2006 pontiac vibe runs rough and stalls at stop signs or when idling for a short period of time.

Dan Goraj

Asked by Jun 21, 2014 at 09:46 PM about the 2006 Pontiac Vibe Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 06 pontiac vibe with a VVTi 16 valve motor. It is running rough and stalling at stop signs or if idling for a short period of time after the car warms up. there are no codes being produced. I have put new spark plugs in (iridium and E3), new 02 sensor up front, cleaned mass air flow sensor, new crank position sensor, valve cover gasket, cleaned throttle body, air filter, 4 injectors, fuel rail. I have swapped around the coils and there is no change. I have inspected all vacuum lines and have found none with rot, damage or any unplugged. The motor doesn't fall under the recall for the ECM. The next thing I was thinking i would check is the fuel pressure to see about a fuel pump. other then that I am out of ideas as to where to look next.

9 Answers


Sure sounds like it could possibly be a dirty/faulty idle air control valve.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Dan Goraj

The problem is on this car I cant clean that valve because it is built into the throttle body. it has electronic throttle. I took the throttle body off and tried spraying down the lines into the valve with throttle body cleaner but this changed nothing. A new throttle body for the car is around 500 so I really want to nail it down before I buy one.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

That,s what you going to find more than likely fuel pump,don,t you hate it when you tear every thing apart and check it,then the last thing you have to check is the one thing that was wrong, ; ) Good luck with it.

Paul Washburn

So all of that work you mentioned above, is that what youve checked or is that what you've replaced?? If thats all work youve done on car and parts youve replaced, I would ask why did you have to replace all of those parts in the first place? sounds like the work you would have to do to a '96 grand am to get it running, not so much on a fairly new vibe? just curious what was wrong with the car initially. Also, im not sure about the 2006 and up vibes with the newer engines but I do know if you put anything other than Copper spark plugs in the 1.8 liter vvt's including platinum and irridium, the cars ran like garbage 9 times out of 10. that might be a cheap thing to do just for fun. Also, how did you clean the MAF sensor? those are very fragile and if you touched it, I might consider it was damaged maybe? did that with my infiniti, wiped it off gently and thought it was fine but car barely ran and stalled out idling, I assumed I damaged the MAF sensor when I cleaned it so I bought a new one, car was fine. Not trying to discredit your abilities, just that even the best mechanics break things now and again.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Paul Washburn

one other thing I thought of. Why did you replace O2 sensor? was the car misfiring before? My infiniti, bad coil pack plague caused misfire. took a bit for me to figure out it was coil packs. in the time I discovered that the misfire fauled out all the O2 sensors which in turn within time ended up clogging one of the cats on drivers side which caused the car to barely run at all. Different car but still a posibility. since the infiniti had dual exhaust it never stalled but the vibe has only one exhaust pipe so maybe check that out. hopefully its something cheap for you though!

Dan Goraj

I have found the solution to the misfire problem. The valve cover gasket was leaking oil down the coils and onto the plugs. When I pulled the coils and looked down the tube with a flashlight there was oil puddling around the plugs. Unfortunately this is my girlfriends car and it wasn't until a week after I changed the valve gasket when I asked her how the car was running that she told me great lol. The night I wrote my post was the day I changed the gasket. just wanted to give an answer to the problem.

George Perris

I have an 05 vibe..same situation.. soon as u plug in the mass air it dies.. or idles like sh*t ..unplugged runs great...idles great..but pops ,of course, the cel.... id really like to know how to fix this issue myself.. also replaced cam sensor..all coil packs, plugs, vts sensor temp sensor ...replaced mass air w 2 junkyard parts finally broke down bought a new one w no difference..

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

George have you figured this out, my 07 does the exact same as your description, unplug mass air flow idles good plug it in it dies, brand new mass air flow censor too.

Bridget Buchanan

I have an 06 Vibe 82k with same issue. So its a valve cover gasket??

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