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Chevrolet/Geo Metro



  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    In general, Metros will get substantially worse fuel economy during the winter months. It is the result of the lower winter air temperature. The mileage figure you mention may be normal for your car in winter. The sooty exhaust may also be the result of the computer adjusting the mixture for cold weather. It all depends on the climate where you live. I generally don't expect to get peak mileage until the air temperature is consistently higher than 55 or 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

    At any rate,I wouldn't try to modify the factory mixture settings. My experience is that they come spot on. But if you want to search for faults, the first thing I would do to sort out this situation is to replace the oxygen sensor in the exhaust headpipe. Get a good quality sensor; either Bosch or NTK. It might also be worthwhile to replace the inlet air temperature sensor, in the air filter housing. The other thing I'd do is to clean out the EGR valve, and the associated passages in the intake manifold, which sometimes can become clogged with carbon deposits. Also, be sure the coolant thermostat is operating properly; the temperature gauge should quickly rise to at least 1/3 way up the gauge, within the first mile or two of driving. If it doesn't, then replace the thermostat.

    Beyond that; Metro engines are incredibly sensitive to ANY changes made to the ignition timing, brands and types of ignition coils, spark plugs, and to the intake or exhaust system. If any of those items have been modified; even it the car now feels more powerful; it is very likely that the changes have upset the mixture settings and reduced your mileage. Take it from someone who has spent the last 16 years working with retuning this model engine. The factory fuel delivery map is pre-programmed into the computer. There is nothing that can be done to improve that curve, unless you get a computer specialist to change the factory map. Changing the muffler or intake will just make the mileage worse. The external settings are not useful for improving the mixture in that respect.
  • zaken1,

    Thanks so much for your detailed post!

    I will check the output from the oxygen sensor with my oscilloscope.
    (I used to fix electronic stuff for a living)

    At least the Chilton manual covers that stuff.

    As you have probably already read in this forum, I recently replaced a bad exhaust valve and cleaned out the EGR passages which were pretty full of carbon.
    Of course I replaced all the related gaskets and torqued to specs.

    The temperature gauge reads like it always has (before the exh. valve replacement when I got 45 mpg with 120 psi on one cylinder) , and there's no evidence of under/overheating. The temperature where I live averages around 45 degrees this time of year.

    I am absolutely sure I properly set the cam timing when I replaced the belt. The engine idle smoothness, rpm and overall power and torque is noticeably better than before the valve replacement.

    The ignition timing is where it was before, (following scribe marks), but I have a question about the timing procedure where the Chilton manual talks about jumping a 6 pin plug. They tell you to jump terminals #D and E, but don't give you ANY PICTURE OF WHICH IS WHICH!! I have a timing light, but if I can't follow the directions in the manual, what good is it?

    Specifically, it says,

    "# 7. On a four pin connector: jump terminals C and D. On six pin connectors, jump terminals D and E." Aim the timing light at the mark, blah blah blah....
    NO pictures of the plug. Not even a crude drawing. Grrrr.

    I did replace the muffler about 3 months ago (which was rusted out) with a fake original.

    The air cleaner filter is not new but very clean. You can see lots of light through it.

    The mileage drop happened quite recently so the first thing I suspect is the gasoline source. I succumbed to 2 cents cheaper at the local 76 station. (they used to be the highest priced stations years ago! what does that say?)

    It may be awhile until I am able to find the answer, please be patient. I will follow all your recommendations and hopefully achieve mileage nirvana!

    Looking forward to 50mpg,

    Steve B.
  • srspeedsrspeed Posts: 1
    I am buying a 94 metro. I live in Fairbanks Alaska and need winter tires. The only winter tires I have found are 13" . Where can I find 13" rims and what tires sizes will fit? I may have to mail order and shipping is expensive so I need to get it right the first time. :shades:
  • Hi there srspeed.
    Get the 13 inch wheels for any swift, geo or frefly. The convertible came with 13 inch. You will need 155-80-13 tires. You will also need to upgrade those acorn nuts holding the wheels because the holes are made for 12mm studs and you have 10 mm. So, get to Summit racing and buy the Gorilla nuts number 41117. They have much bigger seats at the proper taper. Only 6 bucks or so for a set of 4. You need 4 sets. Then you are in business. For winter tires and general good fuel economy I like them on the skinny side. Too bad you are not in Quebec, good second hand 13 inch wheels are almost free. You can contact this fellow, he has a container load of wheels and compared to new ones...with shipping...who knows:
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Well, how about that! What goes around, comes around; this time you've given me some valuable advice. I've been running Michelin 175-70-13 tires on my Metro for some time, and have been uneasy about the stock acorn nuts. But I didn't know there was a different size nut available. Thanks. Joel
    P.S. Those wide Michelins on such a light car just grip like glue. The other day, a hotshoe on a sportbike was following me on a windy mountain road, obviously looking for a spot to pass. We came to a sweeping curve, which was posted at 25 MPH, I went into it at 35, and the car felt so solid that I didn't slow down. The bike rider stayed right with me at first; but as we kept going deeper into the turn, I saw him leaning over further and further. Suddenly, he dropped way back, and obviously panicked. He didn't come near me for miles after that.
  • I am an owner of a 97' Geo Metro just turned over at 38,000. I have owned my car for 6 yrs , and have only put on it about 12,000. ( started with 26,000 when bought used in NC) I recently started having problems with the first blower on all setting then only working on high. Had it replaced 7 weeks ago. Now the 2 nd has the same problem , only working on high all of a sudden. Turned it on on cool day last week while driving , also turn signal switch coinsidly with blower , it blew out , like I said now only working on high again. My AM is looking at it again tomorrow morning. Any suggestions ??? Any one ever had this problem ? Thanks let me know Kris
  • mdowensmdowens Posts: 4
    I had a similar problem with my 97 Geo Metro LSI. I found that the blower switch was separating, so that contacts within the switch didn't work on the lower settings. I hooked the switch back together, and I haven't had any problems since then.
  • skausskaus Posts: 11
    I too have a 97 Geo metro with 140 K miles.
    The blower switch was faulty on my car too.
    The blower switch is constructed poorly.
    Remove bezel and take 2 tie wraps and wrap around the switch.
    Pull tight you will have all speeds working.

    Good Luck
  • Thanks, I will mention this to the AM this morning. I just spent about $300. to have it replaced 7 weeks I go , so I am a little frustrated ! I'll let you know what happen's later today . Thanks again for your input.
  • Thanks to all of you for your input ! Took your message notes along gave them to my AM , sure enough it fixed the problem ! Working great again... I am sure I'll be around on Edmunds for a long time to come ! :)
  • I'm a return-to-college older student and caught onto the idea of buying a geo metro as a poor-girl's low-cost high-mpg "hybrid alternative" to replace my dead mazda 323.

    They come up very rarely around here however. Last one listed needed piston rings and that scared me away.

    Can anyone give me pointers as to where certain things are soon to fail, like timing belts at what mileage points so when I look at them I know what I'm in for? Thanks for any tips!
  • ggeeooggeeoo Posts: 94
    The timing belt is replaced at around 60,000 miles. Pep boys charged me 40.00
    labor I got part for 8.00 on line. The alternator belt and bracket also replaced
    got bracket at junk yard for 5.00 .The rebuilt Alternator cost 50.00 the belt
    8.00 . I have a 1993 Geo with 121,000 miles gets about 30 MPG.
  • stobarstobar Posts: 110
    I have a 82 Metro, 3.0 cylinder 1 liter base model with just over 55,000 miles on it. I've noticed that the gears are starting to grind in the lower gear when shifting, moreso in colder weather. I was wondering how do I know when it's time to replace the clutch? Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
  • Although your clutch may need replacement, it could also be that your synchros are weak.
    I need to replace the 1st/2nd synchro on my '95 Geo and the clutch is fine.
    It's nearly impssible to get into 2nd gear when first starting out in the morning, but after it warms up it will go in, but it grinds a bit and downshifting to first or second requires double clutching.

    It's a project for the summertime for me.
  • pipemanpipeman Posts: 58
    I will not worry about the clutch. If it is 56000 original miles, the clutch shloud hold even in thge city traffis over 120 000 miles ( depend on yuou driving skills).
    The synchronizers ( like sombody already stated) are problem, but I will not fixed.
    I will wait for the time when clutch will be "low" ad replaced the clutch and rebuild the transmission.
    I have similar problem on my Geo 1991 with 45 000 miles and first gear and second is giving some "small" problems. I just learned from the car when you drive when you can switch the gear from second to one, or when you stop the car for traffic lights - before you stop - rolling the car on slow speed - move the gear from two to one. It ios not big problem. After 3 years driving the car durnig the Summer ( convertible) the synchro is giving me less problem.
    Find the speed between the first and second, when the gear will engage easy. Second - check the oil level in the trans, maybe to low? mark
  • stobarstobar Posts: 110
    Thanks senormechanico and pipeman. I meant to say my Metro is a 98, not an 82 (said it in the title then mis-typed in the note). My driving is almost all highway, 15 miles each way to work. I'll check the oil level in the transmission. I wasn't sure how long clutches last, but sounds like I should get at least 100K on it? Is it expensive to get the the synchronizers fixed? I could always get my mechanic to adjust next time in for service, but if we're talking a few hundred dollars, I'll live with it!
  • The clutch is easily adjustable. There is a lever on top of the transmission which connects to the clutch cable. On the end of the cable is an adjustment nut.
    There should be just a small amount of play in the pedal before you feel resistance.
    The nut adjusts this play. As you screw it down the threads toward the back of the car, it will lessen the clutch free play.

    Unfortunately, the synchros are not adjustable. When they're shot, they're shot and you have to disassemble the tranny.

    Steve B.
  • pipemanpipeman Posts: 58
    Before any adjustment on cable, please check the "clutch play" inside the vehicle.
    Using the finger, push gently the clutch pedal. Easy must move down around 1" ( one inch) before you will feel any resistance.
    If you have the "play" one inch( aprox) you are OK. IF you need to adjust, let me know.
    To fix the synchro's, will be nessesesery to remove the transmission and rebiuld all unit. This can cost around $ 1000.00 including the new clutch, t/out bearing, new flywheel, pressure plate. Also replace the starter. One time job, they should not charge you for the labor on starter, because is including in the price of rebulding the transmission.
    I will not replaced the synchro yet. Learn about the switchng the gears on different low speed and should help you. I'm driving every day over 120 miles. Small car, but is saving me $ 500 monthly on gas if I will use my poick up truck or another car.
    Where you located?
  • 9thirty39thirty3 Posts: 8
    I recently rebuilt the 3 cylinder motor in my 90 metro 4 dr. with an automatic tranny.I installed new rings,bearings,oil pump and had the head rebuilt and milled.The compression of the cylinders are 195lbs. on all 3 cylinders. The oil pressure starts at 60lbs. and as the motor warms up stays at a steady 35lbs. at idle. Now here is the wierd thing ,,,as i travel up a looong sloping hill the motor slows down some,,the oil pressure gauge (mechanical) climbs to 60lbs and suddenly white,,blueish smoke comes pouring out of the exhaust pipe. Cars following me to closely turn on their headlights to see. I can keep driving, slower of course, and it clears up.Each time this happens I can open up the air cleaner and will find a teaspoon or more of engine oil that has worked its way up the little black vacuum hose shaped like a Y, into the throtle body.I have reamed out the egr valve and replaced the pcv valve....Its almost like the pressure is way to high in the block.
  • ok i bought a 1995 geo metro 4 door 4cyl 1.3L for $100 it had the motor rebuilt 2 years ago and only drove 3 times since that..ive done every tune up necessity it runs great.
    but two problems... 1spedo dont work.. all my other gauges work but spedo book says nothing about how the spedo works... is it electric or cable driven? and where on the trans does it hook up? what could be the problem?

    aaand 2 my alternator belt squeaks no matter how tight i get als also sits a little crocked why is the adjuster made with only a flimsy piece of metal held on with only 1 bolt?

    also...where can i get after market taillights and headlights..i dont like the square ones...can i fit cavalier headlights on it and just use the geo side markers? they look very close.....

    also can the geo alternator handle an amp or fry from the large power draw? :sick:
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