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Chevrolet/Geo Metro



  • superbensuperben Posts: 3
    yikes, my sister drove one as a rental while her car was in the shop. yowsah! she told me about the experience and all i could do was laugh. beside the fact that i'm not a big gm fan, i'm not particularly fond of any car that comes with a 3 cylinder engine and wears the chevy bow tie. i always thought the bow tie was synonymous with american guts and glory. i know metro owners brag about the fact that they get such good gas mileage. the buck stops there though. the honda civic hb offers a lot more hp and torque than the metro with almost comparible gas mileage. a big plus is the fact that any honda will outlast any gm. do your homework, there's always a better deal out there metro fans. don't be deceived.
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 134
    I must disagree with your assessment of Metro's/Swifts. I have had a number of Metro's and all have been very reliable cars. The problem has been since these cars are not very expensive, a lot of times they are not maintained properly by their owners. Properly maintained a Metro/Swift can deliver 150,000+ miles of trouble free driving.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    There are many Metros out there with over 200K let alone 150K. I have seen 300K-plus on some that were used as - get this - cars for positioning aerial photographs. The plane would follow the car to the place and the car would stop, then the plane comes back, centers the Geo Metro, and takes the shot.

    If a new Chevy Metro with air and a radio and a 3-cylinder engine and the 5-speed stick costs me $8981 after rebate and discount, and a new Civic DX hatchback with air, a radio, and a 5-speed stick costs me $13795 because there is no rebate and there are no discounts, then where is the value? I see more broken Civics at dealers and repair shops than I see Metros. They may be more reliable, but with cracking heads, burning valves, and snapping timing belts, I wouldn't be able to tell. After five years my Metro may only be worth $2500, but I only lost $6500 on depreciation. After five years, your Civic is worth about $5000 and you just lost $8800. And I spent less on gas, less on insurance (remember the Civic is stolen a lot just like the Accord...premiums are higher), and less on maintenance because I didn't have to adjust my valves every 15K, I didn't have to replace my timing belt until 100K, and my oil changes can be done by myself in twenty minutes or less. Heck, I can replace my engine in an afternoon for about $500. What's that? You need the dealer to do it and it'll be $3400? Oh, so sorry.

    Anyway, there are better cars than the Metro. The 4-cylinder Metro, for example (what I drive). It has more pickup, it can carry more weight, it is rated by U-Haul to tow a 1500 pound trailer whereas the Civic can only tow 1000. The Metro is rated in quality above Escort, Tracer, Neon, Cavalier, Sunfire, Mirage, Colt, Summit, and even the Nissan Sentra. It has four-star protection for driver and pasenger, and without A/C, it is the cheapest car you can buy today not including rebates.

    I could go on...

    Considering you like to bash Metros and think the Civic is god's gift to the American hatchback market, what do YOU drive?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    OMG!! He drives a Sunfire!!! What a joke! I had a 1996 Cavalier bought with 31,051 on it. Because of that, I will probably NEVER buy another American car. It was in the shop every week (ask my boss at work) for things like struts, rear brakes (3 times!!!), P/S pump, and squeaking interior parts. Finally dumped it at 40,316 miles (and lost $3000!) for a Protege. Metro is not an American car though (just like Prizm isn't-- built all by Toyota), so that American thing doesn't apply. Also, Consumer Reports recommends the Metro as far as reliability. They say to AVOID the Cavalier from 1992-99 and the Sunfire from 1995-99. Compare that.
  • molemole Posts: 2
    I have a 97 Metro LSI (4 cyl) automatic
    with 55k miles.

    It locks in Park (sometimes) when starting
    the engine. Pressing on the brake causes
    the engint to die.

    I can get it into Neutral by going in
    through the console and pressing the release
    lever that is there. Then it will finally
    go into drive and roll.

    But . . . for the first mile or so, it
    will die as I hit the brakes at red lights
    or stop signs.
    The Gas guage also drops to the "E" as all
    this is going on.

    Finally after a mile or two of driving
    it will get ok . . . the gas guage will
    come back up and everything may be fine for
    several days, until the next episode.

    I can't get it to misperform for a mechanic.
    It's an 'occasional' kind of problem and the
    mechanics won't do a thing unless they can
    see the problem in action.

    Someone please help, if you've experienced this
    and solved it.
    Email me direct if you wish. <<A HREF="">>

    Bill P
  • lorbeertlclorbeertlc Posts: 38
    That is an interesting problem. If the car dies and the fuel gauge drops to "E" when you hit the brakes, I'd look at a possible electrical short (?). When this happens, if your headlights are on, do they dim? Maybe a wire is grounding out against your brake pedal(?). I would really check into this as this might pose a possible electrical fire down the road.
    Maybe your idle speed is too low(?) when it stalls.
    On the transmission problem,....
    Do you park on a hill? If so, try engaging your parking brake first(making sure your vehicle doesn't roll), then shift into park. This will prevent your vehicle from putting a strain against the parking paw and you will be able to shift.
  • lorbeertlclorbeertlc Posts: 38
    For all that are interested.....
    I've recently purchased a new 2000 Metro and found it did not have a remote rear hatch release.
    GM does make one. You can get the cable/release lever and striker plate through your Chevrolet dealer. One thing I have found: The late model Metro's (I believe it started with either the 1997 or 1998 model year), had a "double" latch safety mechanism on the rear hatch. Kind of like your hood release (front). This can cause problems if you opt for the remote rear hatch release as you'll use the release, walk over to the hatch, only to find it still locked.
    To get around this, if you have the '98 or later model, order a 1995 rear latch as it didn't have this double latch feature.
    This can be "$$" by the time you're done. But if you're going to keep your Metro for a few years, it is nice to have.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    thanks...I have a 1995 LSi and I have the remote release and like it. It also keeps me from breaking the key off in the trunk lock. I hear these keys may seem big and strong but can break because the locks get so tight. Another way would be to exchange your whole hatchback and latch with a 1995 model, there are plenty in yards because every Metro I ever see in a yard is hit up front and the back is pristine. Then order the cable from Chevy and it should cost you under $200 total. If you buy all the parts from Chevy expect to spend $400.
  • lorbeertlclorbeertlc Posts: 38
    I didn't know it would co$t that much! I took the cable release from my old '91 Metro and transferred it to my 2000 Metro LSi. Of course, that was before I traded in my '91 (he,he).
    So the only thing I had to pay for was the striker plate and the rear latch ('95-97 model).
    I saw the new Vauxhall Corsa. Nice car!
    If GM does plan on using it over here, I'll miss the Metro but will look forward to it's replacement.
    I do have one small problem with my new 2000 Metro LSi. I like to fill the gas tank tippy-top full.
    This helps me determine the correct gas mileage.
    This new Metro, however, fills to the top, then slowly goes back down. By keeping the nozzle at a trickle, I can continue to fill it for about 2 more gallons of gas before it finally fills to the top without going back down. I've put over 11.5 gallons of gas in it during one fill (and the needle wasn't all the way empty).
    I believe the gas is filling into the expansion section of the gas tank (normally reserved for air when the gas needs to expand on those hot days).
    That would explain why it takes more gas than the specs. suggest (10.6 gals).
    If I fill it up all the way tippy-top,... it can take more than 15 minutes (it sure bugs people too!). The plus side is you can drive almost 100 miles before the needle moves off of "F"!
    Anyone else have that problem?
  • molemole Posts: 2
    Thanks Lor . . .

    We can rule out the hill. It has always happened on flat ground. The problem is intermitten and
    seemingly random. It occurs sometimes when the engine is cold and other times when the engine is
    warm . . . but, always when I least expect it, haha.

    It has happened at night and the headlights seemed ok, but I'll be watching for that on the next go-around.

    I'll have my mechanic check for a short.

    Someone suggested it might be a linkage adjustment
    problem too. Does that sound like a plausible explanation?

    The other day . . . it happened 'backwards.
    When I went to kill the engine . . . it
    refused to go INTO park. I had to really
    fight with it a few minutes before it
    FINALLY 'chunked' into the Park position.

    The trans seems otherwise ok. It normally
    goes through all the gears ok. Nothing appears
    to be amiss, except for the occasional 'locked
    in Park' problem.

    I appreciate any and all thoughts you have offered this.

    Thanks again!
    Mole (Bill P)
  • lorbeertlclorbeertlc Posts: 38
    You've got me stumped.
    A linkage problem sounds like a possibility. I'm surprised a qualified mechanic doesn't have an answer.
    The Metros are really good little cars. At least I've had very good luck with mine. If you change the oil and filter and keep up with the scheduled maintenance, you should have a happy car.
    Of course, there will always be a car that could be classified as a "Monday" or "Friday" made car.
    That is unfortunate. The LEMON!
    I hope that isn't the case with your Metro.
    Let me know what eventually happens.
    Good Luck!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    That sounds like a good deal. If you want to know the car's history for sure, pay $15 for a history report on it from the MVA in your state. Or, you could go to and enter the car's VIN # and spend the same $15 and get the report. Also, the "service engine soon" usually means there is a problem in the computer or something. If you find out there is and it's expensive to fix, go to and purchase an extended warranty on the car. Then you can use that to fix the car with. Also, offers extended warranties too, but AutoByTel is cheaper. Good luck!!! :)
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    Those headlights new are about $300 each. Used if you can find them, about $100, and cheap non-Suzuki aftermarkets that fit OK are about $150. Any good auto parts store will carry the aftermarkets. But every Metro I have ever seen in a junkyard is hit up front and that drives up prices. The check engine light means something is the emissions is not working right (maybe the oxygen sensor). There is a way to check your computer codes to see what is wrong. I think it is explained elsewhere, try searching under topics for "GM code" or "GM codes" and you should find something. They sell a $10 tool to check them but all you need is a paper clip, it does thew same thing, it connects the two terminals and makes the check engine light flash out the codes, like on a Chrysler
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    haven't found a way to buy a new Swift or Metro lately but I did get my Tercel fixed...sort runs slightly better but it has low compression on 3 and 4 because those valves are burnt from the timing being off for so long. I am afraid to see how much that will cost me.

    I still haven't found a right side composite headlight for my 1995 Metro LSi (used). If anyone happens upon a junkyard who has one for $75 or less, I will pay that $75 plus $20 shipping. I don't want an aftermarket one and a new one is $303.
  • padres8498padres8498 Posts: 2
    Stumbled upon this posting list, really interesting to see opinions on the Metro. People either hate them or love them, no in-between. I owned a 1991 Metro 3 dr, blue, that I bought used in 1994 after I had just got out of the service and had very little money. Paid $4K for it, sold it (foolishly) in 1998. Got me around very well when I was scraping by, the only thing I ever really had to do to it was replace the exhaust system in I think 97.
    Bought a 99 Metro last August, dark green, this one has air where my first one did not. Even though I can afford more now, still got another Metro. Not interested in spending a lot of cash on flash, just get me from a to b. Between my rebate and GM family discount through one of my parents I got this one for low 8K, with air, rear defrost and am/fm cassette.
    Bottom line on these is that they are a great little car for a certain people. I needed a commute back and forth to work car, from one suburb to another, none of which is highway driving. I've been happy with two Metros now, and did get enjoy not getting too upset about gas prices going up lately.
    Only problem I have had with the 99 is one warranty repair, when I tried to use a/c for first time this year, no cold air. Had a leak at a seal in a/c system which let out all of my refrigerant. Fixed under warranty (as was recharge of a/c sys) and no problems.
    I plan on this being my commute car for 'several' years. I hate to see them go if it is true they are soon to be no more.....
  • wonderwickwonderwick Posts: 6
    New to the list,I was doing research on Metro's for an employee's kid and have been impressed with the love 'em or hate 'em responses. Struck me from what I have read that you get a pretty decent form of transportation for lite money. I've also found that there are a surprising number on the market with 150,000 plus miles $1,000-2,500. Not bad when the Benz crowd proudly touts the same miles for
    $15,000. Granted the ride is better but you can't leave the Benz shop for under a grand each time...
    I know,my check book is not a pretty site...
    Metro serve a purpose...when will the turbos come out?...maybe I'll "upgrade".
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    I managed to get rid of my Metro, won't say how, might get me in trouble, but I am eyeing a 1994 XFi with air, would you believe, at a local tote-the-note lot for $2500. It has 70K and dealer-installed air. The radio is gone and the driver's inside door handle is broken off, but it runs very well, has cold air, and is that hideous bright blue that my girlfriend will hate me for. I can't wait!

    Well, now I get to try out the second generation Suzuki minicar, wish me luck, it ought to do me well for the courier work, should get better than 40mpg even with the AC on full tilt.
  • merco1merco1 Posts: 1
    I own a 1990 Metro stick 5 speed 3 cylinder hatchback. The car had 48000 on it when I bought it 3 years ago and now has 90000. It still runs the same(sometimes rough).It's a death trap over 50 MPH if you have to make a sudden move on the fearway-freeway. It gets 45 miles to the gallon. It runs for ever on a tune up, 1.5 years. The tires cost $20 a tire. I've replaced the timing belt and thermostat and hoses for good luck. An aftermarket radiator hose didnt fit right and rubbed on the frame and broke on a hot summer day--engine overheated redlined and it still runs good. The hatchback key lock sucks and is very hard to open,graphite doesnt help. I expect the transaxle to go out about the same time the engine does, about 15000 more miles. Any drive over 1 hour in my Geo is a pain in the rump and lower back, it's no good for drives over 1 hour,comfort wise. I'm 6-2 and anyone taller wouldn't have any comfort in the Geo. If I put a passenger over 100lbs in the Geo it really chugs along, taxes the engine. The paint and antirust coat is very good but the metal strength of the body is like wet newspaper. I really have come to appreciate my Geo even after all her weaknesses. The wheels need to be bigger and wider and the suspension needs to be softeron the bumps and stiffer on the cornering in the turns. Don't trust what some of these supposed Geo Metro owners on this board are saying, maybe they are employed by G.M. to post the stories of the Geo being some kind of wonderauto, like the old V.W. bugs were.
  • padres8498padres8498 Posts: 2
    Okay, I don't work for GM and don't think of it as a 'wundercar'. I've just had good luck with the two that I've owned. If I drove on 65 MPH highways at all I wouldn't own one, but in 35-40 MPH suburbia, 10 miles each way, its a great car. It's all in what your needs are...and one of my needs is the great feeling I have in not having a $300-$400 monthly vehicle payment. I could do it, but would rather use the extra $200 a month investing for my kids college education.
    I think part of the reason I like Metros so much is that I spent the late 80's in Japan compliments of Uncle Sam, and I owned a Honda City there. Talk about a small car, with no hood to speak of and right hand drive too! Of course there you weren't sharing roads with SUVs....
  • I am 17 and my friends and I think Metros are the funnist car on the road. We changed the slug-bug game where you hit each other when you see VW Beetles to Metro, where we hit each other when we see Metros. I can now spot on from a mile away, unless a normal sized car is blocking it from view. I really love the old convertibles and four door models that have a big decal on the side that says "METRO," like they are all cool or something. They even used to come in the worst colors. Civics and other hatchbacks are at least half cars, but Metros are so small. I recently went to Canada and saw some different variations of Metros I have never seen before, like a late model Chevrolet Swift, a late model Chevrolet Swift Sport, a late model Chevrolet Swift four door with a trunk (I thought a trunk was a recent addition for the four door Metro!),and a brand new Metro Sport. A new Metro LSi is $10,485 based on Add optional equipment that is standard on most cars and you are paying a lot for nothing. I am buying a 1993 Grand Prix GTP for $5,000, and I would much rather have a used real car than a new Metro. For the 10k that a new Metro could cost you (depending on model and if you get the OPTIONAL radio) you could get some very nice used cars around the 95-97 model years. I was driving my mom's Suburban and pulled up next to a Metro, Ha! The Metro (with our front ends lined up) only came to the back of my front door. My favorite thing is to see a person in a Metro on a cell phone. The other day I saw a bulky guy over 6 foot, his wife, and two kids all climb into a new sand colored Metro coupe. Can you say used Lumina or Malibu, obviously they can't! Is that new car smell so important that you would buy such a degrading car that regularly gets laughed at?
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    That new '99 Metro LSi with air and automatic can be purchased ata discount at several local Chevy dealers here in Dallas-Fort Worth for $9299, the '00 3-cylinder model with the stick and air can be had for $8960. A new Metro isn't a good deal to me either, the $2500 '94 I am about to buy IS. The $3000 '95 I had owned for the past 2 years WAS a great deal, I got 48000 miles out of it for very little money. Used Metros are great deals. If you want a "real" car fine, when your dashboard goes on the blink like those electromechanical ones always do, and you can't tell how fast you're going or how hot your engine gets, you'll be sorry you passed up a good deal on a trouble-free-laughed-at-only-has-seatbelts-for-four-and-cylinders-for-three Metro.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    I have never worked for GM or any of its dealers, I worked at the Honda Civic factory for 9 months in Ohio, and I have sold Kias, Isuzus, Subarus, Fords, and used cars, not to mention the 35 cars I have owned personally over the last six years. The $3000 1995 Geo Metro was the third best deal I had. The second best was a $60 1986 Mercury Lynx I bought at an abandoned auction and the best was a $65 1982 Datsun 210 bought years later at the same abandoned auction in the same town. I don't like GM products like the Grand Prix at all, the Metro is built by Suzuki at a Suzuki-owned-and-operated CAMI plant in Ontario, Canada. GM cars are junk to me, I have never owned a good one, even the best one ('85 Delta 88) still had carburetion and timing problems. My parents however have had good luck with their Centuries and teh Bonneville.
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 134
    I commute 122 miles a day and put almost 40,000 miles a year on my commuter car. I have used Metro's exclusively and they have all been fantastic cars. My first one I paid $250.00 and put 60,000 miles on before I sold it for $50.00. The second one I paid $350.00 and drove it over 70,000 miles before selling it for $350.00.
    My current Metro I paid a whopping $1800.00
    I have never invested more than a tune up, brakes, and tires in a Metro. In fact the Metro I just sold for $350.00 the buyer had the valves redone for $250.00 and says it runs great with over 180,000 miles on the engine with no rebuild, burns no oil and is delivering 42 MPG city.
    Could I spend a lot more money for a commuter car, heck yah, but I'm laughing all the way to the bank. My Metro's have paid for themselves many times over. Just to show that $1800.00 buys a pretty decent Metro the next post is a picture of my newest Metro.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Thats a nice looking color and a great looking set of wheels! I always wondered if the Metro would look sporty if it just had resonable sized alloy wheels. Your car has proved that it is possible for a Metro to look somewhat sporty. How does it handle with those larger wheels? What brand wheels are they and where did you get them? I bet the newer generation Metros would look real sweet with those same 14" alloy wheels.
    I was considering getting the 2000 Metro or Swift, but after being turned down by the Suzuki dealer even though I offered to put $1000 down on it, I decided to look elswhere. I ended up with a new Hyundai Accent. When comparing the 2 cars as new, the Metro does look like a poor value. I'm glad I chose the larger, more substantial feeling, and more powerful Accent. I still like the looks of the current Metro and hope they don't decide to kill it. And as was previously mentioned, the Metro is a great choice in the used car market.
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 134
    Those are Advanti Racing Rims 14X6 with 185/60HR 14 tires. The whole package cost me just over $400.00 The rims were only $67.00 each and the tires were only $37.00 each. I was a little bit worried about clearance when I had them installed. But they do not rub at all in the front or rear under any circumstances. These tires are slightly taller than the 155/12's so it had the effect of giving me a higher (lower numeric) final ratio and the speedometer now registers about 5% slow. So needless to say I took a off the line performance hit. But wow did it make all the difference in the world in the way the car drives. It rides, handles so much better and is really a blast to drive. It is also a lot quieter than previously. If I had to do it over again I would get 175/60 HR 14's to keep the gearing the same. I would recommend this upgrade to any Metro/Swift owner.
    And finally I purchased them at Les Schwab tire. They are a big regional tire shop her in the Pacific NW.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    Of no fault but my own, I have to admit that the newest car I have is NOT a Geo Metro. In fact, it is one of those junky GM cars I always refer to...a 1994 Cavalier. The only reason I bought it is because it has cold air and it was only $1000. The blue book good condition trade-in value is $2595 and the retail value is $5150. And it only has 83K. So I'll be reselling this as soon as humanly possible and I'll find another Metro. Forgive me, if you are capable of it...*sob*
  • cinemafiacinemafia Posts: 57
    But if you keep the cavalier too much longer you won't be able to forgive yourself! lol
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    Anyone know of any suckers anywhere who could give me $3200 for this '94 Cavalier sedan with 83K so I can afford the red '96 Metro LSi hatchback with 44K that I want? Car salesmen look at me funny when I drool over used Metros on the lot, they wonder, why doesn't he drool over a new Focus? You guys know why, any ideas on how I can explain it to them?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    From your profile, I discovered you are in the DFW area, which is great! Take that Cavalier to CarMax and they will buy it even though you don't buy one of their cars. I sold my mom's beaten 1994 Bonneville in pretty bad shape inside and out and with 150K on the clock to them for $2500. Not bad. All they charge is a $149 processing fee, and they will even do a free appraisal. Look into it.
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