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Chevrolet/Geo Metro

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  • pat56pat56 Posts: 11
    Greets...

    "Metro Gnome" guy here again. Working for GM in repurchase gives me some definite advantages. :-)

    GOOD NEWS: The GM recovery people were down here a couple days ago. Since they've been doing recovery on repurchased GM vehicles (years), they've done over 2,700 vehicles...and...out of 2,700, only ONE was a Metro!!! AWESOME record for our little pregnant rollerskates.

    WHAT NOT TO BUY ON A METRO:

    Automatic Transmission (unless you absolutely need it) - The car is too sluggish without the manual transmission

    RADIO (OF ANY KIND) - GM Charges over $100 for "radio provision installation" which is four cheap speakers and an antenna. Then they charge over $600 for a radio/cassette - For a couple hundred, you can buy a good aftermarket setup and have it professionally installed.

    *****UPDATE*****

    I've been speaking with other Metro owners I meet in shopping centers and parking lots. EVERY SINGLE ONE I have spoken to (20-25, so far) loves their vehicle and reports no problems with it. One guy has an '89(?) convertible with beaucoup miles and refuses to give it up. He says the only way he'll part with it is if Chevy starts making convertibles again. :-) He says his only repair has been a starter, a few years ago.

    Yes, I'm a Metro fan...more and more, the more I find out about them. If anyone has spare time, do a Yahoo! search for +Ford +Aspire, and check out the one couple's web page about Aspire problems. Everything the Metro is good, the Aspire is bad. Ford is coming out with a new sub-compact this year, but it's substantially bigger than the Metro and the milage sucks weeds comparatively.

    If you have any good (or bad) Metro stories, feel free to drop a note to pat56@freenet.tlh.fl.us. And, if you're driving in or near Tampa, Florida, and see a Metallic Green '99 LSi Coupe with white pinstripes and "Merry Meet..." and "Blessed Be" bumper stickers, give a shout and a wave.
  • Hey, I figured the way to go was how I did it. I HAD a Sony CD player but I sold it for cash, so I have these speakers, and an antenna, and a stereo connector, so I figured why not go to eBay and buy a stereo? Keep your eyes peeled...I got the full-electronic AM-FM cassette with 12 FM presets, electric tape inject-eject, and all that for $40 shipped to my door. All that was missing was the volume knob and I got one for free at a boneyard (they didn't want to take money for it...NEVER steal from a junkyard...most little stuff like knobs and lug nuts and fuses and light bulbs they let go for free). The stereos can even be bought at a junkyard for $50-$100. But if you want that AWESOME AM-FM-cassette AND CD stereo, be prepared to pay for it. Good luck hunting though. The GM stereo is decent, I like it because it glows green and can be dimmed with the rest of the gauges. All I wish for are those red-mica-injected Sony XPlod's to be made in 6.5" oversize so I can have them. Right now they only make 6.5", but I need that oversize to fit my doors and side panels.
  • I have a '98 Metro LSI sedan with auto, a/c, cassette in that really funky California Gold color (with matching tiger-striped seat covers!). Love the little bugger except for the ongoing brake problems I've had since around 4,000 miles. I go through rotors about every two months. The dealership has re-machined, replaced, and re-machined again. I suggested it may be a rear brake problem forcing all the stopping power onto the front brakes. They refused to touch the rear brakes unless I pay for it, stating it is considered "maintenance." Hey, I'm under the 3/36 warranty guys!!! But, I had to pay for the "service" which included re-machining the front rotors yet again. Problem was gone for about two months. Now, after four attempts at resolving this, the rotors are shot again and the little car shudders like Barney Fife in cemetary. The problem is most evident when stopping from higher speeds (over 50). I am now in the process of Lemon Lawing the car... I just don't feel safe anymore and no one (I've tried two different Chevy dealers) seems able to remedy the underlying cause. Has anyone else had brake problems with their Metros? If so, what caused this and how was it fixed? I'm not going to be paying for brake repairs every couple of months, that's for sure. And the recommendations are right... buy used! I bought mine new and the depreciation is killer! Can't even trade it in I'm so buried in it. I was thinking of possibly exchanging it for a new one via Lem. Law, but wonder if it's a design flaw or what?
  • Your brake problem may be caused by a number of things. At 85,280 miles I took my '95 in for brakes and it needed only machining the rotors and new pads. When you first took it in, did they replace the pads as well? If they did, and used cheap pads, then those are the cause of your problem. Cheap pads do not dissipate heat as well as factory pads. The built-up heat allows your rotors to warp more often. Poor tire balance can also cause vibrations leading to warpage. It is also possible they have either improperly machined the rotors or machined them too thin. This also causes additional warpage. Tell them to install new AC rotors and new AC pads. They will balk, saying that is not inclusive, however if the dealer worked on the car, they are responsible for the problems. They don't want to work on the rears, but to properly repair the front brakes, they MUST clean and adjust the rears and adjust the parking brake cable, otherwise, the fronts WILL take all the braking effort. Another consideration is maybe they did not clean off the caliper sliders when they reassembled the front brakes. A sticking caliper can cause excessive warpage and lining wear. At 94K I took my car back in with complaints of warpage and they told me I needed rear brakes, although the pads were well within spec and the drums were fine. They wanted more money. The point is, they want you to buy a 4-wheel brake job for $200-$500 and spend all your money on that, and then when (if) you ahve problems later, it mightbe long enough form now that you get out of warranty. Tell them you will leave the car there until they measure every brake part and make sure they are within specs. It does not cost you or them money to do an inspection of all 4 wheels. If in doubt, go to another Chevy dealer and tell them of your problem. Do not tell them what other dealer you took it to, just pretend you are just starting to have the problem. Watch them work. They will tell you you cannot go into the shop, tell them you will not authorize any repairs that go unsupervised. Then check what you saw versus what they state on the repair order.
  • You are certainly eligible, however the dealer may elect to continue repairing the car. The arbitrator may require you to take it to another Chevy dealer, thus, you should do that now and see if that fixes it. The point is, though, that the place you took it to did inferior work to the car. That or you seriously need to learn how to brake, but I figure at 4,000 miles that something else is wrong. It is quite possible you have a seized caliper or poorly adjusted rears. Anyway, keep us posted on how things go.
  • Thank you for your suggestions. I've already been to two Chevy dealers with this problem. Neither have replaced the front brake pads. Both have machined the rotors and replaced the rotors once with OEM rotors. GM had 10 days to make a final repair attempt from the time they were notified (I have the return receipt) and waived the attempt! So now it is in the hands of the arbitration board. You're right, THEY may order another repair attempt by a neutral mechanic, but what I'm afraid of is they will just replace the rotors so the brakes work fine for now, then a few months later... here we go again. They seem to fixate on eleviating the symptoms without determining the cause. I need the car for work and have had one helluva time leaving it all day for repairs (that is why I hadn't had the car in more often). I told the arbitrator I just don't feel safe in the car anymore, which I don't. The problem could be one of many things, but I don't feel confident anymore that the root of the problem will be resolved. Everyone's in for a quick (temporary) fix to the point where the time limit for the Lemon Law will be over and I'll be stuck. That's what has me worried.
  • Monroe. They have been the most honest of the brake/shock/muffler chains (at least to me they have) and more than once have determined the correct causes of my woes. My parents have GM cars, a Bonneville and a Century, and Monroe is able to determine their trouble easily. Once time Mom's Century died...she lost power steering, brakes, charging, everything, but the GM dealer said the belt tensioner was broken and required replacement. Turns out, three tensioners later, that it was NOT the problem. Monroe guy found a pulley out of line putting stress on the belt and the tensioner. $45 later she was back on the road, and a few weeks later she got her $460 back from the Buick dealer.

    See if they will measure everything (rotor runout, warpage, check tire balance, check calipers for free operation...).

    And I forgot one other major thing...have them see if one of the brake hose lines is kinked...that would cause the brakes to stay on a little all the time because all the fluid does not return the the master cylinder. Then the caliper acts like it is sticking when it is in fact fine.

    Things to Check



    • rotors for thickness and runout
    • calipers for free operation
    • brake lines for damage
    • rear brakes to make sure they are doing their job

    and this is a test to see if HTML works on here so if it looks funky I am sorry...

  • html works...I just need to clean it up...

    one more thing that could cause your brakes to stick is an improperly adjusted brake pedal. If when the pedal is released, the brakes are still touching, that causes excessive heat to build up and there is your cause of your warpage.
    occupant1
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Great info, occupant1! Thanks for being so helpful.

    carlady/host
  • I have some bad news to tell...some kid decided to pull out in front of me today and I managed to hit him in my Metro. Luckily for me (and for him) I was still driveable, but the trooper insisted that no matter what the circumstances, if I rear-ended him, it is my fault. The kid started feeling really bad, but now we are both stuck. He doesn't have insurance anyway so he will lose his license, and the trooper issued me an ACDA ticket. So I will have to go to court and call the kid as a witness so he can admit his guilt in court so I can have my ticket dismissed. I almost feel sorry for him, but as long as the driving schools keep turning out kids who don't stop before they leave a parking lot, well, what can I say?

    I need a right headlight composite capsule, a hood, a hood latch, and I need to straighten my radiator support. Chevy estimated the damage at $4700-plus. I thought that to be ridiculous, then I saw the parts prices. Need a headlight? $297! Need a hood? $462! Need a bumper cover? $328! Need an electric fan? $260! Need an A/C condenser? $657! Crazy! I picked out what I needed and discovered to get the car safe again (get the hood to shut securely and change the one headlight) the new parts would cost me $1050 alone. Time to look for an undamaged 1995-1999 Metro in a yard. I have located the hood latch ($15) so far, but the headlight used is $65 (if I can find one) and the hood (if I can find a red one) will be $150. Seems the yards know the ridiculous new prices and take advantage. No fair. But I can get away with a $250 repair if I can get that support straightened with a chain and a tree and find those two parts.
  • The kid was driving a very rusty 1986 Ford Escort, and his vehicle is UNDAMAGED. Not even a scuff on his rear bumper. Makes me sick to think about it.
  • Thank you for the suggestions about my ongoing brake problems. There is a Midas muffler/brakes near me who is excellent, but I didn't take my car there as it is under warranty and I don't think I should have to pay out of my pocket to try to fix this problem. The BBB arbitration may order a repair attempt by an independant mechanic... I'm still waiting to hear. They have until December 12th to make a decision whether the car will be returned/refunded or not or what. I've never been through this so I really don't know what exactly can happen. I mailed them all my copies of receipts. Also had all tires replaced under tire warranty as dealer said some of the shimmying was due to defective tires. Goodyear replaced all four, though couldn't get the OEM tires. I'm ready to give Chrysler a go now... of all the new cars I've bought including a Honda Civic wagon, the Chrysler products have been the most trouble-free for me, regardless of all the negative posts. My last Metro (1981) was a good little car... never a brake problem... thus my reason for buying a new one. Only complaint on the old Metro was the little buttons on the sides of the dash controling the wipers & lights kept falling out. Would just Super Glue them back in. Also overhead lamp would flicker. That's about it until I just ran it into the ground on cross-country hauls. Drove it from Florida to Pennsylvania on 2.5 cylinders.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Bad news, occupant1. Rotten luck but I'm so glad that no one was injured.

    carlady/host
  • Hi, just had to let someone know my poor Geo just died ,I had a '89 5 door lsi .I had 250,000 miles on it and although she was getting a bit noisie she was still plugging along! Her demise was my own fault, I changed the timming belt and failed to tighten the tensioner enough .Consequently it jumped time and slammed a valve through the number two piston. I was sure I was on my way to making 300,000 miles but not now.One thing is for sure, I am going to replace it with another Metro. You just can't beat them for gas milage and value. AS long as you religiously change the oil at 2,500 miles , change the timming belt every 65,000 miles ( WATCH THAT TENSIONER!!),and tune-up once a year you can drive them virtually forever.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Sorry about your poor car, fozzy2. I was out and about around DC today and noticed several Metros on the beltway and elsewhere. They do seem to go and go! It sounds like you'll be very happy with your new Metro also.

    carlady/host
  • Lost my '89 Metro Lsi 2dr hatch when 'Floyd' passed through - best car I ever had (she decided to become a submarine, but didn't take to road-travel after row-boating - lol). And ony 74,000 miles!
    The '89 does not require 'religion' - I was very negligent: oil changed 1ce/yr or longer? - tune up (once in 10 yrs?) + She ran on cheap reg gas without a 'hiccup' ...

    She was a DREAM to own and a TREASURE to possess! Sigh!

    I feel u'r pain, and share it, fozzy2!
  • Hi, I'm planning to buy a 1999 metro hatchback coupe with A.C., the MSRP is $10945 and my buypower price with $1500 rebate is $8899. I also have a GM card rebate of $2800 to use which will bring the price down to $6099, does this sound like a good deal. Will appreciate feedback from people who have bought metros and their experience.
    Thanks
  • Since a 2000 model costs about the same but will be a year newer, get the 2000 model. You might pay a few hundred more, but remember that 1999 has already depreciated about $3000 off sticker, it is worth about $7500 used now...if that much...the 2000 model will be a better deal, try to get another $200-300 off, the lower the price you get on that 1999, the closer you will be to actual value.
  • bqlebqle Posts: 1
    Hello, after hearing all these information
    about how reliable Geo Metros are. I
    really want to buy one. Does anyone have a
    cheap good working Geo Metro they would like
    to sell for under $1500? I have no
    experience with fixing cars at all such
    as changing oils, etc. With the reliability
    of Metros discussed here, that won't be
    much of a problem. Please email me if you
    are in San Diego and maybe we can negotiate a
    price? Thanks.
  • I bought the new 1999 Metro after rebates and $400.00 trade for 1987 Subaru Justy that had a lot of rust for $5282.20. Someone at the dealer dented the side while I was signing the paper work and parked it with that side against the building, luckily I took a walk around it while the salesman was still there and they had the paintless dent people handle it. The manager tried to sell me undercoating $500.00 and warranty $1000.00 which I refused. I bought seat covers at pepboys for $9.99 managers special, they look like a they're worth a lot more. I put 333 miles on it so far and think I'm going to like it, as long as I don't get into a head on collision with a semi. I would appreciate feedback on maintenance and appearance care
    Thanks
    Al
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