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Chevrolet/Geo Metro



  • We bought a '99 Chev Metro in the summer. A few days ago the dash lights and all the outside marker lights stopped working. My husband believes he need to replace the light switch to rectify the problem. The headlights still work.

    Can anyone provide step-by-step instructions on how to do this? Apparently we can get the part for about $20, so of course would want to install ourselves.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  • I have a '93 Metro convertible with the 1.0 engine. It's always had a rough idle when below 1000 RPM, even with new plugs, rotor, wires, distributor cap, and timing check/set. I keep the idle speed set higher than recommended and it seems to smooth it out, but wonder if anyone has had a similar problems.

    It also seems to improve when I run injector cleaner through the gas tank, but the fix is only temporary.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.
  • I have a 1997 Metro 4 door, automatic, 4cyl. The body is in great shape except for minor hail damage and a few stains on the interior. The garage says it has low/no compression in one cylinder and needs another motor or complete overhaul. (I had been crossing my fingers that it would only be the headgasket) I've checked every salvage place in 60 miles with no luck. Any ideas where I can find a motor on line maybe? or even a round-house figure of what one may cost IF i do find one? any help is appreciated, Thanks!!
  • I've had a '92 Metro LSI convertible w 1.0L engine since new. Idle always rough below 1K - the engine only has 3 cylinders, and 3 into a 4 cycle engine doesn't come out even!

    80K miles on it so far - engine remains top notch; ditto clutch, 5 speed manual transaxle, etc. I had front seats re-covered locally @ $150 a seat - well worth it in a (then) 10 yr old car I intended to keep.

    I consistently get 32 -35 mpg in town; out of town depends on speed & wind. 70 mph @ no wind - 40 - 42 mpg; 75 (OK tollway - legal!) into 25 - 30 mph headwind - 30 mpg.

    Goes 3000 miles betw oil changes & have never had to add oil.

    Both Bridgestone & Pirelli 55 profile tires (as specified in the book) are awful; I now have a set of Michelins on it - 60 profile, so speedometer is off 5%, but much better traction on wet streets, smoother ride, and handling just as good. A bit of a penalty on acceleration, but on a car that takes > 20 seconds from 0 to 60, it doesn't really matter!

    I hope you enjoy yours - I'm guessing it's not a ragtop - mine is & I'm still in love with it.
  • Thanks for writing. My '93 has 115K miles on it. It had 103K on it when I bought it 4 1/2 years ago. I drive it to work almost every day. I haven't checked mileage for a while, but I can drive three weeks or more on one tank of gas, which is perfect with today's prices. It also has a 5-speed like yours, no power steering or brakes, and doesn't burn any oil. It just has that rough idle. The car had 175/70 tires on it when I bought it and they look good. My speedometer is off a bit, too.

    My interior is in really good shape other than the dashboard, which needs to be replaced. I had it repainted the original color (Polynesian Green) and I had a new custom white ragtop put on last fall. The top is usually down, especially since the A/C keeps going south. I'm not going to spend any more money on it for a while.

    Thanks again for writing. I guess I won't worry about it for a while. I've always thought it was crazy to think three cylinders could run as smoothly as four. Where are you in OK? I bought this one in Tulsa.
  • Metros,

    Will upgrading my tire size from 155/80/13 to 175/70/13 (2001 1.3 auto) hurt my fuel mileage (a solid 33 mixed driving)? Has anyone done this? Is hydroplaning worse when upgrading the tire size? Please advise. Go Metro! 61K and reliable city.
  • Sorry for missing on your 1st post that you have a ragtop. I'm in Amarillo, TX, about 5 1/2 hrs from Tulsa.

    My paint still looks good if I wax it, but, after 13 years, the clearcoat is gone. I took it to a body shop recently - the owner told me to wax it 4 times a year and not spend the $$ to have it repainted until the actual paint (blue) deteriorates. Yesterday I had it washed - then I used Kit car wax on it - it still looks good. Also, to get the scratches out of the rear window I use Kit scratch remover - I still have the original window, and it is in really good shape. Of course, it has been garage kept - I think that helps, but, like you, it's driven almost every day. In winter, with lots of snow, I drive my 4wd F250 stick Diesel - "slight" difference in clutch pressure & torque!

    Best to you.
  • I didn't notice any gas savings going from the original 165/55/13's to 165/60/13's, when I went from very rough-riding Pirellis to extremely smooth-riding Michelins. Even so, the mileage didn't change. On the highway, wind affects milage more than anything else (except speed, of course). Per hydroplaning, the car handles far better in wet weather with the new Michelins - probably tire design, though, because thenew & old tires are the same width. On the other hand, not a lot of rain here in Amarillo, TX. 80K on blue Geo and going strong. Changing tires will affect the accuracy of your speedo, so be sure to use the mile markers on an expressway to see by what percent it is off when you do change or you'll attact some unwanted attention. My change resulted in my going 5% faster than speedo registered - and in 5% better mileage than the calculation yields, since I've gone farther than the speedo shows.

    Larger diameter tires WILL negatively affect acceleration - so be prepared for that.

    Best to you.
  • In my opinion, with the current fuel crisis; I feel the only Metros or
    Fireflies worth talking about are the 3 cylinder models coupled with a five
    speed. I've read through all of these postings for fun, and afterward I got the feeling that there should be a separate forum for us. Why did they ever bother building
    a four cylinder automatic for this car? It only boosted the horsepower slightly and killed the fuel economy. An automatic with overdrive Chevy Cavalier with more than twice the engine does better in fuel economy. I think people in North America have a stigma with the whole idea of driving a car with only 3 cylinders. I've never had trouble getting up to highway speeds even with 3 adults in the car. I think that a lot of people need to change their thinking before our crisis gets worse. I have owned a 1997 Geo Metro for seven years now with no major problems. I've got 80,000 miles on it, and my only complaint is that its rusting out. I live in an area where there is way too much salt used on the roads, so it is a losing battle. I've never had the opportunity to keep it in a garage, so that does not help. I cared for it with Mobil One synthetic, and it does not burn any oil. It runs as good as day one. I am currently looking for another one from the south or out west, 95 or newer unless I found a mint XFi. I really wish they still made these cars, they are very difficult to find with what I'm looking for. I'm guessing people either trash these
    cars, or don't let go of them.

  • I think there may be differences between the years we own. The '92 convertible was only available from Geo as a 3 cylinder, although it was available directly from Suzuki as a 4 cylinder. As I understand it, both cars were also available with a 3 speed automatic.

    I had the opportunity to drive an automatic rental Metro convertible (3 cylinder) in Miami the summer before I bought my stick. My thoughts at the time were that, if the car came with a decent 5 speed & clutch, it would be a fun car to drive. I sure never wanted to own that 3 cylinder engine coupled to the 3 speed automatic. Absolutely terrible acceleration - maybe 10 - 15 seconds to 30mph???

    Having kept it for 13 years (and still willing to hand wax it - I'm nearly 63), I guess I could say that the 5 speed has been a fun car - at least I'm still in love with it! You'd get a second opinion, though, from my wife. The seats hurt her back unless we pad the seat with lots of pillows, and she really has no desire to examine the undercarriage of 18 wheelers at 70mph while driving down the highway!
  • I don't care what people think of a three-cylider engine - I laugh at all of those folks as I drive past the gas pumps for more than three weeks between fill-ups. When I was looking for a "project car" a few years ago I limited my search to a Metro convertible because I had already had good success with Geo/Suzuki with a Tracker I had for almost six years and the fact that the Metro was essentially a simple and cheap car to work on. I missed working on cars as they became more and more complicated. My Metro only came with a three-cylinder, so that wasn't even a consideration, but I most definitely wanted a five-speed. I have driven a few small (cheap) cars with an automatic and knew I couldn't handle that kind of slow. I also wanted one with factory air, which mine has, but I am getting tired of spending money on it. It also saps the power so much you can hardly believe it. I can only imagine how much worse it would have been with an automatic transmission. My car had 103K on it when I bought it, and it had not been treated well - the oil pan was full of something like molasses. However, it was running, and still is. After four years of TLC it looks brand-new again. I just turned over 114K and drive it nearly every day. I don't use it for traveling, but around town with the top down you can't beat the fun factor. Enjoy yours. Hope you find a good replacement.
  • My 97 Metro rusted in what I guess is the usual weak spot - where lower a-frame bolts to body. I liked the 3cyl 5speed (my second) enough that I flew to Florida and bought a 2000 Metro in New Port Richie. I knew it was risky buying another Metro in the rust prone northern states. I bought the 2000 just a few months ago before gas went over $2/gal. Now they are tough to find (3 cyl standard). I agree that the 4 cylinder auto tranny Metro is a waste. I like my Metro but would also drive a bigger car if I couldn't get 45 MPG.
  • My paint really had deteriorated. The car had apparently started out in Florida and I think the sun killed the paint and the dashboard. That's why I went ahead and had it painted. I only spent $700 on the paint job. I wasn't willing to spend more than that because I have already spent way more than I should have for a car that's not worth much. However, the paint looks good, and the white top is really sharp. I need to find a good dashboard and finish restoring the interior. It won't take much. I eventually would like to put it in some local car shows. I'm sure some folks would think it was a joke, but not me - I"m crazy about the car.

    Is your blue one the metallic blue or the bright one? Thanks for the advice about the KIT scratch remover. I already have some bad ones on the new back window. Do you have the scratch protector piece that was supposed to attach to the velcro on the top? MIne was long gone when I bought it.

    Take care.
  • I'm partly color-blind, so I'll take a guess at which blue I have - it's sort of a medium blue - neither pale blue nor midnight blue, and it does not have any metallic flakes in it.

    Yes, I still have the scratch protector - it is vinyl on one side (the side which does NOT touch the window) and sort of a thin terry-cloth on the other. I had misplaced it earlier this summer, and we just used a soft beach towel in its place. For the few weeks I needed it (until I found the original), it seemed to work quite well.

    Per another comment also written today, don't be afraid to use the Metro for long-distance travel. Mine never had air conditioning - and my wife and I had some very uncomfortable Sunday afternoon drives home to Amarillo from Albuquerque - top town, we just got too much sun - top up, and the heat got even worse.

    When I retired, I knew I'd be doing some travelling without my wife, since she wasn't ready to retire yet. I already trusted the Metro in snow, but I added after-market air conditioning (a place in Phoenix) in May of 2004. That meant I could travel however far I wanted any time of the year. In the last 2 years, the car has been to St. Louis, Chicago (twice), Washington (DC), El Paso, Albuquerque - this time with air!, and Austin several times. One of the Chicago trips & the DC trip were both in winter.

    In all that travel, the only unexpected incident came when someone pulled up alongside me at a stop light in east Texas. All of a sudden I heard an extremely loud exhaust. Unfortunately, when the person pulled away, the noise remained. I pulled over into a parking lot, opened the hood, and found out that one of my 3 spark plugs had come out of the cylinder head. Can't explain it - the plug had been there between 5k & 10k miles. I let it cool off a bit, carefully seated it so I wouldn't strip the threads, then used my thin wall deep socket (normally used for removing my alloy wheels - fortunately the wheel nuts & the spark plugs turned out to be the same size) to tighten the plug. Voila - problem solved. When I got home, I had my regular mechanic torque all the plugs to proper specs.

    Perhaps the most "interesting" travel segment in all the above was from Joplin to Oklahoma City. The tollroad is posted at 75mph, and, at least for someone who's lived in Amarillo for 25 years, lots of hills. Oh yeah, summertime & the new compressor, as well. Oh - did I forget to mention? A 25 mph headwind, too. At least the Metro tried to stay at the posted limit! It came amazingly close (after all, Harleys have 200cc more than do the Metros), but to do so, I could only run the AC compressor while going down hill. Probably my worst mileage ever in the poor baby - just over 30 mpg. Throttle floored the entire trip (except when parting with my cash at the tollbooth).

    On the other hand, the triangle trip from Amarillo to El Paso to Austin & return to Amarillo netted 40mpg much of the time - it was March - we rarely used the compressor, and there really wasn't much wind to speak of.

    Per the car not being worth much, the only stick LSI convertible I could find on the web was going for $2700 - way above the Edmunds estimate. At this point, higher gas prices will probably increase the value of the car, if anything.

    Oh, by the way, her name is Aleytys - the only clue I'll give you is that the name comes from a series of science fiction novels. Like the heroine the car is named for, neither ever quits trying.

    Best to you & yours.
  • Did you know Suzuki is now marketing a new Swift in Europe, Japan, China, & India? No convertible - 3 & 5 door hatchbacks. 3 engines - 1.3, 1.5 gas, & turbo Diesel. Apparently quite a waiting list - production @ 3K a month; sales @ 7K a month.

    Enjoy your GT. Stick or auto? Is the GT a convertible?

    Best to you & yours.
  • I've been watching the Swift, and 1.6 liter Swift Sport, overseas, I hope it makes it to North America someday.

    My Swift is a 2-door hatchback, with a 5-spd. There was no convertible available, that was only for the Metro. Great car so far - best $800 I ever spent anyway :)
  • I know which blue you're talking about - I saw one in Wichita when I was looking for a car, but it was pretty well worn out.

    The white top on mine has made a huge difference in how cool it is during warm weather. It also looks really good, and sets the car off from others. I will probably put another A/C compressor on it next spring. Right now I'm just tired of spending money on it.

    It's funny that you mentioned the trip from Joplin to OKC. I live in Joplin and bought the car in Tulsa. The only time I drove it on that road was the time I brought it home. I could tell it had been mistreated in its former life and the whole time I kept waiting for all the dashlights to come on and indicate total engine failure. I was afraid to drive it over 70 MPH but when I apologized to the friend following me he assured me I was driving at the speed limit. That was before I know about the effect of the larger tires. It's actually around 4 mph off. Now I usually limit out-of-town trips to 50 miles or so.

    Did Sprint also make a convertible during the same years? I've seen pictures of Pontiac Fireflies for sale in Canada, but didn't know about the Sprint.

    My car's name is Fluffy. Actually, I name pretty much everything Fluffy.

    Take care.
  • I don't know about the Sprint - I don't remember the name. The reason I actually got interested in the Metro was the Miami trip - it only cost $10 more to rent the convertible, so I did.

    If you need the name of the company in Phoenix from which I bought the after market AC, let me know - I should still have the receipt. I've had some leaks, but I think the Phoenix company expected the installer to do a final crimp on the connectors. My installers didn't realize they were supposed to do so, and, obviously, the fittings on the ends of the hoses started to leak. The second time it happened, I had the mechanic remove all the hoses & re-crimp all of them. Discharging & charging the system is the expensive part - fixing the hose fittings wasn't expensive at all. The rest of the system has worked fine, and, since they've all been re-crimped, the hoses haven't leaked, either. We'll see what happens over the winter.

    I had an MG Midget that had been mistreated in its former life - unfortunately, I was never able to get everything fixed completely, because when I'd start on another problem the car had, one of the ones I had already fixed broke again. I hope Fluffy's not doing that to you.

    Mine has the original black top - I agree, white would be much cooler in the summer, but normally, in summer, I just leave the top down unless there's the threat of rain - which isn't very often in Amarillo. Fortunately a Club bar across the steering wheel has been enough to discourage amateur thieves and joy riders, and the pros know the car isn't worth the effort to steal & try to sell! Leaving the top down probably has helped preserve the rear window, too - it rarely sits out exposed the sun.

    Joplin is a much wetter climate - I imagine you get a threat of rain far more often than we do.

    Per the 4 mph off - that probably is not a constant - it's probably a constant percent based on the speed you're actually going. Mine is 5% - that's 1.5 mph @ 30mph; 3mph @ 60mph, etc.

    When you calculate mpg, don't forget to include the additional miles you actually drove that the odometer didn't record - again, in my case, it's 5%. After I calculate my initial mpg, I multiply it by 1.05 to find the true mpg.

    Maybe someday Fluffy & Aleytys will get to meet - my daughter lives in DC, and I expect I'll be headed that way again sometime in the future.


  • It's good to know that I'm actually getting better mileage than I thought. I quit figuring the mileage a long time ago. I just don't visit the pumps very often and I drive it almost every day. I really haven't spent much money on the car at all - only on the A/C. The only major thing that's broken since I had the car was the clutch, which was replaced at 110,000 miles. I have systematically replaced things like the fuel filter, etc. I will be having the timing belt changed before too long. When I bought the car there were many important things that had supposedly been replaced already. I give it new plugs, air filter, PCV, and set the timing every summer, and that seems to keep things in line. I've also replaced the rotor and distributor cap. The car is very simple to work on. I only hire out the things I don't want to do myself.

    It's funny to hear you talk about the "Club." I always use mine, too. I figure the car is worthless to a thief, but I would like to mame sure it's there when I come out of someplace. I kind of hope they never become real collector items. Someone could pick it up and put it in the bed of a truck, I think. Have you ever parked next to an SUV and noticed how tiny the Metro really is?

    Take care, and let me know when you're headed this way.

  • My repair experience has been similar to yours - plugs, cap, etc around 65,000 miles. Per my choice, I have the timing belt changed every 30,000 to 40,000 miles - even though it's a "clearance" engine, I don't want to be stranded, since I use the car out of town a lot.

    So far my "Club" has worked - I guess - at least no one has stolen the car since I bought it (but then I've heard that wearing copper bracelets in Amarillo prevents one from being trampled by a herd of elephants, too!). Who knows whether there's a cause & effect relationship here - still, I keep doing it.

    Per actual repairs I think I had to once replace the water pump - the bearing had begun to squeek.

    I haven't had the timing set (other than when the plugs, cap, etc. were replaced), but that sounds like a good idea the next time the car goes in for an oil change.

    I'll try to remember to let you know the next time I head up I-44.

    Best to you, Fluffy, & yours,

  • Something I forgot to mention - my wife has 2 things she dislikes about the car - the first is the seats (she gets a sore back unless she pads her seat with lots of pillows on a long drive) - the other is the "opportunity" to examine the undercarriage of 18-wheelers at 70mph - yes, we HAVE noticed how small the Metro really is!

    When I pull into a parking space, I usually don't pull all the way in - otherwise someone might not see the car, assume the space was empty, and not be able to stop in time to avoid a crash when pulling in.


  • :cry: My poor Metro (2000, 1.0, 3 cyl.) is in need of help. I was hoping you or someone else could give me heads up on anything I should know about my car. My boyfriend gave it to me and I noticed it needed maintainence right away. Not long after I took over driving it in July I started noticing noise and symtoms of problems. Like a noise in the clutch (bearing?) and the one that makes me nervous is the loud whinning noise I get when I start the engine after it sits a while. "I" claim it to be the timing belt and my boyfriend claims its a pulley bearing. Didn't know the pulley had bearings.(?) But, I need car to get to college since I go there full-time. Im trying to find someone who will help me without charging too much or keeping it too long. Im in California and it won't pass emmissions because of a EGR flow malfunction. I just replaced 02 sensor but, know nothing about exaust.
    The only reason I know anything about cars at all is because I am a car person and my ex loved fixing cars. Too bad "HE'S" not around now..... Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Going today to have it looked at. I'd rather have it fixed today but, not sure I'll find someone in such short notice. Oh and I read about your wife's comments on how small the car is. Thats funny!!! I loose this car in the parking lot all the time! LMAO.... Also I have a real bad back and I agree with her the seats suck and I have pillows as well to help with support. Tina
  • Hi Tina -

    Our cars are really different - mine is a 1992 convertible (which they stopped making in 1993). Even though both our engines are 1L 3 cyl, I don't know whether they're actually the same. Mine was made by Suzuki for Geo (marketed by Chevrolet dealers).

    Per the whine - sorry, I do tend to agree with your boyfriend - pulleys DO have bearings - the pulley spins on a fixed shaft - it has to have a bearing. I tend to agree with him, though, because yours whines more after the car has sat for a while. Then, after moving, maybe the impregnated oil in the bearing circulates enough to stop the whine.

    The timing belt on my engine, at least, is rubber (not a chain). Yours should have been replaced around 60,000 miles - if not, you're running the risk of it breaking. Depending on the engine, a broken timing belt can destroy an engine since the valves may actually hit the moving pistons when the belt breaks. My 1 liter 3 cylinder engine is a "clearance" engine, meaning that if the timing belt breaks, there is still clearance between the valves & the pistons - again, I don't know if your 3cyl 1.0L engine is the same as mine, given that it is 8 model years later.

    On my car, the last time, the whine was actually the bearing on the water pump shaft. However, since taking off the water pump wasn't a lot less work than replacing the timing belt, I had it replaced at the same time.

    I know nothing about California emission standards, or, for that matter, emissions coming from my Geo. I do know, however, not to run it in a closed garage when anyone is around!

    When you look for a mechanic, try to look for an ASE Certified shop - that will give you some assurance that the shop meets certain standards. Beyond that, ask friends, co-workers, & fellow students for shop recommendations. People who are satisfied with the service they've received will usually be willing to share the shop name with you.

    Best wishes in school.

  • hi there,

    I am very curious about mounting a hitch under a 1994 pontiac know.. but i am only using it for small handyman jobs, roofrack is getting to small, any idea from which car the hitch will fit the best...with or without adjusting & welding ?
    please let me know
  • Who can help me with the fact that i would like to mount a hitch under my firefly ?
    which make, brand etc etc ....
  • Hi there, I'm new here and researching stuff for my own little jewel. Vanilla Latte. It is a Chevrolet Sprint Convertible Automatic white.... Canada eh! So this answers that question.
    I am going to install a 5 speed manual in it. I found one locally with all the necessary accoutruments such as pedal rack, the shafts, etc. I think and hope that it is a 4:10 gear ratio. It should work quite well with the 13 inch wheels. I do have a question concerning the speedometer. Will it be out of tune? If so, How do I correct it? Any opinion will be greatly valued. Thank you.
  • I have a 1992 Geo Metro and have a coolant leak coming from the back of the engine block in the area. I had to top off the oil & coolant on a weekly basis for the last few months. No oil or coolant leaked out to the floor until today when the coolant leaked out causing smoke.
    What could the problem be? HELP! :cry:
  • Hi -

    I've never had the problem on my Metro, but the fact that you've had to top off both oil & anti-freeze could mean a blown head gasket. I had that happen several times on a 1978 Datsun (now Nissan) F10.

    Perhaps the rear main bearing also leaks - and the mixed fluids began to fill either the clutch or torque converter housing - depending on whether you're driving a stick or an automatic. The combined fluids then had to reach a high enough level to find a vent or other hole to flow out of onto the floor.

    Again, just a series of guesses - I'm not a mechanic.

  • bert3bert3 Posts: 1
    the brake switch is just above the brake pedal,
    take the dash apart under the steering wheel
    and its just behind the steering column
  • goguygoguy Posts: 2
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