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Chevrolet/Geo Metro

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  • steve109steve109 Posts: 13
    (Sigh)By quickly scanning the posts, I see #172 had(or has) the same problem I have. Leo, the Geo (My wife's car she affectionately names) is going back to the dealer for the fourth time for air conditioner work. It does not seem to hold a charge of coolant. They have replaced the "o-ring" and have re-charged, only for a couple of months later, to blow hot air. It is a 1996 Geo Metro sedan, with only 25,700 miles on it. The warranty expired last October 1999, but the last air-conditioner repair occurred in April 2000, and GM picked up the tab. Here it is four months later, and the same problem persists. The car really doesn't get driven that much, but I don't think that would contribute to the problem. Any advise, or opinions welcome. I am hoping that GM will correct this problem, since it has been a chronic problem. I even changed GM dealers after the second time it failed, thinking that the first garage had a bunch of goofs there who were incompetent. Advise or comments welcomed!!
  • My 1994 Geo Metro, which has 106,000 miles on it, started "pulling back" while I am holding the gas steady about a week ago. It feels like I am letting up on the accelerator even though I am continuing to press the gas. It started in the lower gears, and now does it even on the freeway. It also delays before accelerating when I press the gas. I took it to Pep Boys and the first mechanic said it was due to the front shocks rubbing on the tires. The shocks and tires were then replaced along with an alignment. The problem still persisted. Another mechanic there told me that the first mechanic had not been addressing the "pulling back" problem
  • Oops! I guess I hit the wrong button and posted prematurely! Well anyway, the second mechanic, who did the tire/shock work, told me the car needed a tune up and timing belt change. Do I need a tune up if I have changed the spark plugs recently, have checked all the fluid levels, and changed the alternator belt recently? I do need an oil change, but what else would I need besides that? As you can tell, I am new at all this.

    Could the problem be fuel injection? Does the 1994 Geo Metro have a computer which controls fuel injection? What about the exhaust (my Dad mentioned the exhaust system)? Could it be something with the engine? Last time I had the oil changed they forgot to put oil in the car and I didn't notice until a couple weeks later.

    What should I have done first? The mechanic said they would probably have to try things one by one until they found the problem. Unluckily, I cannot qualify for a new car due to BAD credit, so I am stuck. If anyone has any ideas, I would appreciate any help...thanks.

    By the way, the car's name is "The Flea", named by my nephews. I thought the name was great and fitting, so I kept it. They had considered naming it "The Fly", but due to its extremely small size, they named it "The Flea".

    Thanks--Silver15
  • inuvikinuvik Posts: 131
    Silver15,

    The most likely culprit of your driveability problems is that your catalytic converter is almost plugged up. I will describe the symptoms of a restricted converter (idles fine, but as soon as you apply more than a little throttle it starts to bog down on you. When you let up on the gas it seems to pick back up). If this is indeed happening then you need to replace your converter ASAP. If you let it go your exhaust valves will overheat and burn due to the excessive temps. The catalytic converter is replaced as a complete front half of the exhaust on the Metro from the manifold to half way underneath the car. I replaced mine in my 1990 this spring and it cost just over $120.00
    Just pull your Metro onto a set of ramps, pull the emergency brake and block the rear wheels and place a couple of car stands underneath the frame just to be safe. Just unbolt the exhaust from the manifold and halfway underneath the car and remove it. Install the new exhaust and I would purchase a new exhaust manifold gasket ($10.00) to prevent possible exhaust leaks. It took me less than 15 minutes to do this.
    I would demand a refund from these rip off artists that were fraudulent. If you paid with a credit card I would dispute the bill!!
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408
    these guys are trying to milk you out of your money as best they can or else they simply haven't got a clue what is wrong. If you changed the spark plugs you did a basic tuneup. Make sure your air filter is clean. If it bogs down under acceleration, have the exhaust system checked, go to a real muffler shop to do this, not Midas or some national chain. These guys are salesmen. Go to a real muffler/exhaust shop where they can tell what is up. It is also possible the plugs you put in are improperly gapped. Buying spark plugs and putting them in won't help if you donm't set the gap first. The plugs I pulled out of the Cavalier I am currently loathing...err...I mean driving, were gapped .015" too large, causing the car to advance the timing to make up for the larger gap, keeping it from accelerating faster than a DART bus.

    The 3-cylinder Metro isn't a powerful car, but if it isn't tuned right, all those 48 horses you have start working like 20 or 30 and you can't move too well.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408
    the 1994 Metro has throttle body injection (TBI), which has a single injector mounted in a venturi, kind of like an electronic carburetor. If it isn't clean, it won't run right. A can of carb/choke cleaner will spray the gunk away. Spray while the engine is off to blast off the grunge from the outside of the TBI unit, then spray down the throat while it is running to clean it inside. Don't spray too much, it can backfire on you, just a couple squirts every few seconds will do.

    While you have the air cleaner cover off, check that air filter, if it is clogged your engine isn't getting air...also check to make sure all the vacuum hoses are hooked up and not spongy or cracked. Vacuum hose is 30-50 cents per foot and easy to replace. If any are leaking, this will also prevent you from accelerating or cruising smoothly.

    You can also check your spark plug wires. Any good mechanic can look up the resistance limits for the Metro and test yours with an ohmmeter. If you mechanic tells you this is useless, just replace them, go to another mechanic. If the wires are good, why spend $30-$50 to replace them with new ones that may not be right for your car?

    Another check you can do yourself is to see if your car has a cracked head or bad head gasket. This is a bit messy. When the car is cold in the morning, before you start it, take off the radiator cap. It won't burn you if it is cold to the touch and the engine is off. Of course if it is low, fill it, then start the engine with the cap off. If it starts steaming and bubbling within a few seconds, your engine is blown. If not, you're probably okay. You can still have a blown head gasket without consuming water, though.

    I can't think of anything else, but taking the car to a Chevy dealer may save you some headaches. Call your BBB and see which Chevy dealer in your area has the fewest complaints and start there.
  • Thanks for all the responses! I will start setting things straight right away. Do you I should tell them to put the old tires back on? They are worn on the insides only but otherwise good.

    Thanks again.
  • On Monday the dealership called and told my wife her car was done. She couldn't bring make it that night so we brought the rental in Tuesday and got the Metro back, filthy as an alley cat. We asked them to wash the car, which the dealership does for free, but they said they had no workers available to do so, so we figured no big deal.

    As it turns out, the issue was a faulty ECM module. Fortunately it was not the main CPU of the unit, but one of the modules that controlled the ocygen sensors. The cause of the disturbance may have been an electrical failure with the module. In all it cost the dealership $1400 to replace the ECM module, at no cost to us of course (thank god for the 36m/36k).

    The next day, my wife calls me frantically telling me guess what, the good 'ol check engine light is back on. So she took her metro back to the dealership again, and got another rental. This is getting to be more than a little redundant. Honestly I hope the main CPU of the ECM is shot, that way maybe we can get the heck out of this lease before it's too late. I mean, honestly should a 16,000 mile metro be having so many computer problems? I have an 8-bit Macintosh SE from 1988 that runs better!

    I'm wondering if we should seriously try to get out of the lease and look for another car? It's been 18 months into a 36 month lease, so we're dead halfway through it, and my wife is sick of the sight of her metro. She loves the fuel economy but is having a miserable time toting the new baby around without four doors and with no a/c in this L.A. heat.

    Any suggestions?
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408
    I had a dream last night, I had bought a 1963 Dodge Dart on eBay for $450 and got it home and my Geo Metro that I used to own was there. As soon as I parked next to it, the Metro just rolled out into the street and got hit by a DART bus. Jealousy? Suicide? Do you think our Geo Metros break when they think we take them for granted? You be the judge...
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    ROTFLOL!!!!!!!!

    carlady/host
  • inuvikinuvik Posts: 131
    I would cut down on my ice cream intake before bed!!
  • I did find a much better mechanic who did not screw me over.

    There, I found out that the Flea had a blocked up fuel filter, dirty fuel injectors, malfunctioning TBI valve (thanks-I tried cleaning it and it helped but needed more help), bad oxygen sensor, sticking EGR valve, leaking water pump, bad muffler, and almost dead timing belt. Thank God I didn't wait any longer for the timing belt because once it pops in a Geo, the mechanic said it can ruin your engine since everything is packed so close together.

    The catalytic converter, spark plugs, and firing system were fine. I think the symtoms differed from the catalytic converter, because the pulling, or "bucking" as someone described, happens when the car is coasting, not accelerating.

    The EGR valve is the only thing that hasn't been taken care of as it will arrive from Dallas tomorrow. This has been a major overhaul but the little Flea is now acting like it is not ready to retire quite yet. The hesitation and pulling still happen so I hope the EGR valve will fix it, as the mechanic said.

    By the way, I learned that the struts and tires did need to be replaced but were not the cause of the problem described. I had run over a parking lot divider and messed up the struts.

    Another thing to note: no codes came up in the computer until the parts were tested separately (as multiple problems existed, one problem was masking another, preventing any codes from coming up on the computer).

    Thanks and hope you can benefit from my experiences (hopefully you all keep up with maintenance a little better than I did. I think I learned my lesson).
  • I tested the engine (while the water pump was also leaking). This is what happened: Little bubbles went down but no steam or smoke, then the water stayed level and actually started rising. Is this ok?--Silver 15
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408
    yes, that is normal. when it drops a bit it means the thermostat just opened. when it rises again, the engine is reaching normal operating temp and you should put the cap back on before it gushes.

    I also think this mechanic may be putting you on, he is simply replacing parts, did he test drive the car at all?
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408
    I looked, there is no '63 Dart on eBay, I think I'm safe
  • I just took ownership of 97 Geo Metro. I was wondering if anyone had any idea's on what I need to do to it. It has 44k on it and runs okay. It rattles when started up and I get vibration from the back left side of the car. I'm going to change the tires. Anyone have a suggestion as to what is a good brand? I know they are very small tires, probably 13", haven't checked yet. Any other suggestions as far making it more enjoyable? My wife and I have 6 mos old twins, so this car is my diaper saver car - the money we saved from the other car pays for the diapers!
    Thanks ahead of time.
  • It's a fleet vehicle. It may only be available through the end of the year too.

    The link is here: http://www.gmfleet.com/na/us/productpreview/car/html/subcom/cmetro.htm

    (should be on 1 line)

    H.
  • Hi,
    I've had 3 Metro's and on ALL of them, I've replaced the tires with Michelins.

    My choice of favorites are the Michelin Symmetry P175/70R13. They are a premium, all-season, comfort and mileage tire and I have never had any problems with them.

    If you have a Discount Tire Company in your area, they are about $45.00 per tire (see if they are running them on sale).
    Tom
  • Hey again all,

    Guess what? My wife's '99 Metro is still in the Dealership Service Dept. That's right, we first dropped it off there on August 14th, which will be one month ago tommorrow. They've given it back to us 4 times, yet the "service engine soon" light still is coming on about 2 miles after you start driving the car. What's worse, it makes a loud, hissing whine everytime you turn it off after it's been driven more than a few miles.

    So far we've gone through 3 rental cars. As you know, the firts they gave us was a 2k Jeep Cherokee. Well, teh second time they gave us a 2k Ford Escort, which we hated. What an aged piece of junk that is. This time they gave us a k Ford Focus Sedan, wow my wife is in love. She's wanted a Focus since they first came out and now her mission is to dump the lemon Metro and get one however she can.

    Anyway, teh dealkership is bringing a GM Specialist down to check out our Metro and determine whether the car is a definite "lemon", and if so we should be able to get out of the lease. Oh, by the way, another woman who was there at teh same time as we were had just bought a 2k GMC Yukon 10 days ago and the service engine light was coming on...same prob as us. Makes you think twice about the new Cadillac Escalade, eh?

    Well, I'll keep you posted . . .

    = (
  • Browsed through autonews.com and noticed some stories from late August (and one from today) which add a bit of mystery to the Metro replacement.

    Of course, previously autonews.com ran a story that put forward the Vauxhall Corsa as the Metro replacement. (Unfortunately, that story is no longer on the site so I cannot link to it.) So a large grain of salt may be in order.

    Today's link is here:
    http://www.autonews.com/html/main/stories/suzuki914.htm

    "GM and Suzuki also are developing a Chevrolet-branded vehicle for the North American market, but it is not based on the YGM-1." (9/14/00)

    As this is the most recent news on the subject, I'd tend to believe it. So we are back to speculating on the Metro replacement again.

    I also culled through several other stories to come up with the following quotes:

    GM will produce at an "undisclosed date" a "Chevrolet small car jointly developed with Suzuki Motor Corp . . . "

    "GM is not saying much about the Chevrolet vehicle being developed with Suzuki. Although GM and Suzuki are developing the tiny Chevrolet YGM-1 for Asian markets, a GM source said that vehicle will not come to the United States."

    As was the case with the Vauxhall Corsa rumor, I am not aware of any sites other than autonews.com reporting this information.

    H.
  • According to http://www.autonews.com/cgi-bin/gx.cgi/AppLogic+autonews.nab.ShowArchiveArtical?id=266913&type=archive&query=YGM-1

    Following the timeline laid out in the first 3 paragraphs, the Metro replacement will be seen no sooner than 2004.

    H.
  • I'd be plenty happy with a 1.3 liter hatchback Esteem (Baleno), or why not bring back the old 1989-1994 Metro/Swift which is STILL sold in Japan and the UK?

    I'd also want to have a standard transmission. Seem a 5-speed is listed as standard equipment on the 2001 fleet model, but automatic is a REQUIRED option. Guess I have to stick to used models for awhile. Wonder if the 2001 Swift offers a 5-speed? I almost got a GREAT deal a few months ago on a blue 2000 Swift GA 5-speed but they doubled the down payment on me. Hmm...I might be forced into buying used cars forever...
  • The Suzuki (Japan) English language site has the old Swift, and the Baleno. The Suzuki (Japan) Japanese language site has the new Swift and the Cultus (no Baleno).

    I would assume the English language page is outdated, and that the Cultus is the current model. Or that Suzuki makes some "export-only" models. If the 2001 Esteem corresponds to the Baleno, then it's still in production in Japan (at least for the U.S. market).

    The site is http://www.suzuki.co.jp/ , and you can click directly to the Cultus from http://www.suzuki.co.jp/dom4/lineup/frame.htm . No Cultus hatchback.

    H.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Friends, post #342 has been hidden because it contains a link that skews our screen size. To read it, just click on "Hidden." Thanks!

    carlady/host
  • Hey folks, my wife's Metro is still in the shop, like it has been since August 14th. Whee, big fun! In the Service Manager's own words, "This car has MAJOR problems."

    This time they replaced the gas tank and then found that all the fuses had blown! Well gee-whiz.

    Let's review...

    #1 Check gas cap (duh!)
    #2 Replace Engine Control Module
    #3 Replace major wiring system and solinoids
    #4 Replace gas tank and do repair to fuel line
    #5 Replace fusebox

    So yeah we're in lemon law territory, however there's two problems. #1, GM refuses to buy the car back until the Service Manager clearly states that the vehicle is "unfixable". Apparently having "major problems" does not equate to unfixable, however in further reflection I'd beg to know what exactly "unfixable" is without having been in a major accident.

    #2 We contacted an attorney here in Glendale who specializes in lemon cases, and from what we told him he was almost positive that we had a case and we'd win. However, we'd need a $1700 down payment for his attorney fees. Now, upon victory GM would pay off all of our legal fees under the lemon law, however we do not have $1700 to throw around in the first place.

    So we're stuck with the lemon Metro. We'll probably be getting it back in a few days, and, assuming the "Service Engine Soon" light doesn't come back on, we're going to head straight for the Ford dealership and try to trade it in. We already spoke to a rep who said they can buy out the lease, especially since my wife only owes about $2500. She's got her eyes on a dirt-metallic Focus ZX3 with the sunroof and 16" six-spoke wheels.

    I'll keep you guys updated!
  • Remember, your wife owes $2500 PLUS the residual so she in fact is upside down in the lease, because in a lease you are ALWAYS upside down against what the car is worth. Also expect them to deduct for the lemon value and the miles no matter how many there are. You are better off with the $1700 attorney fee then paying off the car's value plus $2500 plus a new Focus. You'll end up owing twice what the Focus is worth. Or wait a little while longer because that Metro is certainly unfixable and it sounds like the dealer is just throwing parts at it, wasting your time and his, trying to mooch off as much warranty pay as possible. It may be time to call your zone office if you haven't already, call your BBB, and if all else fails take the car to another GM dealership and start all over, maybe the techs at another dealer will have maintained a double-digit IQ long enough to get it fixed right.
  • I hear ya, we've been to the Ford dealership and found out just what kind of ridiculous debt we'd be getting into due to negative equity. Yikes!

    Well we got the Metro back on Wednesday night, and when they gave it to us we heard a really loud "scrape" coming from the driver's side door as the serviceman opened it. We checked it out, and for some god unknown reason the driver's side door had been miss-aligned and would not even close all the way. We complained to the manager and they kept it overnight again. Thursday morning we picked it up, the door was fixed. Of course we had no explanation as to how it had been miss-aligned in the first place!

    The engine light is no longer coming on so "apparently" the problem has been fixed. Still, I don't feel any overwhelming sense of reliability from the Metro. It seems as if a suit will hold no water now, and trading it in as you pointed out would be an exercise in debt expansion. However, my wife is still fed up with her car, not only due to the numerous failures over the last 18 months but just the fact that she's stuck in a tiny 2-door car with no a/c and 55 horsepower while lugging around a new baby up and down L.A. mountains in the late summer heat. Yeah I know, then why did we get the car? Well I could go into detail as to what led up to getting the Metro, but I'll suffice to say the car we had broke down, we needed cheap, fuel-efficient transportation and we needed it quick. We didn't want to have to worry about the pitfalls of a used vehicle so we went with a new Metro. Oh, and no we didn't plan on getting pregnant. So there you go, our saga...

    I'll let you know what happens as it happens!
  • make sure the check engine light comes on before you start the car. If it doesn't, then your service people just disconnected the bulb and your car is still broken...it should come on with ignition on and engine not running, then go out when you start it.
  • so you leased the Metro for 36 months, still owe $2500 plus the residual, and it has no air? Is it broken or does it simply not have air? If it had air I would be more interested. So how much do you owe total?
  • The dealership said the exact same thing about the a/c, lol. No it never had a/c, it was a base model Metro. I know, I know, whenever we tell people that they look at us like we're crazy!

    Anyway, it's all over now, my wife went back to the Ford dealership yesterday and struck a deal. It wasn't ideal, but I have to admit it was not bad at all for getting out of a half-done 36 month lease into a car worth more than twice as much.

    Here's what she got:

    2000 Ford Focus SE 4-door, 5-speed, Metallic Autumn Orange, all-Black interior, spoiler, fog lamps, 2.0L 16v Zetec engine (as opposed to the 8v split port), floor mats, cassette, a/c, tachometer, pdl, pw, pm, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, 15" alloy wheels.

    The MSRP was about $15,500 on the car, and originally they wanted at least $2300 down to pay off her car and help get the Focus plus $391 to compensate for the negative equity. We dogged them out for hours, and finally we landed at $350 down and $350 per month on a 36 month lease. That's something like $13,500 total for all payments and the residual will be about $7900. I know, it's kind of high for a lease but the sheer joy my wife has with her new car more than makes up for it.

    You know the funny thing is my wife was really sad to see her Metro go! After all the breakdowns, she really loved that little car!

    - alex
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