowing ?

I’m wondering if the burning smell is the clutch slipping after it gets heated up a little.

I’m going to go with the clutch slipping theory. This sounds like classic symptoms of a worn out clutch.

Front right wheel very hot…practically smoking


This would seem to confirm that you have a sticking caliper or a brake line that is collapsing.

In addition to identifying the necessary repair(s) and replacing the needed components, you will need to flush the brake hydraulic system and put fresh brake fluid into the system. Your brake fluid has been cooked by the extremely high temperatures to which it has been exposed, and is no longer safe to use.

And you didn’t tell us about the pulling to the right.

I am wondering if a failing battery could be involved.

Assuming it is the brake…wouldn’t drive it, but have it towed if you must move it.
But, if you wanted to check your clutch, while idling, with emergency brake on, put it in 5 th gear and let slowly out on the clutch. It it doesn’t stall immediately, slipping clutch.

+1 to VDC’s comments.

Found the problem…bad brake proportioning valve and master cylinder…

Thank you for returning to the thread and reporting the solution to the problem.
Happy motoring!