Author Topic: Comments on specific car?  (Read 4183 times)

daverobev

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Comments on specific car?
« on: January 26, 2016, 12:46:40 PM »
Any car gurus care to weigh in on

http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/ottawa/2009-pontiac-vibe-hatchback/1112364065?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

Went for a test drive today - looks clean enough. Gear changing feels a bit... not stiff, just a bit heavy somehow but I think it is the mechanism in the gearstick itself not the transmission of that makes any sense. Hoping my wife can find a similar car to test and see if it's the same.

Price is reasonable (they told me there is little to no room to negotiate) - price is in CAD, so if you're in US funds multiply by 0.7 ~= $5k USD. Plus 13% tax.

Thoughts?

neo von retorch

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2016, 01:47:50 PM »
I haven't driven a Toyota manual in ages, but I'm a little surprised that it feels "heavy." For comparison, the Fit stick feels like melted butter; the 350Z stick feels heavy. But it's a good heavy because of the kind of car. I'd expect a Toyota manual to be light. But... again it's been ages... and maybe Pontiac had some influence on the transmission choice for that car, so it's not straight out of a Corolla.

daverobev

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2016, 03:24:54 PM »
I haven't driven a Toyota manual in ages, but I'm a little surprised that it feels "heavy." For comparison, the Fit stick feels like melted butter; the 350Z stick feels heavy. But it's a good heavy because of the kind of car. I'd expect a Toyota manual to be light. But... again it's been ages... and maybe Pontiac had some influence on the transmission choice for that car, so it's not straight out of a Corolla.

It doesn't feel quite like any other manual I've driven. It's like there is resistance but it is not from the actual transmission bit, it's in the stick. I can't really describe it well. Maybe something in front of the gate so you don't ram it in to gear too quickly. Just feels odd to me. Nothing like... yeah.. anything. And I've driven plenty of manuals. Though, honestly, no Toyotas that I can think of.

DeltaBond

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2016, 03:34:25 PM »
There might very well be something wrong with the clutch or transmission if it feels that "off".

JLee

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2016, 03:59:08 PM »
My sister has a Scion tC and the only way I can describe the shifter is 'muddy' (compared to my MR2 and Mazdaspeed6, anyway).  It might be normal for that car..I haven't driven one, though.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2016, 04:07:40 PM »
My brother has an older Vibe GT. It shifts smooth as buttah with 170,000 miles on the clock.

daverobev

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2016, 04:08:34 PM »
There might very well be something wrong with the clutch or transmission if it feels that "off".

No no, nothing like that. It is the physical motion of the gearstick that feels funny - before it goes into gear. Like a tension before it actually goes into gear. I know what synchromesh and so on feels like; it does not feel like the actual gearbox. Hard to describe. There is no bad feeling on the clutch at all (car only has 95k km on it, I'd expect the clutch to be good for a while yet, too).

daverobev

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2016, 04:09:30 PM »
My brother has an older Vibe GT. It shifts smooth as buttah with 170,000 miles on the clock.

Prob a sport trans on the GT though? Short throw and all that.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2016, 04:14:46 PM »
My brother has an older Vibe GT. It shifts smooth as buttah with 170,000 miles on the clock.

Prob a sport trans on the GT though? Short throw and all that.
I have no idea to be honest.

With This Herring

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2016, 07:27:40 AM »
Can you get a trusted mechanic to look at it for you?

I just bought a 2009 Corolla.  I'm not a car person, so one of my conditions for the sale was that my mechanic take a look at it.  Seller okay'd it.  On the way to the mechanic's, I heard a very high-pitched, though faint, whine whenever I gassed it over 40 MPH.  I had the mechanic drive it, and he said that it was something with the transmission.  It could go 50K or forever and not be an issue, but he knew what it was.  He also found another issue with the car that knocked the price down.

cjottawa

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2016, 07:46:09 AM »
OK - massive brain dump follows.

Price seems in line with typical retail value. See VMR Canada:

http://www.vmrcanada.com/used-car/values/2009-Pontiac-VIBE.html

(be sure to click the appropriate options and mileage... manual transmission reduces value)

2005-2010 Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix were "above average" according to the Lemon-Aid guides. (the 2002-2004 were only "average"...likely they hadn't worked the kinks in the design out) I've driven a few and like them but they were automatics; can't comment on the stick.

If you're sticking to the Vibe/Matrix, read no further. If you'll entertain other options, read on.

You might also add the Hyundai Elantra line to your shopping list. 2006 was the last of the GT hatchbacks and can be had for $3,000-$4,000 in excellent condition with not much more mileage than that Vibe. 2007-2009 saw only sedans, then in 2010 they introduced the "Elantra Touring" which is the same as the European and Asian "Hyundai i30" - solidly a "wagon." (has a D-pillar)

Mazda 3 and Ford Focus hatch and wagon are comparable cars but after looking at dozens of them in the Ottawa area, I find they get beaten to hell and rust out much, much faster than the Vibe/Matrix or Hyundais.

Smaller hatches include the Fit, Yaris, Prius C, Insight but they're all overpriced compared to the previously mentioned hatches; it's a paradox... you get more for less when you bump up into the small/small-mid sized hatches in Canada. I wish we got the Toyota Auris here. (Corolla hatchback; Euro/Asian markets only)

EDIT - we should get together for a coffee Dave!
« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 07:59:27 AM by cjottawa »

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2016, 08:04:55 AM »
Not sure if they are related, but the stick shift on my 08 Corolla seems to have a soft "snap" when it goes into gear.  Much different than my 97 Civic that just slid in like butter.  I wonder if it is just something they did to give it a more positive "in gear" feel.

mtn

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2016, 08:07:31 AM »
Go and find another Corolla/Vibetrix stick and drive it for comparison.

daverobev

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2016, 08:57:07 AM »
Go and find another Corolla/Vibetrix stick and drive it for comparison.

Hopefully happening today!

daverobev

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2016, 09:08:04 AM »
OK - massive brain dump follows.

Price seems in line with typical retail value. See VMR Canada:

http://www.vmrcanada.com/used-car/values/2009-Pontiac-VIBE.html

(be sure to click the appropriate options and mileage... manual transmission reduces value)

2005-2010 Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix were "above average" according to the Lemon-Aid guides. (the 2002-2004 were only "average"...likely they hadn't worked the kinks in the design out) I've driven a few and like them but they were automatics; can't comment on the stick.

If you're sticking to the Vibe/Matrix, read no further. If you'll entertain other options, read on.

You might also add the Hyundai Elantra line to your shopping list. 2006 was the last of the GT hatchbacks and can be had for $3,000-$4,000 in excellent condition with not much more mileage than that Vibe. 2007-2009 saw only sedans, then in 2010 they introduced the "Elantra Touring" which is the same as the European and Asian "Hyundai i30" - solidly a "wagon." (has a D-pillar)

Mazda 3 and Ford Focus hatch and wagon are comparable cars but after looking at dozens of them in the Ottawa area, I find they get beaten to hell and rust out much, much faster than the Vibe/Matrix or Hyundais.

Smaller hatches include the Fit, Yaris, Prius C, Insight but they're all overpriced compared to the previously mentioned hatches; it's a paradox... you get more for less when you bump up into the small/small-mid sized hatches in Canada. I wish we got the Toyota Auris here. (Corolla hatchback; Euro/Asian markets only)

EDIT - we should get together for a coffee Dave!

Hey cj,

this particular car is local - and seems like a decent fit, in terms of age/mileage/etc. Underbody looks good - not sure how Elantras do in terms of rusting, but a 10 year old car is likely only good for another 3-5 I would've thought - in this climate - and I have heard that the Toyota undercoating/steel/paint/whatever is just of a higher quality. I hear you re Mazda 3s, friend has one and it's rusting badly.

I don't think we want anything smaller - we used to have a Civic and my wife packed that full. This feels about the same size, but hatch which I prefer. I did check out VMR already and I know it's not a super-bargain but, for a dealer, I think the price is good. They have done some work to it.

We'll see what my wife says about the one she tests today. Hopefully gearstick feels similar.

Coffee - any time! Except I hardly go in to Ottawa, heh. Not sure if you have children - if so we could do a play date of some kind (2 year old here).

daverobev

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2016, 09:11:22 AM »
Can you get a trusted mechanic to look at it for you?

I just bought a 2009 Corolla.  I'm not a car person, so one of my conditions for the sale was that my mechanic take a look at it.  Seller okay'd it.  On the way to the mechanic's, I heard a very high-pitched, though faint, whine whenever I gassed it over 40 MPH.  I had the mechanic drive it, and he said that it was something with the transmission.  It could go 50K or forever and not be an issue, but he knew what it was.  He also found another issue with the car that knocked the price down.

That'll probably be the next step, yup. Also conditional on my wife getting a chunk of work this week.. fingers crossed!

BlueMR2

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2016, 09:58:13 AM »
I've driven an older Vibe (many times throughout its life from new to 160k+) and a newer Matrix (with 16k on it).  They both had funky heavy/clunky feeling shifting to them...  Might just be normal for those?

daverobev

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2016, 10:49:19 AM »
I've driven an older Vibe (many times throughout its life from new to 160k+) and a newer Matrix (with 16k on it).  They both had funky heavy/clunky feeling shifting to them...  Might just be normal for those?

Thanks - exactly what I wanted to hear.

daverobev

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2016, 01:18:56 PM »
Ok, if anyone's interested - wife went and drove a same-year Matrix, and said the gear shift felt exactly the same.

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2016, 01:35:47 PM »
Ok, if anyone's interested - wife went and drove a same-year Matrix, and said the gear shift felt exactly the same.

Once again I don't know how much it shares with the '08 Corolla, and I don't know what type of driving you do (city/hwy) but I was always fine to hold in the clutch on my old Civic at stop lights and in stop and go traffic.  With the Corolla, it is uncomfortable to hold it in for some reason that has to do with the strength of the return spring (slightly stronger than the Civic), distance required to fully disengage the clutch (seems like a longer reach to the floor, and I am 6' so the legs should plenty long) vs. where I want to be for the brake/gas, and geometry of the seat vs. the pedal so I switched to putting the tranny in neutral and letting the clutch out for anything more than a stop sign.  No big deal, but it certainly took some getting used to. Might be adjustable, but I have never really looked into it.  I also have the basic seat with no electric tilt, etc.       

daverobev

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2016, 02:30:14 PM »
Ok, if anyone's interested - wife went and drove a same-year Matrix, and said the gear shift felt exactly the same.

Once again I don't know how much it shares with the '08 Corolla, and I don't know what type of driving you do (city/hwy) but I was always fine to hold in the clutch on my old Civic at stop lights and in stop and go traffic.  With the Corolla, it is uncomfortable to hold it in for some reason that has to do with the strength of the return spring (slightly stronger than the Civic), distance required to fully disengage the clutch (seems like a longer reach to the floor, and I am 6' so the legs should plenty long) vs. where I want to be for the brake/gas, and geometry of the seat vs. the pedal so I switched to putting the tranny in neutral and letting the clutch out for anything more than a stop sign.  No big deal, but it certainly took some getting used to. Might be adjustable, but I have never really looked into it.  I also have the basic seat with no electric tilt, etc.     

I didn't notice the clutch being particularly stiff. No different than the Civic or Accord we had (I mean, I'm sure it IS different, I just didn't notice anything good *or* bad). I'll try and remember to feel it out a bit more if/when we go for a second drive/take it to our mech. Thanks for the feedback.

JLee

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2016, 02:59:50 PM »
Ok, if anyone's interested - wife went and drove a same-year Matrix, and said the gear shift felt exactly the same.

Once again I don't know how much it shares with the '08 Corolla, and I don't know what type of driving you do (city/hwy) but I was always fine to hold in the clutch on my old Civic at stop lights and in stop and go traffic.  With the Corolla, it is uncomfortable to hold it in for some reason that has to do with the strength of the return spring (slightly stronger than the Civic), distance required to fully disengage the clutch (seems like a longer reach to the floor, and I am 6' so the legs should plenty long) vs. where I want to be for the brake/gas, and geometry of the seat vs. the pedal so I switched to putting the tranny in neutral and letting the clutch out for anything more than a stop sign.  No big deal, but it certainly took some getting used to. Might be adjustable, but I have never really looked into it.  I also have the basic seat with no electric tilt, etc.     

Random fact - the clutch spring is actually an assist in making the pedal easier to depress. When you push the clutch in, you're pushing hydraulic fluid against the force from the pressure plate. The spring helps you do that so the pedal isn't as stiff pushing down. Pics for example.

It doesn't change the point of your post, but having pulled a clutch pedal and having it snap to the fully depressed position due to the spring assist, I figured I'd mention it. :)

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Re: Comments on specific car?
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2016, 01:52:18 PM »
Ok, if anyone's interested - wife went and drove a same-year Matrix, and said the gear shift felt exactly the same.

Once again I don't know how much it shares with the '08 Corolla, and I don't know what type of driving you do (city/hwy) but I was always fine to hold in the clutch on my old Civic at stop lights and in stop and go traffic.  With the Corolla, it is uncomfortable to hold it in for some reason that has to do with the strength of the return spring (slightly stronger than the Civic), distance required to fully disengage the clutch (seems like a longer reach to the floor, and I am 6' so the legs should plenty long) vs. where I want to be for the brake/gas, and geometry of the seat vs. the pedal so I switched to putting the tranny in neutral and letting the clutch out for anything more than a stop sign.  No big deal, but it certainly took some getting used to. Might be adjustable, but I have never really looked into it.  I also have the basic seat with no electric tilt, etc.     

Random fact - the clutch spring is actually an assist in making the pedal easier to depress. When you push the clutch in, you're pushing hydraulic fluid against the force from the pressure plate. The spring helps you do that so the pedal isn't as stiff pushing down. Pics for example.

It doesn't change the point of your post, but having pulled a clutch pedal and having it snap to the fully depressed position due to the spring assist, I figured I'd mention it. :)

Good to know.  The clutch spring on my tractor is indeed a return spring, so I figured a car would be the same. You learn something new every day!