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Chevrolet/Geo Metro

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  • Thanks for the tip, inuvik. I'm going to check out some auto shops today. Hopefully I'll find what I'm looking for (185/55 R14s) at a decent price since I also have to replace my stock muffler & exhaust due to rust. Bummer, that.

    I saw your photos: that's a nice looking pair of Metros you've got there! Wish I had the hatch window wiper. Keep them running strong...
  • A little history: I'm a die-hard mid-size sedan fan, having driven my '93 Dodge Spirit (also extremely reliable, as I see Metros are from the posts here) to 135,000 currently, and plan on taking her to 200,000 at least.

    While having my shocks and struts replaced recently (the first time it's needed done) I had an occasion to rent a red 2000 Metro 4-door LSI from a local Enterprise Rental outlet. (Auto)

    I have to say, it surprised me! I thought it would just get me around for the day, but I really liked it. And I see after reading through the postings here that it's no longer available? Rats! I was looking at a new Nissan Sentra GXE for $15,000, but there was just something about the Metro that I took to, and in only one day. Yes, it's slow to accelerate compared to my 100hp Spirit, but I'm not a speed demon anyway. At 31, I'm one of those people you see doing maybe 5 mph over the speed limit, but no more. My main priorities in finding another car are: 1. Reliability 2. Price 3. Space (Roominess). From what I've read here, reliability is excellent. And I know about the cars roominess (I'm 6'1 and the car almost seems to have more up front room than my mid-size spirit. How about price? And milage?

    I was ready to put a new Metro on my consideration list, but as it's no longer available new, is it a good buy used? I found a '99 locally (same as above) "loaded" for 8,850 with 34,000 on the odo. Opinions?

    This seems a very informative and friendly group, so I thought I'd take a chance and ask.

    Thanks for your time.
  • I don't know about price "new", but I do know that the Geo Metro has been discontinued for the 2001 model year (a quick check of Chevy's website revealed that). If you can find a leftover 2000 on a dealer's lot he or she will probably be happy to see you take it away.

    They are a good buy used IF you get as much info as you can about the vehicle's history. Metros are very durable but require strict adherence to regular maintenance to stay that way. If the previous owner was negligent in this regard, you may want to look elsewhere. You could probably find a decent used Metro for anywhere from $1,500 - $9,000 depending on model year and your geographic location. Mileage is great (about 45 MPG on the highway for my 1993 H/B) but I would personally avoid the auto tranny and stay with a manual as it can affect performance and mileage noticeably.

    One more thing - I have noticed that in my area of the country (Northeast; suburban NYC) that there are very few used Metros available anywhere. I wonder if this is because: a) people who bought Metros don't want to sell them, or b) very few Metros were sold in this area in the first place. Scenario b) doesn't seem logical to me since this crowded area of the USA is the perfect stomping ground for Metros.

    Good luck in your search, urbandriver. I hope you will be happy with your Metro. They are tough little cars -- sort of like the modern reincarnation of the "old" VW Beetles.
  • inuvikinuvik Posts: 131
    If you can find a newer LSI with low miles I'd go for it! On of the things that I would look for though would be a 5 speed instead of a automatic. Unfortunately the auto is only a 3 speed and really cuts down the driveability and mileage.
    Good service records would be a must too. Unfortunately since Metro's weren't all that expensive new it attracted "owners from hell". The kind of people that buy a car, never maintain it, drive the life right out of it and after a couple of years wonder why they are starting to have problems and call the car "junk".
    Properly maintained there is no reason you can't get 150K-200K+ out of a Metro. Suzuki quietly has made awesome small displacement motors for over 15 years now. Here in the Pacific NW I still see a lot of '85-'87 Sprints. Pretty good for a car that cost $5000.00-6,000.00 brand new.
  • If you're serious on purchasing a NEW 2001 Metro, they are available but....
    Only as a "fleet" purchase (buying 5 or more).
    You might not like the changes either. The 2001 Metro is offered in the 4 dr model only,... and only available as an automatic. The ABS braking system is no longer offered as an option and the only radio you can get is AM/FM. Gone also is the optional tach.
    An alternative would be to see Suzuki. The 2001 Swift is in it's last year (or so I'm told). However,...
    The Swift is only available as a hatchback. If you liked the 4 door, sorry.
    I had a 1991 Metro Hatchback and traded it in for a new 2000 Metro LSi Hatchback and it hasn't given me any problems. Would I buy another one? Yes!
  • gr8gal27gr8gal27 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 1992 Geo 3 days ago and my engine could be going. Of all the luck. First they thought it was the transmission but then they said the E word. I figure i am probably going to get screwed in the deal since they will just band-aid it until my 30 day warranty is up and then I will have to do something crazy like get a motor. Anyone else have problems like this one???

    gr8gal
  • inuvikinuvik Posts: 131
    So what are it's symptoms? If you could give us a list of what you observe is going on with the car and also what they are telling you I'm pretty sure that between all of the regular posters we can help you out. After all, we "Metronians"© have to stick together!!
  • cjaccettacjaccetta Posts: 236
    To gr8gal27: Sorry to hear about your possible E-word trouble. Suzuki is known for making dependable small engines so if you gave us a description of your symptoms we might be able to offer advice. Metro engines are reported to be expensive (although it looks like you could lift one up with one hand) to replace.

    Metronians -- I love it! Did you actually get that copyrighted, inuvik?
  • adromadrom Posts: 2
    I posted on JAN. 26, 2001 asking about the 3 and 4 cylinder engines, well anyway, it took some time but I found a 1998 Chev. Metro LSi 4DR, 5SPD, A/C, and a CD player. But, there's always a but, it has nearly 77,000 miles on it. The price is $3,495 though. So I know the price is good because KBB price is nearly $8,000. So now my question is will this car last for, say, at least 3 years with no high cost maintenence? So if someone has one with a few miles like the one I might buy please post asap. Thank you, Metronians.
  • inuvikinuvik Posts: 131
    Check out the trunk and inner front fenders to look for overspray to see if it has ever been wrecked. If it has never been totalled and even reasonably maintained I would buy it. Offer them $3200.00 and see if they'll bite. It probably will need brakes pretty soon. Check the A/C for cold air. The clutch should engage a couple of inches from the floor and should have at least one inch of free play with the pedal all the way out. It shouldn't chatter or shudder either. Idle should be smooth and the valve train should be quiet and the exhaust shouldn't smoke. Good Luck!
    Oh and by the way I can't copyright "Metronian(s)"® but I can claim it as a Registered Service Mark
  • I have a 1994 Geo Metro 5-speed and I need to increase the idle and while I have a book I can't find that screw. This is fuel injected. Can someone please help
  • The very first thing to do is a compression test on all three cylinders- they should be about the same. If one is lower, a pressure bleed-down test can tell you if it is a bad valve, rings, or a blown head gasket. The test should be fairly cheap, and definitely worth it.
    GM put out a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin)in August of 1993 (Number 92-362-6A titled "Stalling, Loss of Power". It states the cause as "High pressure in the hydraulic lifter assemblies may result in valves not closing completely due to the inability of the lifter to bleed oil quickly enough during the cold start cycle". This causes the exhaust valves, pertiularly in #2 cylinder, to burn, destroying compression and performance. Might be your problem- I know it's mine. GM specifies replacing the lifters with Part Number 17106263.
    My fix, rather than a valve job, etc., is to buy an engine from Japanese Engines. They import engines with less than 40K miles. The one I am getting has 30k on it, and sells for $495 including four-day shipping to your door. Or, you can try going to your dealer, mentioning the TSB, and see if they will fix it. This problem existed in all 1989, thru 1991 models, and in 1992 models thru IN 2C1MR2160N6761708.
  • towmantowman Posts: 8
    I just bought a 1997 Metro Lsi with 37,000 miles at a price I just couldn't pass up ($1500). It has a salvage title but I bought it tow behind my RV. I don't find anything wrong with it but a broken drivers side mirror. Do any of you know where I might be able to find a mirror for it? I am considering the junk yard but need to wait for warmer weather. I leave near Indy and am also going to use it to commute to work. So far I love it. I plan to check the milage on it. It is an automatic do any of you know what kind of gas milage I should expect? I thinking around 28-30.

    TowMan....
  • cjaccettacjaccetta Posts: 236
    Congratulations on becoming a Metro owner. Sounds like you got a good bargain. You may find that these little cars have a way of growing on you!

    I believe the Metros with A/T were three-speeds, so your mileage estimate sounds about right for city driving. Expect a few more MPG on the highway. As for your mirror, I have noticed that Metro parts may be hard to find in some places so you might strike out at the junkyard. A dealer can order the part for you but it may be expensive. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think all outside mirrors on these cars (with the exception of the convertible model) were black so if you find one at the junkyard you won't have to fret about a color mismatch.

    One thing to watch for -- the stock exhaust systems tend to develop rust problems at around 40k-45k miles.

    Happy motoring.
  • cjaccettacjaccetta Posts: 236
    I've been considering buying a new, affordable hatch back or wagon to replace my 1993 Metro 5-speed. I'm thinking low-price brands like Hyundai and Kia. I have a daily 50-mile round trip commute to and from the office so economy and reliability are my two greatest concerns.

    But then I got to thinking about my bone-stock little Metro (named Ruby) which has served me faithfully for seven years. She's only got 45k on the odometer and she runs like a Swiss watch. Why would I want to ditch a perfectly good and reliable car that's also paid for?

    So I guess if I'm going to keep her I might want to make some upgrades so she's easier to live with on a daily basis. I'm seeking advice from my fellow "Metronians" (credit inuvik for the catchy name) on the following upgrades:

    1. Wheels and tires: I'm considering replacing the 12" wheels with either OEM 13" or after market 14". Several previous posts dealt with this so I know the appropriate sizes I will need. Can anyone recommend a particular brand or retailer?

    2. Steering wheel: since the day I bought it my Metro has emitted an annoying rattle from inside the steering column. Only occurs while idling. I've pulled the dash and can't seem to find the source. Placing my hands on top of the wheel stops the noise. Would switching to a heavier steering wheel help? Besides, the thin and slippery stock wheel has never been my favorite. Something meatier may quell the rattle and make driving more fun.

    3. Air conditioning: my Metro does not have factory A/C. This wasn't a problem until I moved to NJ, where we have God-awful humidity beginning every May. I've installed a huge pop-up sunroof but that's not totally satisfying. Is it possible (or practical) to retrofit factory A/C to a seven year-old vehicle? Alternatively, has anyone tried to hard-wire a small interior fan (like the kind you see in big-rigs or city buses) inside their Metro? This may be a more cost-effective way to keep cool.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    ps - OPEC passes 4% production cutbacks....Summer gas prices due to rise....Metro owners may smile now :-)
  • towmantowman Posts: 8
    CJ,

    Thanks for the advice on the exhaust. I guess I needed to give more details on the mirror problem. The mirror housing is ok - it's the part that attaches the mirror into the exterior black housing. I checked at NAPA and they don't have the plastic piece that connects to the adjustment arm. It's getting warmer now and I am planning a trip to the junk yard as soon as I can find some free time.

    Thanks again, Jeff
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    I have a 1990 Metro 5 dr with the 3 cyl engine and 84K miles which was a dealer runabout. The trasnmission went (my son will never admit, but believed he tried to tow a car out at school in the snow !).

    The dealer wanted close to $5500 to replace, but by chance found an article about a company called Solectria in MA who take Metro's rip out the engine and gearbox to be replaced with electric motors.

    I called them and they had an 89 engine and tranny in the workshop from an old Metro which they had crash tested.They removed the tranny and shipped it to a shop where it was installed. Total bill was around $750 for transmission/shipping and installation. Worked fine ever since.

    May be still a good source, but must have correct model year because of changing electronics. Wanted $1000 for brand new engines.
  • nollspnollsp Posts: 1
    I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to find a group that cherishes its autos - instead of assembling a class action suit against the manufacturer.

    Anyway - due to the rising price of fuel and my long (time not distance) commute in the DC area - I have decided to buy a Metro. I have found one from a lady at work for what I think to be a pretty good deal. Ir is a 1998 LSI Sedan w/ A/C, CD and Auto (I really wanted the 5spd). The car was driven since new by their daughter to college and back several times - I think it has about 58K on it.

    First - is this a decent deal? Second, I am in with this car for the long haul. I assume these things need timing belts somewhere along the way. Basically, what are my 60-75K maintenace reqs. and then 75-125K reqs as well (if it will go that far).
    The car has all the oil change receipts - but other than oil - nothing else has been touched.

    Thanks so much - great group,

    -sn
  • cjaccettacjaccetta Posts: 236
    You didn't mention the purchase price of your Metro. It seems like 58k is a little high mileage for a 3 year-old car but if it's in overall good shape and it's been maintained well then I'd give it a shot. After all, these cars are not for sale to Joe & Jane Consumer anymore. Get your hands on a future classic!

    Watch out for the exhaust starting to rust. Usually happens around 45k or four to five years. Other than that, if the normal maintenance items have been attended to, you shouldn't have any major repairs to look forward to any time soon.

    One thing I've discovered -- it's quite easy to knock the front windows off their tracks. In my 1993 this has happened twice. It's a pain in the neck to re-set them, too. The easy way to avoid this kind of trouble is not to slam the doors with the windows partway down. Consider it a lesson learned the hard way by yours truly!
  • I'm looking for a rear compartment cover for 90-94 4dr Geo Metro..... and for conversation sake my car has 165,000 mi on it and still going strong......and of course with a big smile at the gas pump!
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