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Geo Metro Engine Questions

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  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    You can, of course, retrieve the trouble code that triggered the check engine light and look up its meaning. That would require you to do some research on how to short the check connector to retrieve trouble codes, and also to get a list of trouble code meanings on OBD1 Metros. But this information is commonly available in the Metro service manual and on many online sites. Once you have this information; you'll be that much more self sufficient.

    Another thing you can do is to run a cylinder compression check. The stock compression pressure on this motor is 195psi. If any cylinder pressure is below 165psi; or if there is more than 15% difference between any 2 cylinder pressures; the motor will have to be repaired mechanically (which usually requires reconditioning the cylinder head) before it can run properly.

    A clogged fuel filter can also cause such a problem; so I would replace the fuel filter (located along the fuel line under the car, on the driver's side, just in front of the fuel tank). There is a metal cover plate underneath the fuel filter, which is held on by two or three bolts. It usually is helpful to remove the right rear tire to access the filter. You'll also need some golf tees, bolts, or similar items to plug the fuel hose when the filter is disconnected. Otherwise; lots of gasoline will run down your arm and onto the ground (especially if there is a lot of fuel in the tank).

    I would also recommend measuring the resistance of the spark plug cables with an ohmmeter. There should be less than 1,000 ohms for each inch of wire length. If the resistance of any wire exceeds that standard; replace all the wires (including the coil wire).

    The vacuum hose that runs from the back of the intake manifold on the passenger side to the MAP sensor on the firewall may have fallen off or broken. The wiring harness electrical plug at that sensor may also have come loose. Or any other vacuum hose may be leaking.

    The EGR valve may have stuck partly open; so it would be worthwhile to reach under the EGR valve diaphragm, and work the diaphragm through its entire range of travel to make sure it opens and closes freely. If it binds; the EGR valve should be removed and thoroughly cleaned.

    If you make all of the above checks and they all come out OK; I would question your observation that the plugs and distributor cap were good. Sometimes a spark plug can develop a tiny whisker of carbon between the electrodes. That can completely shut down a cylinder. Other times, if the plug gap has eroded to the point where it is too large; the plug can suddenly stop firing; but will still look good. Also; if you use NGK plugs in this motor, they are known to lose insulation resistance and suddenly quit for no apparent reason. For this reason; I always recommend that people not use NGK plugs in Metro motors. The preferred plug is Autolite # 63, or Autolite platinum # AP63, or # APP63. The plug gap should be set to 1.0mm (.039").

    Metros can be extremely sensitive to the insulation of the distributor cap or rotor. A tiny carbon track on the inside surface between two contacts will shut down 2 cylinders. A crack in the rotor underneath the blade will do the same thing. There are several cheap replacment brands of Metro caps which will misfire when they are brand new. So I will either buy a Borg Warner # C716, or Beck Arnley # 1746959 cap from Checker, Shucks, Kragen, Murray, or O'Reilly, along with a Borg Warner # D682 rotor; or spend a bunch more to buy a comparable quality Echlin # EP854 cap and EP855 rotor from a NAPA parts store.

    The timing belt might have jumped out of position; causing this type of problem; but that is much less likely than the above possibilities.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    If the timing belt slipped; the compression on ALL the cylinders would be below the minimum allowable limit (even if the valves and head were in good condition). If you find the compression to be low like this; turn the crankshaft pulley (this may require a wrench on the crank pulley bolt or turning the alternator or water pump pulley) until the timing marks line up at about 5 degrees BTDC. Then remove the distributor cap and see where the tip of the rotor is pointing. The rotor should either point straight up (to the distributor cap terminal for the # 1 cylinder plug wire) or straight down (to the distributor cap terminal for the # 3 cylinder plug wire). If the crank pulley is set on 5 degrees BTDC and the rotor doesn't point exactly to one of those two terminals; but instead points anywhere else; the timing belt has jumped out of position; and it will have to be replaced. After the timing belt is replaced and properly tightened and positioned; the compression should return to normal. But replacing the timing belt will not improve the compression in a motor where the timing belt has not jumped out of synch.
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    edited September 2010
    Sounds like a dead miss; I would guess the check eng light was on before the eng started missing. That is because a 92 GEO ECM wont detect a dead miss and set a code. So if I am right don't worry yet what code is stored. Just go back to the basics first, Test for spark at each plug; the easiest way is before starting the eng make sure that all plug wires are easy removable from the Distributer cap ( the easier, the better.) The reason for this is, I will teach you how to remove each spark plug wire from the cap while it is running without getting a shock. The reason for testing this way, is to listen for the variation of the speed of the eng while idling. The more variations (as in slowing down or cutting out) when pulling off a wire the stronger that cylinder is. The less of a variation (as in no change) in RPM then that is the dead cylinder; and needs farther investigation; (as in a cracked bad plug bad wire, cracked cap or bad rotor.)

    Never pull off a plug wire from a spark plug when running, only pull them from the distributer cap side. This is because the power is looking for the best or closes conductor of ground, and you don't want to be it. By pulling it from the cap when running you will not get a shock unless you get between the two connecters that you have separated. Just keep your cool pay attention and amaze your friends that watch: you can become confident with this and learn from your mistakes; with a little conmen sense and practice you can test your eng better and faster then your mechanic that is amassed at how you do this. You must hold a grip on the wire about 1 inch behind the boot and pull it off while it is running. I always make sure that my other body parts are not touching the car and that I am not bare footed or standing in water. I am sure that you think that I am joking But I am not, I have been doing this for 43 years and have not been shocked since I was 16 years old. I am just giving you a most useful tip that identifies a miss. You should not do this on the more sophisticated electronic controlled automobiles; but you can do this on your GEO and it wont mind. If when you pull a wire there is no spark or variation, then you have a bad wire or something wrong under the cap that is preventing the completion of the power to that plug. If you pull the wire half way off and watch the spark jump and you here the eng clear up and run good while watching the spark jump, then it is a bad plug or something cause that plug to not spark well, low compression because burnt or stuck valve, or carbon sticking that valve open a little or a big list of things that can cause compression loss. Also at times improper fuel mixture to that Cyl. from a vacuum leak or a combination of things creating an imbalance and picking on the weakest one. The GEO 3 cyl needs all three to be strong; If not! you will surely feel that imbalance.

    I hope that I have made all of this clear for you to understand; any questions about it just ask. Please let me know how it goes. Good luck!
  • My 2001 Metro died yesterday it was 135000 miles on it. It cranks over but will not start. Up to this point it ran fine. It would some times have a surging feeling when you would be driving along. It has been doing that for a couple of years on and off. It looks as thought the timing belt is ok. I tried to hook up an ODBII scan tool and it would not communicate with the computer. I check the ODB and it works fine in other cars. Where do I start?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    The crankshaft position sensor has probably failed. This is an easy part to change. It is available under Borg Warner part # CSS70 for $77.99 from Checker, Shucks, Kragen, Murray, or O'reilly auto parts store.

    Another, less likely possibility is that the fuel pump relay has failed.
  • Engine cranks, does not show the cluster lights and does not start. This happened last night when I was wiring in a plug for a new stereo. I turned the key to test it and noticed it had no cluster lights. I turned the key to start and the engine cranks but nothing. All help appreciated!
  • depattdepatt Posts: 6
    My 92 geo metro starts and runs fine for several miles. Suddenly there is no response to the gas pedal. I can go 10-15 mph if I nurse the pedal at one spot. After the engine sits for a while it starts up and runs normally til it happens again. I have replaced plugs, air filter, a dirty inline gas filter in the engine compartment (add on?), distributor cap and rotor. If I put the car in neutral when it happens, the engine will rev up normally...drop it into drive and it spits, sputters and barely has enough power to move. After I nurse it home and it sits for a while, it starts and runs normally again. Anybody have any ideas. No check engine code.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    I don't know if you're still looking for an answer; but the other parts which could cause this problem are the neutral safety switch (only used on automatic transmission vehicles) or the clutch pedal position switch (only used on manual transmission vehicles). The ignition switch could also cause this; if the start contacts have failed.

    My manual transmission Metro has done this when I had a carpet on the floor; which was thick enough that it prevented the clutch pedal from going all the way down. That kept the clutch pedal position switch from engaging when the pedal was pressed down. I eventually bypassed the clutch switch by shorting the two wires together which went to that switch. Took a little while for me to get used to the fact that the starter would run whenever the ignition switch was turned; regardless of whether the clutch pedal was up or down.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Please check the 20 amp yellow ignition fuse in the underhood fuse block. Chances are you blew it out by shorting something while you wired up the stereo. Sometimes a blown fuse may still look good to the eye; so try replacing the ignition fuse with a known good one of the same rating. If the fuse blows repeatedly; you may have to disconect and repair the stereo plug wiring, or the stereo may be defective.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    edited October 2010
    There is another inline gas filter underneath the car, on the driver's side, just in front of the rear tire. It has a metal shield covering it underneath; which is held on by about two bolts. The rear tire may have to be removed in order to access the filter. I bet that filter is even dirtier than the add on one you replaced. This filter is specially designed for the Metro, comes with a mounting bracket and curved spigots which fit in the small space; and has a finer filtering media that other filters. It is easiest if the fuel tank is low on fuel when you change this filter (or the front of the car is higher than the rear); as gas will run out of the lines as soon as you disconnect them. So wear rubber gloves and have rags handy, as well as golf tees or small bolts to plug the lines. I would also briefly remove and replace the fuel filler cap before changing the filter, as this will relieve any air pressure which has built up in the tank.
  • depattdepatt Posts: 6
    I had high hopes for the rear gas filter. It was clear and did not appear to be very old.
    Next guess???
  • a month or so ago after filling the tank.with 87 g fuel.i jumped on freeway on ramp, as i begain to accillerate,the motor started cutting out in bad way..so i punched even harder & more demanding thinking &hoping this was goingto be a quick tempory faze .do to alittle dirt or maybe bad gas.it sputtered some more almost vilently,then it smoothed out &i got on down the road &my day &didnt give it another thought ,that day...then two days later on an early morning donut run almost as soon as i begain to drive it was back in a worse way i couldnt keep it running kep t dieing as soon as i attemped to put it in drive.i had it towed to alocal shop which tried chargin me 90 bucks &could nt find any thingv wrong .i discovered my cusion terry who owns a shop & installed the new rebuilt motor didnt install a fuel filter...so i spliced anew one in.& it seemed to resolve the issue for a day.so i then re placed the pricy little camshaft positon senser.& that resolved the ssue for almost twob months or so.the last week or so its been leading back to it &as of last nite.after filling up on gas its back!!! help fellas&or gals if any one can lead me in a good way to resolving this b.s.id be gratful.its driving me crazy.peacen& have a good day every body.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    If your spark plugs haven't been replaced in the last 30,000 miles; this would definitely cause the symptoms you're reporting.

    If the original fuel filter (located underneath your car on the fuel line, on the drivers side in front of the fuel tank) became clogged up with dirt; cutting the fuel hose under the hood and splicing in a new filter there will do absolutely nothing to make the fuel flow through the old, plugged up filter: So the fuel line is still plugged up!!! You need to replace the original fuel filter with a new part that is designed to fit in the original location.
  • 80K mile and very little problems until now. Cruising down the hwy @ 60 mph and engine died with no advance systems. Main 60 amp fuse and 15 amp FI fuse were blown. I have replaced the 60 amp and it seams fine. But when I replace the 15 amp FI fuse it blows at once. So its diffently a dead short. Cranks fine but no spark. No power to coil. Any Ideas out their. Could the coil in the throttle body injector have shorted out? I'm not sure where to start except to follow out the fi wiring circuit with a test light to see what I can find but cannot power the circuit up?
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    First check your oil, if it is very low it may shut down the system. If there are no trouble codes stored check for ignition spark, then test for signal at injectors with a noid light, it can be loaned to you from AutoZone for free. If all are ok do a fuel pump test; First listen under the car or in the fuel tank fill for the pump to come on when you have someone turn the key too the ignition position. The pump will come on for 2 too 5 seconds. If you here the pump come on then you need to test for pressure. Part of a pressure test is to test the pressure regulator; you can test for a malfunction of the regulator by overriding it. There are 2 fuel lines attached to the fuel rail 1 thick and the return line that is thin; squeeze the small fuel line with a pair of vice grips attached, then try to start the car. if it starts then you need a fuel pressure regulator. If no start then the next step is to test the pressure. A car needs a few things to run. enough fuel pressure, a signal to the injector, compression, proper valve timing, a strong enough ignition spark; preferably blue or white in color that will jump a half inch or more, and a battery that is strong enough to crank the eng. Test for these things and I will answer more questions. Good luck
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    I suppose the injector driver coil could have shorted out; but that is rather unlikely. You could check that by disconnecting the harness plug for the injector, and then replacing the fuse to see if it blows again when the key is turned on. But I also would suggest disconnecting the power wire to the alternator, and then replacing the fuse and seeing whether it still blows.

    There is also a finned silver colored heat sink mounted on the firewall or the driver's side inner fender next to the fuse box; which contains the injector resistor. I think that part is more likely to have shorted out than anything else.
  • Thanks Guys,for all the good input,&feed back concerning My trubled fuel system.I did manage to find what I belive is the original fuel filter.please correct Me if Im wrong..It as Zaken1 did indacate was located in front of the fuel tank.Im puzzled though.this looks nothing like what i was sold at the parts store,( the one I spliced in up front.) this one is plastic,white ,It is 3&a half inches,bye 2&a half inches& a little under an inch deep.on one side area seris of numbers.then alittle lower are the words SAE. HOPE+PA6.And made in canada.On the other side are images of 3 clocks i belive.when I removed the two hoses from this part there was no fuel on or in either hose.bone dry.&although the part smelled alittle like gas,it too was dry.The screw,or bolt was a real B.....! to get to.almost like a bad joke,please fellas tell Me am I on the right track,or once again learning as I go & in error.Thanks golddreger.
  • hey whats up every body?more new news for us all to consider.throu a very good source im being told,some cars from 90s-now are built with out a fuel filter,& 2000 chevy metro happens to be one ofr them.If this new info is true.,then it looks like we can stand to learn somthing here.Right Fellas?Its true none of us are ever to wise,or to old to learn somthing from each other.Late My Friends Im in double over time,&must get My car running.advice is great& I apprecate it,&thank you all.But those who read this who know God please pray for Me.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Well, I looked up this claim, and found to my surprise that it is right! Apparently, the 1989-96 Geo Metros were made with fuel filters; but the 1997-2001 Chevy Metros did not have fuel filters. Instead of an external fuel filter, they had a fuel pump with a filter screen in the fuel tank. Here's a link to a photo of the 2000 Metro 4 cylinder in tank fuel pump and filter: (http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=90612).

    The other cars I have seen without fuel filters were all 2001 and later; but the Metro seems to have been an exception.

    HOWEVER, if your Metro was not made with an external fuel filter; then there would not be anything on the fuel line in front of the tank. If the part you found only had two hoses attached to it, and did not have any electrical wires; it MUST be a filter. So I would connect a clean hose on the inlet end and try blowing through it. If it doesn't easily allow air to pass; then it is clogged and must be replaced. Take the part to a parts store and get the closest filter that will match. Sometimes cars have parts on them which were not supposed to be there. This can happen if a car was reconstructed from used parts after an accident; or if someone modified it. And sometimes the parts catalogs have errors in them.

    If the part you found also has an electrical connector on it; that is not a filter; but is the external fuel pump which was used on older Geo Metros. Those fuel pumps sometimes go bad (as.also do the pumps in the fuel tank). You can have the pump pressure and output volume tested by a shop.
  • fawkinnewguyfawkinnewguy Posts: 1
    edited October 2010
    I was leaving work the other night and I heard a ping noise from the engine compartment. The car started running rough and backfiring through what sounded like the carb. It was 4am and I was in the middle of nowhere so I drove it the rest of the way home about 15 miles. It was lacking serious power and backfired when i gave it gas, it didn't smoke out the tail pipe. Any ideas? also my service engine light came on. It has a 4 cyl engine.
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