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Chevrolet/Geo Metro

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  • Welcome. You and I have the same car with about the same mileage (I have 80K)!
  • I own a '98 1.0 with a 5-speed and I achieve 44 city and 52 highway (at 55mph). Seriously.
  • So, I've heard two sides to the EGR on these models (and I know Joel is reading this).

    Some have told me to take it off and clean it as preventive maintenance. Not sure if that's worthwhile of not.

    I did try to take the vacuum hoses off the EGR modulator and from the vacuum hose that connects to the bell-shaped housing of the EGR. No luck. They are stuck on. Some have told me I need to cut them off and buy new ones if I intend to clean the EGR valve.

    That's about the extent I've done just out of curiousity.

    What do you think? Yes? No? I hear so many people tell me the EGR valves on these cars are a "contributor" to the problem of burnt exhaust valves. And, I do know you told me the EGR's on these cars are pretty sturdy.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Well, Joel was reading this; but he hasn't read any posts for the last month or so, because the system had stopped sending him prompts. That is now fixed.

    I've never personally experienced a Metro with burned valves, so I can't say either way; whether a clogged EGR valve has any causal relationship. But I would guess it is more an issue of which came first. My sense is that when valves burn, the fuel mixture then goes rich; which causes the EGR valve to plug up.

    The fuel mixture on my car has always been kept right; and my EGR valve has never needed cleaning. Is this only a coincidence? I doubt it.

    But I will say one useful thing about buying vacuum hoses for Metros; the metric diameter hoses used on Metros are smaller than the vacuum hoses used on American vehicles. As a result; I usually find that the vacuum hose sizes carried in most auto parts stores are too big to seal on the Metro spigots. But windshield washer hose works just fine.
  • I thought I'd just look at it for the heck of it next month. I immediately was hesitant to cut off the old vacuum hoses.

    As far as the fuel mixture, I assume the fuel mixture on my Metro has always been kept right. I just keep hearing over and over again that Metros are notorious for EGR valve problems.

    Nonetheless, I need to get my exhaust fixed next month. There are some small holes betweent the manifold and the converter, as well as immediately afterward. There is no muffler on the car. I've heard this will cause burnt exhaust valves. True?

    Speaking of that, I'm sure the exhaust job is going to cost quite a bit.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    The exhaust issue would cause burned valves, if you drove it at high speed or heavy throttle; because those are the conditions under which the mixture goes too lean with an open exhaust. However, the mixture at moderate throttle and moderate speeds will probably not be off that much, and I doubt it would burn valves if it were only driven conservatively.

    Although getting all new exhaust parts will indeed cost quite a lot; you might well be able to get a complete stock used exhaust system from a wrecking yard, in good condition. And that would cost a lot less. A good wrecking yard will have a parts interchange book; which lists the range of years and models with exhaust systems that are interchangeable with yours. Since this exhaust system is made of stainless steel, it is more durable than most. So there is a good chance of finding one in serviceable condition. Many wrecking yards also have a nationwide hotline; which they can use to put out a call for a specific part from all wreckers who subscribe to that service. If any one of them has the part, it can then be shipped to the yard that you had phoned. The best places to look are in states which do not have much population near the ocean; and which do not get much snow, or put salt on their roads in winter. Northern California, Nevada, Utah, Texas, New Mexico & Arizona would be the best. But it would be difficult to specify states on a hotline request. However, you could specify that the exhaust be in very sound condition.
  • Hey Joel,

    I am going to start looking at used exhaust parts. However, I do believe I will need everything new from the converter back. The converter itself is ok. The pipe before the converter will need repair/replacement.

    So, I did locate this site online right now, as the wrecking yards back home are closed. http://www.automotix.com.

    Do I just indicate I'm looking for exhaust from the converter back?
  • ayejayayejay Posts: 4
    God Bless,

    Sorry did not answer sooner but DSL went out. Now up again.
    Thanks Joel. Great info. Will first attack exhaust system and tune up w/ new plugs. Have not done either yet. Timing belt next. Of course air filter also.
    This may take a week or two but I will get back with results. No computer chips (so called), OK.

    AJ
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    I would suggest comparing prices with and without the converter. The reason I say so is that the headpipe is factory welded into the converter, If you try to re-use your old converter, you'll have to pay a muffler shop to fabricate and weld up a new headpipe. I had to do that once, when the joint between the headpipe and the converter came loose. But it turned out that the headpipe is a weird diameter (probably metric) and the muffler shop couldn't duplicate it exactly. Instead, they used the next larger diameter pipe they had in stock. And ever since then, my engine's power curve has been peakier than it used to be; and the mixture has become much harder to get right through the entire operating range. I can deal with this, because I'm so compulsive; but I definitely wouldn't recommend it to anyone else (and I wouldn't have done it, if I had only known the consequences.)

    Joel
  • I'm not going to go with that automotix website. They pressure a person to upgrade to a paid package where they supposedly scour more salvage yards, etc.

    Tomorrow and Friday I'm going to call a few salvage yards back home. It's going to be tough, especially on a short time frame. I would like to get it done on November 21 or 24 before Thanksgiving weekend. Remember, I also have to replace the belt that weekend too and get rid of some of that pulley glaze.

    Prior to this, a local muffler shop back home in 2007 (not a "chainwide") stated they will take out the converter install new pipe (or something) where it is corroded and failing before and after the converter.

    But, first I'm contacting the junkyards and then asking if they can network nationwide.

    I am obsessive-compulsive when it comes to my car (if you couldn't tell), mostly because I was lucky to get this Metro with low miles and an unrusted frame in Michigan. Body is in excellent shape. I need to keep it awhile.

    I'll let you know what I find out tomorrow.

    Thanks, Joel!

    Ryan
  • I consulted nine salvage yards at home (Muskegon, MI) and one stated they used to subscribe to a nationwide network of salvage yards several years ago. The others do not. That same junkyard indicated he only has exhaust that's on the car, and they're outside. I've been to this salvage yard on numerous occassions, and I'm not going with it.

    I'm afraid I'm going to have to bite the bullet on this one. I would be more inclined to go along with an independent shop on the exhaust. Midas sounds alright at first, since they guarantee their mufflers for life Your thoughts?

    Last week I think one of my rear struts gave out as well. The roads here in Kalamazoo are pretty bad. I started hearing that clunking sound in the right rear that sounds like a strut gone bad. But, when I get behind the car and rock it up and down, both sides seem to depress great. I don't know what else could cause that sound. I've also noticed the feeling in the shock adsorption in the back there isn't what it used to be. I've never had a strut fail at 80,000 miles. I don't even haul anything in my car; there is no weight in the back. It must be the roads.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Ryan, I again never received notice that you had posted this message; the Edmunds notification system apparently needs to have its control module reflashed.

    Anyway, I've heard nothing but complaints about Midas; so I would NEVER go there. There is another nationwide chain called Meineke, which also offers a lifetime warranty; and who has done all my muffler work for many years. I just love those folks, and I have used their services at locations in three different states. But there are also many independent shops who install mufflers with a lifetime guarantee. However, you may only be able to get warranty work done at that same shop.

    There still is another exhaust option; although it may not be practical in your particular situation. You can call up a list of regular and toll free phone numbers for wrecking yards anywhere in the U.S. from an online telephone directory like switchboard.com You can probably also find yards that have lots of Metro parts by doing an Internet search for "used Chevy Metro parts" or something similar. Once you find a yard that has the parts you want, they may be willing to pull and ship the parts to your home; if you prepay the charges. I realize that it can be risky to deal with an unknown place; particularly when you cannot inspect the parts in advance. However, there are some large yards that specialize in specific brands; who ship like that all the time. I have used these yards, and have gotten excellent service and quality parts from them.

    If you are open to such an arrangement, but are uncomfortable about dealing with unknown places, contact me by e-mail, and I'll send you a list of yards in rust free northern California which I have dealt with and would recommend.

    If the car depresses well, and it's not using Prozac; there's a good chance the noise is coming from a worn or missing bushing, rather than a defective strut. It could be any of the rubber bushings in the rear; not just the one on the strut. Or, the upper or lower strut mounting bolts may be loose. I have also heard noises which I was sure came from underneath the car; only to later find out that something was banging around in the hatchback, or in the tire storage compartment.

    Joel
  • Due to the time constraints now, I will be forced to use Meineke or a private exhaust shop back home. I had used Midas in the past, but only twice in the mid-nineties. On your suggestion, I would not be opposed to checking out Meineke.

    If I had the time now, I'd shop the nationwide parts, but it's nearly impossible.

    I'm very curous as to what is causing the clunking sound in the rear. I have also noticed the car seems to be a little out of alignment since the noise appeared. I contemplated taking my car to a service location close to campus (Lentz comes to mind) to see if they're willing to tell me what it is.

    Because the exhaust is so bad and I'm concerned about driving with the noise in the back (if it is indeed a strut, then it's hard on my tire), I only drive my car one day a week at ten miles, just so it has a chnace to get out and run.
  • Here's a story you don't hear every day. I bought a 1991 Geo Metro hatchback 5-speed in 2004 for $500, when it had about 130k. Over the next year, I replaced the alternator, clutch, and catalytic converter with new equipment. It ran great, and it was all I needed for scooting around town. Then I had a fender-bender that really tore up the front end. Bumper is broken open. Hood won't close (I use bungee cords to hold it down). Windshield has a crack when the hood flew up before I started using the bungee. The grille is all smashed but remarkably the headlights still point out straight. I got stopped by a cop for improper use of a seatbelt, and he had nothing to say about me driving around in a car with a smashed front end. That was eye-opening.

    So, getting to the point, recently a bolt fell out of my engine. I was driving about 20 mph, heard something fall off my car, circled around and there was a hex-head bolt in the middle of the street. It was a cold night out, and the bolt wasn't cold at all, so I firmly believe it came out of my car. For a few minutes prior to the bolt falling out, my shifter became hard to shift very suddenly (never had this problem since the clutch replacement). I was at a loss, so I just high-tailed it home, which was about 2 miles & parked in my driveway. Since then, when I try to start the engine, it won't turn over, and the "check engine", "oil can" and "battery" lights come on (they have never come on ever in my ownership of the car).

    It's been reliable transportation since the fender-bender 18 months ago. But where did that bolt likely come from? Could it just be screwed back in (if I went to a mechanic and they put it on the rack)?

    Maybe I'm living in a fantasy world where I want to believe that I can fix the car. It's been indestructible until now. I don't think I can blame any previous auto mechanics for not tightening a screw, as that fender-bender was forceful enough to have possibly knocked something out of whack.

    I do have a new clutch of less than 15,000 miles. I have an new alternator of probably 25,000 miles. I have a new catalytic converter of around 25,000 miles. Should I try to sell the car for the parts (as opposed to donating it to charity)?

    These Geo Metros are fantastic little cars. It did its job for me for 4 years. I'm mourning the loss.

    Thanks for any input.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    The check engine, oil can, and battery lights will normally come on whenever the key is turned on, before the engine starts. So, even if you never noticed them before; that does not indicate a problem.

    The first thing to do is to pull the engine oil dipstick out, wipe it off, put it back in, and pull it out again. If there then is oil on the stick, at the safe level; then the bolt was not the oil drain plug. But if there is no significant oil level on the stick, then the bolt was the oil drain plug. That would mean you drove 2 miles with no oil in the engine; which is guaranteed to destroy the engine.

    In that case, I expect you could not sell the car, and that a charity would also not accept it. The alternator and catalytic converter would be worth something; but it would be difficult to find someone who would have a need for them. You might have some success by posting a free ad on Craigs List for the nearest metropolitan area. But I would not invest money in advertising.

    If there is oil in the engine, turn the headlights on, and then try to start the engine. Have someone watch the headlights while you do this. If the headlights go out, or get very dim; then the battery is either discharged, or worn out, or the battery cable connections at the battery terminals, the engine, or the starter are loose or corroded. Any of those problems will keep the engine from turning over.

    The bolt could have come from anywhere. If you are lucky, a mechanic might be able to find where it came from; but I wouldn't be surprised if they couldn't find the source. And wherever the bolt came from may or may not be related to why the car doesn't run. The timing belt might have broken or come off. That is the most likely cause, other than the battery.

    I'm sorry to hear about this. My 1990 Metro has been awesome for the 16 years I've owned it. I couldn't imagine replacing it with anything available today.
  • You haven't specified the size of the bolt, but it might be from a motor mount.
    That might explain the sudden hard shifting, and if it was also a battery or engine grounding point, the starting problem as well.

    Steve B.
  • I checked the oil level, as you suggested, and there is still adequate oil in the engine. Whewwww, the engine isn't destroyed.

    I'm considering taking it to a mechanic. Geo Metros are worth a mint nowadays, even with front-end damage. If it's the motor mount bolt, then I'll consider that I dodge a bullet.

    Thanks very much,
    KuchaGirl
  • GACIIGACII Posts: 5
    I rebuilt my 95 Geo Metro 1.0 L. When I tried to start the engine it fired a couple of times but then no further action. The engine cranks fine but will not start. There is no spark from the coil but there is voltage to the coil. The distributor rotor is turning and there is good compression. The crank sensor in the distributor reads open when checked with an ohm meter (?). The only other thing I noticed was that the check engine light does not come on when the ignition is turned on. The car started and ran (although it burned oil and had a burned valve [340,000 miles] prior to the rebuild. Any thoughts would be appreciated. GACII
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    If you hooked the ohmmeter directly to the two wires which go into the distributor, you should have gotten something like 200 onms resistance. If you get an open circuit on that test; the distributor ignition pickup is defective, and should be replaced. That part is Standard Motor Products # LX755, or Airtex # 4P1221, or AC Delco # D1925D. Those parts cost $75, $78, and $89 respectively at Rock Auto online: www.rockauto.com
  • GACIIGACII Posts: 5
    I went to the local parts store to pick up the ignition pickup and they asked if the car was from Canada. They did not have a listing for the part but they did have one for a 95 Geo excluding Canada. I went back to the car and the serial starts with 2 and the door frame sticker says Canada. While there I retested the pick-up - it read 213 ohms this time (The contacts are small and the probes are large so I might have missed contact the first time (?). Is there a separate ignition control module or is it part of the ECM? I checked the engine light and the bulb is good - the ligt does not come on when the ignition is turned on. I also disconnected and reconnected all the wiring that I had disconnected during the rebuild (hoping for a bad reconnect but all seems normal). I hot wired the coil to check if it was functioning and I got a weak spark (normal without a capacitor of some type?). This car has always started without problem and with very little cranking time so this occurrence seems strange.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    The Canada classification in the part listing does not refer to the country where it was made; it refers to the country where the car was intended to be marketed. If this car is a U.S. model, there will be an emission label on the underside of the hood, which lists the tune up settings, and also says the car meets U.S. emission laws for 1995 model year new motor vehicles; there will also be a label on the doorframe which, besides listing the country of origin, will say "This vehicle meets all U.S. Federal specifications for 1995 passenger cars" or something similar. If it is a Canadian model, the label will say something to that effect.

    Rock Auto online (www.rockauto.com) carries ignition parts for both U.S. and Canadian model Metros. And their prices are better than anyone else on quality parts.

    But regardless; if the pick up has 213 ohms resistance, it passes the test. The ignition module is a separate unit, which is a small black plastic box with three terminals in the connector, and is mounted near the coil on the firewall.

    It is normal to get a weak spark when testing the coil without the ignition module in the circuit. One way to test the module is to connect a dwell meter to the negative lead in the harness plug at the coil (the one which does not have battery on it when the plug is disconnected from the coil) (If you read voltage on both the wires at the coil; disconnect the plug from the ignition module, and then test to see which of the coil leads has battery power after that). and crank the engine while watching the meter. The plug must be reconnected to the coil in order to test the module, so after you identify the negative wire, you may need to pierce the insulation on the wire with a pin, in order to get a contact. If you don't get a dwell reading of some value, then the module is defective.

    Another way to test the module is to disconnect the harness plug at the coil, and connect a voltmeter or a 12 volt bulb between the two terminals in the plug. Then crank the engine, and see if the voltmeter reading fluctuates rapidly between zero and 12 volts, or the bulb flashes regularly. If you don't get any switching from the module while the engine cranks; the module is defective.

    I hope you didn't forget to connect the plug from the distributor to the harness. That would definitely prevent it from starting. Another possible issue is that the battery ground terminal MUST be connected to BOTH the engine and to a clean bolt in the fender well. And a third issue is that there is some kind of anti-theft feature built into the Metro ignition system; which will shut down the spark, if you try to bypass the ignition switch.
  • GACIIGACII Posts: 5
    The car sticker says "meets us emmission standards." Thanks for the info I will check that out, however there is another wrinkle. I had the car block up for the overhaul and I needed to move the car to make room for another project so I took the car off the blocks and thought I would try one more time - hope springs eternal. The car started almost immediately and ran for about five minutes. I was checking for leaks etc. when the engine stopped - no noise no warning and no spark. At least I know that the problem is not with the overhaul as the engine seemed to run fine. I will let you know what I find with the module. GACII
  • GACIIGACII Posts: 5
    I checked the module as you suggested. The battery is a little low so the voltages are also a little low considering the -2 deg C temperature outside. When I pulled the coil plug and measured the voltage between the ternminals, it read 11.75 (with a DVOM) when cranking it dropped to about 8 V and varied slightly (7.6 to 8.2). I decided to try an old analog meter and, with the ignition switch on, the voltage read about 3V and when I cranked the engine the needle hardly moved. I also tried a test lamp with no light evident. Based on your previous post, it appears to be an ignition module at fault. I am confused by the Rock Auto parts list and the car manuf. classification. The picture of the ACDelco Part # D6140 (#96067829) has the same numbers and appearance as the one on the car but the listing says for Canadian vehicles. The car has US EPA certification and should therefore be non-Canadian??? The first character of the serial number is 2. The problem then is which part is correct? All the modules look like they would fit the car but only the ACDelco Part # D6140 (#96067829) has the same numbers on the pictured part. Help! GACII
  • I have a 92 metro that won't fire, it has spark and can smell fuel. It has done this before but go out the next day and it fires right off but have noticed my fuel milage has declined lately. Can someone help me.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Try a set of new spark plugs and a new distributor cap. The Metro engine is more sensitive to spark plug age and gap, distributor cap condition, and plug brand than any car I have ever seen. NAPA parts stores have the best quality distributor cap; which makes it well worth the somewhat higher price. I would recommend either Champion # 3405 Platinum Power, or Champion # 7332 Double Platinum plugs.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    There is some confusion in what you wrote. The AC Delco replacement part #D1640 does not have the original equipment part # 96067829 that you listed. That part has original equipment part # 19017167.

    The AC Delco part that has the original equipment part # 96067829 is their replacement part # D566. And that is the part which has numbers on it in the picture. It is also about $166 cheaper than the #D1640.

    But it really doesn't matter whether the part you get has the same numbers on it or not. All of those modules will work. Judging from the OE numbers; I expect the # E1993, which is even less expensive, is an earlier design; and the # D566 is a later (and thus hopefully upgraded) design. But there's no way of knowing what the actual difference is between these modules; or whether the less expensive Standard Ignition and Airtex parts are as good or not.

    Incidentally; you might be interested to note that there are three categories in Rock Auto's Metro listings which list the same type of part: "Distributor transistor unit"; "Ignition Control Module"; and "Ignitor". #D566 is listed under the "ignition control module" category as being intended for Canadian vehicles which have the Z49 engine option; but under the "ignitor" category; it is the only item listed, and it doesn't say anything about Canada there. So I expect that most Canadian Metros did not have the Z49 engine option; and that that particular engine option used the module from the American model Metro.

    Alternately, the "distributor transistor unit" listing includes a Beck Arnley module which looks different, because it is shown upside down, and is mounted on a large heat sink; but I'm sure that is the same unit. Beck Arnley supplies parts which are manufactured by the original equipment Japanese companies. They are often of better quality than the U.S. made "equivalents." So I personally would buy the Beck Arnley unit, and mount the heat sink on the firewall. But if I were to buy any other unit; it would be the AC Delco #D566.
  • Just took my 2000 Metro (125K) to a local Meineke for front brake job. Ten miles (and one cold night) later, a thumping, sort of wobbling noise developed in the passenger side wheel. No hint of this after taking it out of shop.

    Two questions: Can this be attributed to anything other than front end parts (CV joint, ball joints, etc.)?

    Could it have been caused by the normal take-off-the-wheel-and-replace-the-shoes kind of thing?

    I'm not happy about this, and not too eager to pay for front end stuff that was OK until 24 hours ago.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Sometimes, if snow becomes packed into a front wheel, it will cause thumping and wobbling noises, until it melts or is thrown off. Similarly; if the wheel bolts were not properly tightened, that could cause such things. So it is a good idea to look at the lug bolts, and pull and push hard on the top edge of the wheel; to see if it is loose.

    If a foreign object has become wrapped around a wheel, it can also cause such a thing. So could a tire which has gone flat. For those reasons, it is important to thoroughly inspect that wheel (including rolling the car far enough so that you can check the entire surface of the tire). Sometimes running a hand along the tire tread will reveal a lump in the tire, which may not be initially apparent to the eye.

    Just removing and replacing a wheel will not have such an effect (as long as the bolts were all installed and tightened). But if the sliders in one of the calipers were not properly lubricated, or were not installed properly; that could do it. My experience with Meineke is that they honor their warranty. It would be worth going back there, and seeing if they can find a mistake they made. You are not obligated to have them do any additional work, if you are uncomfortable with them.
  • Hi, I have a 2000 Metro lsi 1.3L auto, that now has a bad cyl (low compression). I've been wanting to swap it out for a 3 cyl and think now is the time. Is it an easy swap to go to a mid to late 90's 1.0L? Is there a bell housing issue if the 1.0L had a 5 speed. What about mounting points, are they the same? Any other issues?
    Thanks....
  • You should specify if you are going manual to manual or to automatic.
    3 to 4 is quite common among the bloggers on teamswift. Even to double overhead cam from Suzuki.
    Basically you will have two mounting points to watch out for and the engine harness with the attached ECU, Map and other paraphenelia. Keep all driving shafts also. If you can retain the final drive gear from the 4 cylinder and install it in the 3 banger tranny. You will be amazed at the fuel economy ralised.
    It is not a hard swap to do and I wish you success.
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