Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Chevrolet/Geo Metro



  • wkrejciwkrejci Posts: 2
    when I did mine I disconnected the lower ball joints 1 boly each and after draining the trans you lightly pry them away from trans.
  • wkrejciwkrejci Posts: 2
    I have a metro 1998 it will start every time for 4 fires of each plug then flat lines

    I cant figure it out I've changed the ecm

    any ideas ?????
  • Does it die as soon as you let go of the ignition key after cranking? If so, it could be the ignition switch itself.

    Steve B.
  • Does anyone have any experience in towing a five-speed Metro? I have a 94, 2-Door, that I have restored and use for a tow-car behind my motor home. Thus far, I have pulled in on a tow-dolly, however, it would be much easier pulling it on all four wheels if that is possible. Does anyone know if that will harm the transmission? Thanks.
  • Well there I don"t see any real problems with flat towing it at all. I have flat towed mine well over 5,ooo miles. the only real things that were a problem is mounting the tow bar. Good Luck to ya Mike
  • Dido on that I have a 98 also 4cly that startes well it feels like it so I bought a ecm for it ok it started right up and after driving around for a while and back it to the driveit died again so I but the other {old] ecm in it and it started right up again went to town 35 miles from home and geuss what it wouldn't start again so I put the new ecm in and bang it fired right up. what is it with these things? thank god the 94 metro with 200k on it still runs and drives like a champ!!
  • Just rebuilt thr head on a 1991 Geo Metro. I don't have the VECI label under the hood. What is the timing on this engine 6deg. Also, where can i get a vaccum diahgram at. :)
  • Automatic or stick?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    One thing that can cause intermittent starting problems, and is very difficult to find, is a tiny crack or carbon track in the distributor rotor. It can be checked by taking off the distributor cap, pulling the coil wire out of the distributor cap's center terminal, and first checking for spark by holding that end of the coil wire about 1/4" from the valve cover, while someone cranks the engine. CAUTION; TO AVOID GETTING A SHOCK, WRAP A THICK, DRY RAG AROUND THE WIRE WHERE YOU HOLD IT, OR KEEP YOUR HAND AT LEAST SIX INCHES AWAY FROM THE EXPOSED METAL TERMINAL. If a spark jumps from the wire to the valve cover, then you know the coil is working. After that, hold the end of the coil wire about 1/4" above the center end of the metal rotor blade, while someone cranks the engine. If the rotor is good, there should be NO SPARK between the wire and the rotor. If a spark jumps from the wire to the rotor, then replace the rotor. It would also be wise to replace the cap along with the rotor.

    If the coil and rotor both test good; then the problem is most likely a bad distributor cap and/or worn or dirty spark plugs. Metros are VERY demanding on spark plugs. They can look clean, and still not start reliably. I've found that changing to a plug of a different brand will sometimes make a huge difference. And be sure to use the recommended plug number (sometimes the plug that's now in the motor may not be the recommended type) Also, sometimes the carbon button can fall out of the inside of the distributor cap. That can cause all sorts of crazy symptoms.

    If, and only if, all of the above suggestions didn't help, then I would replace the ignition pick-up unit in the distributor.

    Incidentally, when replacing an ECM, it is important to disconnect the battery before doing anything to the ECM. Just having the key out is not enough. There are electrical feeds to the ECM which are hot even with the key off. Unbolting the ECM with the battery connected can cause damage, or disrupt the programming. You can reset the ECM's programming by disconnecting the battery, and waiting at least 30-45 seconds before connecting the battery again.
  • I have a 1991 Metro Geo. Had burnt valve o n exhaust which is normal for these little cars. I have weak spark at the plugs. Not a fat blue one, but a red one. Starting checking ignition found the coil. Not original. A replacement coil that had external resister required. Wasnt one with this car. Looked at manuel shows coil with a resister bolted to it I think. If it needs a external resister how come i havent blowed a coil. Coil is ok, Within range. Get a resister. or a coil with resister nbuilt in? Thanks for any help.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Geo Metros did not use resistors on their coils. The image you saw in the manual is not a resistor, it is a radio interference suppression capacitor, which is part of the car's stock wiring harness.

    The Metro electronic ignition module has a built in current limiting circuit, which acts like a resistor to limit the coil current to a safe level. So you never should use a coil with a built in resistor (3 ohm primary winding) in this type of application.

    The coil you now have, which is marked "use with external resistor" has an appropriate 1.2-1.5 ohm primary resistance. However, that marking indicates it was intended for use in an engine that does not have electronic ignition.

    Coils that are intended for electronic ignition systems hava a similar primary resistance to your coil, but have a lower primary inductance, and higher turns ratios. And that will produce a stronger spark. It is best to use a coil that was designed for the Metro.

    If the replacement coil is connected backwards, that can produce a weak spark. The hot battery lead should go to the coil "+" terminal. And all the high tension leads going to the distributor cap should each have less than 1,000 ohms resistance per every inch of wire length. IE: a 7 inch long wire should have less than 7,000 ohms resistance.

    Another thing that can cause a weak spark is an ignition switch that has developed execessive resistance. Connect the plus lead of a voltmeter to the coil's plus terminal, and connect the minus voltmeter lead to the battery ground
    terminal. With the engine running, you should get a voltage reading that doesn't differ by more than 0.4 volt from the voltage measured across the battery under the same condition.

    I hope this helps.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    I also want to add that there are two common mistakes which lead to Geo Metro engines burning valves. One can happen if the ignition timing is adjusted without first disconnecting and plugging the vacuum lines to the two advance diaphragms. Not disconnecting those vacuum lines will result in the timing being set about 8 degrees retarded from the factory specification. And that's a guaranteed valve burner.

    The second mistake that can lead to Metro engines burning valves is to use the wrong spark plug heat range. Metro engines are more sensitive to plug heat range selection than probably any other stock engine out there. If you choose a spark plug from a cross-reference chart that compares it to another brand, there is a good chance you'll end up with the wrong plug. It's even worse if you use a particular plug in the Metro because it worked well in another type of engine. The ONLY safe way to select a plug is to look up your vehicle make, year, and engine model in a catalog published by the manufacturer of the same brand of plug that you intend to use.

    I have owned a 1990 Metro for the last 15 years, during which I have put nearly 200,000 miles on the engine. It has never burned a valve, or had any other internal engine problem. This is the best engineered vehicle I have ever owned. So I am saddened when I see people reporting problems that I know come from improper maintenance.
  • I have a 96 metro 1.3 liter with the same problem. I have changed the engine, timing belt, crank sensor, and still have the 4 sparks then nothing. Changed the ECM and nothing. My last hope is to change the cam sensor in the distributor and the pick up. Good luck
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    There is one other possible cause, which I didn't mention in my previous post. The ignition switch may get an open circuit or develop excessive resistance in the "run" position. A switch that has gone bad in this manner may conduct adequately for the first few seconds, until the contacts heat up. Then it quits. Or, maybe the 4 sparks are all being produced while the key is held in the "start" position, and as soon as you release the key, and the switch snaps back to the "run" position, the circuit goes open.

    Try keeping the switch held in the start position AFTER the engine fires, and see if it continues to run that way. If it does, you've got an ignition switch with a bad "run" position.

  • edonisedonis Posts: 2
    hey, I ran into the same problem too, did you fix the problem with the engine rough idle?
    I have read somewhere that it could be the fuel injection system.
    Your problem is like looking at my car.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Considering that the "rough idle" message you responded to was originally posted in October of 2005, I don't think it's likely you'll get a reply from him now.

    I also have a 3 cyl Metro, which ran well, but idled very roughly, at the time I bought it. The previous owner seemed to think it had always run like that. I've now had that car for 15 years, and have found that the idle quality is very much affected by the brand and type of spark plug being used, and also by the adjustment of the air bypass screw in the throttle body.

    My Metro does not run well with NGK plugs. Because they're so popular, I've tried many different gap styles and heat ranges of NGKs, but none of them work as well as either Autolites, Champions, AC, or Bosch. The best all around plug has been the Autolite #63. (Yes, I know that is one heat range colder than the book recommends; but my engine runs and idles best with a slightly cooler plug.) My engine has excellent compression, and is not used for many short trips, so the plugs stay clean. For a car that gets more short trip driving, I'd probably use an AC #R42CXLS, which is the stock recommendation. Another excellent choice would be a Champion Truck plug; either #4430 or #4434. The #4430 is slightly less projected, and would do better on the highway; the #4434 would do better in city driving. Both of the Champion numbers mentioned here require a 5/8" plug socket, while the Autolite and the AC numbers I listed take the 13/16" socket that was standard for the Metro. But those plugs are otherwise completely interchangeable. And I make sure the gap is set to .043". Contrary to popular myth, most plugs do not come with their gap preset for your engine. A given plug will often be used in many different engine types, which do not all use the same gap. Since the Metro has an aluminum cylinder head, it is also very important to apply a light coating of "anti-seize compound" to the plug threads before installation. That will minimize the chance that the plug will bond itself to the head from corrosion. Otherwise, the next time the plug is removed, it might take the aluminum threads from the head out along with it. And that can create a major problem.

    But back to the issue of rough idling; once the proper plug is in the engine, and the motor is fully warmed up, readjusting the air bypass screw can make a big difference in idle quality. But be aware; THE IDLE BYPASS SCREW IS A VERY SENSITIVE ADJUSTMENT. Because of this, it is not recommended to try adjusting it unless you are experienced with adjusting fuel mixtures. Sometimes just 1/16 turn can make a big difference, but other times it may be 1 or 2 full turns off.

    And, of course, there can be no vacuum leaks in any hoses, and the ignition timing must be set correctly.

    I hope this helps.

  • I have a 1996 Geo Metro Coupe (2 Door), The running lights work but when I turn the head lights on they turn off but the back lights stay on. Have any ideas that can help me? Thanks
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    This kind of situation is usually caused by a loose or corroded ground connection from the front running light assemblies to the vehicle body. It also might come from the battery negative terminal being grounded to the engine, but not being also connected to the vehicle body.

    There should be a dedicated ground wire coming from each of the running light assemblies. Be sure either of them is not broken off or disconnected. And if the ground wire is connected to the body, it would be worth taking the connection apart, cleaning it until it is shiny, and scraping off any rust or paint that might be keeping the connector from pressing on bare metal.

    The original battery ground cable goes to a bolt on the engine; this cable also contains a second, smaller wire that is supposed to fasten to a bolt on the fender well. Sometimes people replace the ground cable with one that only goes to the engine. And that makes it very difficult for power coming from the lights to return to the battery. So, if your car does not have a second grounding wire from the battery negative post, you'll need to install a wire going from either the negative battery post, or any clean engine bolt, to any clean bolt on the fender or firewall.

    Let me know if this helps. Joel
  • Hey guys - I'm still around, and still driving the same 93 Metro convertible to work every day. I still have some trouble with the rough idle at times, but it's not consistent. I have used several types of plugs. I currently am using Bosch. They seem to work pretty well, but the problem is still there some days. I keep my idle speed cranked up a bit to around 1,000, which helps to smooth it out.

    After driving the car for six years I do think it has something to do with a dirty fuel injector system. I periodically run a bottle of fuel injector cleaner through the gas tank and that does more good than anything to clean up the rough idle. I really don't know what to do do make a more permanent solution.

    Thanks for the detailed advice. I think my favorite thing about this car is you can drive it forever even when it's not operating at optimal level. My other car wants to shut itself down if you don't screw on the gas cap tight enough.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    From this distance, it is pretty difficult to sort out a problem of this type. But here are a few more possibilities: If the spark plug wires have developed excessive resistance, that could cause an intermittent rough idle. That can be checked by measuring the resistance of each wire with an ohmmeter. If any wire, including the one from the coil to the distributor cap, has more than 1000 ohms resistance per inch of length, then that wire is bad. I.E. A 14 inch long wire cannot have more than 14,000 ohms resistance. It is best to take each wire out of the distributor cap in order to measure its resistance. Trying to clip a meter probe onto a contact inside the cap can give misleadingly high readings. And be sure the carbon button in the center of the cap is still in place. Sometimes they fall out. That could cause a rough idle, too.

    Another possible cause could be a sticking EGR valve. Try (or ask a mechanic) to unbolt the EGR valve and thoroughly clean out the carbon from all the passages. Then work the stem back and forth, until you see that it moves and seats freely.

    If the intake manifold or the throttle body bolts have come loose, that could create air leaks which mess up the idle.

    Some brands of cheap fuel, or fuel which contains alcohol, can also create a rough idle. If you use the same brand of fuel all the time, try going to another station, or to a higher octane.

    And if the coolant thermostat has been removed, the engine will run too cold, and that will mess up the idle quality. Your temperature gauge should run 1/3 to 1/2 way up, under normal conditions.

    You say that you keep the idle speed cranked up. I hope you mean you just keep your foot on the gas a little when it is idling. If not, then how did you change the idle speed??? There is no adjustment for the idle speed on that engine. There is a stop for the throttle linkage, which is held in place by a lock nut. But that is not intended to be moved. Moving that stop will upset the air/fuel ratio, and will require resetting both the computer's throttle switch and the idle air bypass screw. And if that is not done, it will create a chronic rough idle.

    I would also like to know how rough a 'rough idle' is in your experience. An abnormally rough idle will make the gearshift lever bounce from side to side. Anything less than that in a 3 cylinder car may not be abnormal.

    See if any of that makes a difference.
  • Hello Zaken1

    Sorry for my English

    When you change the plugs ... you must change and adjust if necesary the distance between central pin and ground of the plug .

    This must be 0.7 mm ( do it with a standard calibrated blade of 0.7 mm )

    If there are no changes ... try to adjust the central plugs regulator ( were all wires from plugs are meeting )
    Loos the screw and turn easily till the engine have the most hy turation or sounds good .

    After that if it's too turated ... adjust the turation from the gas admision screw at the top of the engine .

    Good luck and if you need details write me dicectly to e-mail :
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    It sounds like you are referring to a European car, or a different model. Geo Metros sold in the USA have a plug gap of 1.1 mm. Cars in this country haven't used 0.7 mm gaps for many years.

    And we don't set ignition timing by ear in this country, because the cars have to go through regular emission checks, where the timing is checked with a stroboscope. Timing that has been set by ear will usually not pass such a precise inspection.

    And the US model Geo Metros do not have an idle speed screw on the top of the engine.

    I appreciate your effort to be helpful, but US cars are very different from the ones you mention.
  • 91m4l91m4l Posts: 3
    Not sure if i spelled protege right. Anyhoo, I have this bad Knock from start up(cold and hot) and not quite sure what to make of it. I changed the plugs, wires cap, rotor, air filter and so will be the oil, oil filter, and fuel filter. Here's lil history on the car(1991 metro 2dr w/112k)- I was told the head gasket was changed, the oil level is currently 1qt above (maybe the owner was afraid of it loosing oil on the 200mile trip to its final destination where a couple months later was bought by me), it seems like the 3spd is leaking but not enough to keep feeding in the trans fluid every month i think but i recently sprayed the engine compartment down for a better visual a few weeks into the future. I haven't checked the trans lvl yet but will post the lvl tomorrow. The spark plugs had a white electrode on them, uniformly to all of them. Compression is cherry on all 3cyl. I will check the timing this weekend possibly and tinker without the timing light to see if timing affects the Knock. The engine runs Smooth without load at 35mph.
    Another hurdle to ovecome is keeping the car till my dying day. Converting the car to Function as the Superbly Economical XFI model will be done in the future.
    Lastly, I plan on accumulating all tools required to be fully independant of the autmotive buisneses that charge you an arm and a leg to fix such a cheap car(cheap as in very affordable to someone who makes $6.75 an hour). So i ask of you to lend your hand out to me and take me along for the ride of a lifetime. I'd be very thankful and indebted to your kindness which eill pass on to others in need.

    p.s: unfortunately i installed NGK's a couple days before i read the post about spark plugs.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    In order to sort out the knock, I'd need to know the load and speed conditions under which it can be heard. Specifically, do you hear it at idle; under light acceleration; under heavy acceleration; at steady low speed; at steady high speed; and while decelerating. Is it loudest under any of those conditions. Does it change in volume with changes in engine load or speed?

    Regarding the high oil reading, bear in mind that the Metro is more sensitive to how level the car is when checking the oil than most cars. But it is not good to run it with too much oil. Incidentally, a leaky head gasket can let coolant get into the oil, and raise the oil level.

    And just what do you mean by 'cherry compression? The stock compression pressure on that engine is 190 or 195 psi. Most other engines are a lot lower. If the compression is higher than that spec, there could be a carbon buildup problem, which could create a knock.

    Anyway, welcome to the Metro owners fraternity!
  • Greetings to you all. This is my first posting. Ive enjoyed reading this forum for the past few months.
    I have a question regarding my 1990 4dr/htchbk. and was wondering if anyone else has encountered this problem. While getting off the freeway my 3cyl. stopped running. I had someone spin the motor and gas was just dumping like crazy into the carb. A few days previous I had noticed a strong gas odor. Could the fuel injector or fuel pump relay be bad? The timing belt is not broken and there is spark at the plugs. Any help would be welcomed.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    That's an unusual problem! Your thoughts that it could be a fuel pump relay which doesn't shut off are possible, but I think a stuck injector is more likely. Another possibility is that the fuel pressure regulator (located on top of the throttle body, next to the air intake) is either stuck, or the fuel return line is blocked. Rock is a great source for remanufactured injectors and fuel pressure regulator parts for that motor.

    You can check to see if the fuel pump relay is working properly, by turning the ignition switch to the position where the dashboard warning lights come on, but not turning it any further, so as not to crank the starter. You should hear the fuel pump hum for one or two seconds after the dash lights come on, but it should then stop. If it doesn't stop, then there's a problem with either the relay, or the electronics that drive the relay.

    And if there's a problem with either the fuel injector or the fuel pressure regulator, be sure to replace the fuel filter (located underneath the car, next to the fuel tank) at the time you change those parts.

  • Hello all,

    I have a 92 Metro 2 dr that has developed a problem with the lights. I have no light execpt hazards. Any ideas?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Of course, the first thing to check would be the fuses. The next likely culprit would be the headlight switch. The battery ground cable that goes to the engine originally came with a second, smaller wire that went to a bolt on the inner side of the fender. If this wire is now missing, it must be replaced in order to provide a solid ground path for the lights. Similarly, the headlight assemblies both have ground wires that go to the fender. If those wires are broken or missing, then the lights will not work.

    If you check and repair all these items, and still have not fixed the problem, try unplugging and securely reconnecting all the plugs you can find in the wiring under the dash. If the lights still don't work; please post again and indicate whether the lights all stopped working at the same time, and whether any rear lights, brake lights, or side marker lights still work.

  • This happened to me at night on the highway......the left headlight bulb exploded inside the casing. As I had installed the aerodynamic headlights found on the convertibles, the small glowing quartz particles did a mess on the inside of the casing.
    The bulbs were bad. I installed new ones, solved the problem.
    Hope this helps.
  • 91m4l91m4l Posts: 3
    The knock happens while in park under the engines load itself which i think its due to the 20*BTDC. The smog tester told me today after the failed smog test. Also he said the vacum advance lines were bypassed, and it was a ink pen tube that blocked both lines. So this weekend i will reset the timing. As for the timing advance, i'm not sure what to do yet but will do a lil research in the repair manual i picked up a couple days ago. I'm sure most of the prblem will be fixed once those issues are taken care of. 20*BTDC sure does seem like some destruction is in the process...a lil premature wear on the motor is what im expecting now. The engines compression floats between 150psi ( the sound of 3 revolutions of the motor ) to 185psi ( at the sound of 8 revolutions of the motor ), all three cylinders are equal in psi in relation to the revolutions.

Sign In or Register to comment.