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Chevrolet (Geo) Prizm



  • mt700a1mt700a1 Posts: 53
    My 2cents: If the car is running properly, there is little need to worry about the plugs. Modern engines burn clean and unless the plugs are fouled, melted, or badly worn, I see no need to replace them. If you are getting the right performance and mpg from the car, don't worry about it. If the plugs are indeed bad, in addition to changing them, you will need to address the root cause of the plug failure.
    I would presume the dealer has the correct info regarding the gap.
  • I have an engine with the numbers 4A 8802927. Can anyone tell me what the &*^&^% it is? It's in a 1990 Geo Prism if that's any help...
  • It's the beloved Toyota 4A. Here's a Wikipedia entry:
  • Thank You... You have no idea how many headaches this thing has caused. It's been a really great first car for my son but tuning it without the proper specs is a nightmare!
  • I am looking at picking up a '98 Prizm for my daughter to use as a school car. Any advice from anyone regarding typical trouble spots to look at?

    It is an LSI with 104k. Very clean. The front door auto locks don't work, not too big a deal. It also will need brakes and perhaps rotors, but that looks like a decent diy job.

    thanks for your thoughts.
  • I have the exact same car - '98 Prizm with just about 105k miles on it. It's been a great car. I've only had two minor things go wrong (both in the last 10k miles or so):

    -Heating/AC Fan went out (this was an easy repair - fix
    of a resistor). Just check if the fan works at all
    speeds - mine gradually went from not working at hi-
    speed to eventually not at low speed either.

    -Radio dying (more major of a fix - the amplifier
    completely died). Pretty easy to tell if this doesn't

    Good luck with the car, I'm hoping to get at least 150k out of mine.
  • Got a 92 Prizm, 178K, Throttle wants to stay open at about half position. When the throttle is opened to wide open throttle, it will not release/decelerate; throttle cable seems to be ok. Replaced TPS ( throttle position switch) Not the problem, Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
  • $80 seatbelt replacement turned out to be a "universal fit", although the search engine with the year model and make returned that part. Be careful with those. I see them on ebay too, but if you examine the picture carefully, you'll know it won't fit. Also, if the same part can be used for many different cars like GMC trucks and corollas, that's a dead giveaway--there is no way those two vehicles would have the same seatbelt.

    Dealer part costs about $150. I will start calling junk yards around my area.
  • please help my 94 prizm, i need to listen to my cd's without having to install an after market radio. can i use a corolla radio or not because i might have one.
  • thacherthacher Posts: 14
    So is the GSI another term for the BASE model?
  • karndtkarndt Posts: 1
    My 1996 prizm power steering squeals bad when first starting the engine. once reved up it goes away until it sits for awhile. has new belt, puleys good, flushed the system no help. would it be pump or rack?
  • I need to know if a 1992 transmission is interchangable with a 1995? thank you
  • danpf1danpf1 Sunny CaliforniaPosts: 90
    The fuel door lever on a 1997 Prizm will not open the fuel door when applied, is there a way of opening the fuel door without damaging it? Thanks for any help.

  • danpf1danpf1 Sunny CaliforniaPosts: 90
    Found the problem, pulled up on the fuel door lever while manually opening the fuel door, found broken door spring, door would not pop open on it's own, will replace with a new spring. I'm glad it was not anything serious.

    Dan :)
  • I replaced the alternator in my 93 Prizm and managed to blow the 100 amp Alternator fuse. As most fuses in the fuse box just come out with ease like little plugs, the Alternator fuse DOES NOT. In fact, I broke off part of the fuse trying to get it out. It's within a set of 3 fuses that I would guess are all high amp fuses, so do I need to take out the set of 3 differently? (maybe the entire block?) This is making me nuts. Anyone who can shed some light on this part of the engine fuse box would be my hero!!!


  • Hey, I have a 96 Geo prism and my fuel door spring broke also..been having to put my wallet underneath the pull lever under the seat while pressing the left side of the door..where did you get the spring?Thanks!I also had a door handle break on me as well..i found one of those..just need a door spring for the fuel tank :confuse:
  • I have a 95 Prizm whose ignition key will not turn past the ACC position (stereo will start). I've tried two different keys, one of which was the original Geo key, that will not start the car but will open doors and the trunk. I have been noticing the key has been hard to turn in the past few weeks and last night it wouldn't budge. I tried lock de-icer, WD40, a rubber mallot without success. I looked in my Haynes manual and think it is the key lock cylinder. Any thoughts? Could this be the ignition switch - but I haven't had any electrical problems to date.

    Besides oil changes and brake replacement, I haven't done too much work. It seems like the hardest part to this job would be removing the steering wheel. Any advice would be great. Thanks.
  • Julie,

    I just ran into the same problem this evening. Was anyone able to shed any light on it for you?

  • Dennis,

    No one here was able to help, BUT, we figured it out. And the whole set up seems rather evil, like "they" don't wan't you to figure it out.

    Prefirst, unattach the battery! (That's how I got into this whole mess!.. :) )

    First, you'll have to unscrew the screws that literally attach the whole fusebox to the car because you're going to need to get at the bottom of the box. Once that's done, you'll be able to pull the box up a little, although the wires running into the box will still prevent comfortable movement.

    Second, take hold of the nested box that contains the block of high amp fuses from the bottom, squeeze the sides with one hand, while you push the block of fuses from the top. The high-amp block should sink from the surface of the main fuse box. If it doesn't sink for you, you can stick two screwdrivers into those little slots on both sides of the high-amp block and squeeze the box that way (we did it that way first because we had no idea what was going on, but that didn't seem like the official way to do it).

    Third, assuming you've been successful with step two, you'll see that you've got some heavy duty wires running into this little high-amp unit that you've separated from the main fuse box. We did not figure out a way to officially get the bottom cover off of the high-amp box. We stuck a little screwdriver into the seams and at the same time put pressure on the plastic (it's thin, and somewhat flexible). We were able to get it off, but maybe you'll have better luck figuring out the "official" non-mickey-mouse way.

    Fourth, once you've had success getting that little bottom cover off of the high-amp box, you'll see that you just have to unscrew the screws that secure the wires through the 100-amp alternator fuse, replace the fuse, and reverse the steps.

    After reconnecting the battery, you will finished a journey that seems to be totally undocumented, even in the official shop manual for the Prizm. What a pain!

    Let me know how it goes.

  • I switched out the lock in what should have been about 10 minutes. All that is required is removing the lower dash panel (disconnect battery), turn the key to ACC, and poke a small screwdriver onto the release button. It pulls right out. Beware of replacement locks though, as two that were ordered from Advanced Auto Parts did not work, while the Autozone variety was much higher quality and functioned correctly. Test drive the lock before bringing it home to avoid a week of delay in shipping. No need to remove the steering wheel, as some manuals suggest.
  • Hi: I have always owned geo prizms. There is nothing like them. But right now we bought one for $400.00 dollars and put maybe another $500.00 into it and still have one problem. it was hit in the front by the front tire on the right side. We have put all new tires (goodyear tire paws) all new brakes all new struts all new wheel bearins and all new axles and still there is a minor shake in the right front tire is where i believe it is.
    Any suggestions? I asked my husband if after it was lined up if the tire could need to be re balanced and he says no. so i thought i would come here to see if i could get any other suggestions because he has had enough of it but i want it fixed. it shakes for a reason. and the car is in good shape for what we paid for it.
    Thanks for your help :( :confuse:
  • I have a 2000 Prizm as well and have the same problem. It hesitates and sputters when first started every day and again after it sit for a couple of hours. Have you found any thing that has fixed this problem. I have changed the Fuel pump and screen, cleaned the MAP sensor, changed plugs, had the intake and cylinders flushed to remove carbon and nothing has changed it. I have read the the caytalitic converter can also cause this problem as well as the emissions canister. I am getting a little tired of changing parts one at a time. Please if you have found something that works could you pass it along.
  • My 1993 Geo Prizm almost ran out of gas the other day and ever since it hasnt run right. It almost seems like it is only running on 3 cylinders and then my check engine light came on. Inside my car now has a strong smell of gas.I checked the light and it gave me a code 25. What could this be? Im at a loss here. :mad: Please help!
  • Actually, I ran into the same problem about the different gaps. I called NGK tech support and they told me I should use the gap stated in the manual as they get their information from third parties and sometimes they are wrong.

    The 1997 Geo Prizm manual on page 6-65 under "Replacement Parts" states that the gap should be 0.031 inch (0.8mm)

    I will use 0.031 spark plug gap instead of what the auto parts says.

    I have the manual on PDF format if anyone is interested.
  • did you ever get the starting proble fixed. If so whiat did you do I have the Same problem with my 1991 Geo Prizm
  • On my 2002 Prizm el stripo, (My Wife bought it I didn't)seemed to operate and drive OK,but several months ago it began a rattly noise in drive and at idle. It kept getting worse, so 10 days ago I took it to the local Chevrolet dealer. Several hours later they called and said that the air conditioning compressor was bad and needed replaced. I wasn't having any trouble with cooling but in order to get rid of the noise I authorized the repair. My wife drove the car home and didn't say anything about any noise. I drove the car several days later and found that the same noise still persisted. The dealer had replaced the compressor with a rebuilt compressor. The total bill was $753.00 and change. I took it back to the dealer and complained and the service writer turned me over to the mechanic who serviced the car. He said that the original compressor was bad internally but that all the compressor's sound like this. The car was bought used and didn't sound like that at that time. Anybody out there had the same problem? Advise :mad: :mad: :cry: :sick:
  • I had the same problem, but it really was the compressor--it wasn't cooling, the car would leak refrigerant as quickly as I could put it in, and changing the filter made no difference. I also had that same horrible rattle.

    I had a brand new compressor put in (on the recommendation of the service manager who said the quality of rebuilt ones these days was very erratic) and the problem was solved. It did, however, set me back $892. But on those sweltering humid Southern summer days, it seems money well spent (or at least that's how I rationalize the expense).
  • guestguest Posts: 770
    I have a 2000 Chevy Prizm with about 110,000 miles on it. The check engine light came on a few months ago and our mechanic said it was the Catalytic Converter.
    I waited several months, and then had it replaced, but the check engine light came on again, and the mechanic said that an O2 sensor needed replacing, so he did that as well.
    Well, 45 miles later, the check engine light came on again. I took the car in, and the mechanic said he was getting a "RUnning Lean" code.....but that he checked everything on the car, and nothing seemed to be wrong. So he reset the switch, turning the light off, and told me to drive it again to see if the light would come on again.
    Exactly 45 miles later (again) the light came on.
    Now I'm $900.00 in the hole, and my SMOG check is due immediately, for registration (lucky me). And I will have to take it back for him to do a deeper search.....but I would really appreciate any advice on this scenario...and what the potential problem might be.

    Thank you
  • I'd love a copy of that manual. Could you send it to:

  • Anyone know how to turn off the check engine light on a 1997 geo prism.
    Thanks, Lee
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