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Chevrolet/Geo Metro



  • Umm, there really isn't a drive shaft per se in the Metro, since it is front wheel drive. The transmission is really a transaxle - the transmission & differential all in one case. The output goes from the transaxle through constant velocity joints to both of the front wheels.

    Do check the constant velocity joints - jack up one front wheel, and, once it is off the ground, gently try to rotate it. See if the shaft which should be attached to it also rotates. Check both sides of the car. If the shafts on both sides rotate, then proceed to the next paragraph.

    If you can feel the transmission actually go into gear when you move the shift lever, I would suspect that the clutch is shot.

    In a sense you can sort of check the transaxle. First, shut off the engine. Then put the car in 1st gear, and push the car (by hand). Do NOT depress the clutch. If you can't push the car by hand with the clutch up, try it with the clutch down. If you still can't push the car, you probably have a transaxle problem.

    If you can push the car with the clutch up, have someone shift from first to fifth (without using the clutch) while you push the car. Now, while pushing the car VERY SLOWLY, have the other person gently try to shift into reverse. If you get resistance, or hear gear chattering, your transaxle is probably fine, but the clutch is shot.

    This could be the clutch facing, or the clutch spring. Whichever it is, replace both when you have it fixed, since much of the cost will be separating the engine & transaxle and then putting them back together. Replace both at the same time, as well as the throwout bearing.

    I hope this helps. Be really careful while trying to shift into reverse while the car is rolling - you don't want to force anything, or you might damage the transaxle. All you want to do is see if the internal transaxle parts are rotating - if they are, the transaxle is probably OK.

    Good luck, and let us know what you find out.

  • Hi to all,

    My name is Sylvain (pseudo triumph1) and a newbie HERE.
    I own a 1988 firefly 2dr not turbo in very nice shape.

    BUT carb. ajustments are off and soon i ll get it tuned-up.

    If you have any infos for me or chat, please reply!!!

  • Sorry - can't help. My '92 Metro is fuel injected. I hope the tuneup goes well.


  • Did you ever get your stereo mounting kit? I ordered & got my Sony stereo last week from Crutchfield, and it came with both a wiring harness & a mounting kit, so they definitely have the kits available, at least for '92 - '97 metros (per the package). You might call them to check on a kit for your '89.


  • timmo2timmo2 Posts: 2

    I appreciate your response, thank you.
    Here is where I am at now.

    I had the car towed to a place to have it checked out and fixed, this is what happened. There are two parts to this story so please bear with me.

    Part one - First of all, I have not gone to this place for ten years because I had a problem in the past with them. I was told that I needed a new clutch in my truck but when I got a second opinion, it was only something that ended up costing me like 80 bucks and my truck lasted fine for another two years. This time when I go back to this place, I talk to the new manager and explain to him the story of what happened ten years ago. He is very nice and apologizes for what happened in the past and assures me that that would never happen now. Calls me the next day, says I need a new clutch for over $700 parts and labor. Says they went over everything with a fine tooth comb, everything else looks good. Tells me for my problems in the past and good customer service he will pull some strings and he knocked a little over $100 off the price. I say great, git er done.

    Part 2- Today I get a call(3 days later)and they tell me that the passenger side axle snapped. Told me that the (axle boot)has been broke for a while and today everything just blew inside. I asked how they knew it was broke for a while. He said there was grease all over the boot and everything and that is a sign of it. The cost to fix this is just around $100(the same cost I was discounted) on top of the price to fix the clutch.

    So here are my questions:
    1) Do you think it was the axle to begin with and not the clutch?

    2)If it is the clutch, did they break my axle or just making this up to compensate for the big discount they gave me?

    Since I had no warning with my clutch (driving it) and it just "went out" all at once, and from what you said in your last post, I kinda feel like I am getting punked here a bit and it was my axel to begin with.

    Thanks for your help,

  • rdubsrdubs Posts: 11
    Hi everyone,

    Does anyone know by chance if the XFI models have a certain letter or sequence in the VIN that indicates it is XFI model?

  • I mis-understood your original post - if you were driving the car, and then it just quit, that's unlikely to be the clutch (unless it's the pressure plate, which happened to me in an '82 Citation). The clutch facing itself almost always gives a warning by slipping - not just quitting cold turkey.

    I thought the car, when you bought it, wouldn't run (other than the engine).

    Ask to see the CV boot (which is made from rubber) - if it's been bad for a while (which is possible), it should not be very pliable, and when you bend it, it should show small cracks, indicating that it's beginning to break rather than bend.

    That still shouldn't break the axle, though. If the boot fails, dirt gets in the CV (constant velocity) joint, and eventually the joint itself will self-destruct (a CV joint is similar in function to the universal joints on a rear wheel drive car). I can see the CV joint failing if the boot had broken, but I can't see the axle breaking. What are the odds that a 1/2 inch diameter shaft of steel is going to break - under the torque a 1000cc Metro engine can apply? Not in this lifetime!

    Ask to see the broken parts - I can't imagine an axle breaking. On the other hand, each of the axles (a left one & a right one) IS connected through 2 (usually) CV joints, and they could break if the car was run long enough with a broken boot that let dirt into the joint. If they show you a broken joint (rather than a broken axle), then it does make sense.

    Usually, though, as a CV joint begins to self-destruct, there's some slop in it - say, for example, the wheel will turn a few degrees while the axle remains stationary (or vice versa). The worse the CV joint gets, the farther the wheel will turn without moving the axle, until the joint fails completely. This usually isn't apparent to the driver, though, until the joint does completely fail. That's why it's always a good idea to get under the car at each oil change and visually inspect the boots with the mechanic (or have your oil changes done by a mechanic who you trust to check the boots for you each time).

    Best wishes,

  • hi there,

    i own a 1988 firefly. carb./metal blue. aut.
    i m about to have a tune-up done.

    i have had so many carb. problems.
    can you help ? web sites ?

    tx. :cry:
  • Still have the problem. I just noticed someone posted me on using the GM spec oil. I will have to try that but so far it doesn't seem to be affecting it with downshifting into 2nd.
  • Years ago I had a 88. I found that there is a heater hose running through the carb. It was plugged. I made a plug to fit over the end of the nipple on the carb and with the other side detached turned the garden hose on and it cleared the obstruction. Sorry to be vague but this took care of the problem I had with the carb.
  • I am new to metros and have been doing a bit of research after just aquireing a 94 metro. I do remember that I came across an item about how the axles would break in certain years, attributed to bad welds and rust I think.

    There are a two sites I read a lot but not sure exactly where I saw the info. Of course I found it but googling geo metro.

    two sites i do remember are:link title

    link title

    sorry for not recalling exactly, will post if I do find it.

  • Does anybody know where I can find 13 inch wheel covers for my 89 turbo sprint? They are white with the red chevy emblem in the middle. Alos looking for the lower fog lights.

  • hi

    i had this problem with my 92 geo metro xfi what i did was make a new system except i used the stock headders b/c i did not feel like making new ones i used a cat off of a nissan 240sx i like to think of it as a high flow cat hahaha (made for a 4 banger) after that i still did not pass so i went to auto parts place and got some 3M exoust putty stop leak and passed with flying colors this is the put it on all of the joints and let thne car ru for 20 min then let it set over night and have it done in the moring but get the moter hot.
  • Hello,I Have Just Signed Up And This Is My First Post.I Have Been An Auto Mechanic All My Life,And Love Wheels.
    6 Months Ago I Bought My First GEO Metro.Black 1993 2dr With 130000 Miles On The Clock.I Drive This Car 1000 Miles A Week,From Denver To Kansas.IM IN LOVE!!What A Comfortable Car To Drive.
    I Now Own 7 Geo Metros.Two Are Convertiable.I Am Starting A Complete Restoration On My Red 91 Rag Top.HOW COOL!!!
    I Would Like To Here From Other Metro Owners Here.
    I Feel Like A Kid With My First Train Set!!
    GEOJOHN :)
  • Hi GeoJohn

    I have a '92 stick LSI that I've had since January '93. I bought it "used", but it only had 25 miles on it - someone had won it in a contest, didn't want it, & immediately traded it on a pickup. The salesman knew I was interested, and gave a superb discount.

    It's been a very good car - it now has around 80K miles. Garage housed the entire time. I'm having the top replaced now for the 1st time, since the rear window cracked - not bad, in Amarillo, TX, for a plastic rear window to last 13 years.

    Most of the rest has been maintenance work - timing belt, that sort of thing.

    It never had AC until I dropped in an after-market one spring 2004 - I wanted to be able to travel long distances in the summer. The AC is good, but, if you get the one I did, be sure to re-crimp all the hoses. A couple have leaked, and re-crimping all of them solved that problem.

    No experience yet with the new top - if you're interested, I'll let you know once the mechanic is done and I've had a chance to drive it some.

    Oh - I dropped in a Sony CDX-GT200 CD - MP3 player - it has enough volume even with the top down. Check out my review if you want at Crutchfield ( l_info&i=158GT200).

    That's it for now.


  • Hello all. I have a 1996 Geo Metro LSi w/ the 1.0 3cyl and 5spd trans with 123k miles. What are the "ideal" compression numbers for my car? I get 126/128/125 psi readings right now. I know that's it's good that they are all even, but what were they new? I have a Chilton's manual and it doesn't mention numbers. Someone told me that a Haynes manual said it should be 199 +/- 10%. Could this be right? I thought that 120 was usually good.

    Also, I need to do a valve adjustment very bad. Where can I get some detailed instructions online (maybe a scan of the GM service book)? Once again, my USELESS Chilton's manual says that because it has hydraulic valve lash, no adjustment is necessary. I know that I need to adjust them because there is a horrible ping/tapping noise coming from the passanger side valve area. The car uses 1 quart of oil every 2500-3000 miles. Thanks in advance.
  • I've had a '93 convertible for the past five years. It has 115k miles on it and still runs like a top. The only real trouble I've had was getting rid of a rough idle problem. The car had been mistreated before I had it and it took a long time and lots of fuel injector cleaner to get rid of it. I have found if I set the idle speed a bit higher than recommended I don't have so much trouble. I do my own tune-ups, which are not difficult on this car. I have had to have a new clutch installed, but not much else. I've had a lot of trouble with the A/C, but part of that I blame on a poor mechanic and buying a rebuilt compressor. I drive it to work five days a week, but I don't put many miles on it - only around 12,000 in five years. I get great mileage. I've had the car repainted, and I had a white top put on around a year-and-a-half ago. It has considerably lowered the interior temperature when it's sunny. I'm crazy about the car and can see why you are, too. They are a lot of fun to drive.
  • rdubsrdubs Posts: 11
    Hi everyone,

    I am in the market to buy a Metro. I'd really like to get a 95 or newer due to the nicer body style, but it seems most of them are 4 cylinder and a lot are automatics. Two questions:
    1) Is it possible to take a 4 cylinder engine in a 95 or later and trade it out with a 3 cylinder? I'd really like to get the 3 cylinder fuel economy.
    2) Can you replace an automatic transmission with a manual one? Any changes to the drive train pre or post-transmission which would need to be done, or changes to the interior (where the shifter would go)?

    Thanks for your help.
  • Hi,
    Looking to buy a 1991 firefly convertible from a fella that is getting rid of it. Its got the 1.0L auto and it has 125,000kms, a new paint job and new MVI. I guess there was some rust but the guy is a welder by trade and fixed it up nice before painting it. I hear by this site and others that these are good cars but I am wondering how they hold up on highway driving, as I do about 80% of my trip on highways at 100-120kms... What things should I look out for when checking it out and would something like this be worth $1000.? Thanks
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    My 2 cents says stay away. Why? Because the (3-speed) automatic version of this car is geared too low for the type of driving you described. If the car you were considering had a manual tranny, it could handle your 100-120kms needs. Just test this car out before buying, and I'll think you'll agree it wouldn't be something you'd enjoy living with day after day. The automatic is way too busy/buzzy at 100, let alone at 120.
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