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Chevrolet/Geo Metro



  • Hi gang, I'm looking to buy a second hand '97 4 door Metro sedan with 47,000 miles. One owner and he is asking $4100. Has A/C & radio & not much else, 5 speed stick. Is this a decent price? I've looked on all the consumer reports and other used car guides and see prices anywhere from $2500-$4500. It's supposed to be in excellent shape. Am going to go look at it tomorrow. Want to use it for commuting and save my "Dog van" for the road trips to dog shows. Madeline
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Have you checked with Edmunds' Used Vehicle Appraiser? 4100 seems a little high to me for a private party sale. Of course you also have to take into consideration how many other used Metros are currently available in your area.

    Does this guy have all the service records to show that the vehicle is in excellent shape? Others may have more to add. Good luck, and please keep us posted on what you decide. ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    If the body, interior dash and fabric, etc. are in good condition then it'll go for near the top of the used car range, or about what he's asking (assuming that the value is correct, which I don't know for your area). If, OTOH, it is like mine with bumper scuffs, scratches in the dash and rips in the fabric, expect it to be near the bottom. Drive the car without the radio and listen to the suspension while turning, going over bumps etc.; wheel bearings are something that can go on these cars.

    Check the maintenance records against the schedule in the owner's manual too -- unless the '97 has a much different maintenance schedule than my '95, you shouldn't have to do much to do for the next 15K miles or so (aside from oil, tire rotations, etc.) when you'll have to check the timing belt, emission control valves, etc. Make sure it has up to date plugs, air filter, fuel filter, etc. These cars run really well when maintained but get sluggish if the small engine isn't breathing, drinking and sparking well.
  • and I'm willing to pay no more than 1000 (Canadian) dollars for it.
    If anyone would have any word of advice on this engine, please
    contact me at my e-mail address:

    Thank you,

  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    Note that there were two 1L engines available in 1993, a 1000cc 49hp model and a 993cc 55hp model. I don't know if they are identical in other respects so be sure to check before buying. They only sold the more powerful 993cc model with the automatic so that must be what you have and you might want to make sure you get that one. 1995 and newer 1.0L engines are all the 993cc model.

    I don't know how much Metro engines go for these days, sorry. Try a wrecker I guess.
  • emckelvyemckelvy Posts: 5
    You can search for an engine at -- They are a collective database of wrecking yards across the US and some locations in Canada.

    BTW, I believe the 49 HP 3-cyl was the one used in the super-mpg XFI. If I recall it had low-friction 2-ring pistons and a different cam profile, tuned for MPG rather than power. So unless you want that type, you might be better off with the 55 HP model. Personally I can't imagine driving one with even LESS horses!

    The XFI was a Bare-Bones model and even came without a pssgr side mirror (I assume for less weight and drag)...........ed
  • baveuxbaveux Posts: 175
    Anybody can send me the procedure for changing the belt including a few picture ? I know the general procedure for that job but there is always a trick particular a brand.

    Thanks and keep enjoying one of the toughest car on the market!
    My e-mail is available through my profile.
  • suekathsuekath Posts: 1
    Hello everyone, we just purchased a used 2000 Metro from a dealer yesterday for $7,400 (base price) and we are thrilled to see all of your positive comments. The car was a rental from Dallas and has 34,000 miles on it. We bought an extended warranty and during the buying process learned that the Metro is no longer being made and that the only way to buy one is to get a used one from a rental company. No new Metros are available. So perhaps that info will help someone looking for a good used Metro. Ask your dealer for a program car. Our dealer had 12 Metros available and by the time we got there he had only 3 left. The lower mileage vehicles of course went quickly. Susan
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    Yes, they are tough little cars. To get my desired level of performance out of mine I have to flog it but it just keeps on running.

    I may be tempting fate but I'll tell you I haven't got much back from the extended warranty on my Metro which is up near the end of May. It was pretty cheap to extend it that far on my '95 (bought as last year's model in '96), and includes roadside assistance which means it wasn't much more than getting CAA coverage (the Canadian equivalent of AAA) for all that time but I only had one small repair that was covered (wiring to the headlight stalk broke) so as a warranty it didn't get much use. Good for peace of mind though.

    I'm glad I got the car rust proofed too with our high winter salt usage, the car still looks fairly new. You won't need that if you're anywhere near Dallas.

    I guess I'll have to get CAA soon... or maybe I'll just carry my car booster battery and a gas can in the trunk (like I need it on this car which can go at least 100km when a full needle width below the red on the gas gauge). A trunk full of stuff won't help me if I need a winch or tow though; I've never needed one before but passed enough other cars this past winter to know it happens.

    Happy Metro'ing!
  • I bought a 1997 Metro LSI two door with the 3cyl 5spd, and am amazed at the fact that my fuel economy is hovering around 37MPG. My last car was a carburated 1985 Sprint which typically got between 42-44 mpg. I was expecting with the leap in technology to be getting 50mpg with the Metro. I had the dealer check it out, and the only thing he noted was the compression, which is about 135psi on all three. Is it possible to have valve leaks on all three simultaneously?
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    and having that on all three sounds suspicious. According to message #218, it seems the shop manual suggests 200psi in each (I'll check my '95 manual when I get home to see what it says).

    Do you drive it hard? EPA ratings are 44/49 for that car, but that assumes you take it easy. If you drive it hard you can easily drop that by 5-10 MPG. The newer Metro engines have throttle-body fuel injection, not multi-port fuel injection, which is better than a carburator but not as good as it could be.
  • baveuxbaveux Posts: 175
    I have 170/175/175 (taken in june 2001) On june 98 I had 175/175/175, gas milleage excellent,54mpg on average for 1 years,...yes I recorded all the tank... 95 % highway at not more than 110 kph, best tank 64 mpg, worst 43mpg.I always drive that car smootly to get the most of a fuel tank, so my number do not reflect what the majority of owner can get ...

    135 psi is a bit low, not critical but low, valve job maybe ? Poor a little bit of oil in the cyl next time you take the compression, if the number increase you may want to look at the ring...
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591 gallons in Canada and the states are different sizes. Metro is rated 66MPG highway in Canada but only 49MPG highway in the states from the size difference. L/100km is safer but people in the US don't use those units often...
  • I drive across a vast desert every day, my driving cannot be considered hard, except for coming up the hill, but that should be compensated for by going down the hill.

    I wonder with the discussions I am seeing here if the "XFI" version of the 3 cylinder engine is encapsulated in the camshaft, head, or the entire long block? That is, if I have to do a valve job on this head, might as well replace it with one that is tuned for high MPG? Not sure the car computer will tolerate the change?
  • Okay sportsfans,
    I finally got another chance to check the compression on my 1997 Geo Metro LSI 3cyl/5spd. It was roughly 125psi across all three cylinders, and when I added some gear oil to the top of the was about 160psi across all three.

    What is the recommended pain medicine here? I live in Southern California where $250 Japanese long block G10-L's are readily available. I assume based on some previous discussion above that the engine I will get will be slightly different from the post-1995 55Hp engine I have. As long as the computer is happy it can be done??
  • My 1997 Metro LSI/5spd/3cyl has an annoying trait of not letting me shift into first gear when I am rolling to a stop. I almost have to come to a complete stop before I can get it into first. Is this a design feature of the post-1995 Metro, or do I have a damaged transaxle?
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    to me, which is a sign of a somewhat damaged transaxle. For reference, I can shift into first fine while doing a fair clip in my '95 3-cylinder 5-speed provided of course that the clutch is pressed in all the way; I certainly don't need to be fully stopped.

    My Dad's '76 Volvo I drove a long time ago had this same problem; he never bothered to get it fixed. Never got worse. I learned to drive on that car so it might have been partly my fault but it had 210000 miles on it when we bought it too...
  • Hpulley4,
    Thanks for the advice. When I do pull the engine, which it looks like I will, I'll have the transaxle evaluated. In the mean time I will just have to put up with the goofy shifting and the poor mileage.

    I bought this car thinking I wouldn't have to work on it. The previous owner didn't take care of it, and failed to disclose any of these major deficiencies.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Your difficulty shifting into 1st gear is a common trait on many manual trannys. A lot of cars require you to be almost at a dead stop before you can shift into 1st gear. Every manual car I have ever owned has had this trait (84 VW GTI, 84 Mazda RX7, 92 Mazda Miata, 91 Nissan Stanza, 00 Hyundai Accent). I believe it's designed that way to keep people from downshifting into 1st gear too early and thus damage the engine and transmission. It is a little annoying when you are just coasting to a stop, but most cars you can just engage 2nd gear and accelerate fine. This is probably not the case in a 3 cylinder car with economy gearing. In short, I don't think anything is wrong with your tranny. It's a common complaint that can't be fixed.
  • just a should NEVER shift a 5 speed transaxle into 1st. gear above 10 mph, no matter what kind it risk ripping out the guts of that little beast..
    This is the 4th. Metro I have owned...never buy one new...cause too many of them can be had used with few miles on them. In the snow, I am the fist one out of the neighborhood, and end up taking everyone to the grocery store when snowed in....I love driving a basic, disposible car, but just can't seem to want to dispose of it...hmmmm..
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