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Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 8607
Experience:  16 years automotive and OTR repair
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2005 PONTIAC VIBE Just has my clutch fixed Now two weeks

Customer Question

2005 PONTIAC VIBE Just has my clutch fixed Now two weeks later it won't start. Starter or celanoid(?) Battery is good. I'm wondering what it is and the cost. I'm disabled and the clutch has pretty much wiped me out Any suggestions?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: After the repair I noticed a struggle before starting. A sound I had never heard. Persisted two weeks. Then, would not start. Worked fine before the clutch repair. I say this because I had to have them fix a very low idle afterward that wasn't there before ither.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Pontiac Mechanics generally expect a deposit of about $18 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pontiac
Expert:  Doug replied 1 year ago.


If you know for certain the battery is good, then what you would want to do is unplug the small signal wire on the starter and check for voltage while the key is in the Start position. If there is 12V on the signal wire while in the Start position, then you know the control system is working and your only possible causes would be battery/cables/starter itself. With the battery ruled out you would want to double check your cable connections on both the battery and the starter as well as your ground cable. If the cables are secure and in good shape then you would suspect the starter itself.

If however you do not have 12V at the signal wire on the starter when the key is in the Start position, then there is a control system failure.... which would mean ignition switch, clutch safety switch, or the wiring in between and to the starter.

Given that the problem seemed to occur after the clutch job, I would not suspect an issue with the safety switch or the ignition switch and more likely the starter has decided to fail or something went wrong with the wiring during reassembly (loose connection, pinched wires, etc).

WIth regard to the low idle, this is typical behavior on this model and most Asian (Toyota) electronics vehicles in general when power is disconnected as it causes the computer to lose its idle speed adaptations. The problem can be immediately resolved by cleaning the throttle body or less efficiently if the vehicle is allowed to idle untouched for an extended period (15 minutes+) it will begin re-adapting and will eventually clear up on its own after that.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ty. It was the starter and already fixed! :))
Expert:  Doug replied 1 year ago.

Ah fantastic!

Hopefully it is smooth travels from here out :)