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Chevrolet (Geo) Prizm



  • leomortleomort Posts: 451
    I'm looking at buying a used '99 Prism (automatic)w/ 60k miles. My question is when does the timing belt need changing on them? Is it at 60K?


  • infinia1infinia1 Posts: 174
    leo: the 99 priZm has a timing chain, not belt. try searching for previous posts for more info.

    corny: i'm at about 22k now on my original firestones. they're bad, i'll change them in june.

    donelson: did you get the certified prizm?
  • leomortleomort Posts: 451
    Thanks to everyone for their help. I just purchased a '99 Chevy Prizm for my wife to learn to drive on. Looks like a nice little car.


  • prizmlsiprizmlsi Posts: 2
    I bought a 1995 Geo LSI with 85,000 on a 1.6 engine and have gotten the timing belt replaced. I see that at 60,000 Geo recommends a valve adjustment. Has anyone gotten a valve adjustment and do these engines really need them. Is this a do it yourself job? Thanks!!!
  • asafonovasafonov Posts: 373
    We had a 96 base Prizm for 3 years (99-2001), and passed it to a relative. No valve adjusments, just oil, filter, and appropriate fluid changes. It is still on the original timing belt at 140k; the serpentine belt was worn and was recently replaced ($200).
  • kate2002kate2002 Posts: 4
    How good is the GEO Prizm for performance and reliability. Does $1900.00 sound like a good price?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,666
    Check the price on this website. Also, take to a good mechanic to check. The Prizm is really a rebadged Toyota Corolla, so it is extremely reliable and efficient. Is it automatic or stick? I will tell you why I'm asking when I know your answer.
  • danpf1danpf1 Posts: 80
    Had to replace a O2 sensor on my Daughter's 97 Prizm, she has about 80,000 miles now. Has any one else had to replace their O2 sensor and at what mileage? Also what was the cost? I paid $60.00 for a B/W replacement O2 sensor and replaced it myself. I used an Xrayauto scanner to find the trouble code.
  • snowdoggsnowdogg Posts: 1
    I would like to know as I may buy one and like going to junkyards to get my own parts.

    Also are the part #'s the same?

  • asafonovasafonov Posts: 373
    Not sure this helps you, but most body panels (hood, trunk, etc.) are different on the same-gen Prizms and Corollas.
  • aru_cararu_car Posts: 1
    Hi Im looking of buying a 97 geo prism lsi, but im not sure whether its similar to Toyota corolla engine of same year or not.Can any one experienced person with this type of cars help me here about this. Also the owners Manual says that the timing belt (costs around 500$ plus at local dealership) needs to be replaced at 60,000 miles, but the usual corolla of similar year needs timing belt replacement at 90,000 miles.where can this be done at a cheaper price.Can any one help me here ??? How is the performance,Maintenance and reliability look for this car compared to Toyota ???

  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,666
    transmission, etc. The only real difference is the body panels and some interior trim. Timing belt - I had mine done for $99 at a Toyota dealer. If one wants to charge you $500, look elsewhere. You should not pay more than $300, at the very most. If timing belt breaks, you just stop, because Toyotas are mostly non-interference. Lots of other makes, like Honda, use interference engines, so if the belt breaks, the engine is probably destroyed. This car was built along side the Toyota in Fremont, California. It should be very reliable and the same maintenance. You can get the car serviced at a Toyota dealer or a GM dealer.
  • hisiennahisienna Posts: 4
    Recently I noticed that the blue portion on my wife's 98 prizm's trunk emblem had come off. Easiest fix is to get another emblem, either brand new or from salvage yard, is what I think. Anyone have other suggestions?
  • asafonovasafonov Posts: 373
    $99 for the belt part only? With part and labour, I was quoted about $250 for a 96 Prizm at an independent mechanic - decided to forego the replacement since the engine, as you pointed out, is non-intereference (and at 140 kmiles, I'll just wait until the belt or something more expensive breaks).
  • infinia1infinia1 Posts: 174
    get the emblem from the dealer. they are fairly inexpensive (about $10-$12) and all you do is peel off the sticker-backing and press into place. be sure it's lined up correctly before pressing tho. if you got it from a junkyard, you would have to clean off the old foam-backing then reapply with some type of glue. it seems like too much of a hassle to me.
  • ted2ted2 Posts: 1
    I am concerned about the purchase of a 96-350,000mile GEO Pizm. The auto looks in great shape, one owner since 10,000mile purchase. Am I looking for trouble with this purchase? Besides the needed mechanical check is the engine ready to fall out at this level of milage.
    Funds are tight. The auto is for my teens travel to school and youth group. All within 10-15 min from home. Autos are not my forte.
  • asafonovasafonov Posts: 373
    As a former owner of a 96 Prizm (still driven by my sister-in-law), and a current owner of an 02, I'll share my experiences.

    The 96 is currently at 140k miles, and while mostly problem free, it burns a bit of oil and leaks some. About a quart per 1000 miles is added to it. While this can be fixed, it just does not seem economical.

    If any (cheap) car can go over 300000 miles, it is the Prizm. However, you should consider other Prizms, with lower mileage. I understand that funds are tight, and I don't know if you live in or close to a larger city, with ready access to used cars for sale. In any case, I would look for something fresher. I routinely see 98-99 Prizms with 70-90k miles advertized in the local Minneapolis newspaper for 3-3.5k. If this is way more than what you are planning to spend, I would look for an older model, but still with the lower mileage.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,666
    Yes, the $99 was for the belt AND labor, but this was 3 years ago. I would say $200 is probably the best you can do now, and $250 is not bad.
  • clobyrclobyr Posts: 3
    I've found a 1999 Prizm with 12500 miles. Right now, I'm not sure if it is a 3 speed or 4 speed w/OD. Would you recommend 3 speed or should I steer clear of it. Driving pattern will be mix of freeway to work, surface & local streets from work to home and definitely some hills to climb on the weekends, to Santa Cruz, Lake Tahoe etc. What are the advantages of 4 speed w/OD versus 3 speed? Your input is appreciated!
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,666
    The 3-speed automatic will give you less mpg because it will be turning higher rpm's, which also means it is noisier on the highway. It is not bad, though, but the 4 speed is better. Just look at the side of the gear selector - if it has another push button below the regular push button for the shift interlock, it is a 4 speed. But most of the 99's have 3 speed autos, and they will be fine for your purpose - take it for a drive to see if the extra rpm's annoy you. They will be both extremely reliable. Just drain and fill transmission fluid every 30,000 miles. Of course, the best Corolla (Prizm) is the 5 speed manual - highest mpg, lowest noise, and most fun.
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