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Chevrolet (Geo) Prizm



  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Which tires are standard on the Prizm? Are they Goodyear Integrity? On our 99 Corolla I thought they were great little tires, though they wore far too quickly, I was happy with the handling/braking/noise etc. Our new 2002 has them as well.... does Chevy go cheaper on the Prizm?

    Interesting note- In the September 2002 edition of Consumer Guide, it states that BOTH the Prizm AND COROLLA are being discontiued after the 2002MY. Does anyone have qualms as to the vailidity of that statement? How could Toyota cancel their 2nd best selling car?
  • ecarmackecarmack Posts: 161
    will be completely redesigned after '02. And I believe the Matrix/Vibe will use the same platform as the new Corolla.
  • Boris2Boris2 Posts: 177
    I'm not sure what Chevy does now, but they used to put Firestones (I'm sure the cheapest ones) on Prizms in 1998.
    I had to change them at about 17K mi. The protector was still pretty good, but the excessive shaking and poor handling was killing me. After about 5 balances I decided to trade them in for $10 each.
  • almaggalmagg Posts: 15
    I can get a 2000 Prizm sedan(or maybe it is really a LSi model) with ALL the options: 4spd auto, power everything, cruise control... and only 11,000 miles - for $12,000.
    This sounds like a good deal and I am going to go check it out.
    Now I like the 4spd, but for me the power windows, locks etc... is just more stuff to break down, but maybe I am just being paranoid and these items are not a major problem nowadays.
    Any comments on their reliability?
  • ken126ken126 Posts: 39
    My 01 prizm is not half as good as my 90 was. About the tires, I have the goodyears and in my opinion they are very loud. Also my car rattles especially somewhere by the passenger door. I'm afraid to say that the prizm is NOT what it used to be.....
  • I have a 90 Geo Prizm with 134xxx miles and it is still going strong!
    I have only owned the car since 120,000, but it appears that the timing
    belt has never been replaced.

    Does anyone know if this car will do itself severe damage if the timing belt
    breaks, or, is it the kind where the belt will break but no extra damage to
    the engine will occur?
  • tundradudetundradude Posts: 588
    toyota uses engines that the belt will not hurt it if the belt breaks
  • squeak6squeak6 Posts: 28
    I went ahead and got the A/C fixed @ firestone... this was the first major problem with the car... other than that all is fine... I need to get the breaks checked and the tires aligned and balanced... once that is done everything should be ok... I'm going to wash it for the first time in about 2 months... I just felt so discouraged when the A/C went out... I am still getting around 33MPG ( city& highway ) that's good considering I drive no less than 75MPH on the open road... I guess I could get more if I slow down... { MY 98 now has 108,000K on it -- when I got her in September of 98' she only had 7 miles on her }

    ** any suggesting on what I can do to keep her running.... **
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    My daughter still drives a 90 Prizm. I was driving an 87 Nova (formerly my mother-in-laws) which died suddenly a couple of weeks ago.

    Before buying a new Elantra I test drove a number of cars, including a '01 Corolla S. I was shocked that the car had actually regressed in eleven years. Nothing like the Elantra in packaging or execution. Hopefully the new Corolla will get things back in shape and the new Matrix/Vibe will make good use of Fremont. The best Prizm was the 93-96 (do I have that generation right?) IMHO. It was significantly nicer than the Corolla of the same generation.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I purchased a Cavalier in 1997 because I had a GM gold card. Almost bought a Prizm and still kind of wish I had, although the Cav. has given me reliable, if not inspired service.

    Just curious as to what most of the Prizm owners will do once the Fremont plant switches to Vibes?

    --Buy a Vibe?
    --Buy a next generation Corolla?
    --Buy the Opel inspired Cav. replacement?
    --Something else?

    In other words, is your loyalty to the plant? The car? The dealership? The card?
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    the past four generations for the nova/prizm have been:
    85-88(nova), 89-92(geo prizm), 93-97, 98-02(chevy prizm), discontinued.

    but the corolla sedan ran a bit differently, after the intial joint venture, as follows:
    84-87, 88-92, 93-97, 98-02, 03 all new car.

    IMO, the most interesting by far were the Geo Prizm GSi models, and the many versions of the 88-92 iteration Corolla, including the SR5 All-Track Wagon, the GT-S coupe, and the FX16 hatchbacks.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    that the Prizm's last generation ran from 93-97, since I almost bought a 97 Prizm rather than my 97 Cav. Do you agree that the current car is a step backward from 93-97?
  • Boris2Boris2 Posts: 177

    I don't think the new generation of Prizms is the step back. They might not be as popular as the old generation, simply because tastes changing all the time, but mine was incredibly reliable...
    It did have some minor issues, but other than that I didn't have any serious problems. I had it for almost 3 years (bought new in '98) and had to take it back to dealer couple of times because of the light knocking somewhere in the rear when backing up during very cold temperatures. Dealer wasn't able to find anything but the problem fixed itself after I tightened everything I could find on the rear suspension. I had about 40K mi on it at that time. Also one time I got check engine light warning and it turned out to be the faulty censor that controls the gas & air mix (at about 55K mi) - covered under extended warranty. Other than that, I sold it with 69K mi on it in perfect condition in '01.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    IMHO the first three generations of Nova/Prizm were all a cut above the corresponding Corollas. The original Nova was a Corolla Sprinter and was (if I remember correctly) shipped from Fremont back to Japan.

    Other than slight differences in tail lights the stacking of radio/HVAC and instrument panel the new cars are identical, except that the Corolla was facelifted in '01.

    I just think the last generation car was more graceful, altho. beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    As for reliability, that's always been there, I won't argue that with you.
  • Boris2Boris2 Posts: 177
    Well, I can't say I'm too thrilled about the way Corolla looked until the recent face lift... I think Prizm's rear looked better than Corolla's, but front was not that appealing. The new Corolla's nose is much better than Prizm's on my opinion. As far as interior goes, even though Prizm and Corolla are pretty much the same on the inside, I think Chevy did a better job designing (or should I say refining) the interior, but that's just me... :-)
  • jim1940jim1940 Posts: 6
    My Daughter just bought a 98 Prism standard beige interior. Anyone know where we can get a armrest?

    Bought it used 35,000 miles on it. Great shape.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    I want to replace the rear speakers in 95 Prizm.
    5 1/4" is the size for replacement speakers and I would like to use the same grill/cover as stock. Anyone know how to go about getting the old speakers out? How do I remove the grill cover and how do I remove the old speakers?
  • Yeah, what is the deal with these belts? I checked a website that listed repair intervals and it said that for a 1995 Geo Prizm the manufacturer did not specify a replacement interval. I just bought said prizm with 81,000 miles on it. If the timing belt will last for 134,000 that'd be great, but that sure sounds like a long time. Anyone know more about this?
  • Timing Belts supposed to be done in 60,000 mile intervals. They can last longer if you want to play "when is the belt going to break game". If it does break, you will NOT damage the engine of a prizm.

    It only costs $140 to get it done anyway.
  • I drive a 2001 Prizm with 6200 miles on it. Recently it has developed a rattling that starts as the RPMs increase right before the automatic transmission shifts. The transmission shifts fine and doesn't seem to be slipping. The transmission fluid is okay. We have checked the exhaust as well and everything appears to be okay. The noise is coming from the front of the car. Does anyone have any ideas on what this could be? It is also idling fast.

    Ken126, I can sympathize with you on the passenger door rattling. Mine does too. It stops when I pull the inside handle towards the center of the car. I think it is just bad construction.
  • I have a 1999 Prizm Lsi with 33000 miles and a 3spd auto w/ OD. It has an engine noise when cold and underway that sounds like a dull clicking sound as if a lifter or bearing isn't getting oil. There is no noise I can detect when idling and reving the engine. It goes away after 4-6 blocks and doesn't return unless the car sits for quite awhile. Does this sound like a typical noise for this engine? Any ideas on the cause. The Chev dealer did not have an answer and there are no tech bulletins on this noise.
  • I took my car to a local respectable chain repair shop (Jensen) and asked "Can I schedule a time to have the timing belt inspected?" The mechanic came out, popped the hood of my car, looked at the belt on the left side of the engine and said my timing belt was fine. Does this sound right? I didn't think you could see a timing belt without taking stuff apart...
  • tazerelitazereli Posts: 241
    i suspect that the mechanic was looking at your serpentine belt that drives the alternator, water pump, powersteering pump etc. he wasnt looking at your timing belt.
  • The engine noise as explained in #504 has a dull knocking or clicking sound when the engine is cold. It can also be heard (I think) when the engine is rev'd fairly high in park. It is not heard when driving until about 10mph. If the engine is warmed before driving for about 4 minutes there is no noise. Any ideas?
  • Boris2Boris2 Posts: 177
    Pretty much every engine would sound weird when run cold. It's not quite lubricated properly until the oil warms up to the required temperature, and that, in most cases, explains the knocking sounds. I know there is nothing about this in the manual and a lot of people don't let the engine to warm up for couple of minutes, but I'd highly recommend that.

    I was always warming up the engine on my Prizm and sold it with almost 70K mi on it running like new. My brother who is drives Acura Integra (supposebly one of the most reliable cars around) pretty much killed the engine at 35K mi. It still runs pretty nice, but the noise comming from the engine is terrible. His problem is that he starts driving pretty much at the same time as he turns the key. It looks like the car starts moving even before it fully started.
  • i have an opportunity to purchase a '94 Prizm (base model) w/air and automatic/82000 miles-- for $1000-- an awfully good price, i think.

    anyone with a 93 94 95 with thoughts on reliability, please? thanks.
  • Boris2Boris2 Posts: 177
    I haven't heard anything bad about them. Early 90s Corolas were pretty good if not say more, so it should be pretty reliable.
    I'd take it to a good mechaninc first anyways though.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I'd say that's an excellent price for that car. I remember paying $2500 in 1998 for a 1990 with slightly more miles and (as I remember) that was book for a private sale.
  • cdguycdguy Posts: 7
    Anyone buy a 2002 Prizm? Did you get the 0% financing? If so did you also go below MSRP? Just wondering how much Chevy is dealing with the soon to be canceled, well built Prizm.
  • I've got a 1995 Prizm LSi with a nasty rattle coming from the passenger side door. The sound seems to be coming from behind the first beige vinyl trim piece below the window because if I press my finger on a certain spot on the piece the sound stops. What can I do to fix this?
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