Vibe problems

Changed the serpentine belt on a Pontiac vibe 2003. Car started right up after. Came out a couple of hours later and now it won’t start. Have power to everything on the car and battery is only 3 months old. What did I do wrong?

Does the engine crank?

No doesn’t crank.

Toyotas are well known for starter problems

Check to make sure the starter is getting power

It’s a Pontiac. and how would I check?

Pontiac Vibe is basically a Toyota Matrix. Do you have a multimeter or a 12 volt test light?

Actually, it’s mostly a Toyota in Pontiac clothing. The powertrain is pure Toyota.


You use your test light to see if the starter is getting power when you put the key in run position

A voltmeter would be more accurate, though, if you have one

If you have a voltmeter, check that battery. Should have 12.6 volts

pontiac a Toyota line?

Joint venture between Toyota and GM. The Matrix and Vibe are basically Corolla wagons.


The Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix were built on the same assembly line, I believe

They use the same engine, transmission, suspension, steering, etc.

They are built on the same platform

The mechanicals are identical. The sheetmetal and interior are slightly different

By the way, this was by no means the first time GM did this

Chevy Nova, Geo Prizm, etc.

Turn the ignition on. Step on the brake pedal and shift the transmission into neutral and then try starting the engine. If the engine starts there’s a problem with the park/neutral safety/transmission range switch.


start simple, heck the belt is installed correctly.

The puzzle here is not that it won’t start after doing work on the car. That’s pretty common thing, usually something simple. The puzzle is that it did start after the work was completed, and after sitting a while, won’t. hmm …

Did you have to disconnect any electrical connectors when changing the belt? Especially important, did you need to disconnect the alternator connector? If that got connected up backward or something, the wrong pin going into the wrong socket, that could drain the battery – and might also damage the alternator.

Edit: Here’s a weird idea. If you got the belt on wrong and it turned the alternator in the wrong direction, something like this could happen. Check the routing diagram.

Did you disconnect the battery? That could confuse the ECM (computer), it has learned all the parameters to make the engine run smooth, but when the battery is disconnected it forgets those, and has to re-learn them. If they’ve changed a lot since the car was new (like due to a dirty throttle body, etc) that could possibly make it fail to start.

Or did you not disconnect the battery. Seems with batteries these days it is “damned if you did, damned if you didn’t” … lol … anyway, if you accidentally shorted something out with your wrench it could have blown a fuse, but it is possible for a fuse to get almost blown, but not quite, then on the next use it blows … unlikely, but should be considered. Check the fusible links in the main power harness, usually they are near the battery positive lead.