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1995 Chevy/Geo Metro Real World MPG



  • luckinsluckins Posts: 63
    Awww, too bad I didn't know about you a few weeks ago. I had a 1994 Metro that had a few problems, but had been a very good car. I traded it in and heard it was sold and is probably in Baja by now from what the dealer says. Maybe you'll see it in the Baja races in the future all tricked out. :D

    A couple of years ago, someone left a note on my car offering to buy it, but I thought it was a joke and ignored it. Now, after reading a lot of reviews on this car, I realize that the offer could have been serious.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,966
    The forums cannot be used to buy and sell vehicles, or any other items for that matter. So I've removed the posts about buying and selling Metros.

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  • luckinsluckins Posts: 63
    Sorry about that!

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,966
    Not a biggie, just need a friendly reminder now and then! ;)

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  • jon53jon53 Posts: 1
    Does anyone know of a way to add an over drive gear to a metro automatic 3 speed transmisson?
    Thank you.
  • suz13suz13 Posts: 10
    My transmission mechanic disconnected the neutral safety switch on my 97 Geo automatic because it was not functioning right. He claimed there is no rush to replace it because I could "drive it like a stick without the clutch" and that I would probably see better gas milage out of it. Well...great ! Whats not to like about a clutchless stick? I have had no obvious problems. But I feel the car does not like going over 50mph unless very slowly worked up to it. Almost as if it's climbing it's own Bell Curve in those upper highway speeds. Unless I'm accelerating up a long slow highway upgrade, then my little Geo seems to eat up the challenge leaves everything but sports cars in the dust ! There is nothin obviously wrong. I just feel like the car would like a better way to get into the 4th gear which I don't got ! So this leads me to wonder if there is really a 4th gear that it would be beneficial to actualy shift the car into with my hand on the shift ! ? It seems no one can answer my question, but only offer unsubstantiated warnings of it "not being good for my transmission". Well it hasn't done any apparent harm as of yet. I just wanna understand my Geo as best I can so that I can fix things before they break so it can give me years of good gas milage a safe drive. Performance ? Performance to me - is getting me to work cheaply and safely. . . for a very long time. I bought it 2 yrs ago off a used car lot cause it was cute, small, and basic, and that was before the gas crunch. Family & friends laughed at me and called it a lawn mower. Then gas went up ! Now when they pull up to the pump with cars that get less than 30 MPG and complain . . I remind them how they ridiculed me. And after finding Edmunds Web Site I've learned alot about the Geo Metro and feel lucky to own one.
  • plzionplzion Posts: 7
    My Co-Workers' hubby is a Transmission Shop owner. He said, no you can not put in an overdrive gear. He said if you want to do that, you can either swap it with a Manual gearbox (which he really didn't want to do), or better yet, buy a metro w/a gearbox. My wife's 2000 LSI auto sedan is a great little car, aside from lack of overdrive...It's been getting a little over 30mpg city miles this summer. I have a 93 Metro 5 speed, that recently has been "only" getting upper 40's city driving, so we tend to use it more than the auto Metro. I also posted previously on this forum in the #20's if I recall. They are very good little cars...Grateful to have them.
  • suz13suz13 Posts: 10
    Thank you for responding & confirming what I suspected. Many Geo's can get over 40mpg ! At first I thought some of these people were stretching it in the tale department, but I sometimes get almost 39mpg with my "automatic" 4cylinder. Unfortunately I drove my Geo a bit too hard and now it has 1 worn "wrist pin" on 1 of the pistons but my mechanic said I should stay under 65MPH on the highway & keep the AC off. I can do that. It is using more oil than before the wrist pin went bad. I think part of the reason it went bad was because I let the oil get a little too low a time or two. I think running the engine hot deformed the wrist shape. My mechanic (a trainy specialist) said my Geo could last a few days or a few years - so....treat it nice & easy & keep the fluids topped off always! I told him how much I love the car & have an idea of buying another this year to use my current for part scavenging. He thought that was a good idea being that I love the car so much. I'd prefer to switch to a manual transmission but think maybe I should choose an automatic as close to the model I already have so that I can be sure to get the most out of scavenging parts.
  • plzionplzion Posts: 7
    I have learned that even 1/2 quart low on the dipstick (not the 1 quart marked on the stick) makes an important difference on how well the engine lubricates. You go 1 quart low, and the Metro will develop new noises in the engine, and even end up quickly developing a bad habit of burning a lot of oil. I had a low mileage used engine (6 mo/6000 miles warranty) put in by a company in Layton, UT about 4 years ago, called Japanese Engine Exchange. They cost more now that many Metros are being pulled out of people's back yards, and putting in another engine.

    Don't go more than 4000 miles between oil changes, or you will also, find your engine burning oil.

    My engine does not burn any oil between oil changes, after 65000 of my miles.

    I listen to the engine when I start & I allow it to idle up to 60 seconds before I drive off (I do have to go up a steep grade). I can literally hear the change when the upper parts of the motor start to really lubricate properly. The sound is subtle, but it is there once you notice it. I really believe that this has made a huge difference for the motor.

    I never fail to do this if has been more than 2 hours since I drove it (when the temperatures are mild).

    I paid $1200 for the 3 cylinder engine, including installation. I recently heard that the cost has gone up several hundred since then, but everything has gone up with that gasoline cost increasing.

    Until last year, my Manual 3 cylinder Always got 50+ mpg; city/hwy.

    Mine now needs a new engine computer, sort of; Meaning that the portion that acts like a computers RAM (basically instant memory used for start up) no longer works, so the computer has to take about 20 seconds to (quoting my mechanic" "remember how to make the engine run most efficiently, again".

    Because the Automatic has no overdrive to reduce the engine speed, the Manual stick shift feels like the engine will last a lot longer. I also prefer to drive the Manual on trips as it wears on your body a lot less, than with the high revving auto tranny. Hope this helps. :)
  • seaman59seaman59 Posts: 2
    Can bad motor mounts cause the car to sound like a loud truck?: :confuse:Also can bad motor cause bad mpg?
  • Thanks to everyone out there, I have learned alot about my metro from reading forums. I have a 2000 manual 3 cylinder metro. I've been reading hypermileing techniques and I keep my tires maxed, slow down, time red lights and just get my car up to speed and barely touch the accelarator to keep the car moving. I get average mileage between 54-58 city/hwy mixed. My top mpg has been 68.2. We have it all with this car, gas sipping 3 cylinder engine plus the car weighs nothing. 50% of your mpg's is the driver.
  • I have a beatup 1991 Geo Prizm 4 cyl with AT, purchsed with 120K on engine, and took me 3 years to fully clean up engine, mostly inside. Started with about 28 mpg hwy/25 city. Over years, got it up to 30 mpg hwy AND city for several years. But this spring, did many changes, especially installing Bosch "+2" plugs, and started getting around 35 mpg hwy. (new Bosch plugs gave me better mpg and also generally better mild acceleration.) Drove to Iowa and back to NM, (with 240K miles on engine) and was even getting 38-9 mpg hwy on way back!! Thot I had a constant tailwind.

    Driving mostly 60-65 mph. But even up to 75 still got me mid 30's. I was astonished, and still am getting about 33 mpg city now!! I love Geo's!!
    (Also have always used Prolong oil additive to help engine run smoother. Firm believer in its ability to help my engine last so long up to 240K miles. Will have a celebration when it gets to 300K.)
  • Your posting is what I was looking for all day today! The projected mileage posible if driven carefully. I owned a 2000 Geo Metro with the 4 cyc Automatic and 42 mpg was my best tank. I averaged 37 mpg in my highway driving, about 30 mpg on mixed driving. The car moved like a "bat out of hell", it was fast for a 4 banger. My kids inhereted it and I bought another car and later a truck. The kids wanted power steering and a year later, my neighbor bought my Geo, he still has it.

    With high gas prices I went out looking for a 3 cyc. Stick and bought one on ebay. It was a 300 mile drive one way to get a pretty straight body. I checked with my mechanic first about dropping a low mileage Japanese engine in, assumng one might be needed. One was needed, it was burning 1 quart of oil per 100 miles, OUCH! The good side was I drove it 800 miles and fuels it every 110 miles to check fuel consumption. Filling into the neck, it got 46-55 mpg with a bad engine! Not bad!

    With a new to me engine and trans, I am hoping to get that 68.2 you mentioned. I want to try a few long trips without gimmick products, then consider some of those later. I am one of those that deposited $500. on a future Aptera, so the Geo is keeping me busy until the SUPERCAR goes into production. I have driven 5,000 miles in the past 25 days, so I need something that scores record mpg.

    Thanks for the mpg info you posted.

  • We are looking to buy a 2001 chevy metro sedan w/50,000 miles from a private owner. Most all the consumer reviews I've read have been very positive re safety, reliability, gas mileage, etc. We plan to use this back and forth to the train and for daily college commute for our son. Before we commit we'll have our mechanic take a look. Any pros/cons on this car and any specific things our mechanic should look for before purchasing?
  • Automatic or stick? From 1996 forward Air Bags were required I believe. Be sure the Air Bags are functional and be wary if they were ever deployed, then why? I had a 2000 and had no complaints. I lost mine to my kids because it was and automatic and sold it to raise money for a Toyota Camry that became our nightmare. Mine had 175,000 miles on it and it still runs like a top, one of my neighbors bought it for his daughter. Watch out for rust and consider if you get a straight body, a Japanese engine is only about $800. plus labor and thats not bad if you get it cheap enough. Less than 50,000 miles will mean paying a premium for the car you find and if its cheap with 50k on it, find out why? These little cars are going up in price when in good cond. by 2000 there was a glut of 4 cyc. with automatics.

  • 1994 Geo Metro, 1.3-automatic, 3-cylinder, 2-door hatchback. Mileage=40,272, automatic. I purchased this car used and needing repair. After eliminating the Ignition sensors one-by-one, I purchased the Park/Neutral Safety Switch (Digital Transmission Range Sensor?) It's location is up in the steering column, It is a black circuit box marked with a "P".

    Part #4339, CON SN 7614 REV CI, PG 2007-4.

    On one end there are 4-connections:
    Side One:
    2-push on connectors,
    1-plastic with 6-wires in this order: Red, orange, purple, green, black-thick dull, red.
    1-plastic with 3-wires in this order: Red, Black-thin shiney, Black-thick dull.

    Empty slot: says CN4
    The Blk-thick dull connected to Blk/Yellow wire.
    The Blk-thin-shiney connected to green wire.
    The Red, connected to White/Blue comming from ignition (using clip connection).
    The Blk-thick dull, to Black/Yellow comming from ignition (using clip connection).
    And 2-Blk-thin shiney wires to ground screw.

    Slot says CN5
    On the other side of the part there is a white cable with a hint of brown on the #1 position (looks like a computer IDE ribbon), or like a computer drive cable, about 1-inch wide and 18-inches long.

    I do not know where this cable goes, or what it hooks into. The car won't run without this part connected, and functional.

    This car was stolen, I just regained possession after 8-months. It was mal-treated physically. It was also hot-wired, but no wiring was cut; they rigged a toggle switch from the alternator by alligator clips, and ran the wires to driver's seat where the toggle switch was.

    The car was running the other day, but my son's friend somehow-accidently disconnected this cable, now the car won't run and I can't locate where it should run to for connection.

    I am moving and have only a couple of days to remove our possessions, and have no other way to to this. I am extremely grateful for your advice, and consideration. Thank you.
  • suz13suz13 Posts: 10
    My neutral safety switch died also (98 4cyl automatc, geo metro). My transmission specialist disconnected it - told me to drive it like a stick with no clutch. Everyone I spoke to grumbled & said that cant be good for the car. But guess what ? I've been driving it that way over a year and its just fine ! I don't drive it over 60mph because I think its really doesnt feel right uphill on the highway going over 60 (it feels like its straining) But I don't mind staying under 60mph because I used to get speeding tickets! Besides my Geo Metro gets 35 - 39 miles per gallon and I will keep trying to ressurrect this car from the dead until I just cant no more. I put a new catalytic converter,muffler,long pipe, fuel filter & fuel pump in during the 3 yrs (total cost $$700) since I bought it for $4G off a used car lot. I keep finding junk men & mechanics coming to me with 13 inch tires they cant give away so I get tires cheap (snows too). I intend to put another used engine in it very soon because I was stupid enough to let the oil get down to nothing 2 times which distorted 1 out of 4 of the wrist pins. I'm keeping oil topped off & using Lucas oil stbilizer until my mechanic locates an engine. I can not afford another used car and I'd never find another with this MPG so I hope to keep driving my Geo another two or three years, then retire it for parts for maybe a newer used Chevy Metro. Good luck with yours. Remember . . you may be able to drive yours with the Neutral Safety Switch discconnected like I do. I swear it has been just fine that way. I will even give you my transmission mechanics business phone number & you can ask him yourself !
  • Thank you for your advice. By the way, the IDE-ribbon I've been trying to locate connection and purpose for is actually a diagnostic tool connector. I had no idea there was another beside the one fastened under the dash.
  • Ah the down side to owning a Geo! My mechanic sent me out in search of this part and junk yards seem to work best for the smaller components. Does any one have advise on who might have this part? had these for most of the Geo Trackers, but none for the Metro. Someone else has surely faced this similiar shortage of parts.

    I am 70 miles from Los Angeles, so I would think if there was a supply, they might have a source close by.

  • I got a '91 Storm I traded for a '77 F-150. It's got the 1.8 and 5 speed. When I get on it (alone) I can get around 38 mpg and when I take it easy, I have gotten over 42. I know there are other things I can do to improve it a little, but I'm happy with what I get since it's hard to get parts for it...
  • 4_banger4_banger Posts: 2
    i have a 96 metro 4 cyl. auto. and i can't get over 27 mpg's. i pretty much drive 55mph to work and back with very little in town driving. i thought these cars did better on gas. not that 27mpg is horrible but 35 sounds better any advice. the car only has 60,000 miles on it and is maintianed regularly.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    If the compression is within manufacturer's specs in EVERY cylinder, the fuel and air filters have been replaced, the entire exhaust system is absolutely stock and has no leaks, and there are no modifications to the air intake, the EGR system, the inlet air temperature sensor, or the ignition timing; I would consider that the throttle position sensor may need to be adjusted to a leaner position. This adjustment has a major effect on fuel economy; and the stock setting often becomes unsuitable due to changes in fuel blends, engine condition, and choice of spark plug brands. There is no hard and fast spec for optimizing the throttle position sensor adjustment. The drill is to loosen the two mounting screws and rotate the unit counterclockwise (leaner) in a series of small steps; with a test drive after each adjustment change, until the engine begins to falter, surge, or lose power. Then turn the unit a small amount clockwise until the driveability just returns. See what that does for the gas mileage; and after reading your feedback, I can offer more from that point.
  • drewkohlsdrewkohls Posts: 12
    i just did the calculations and i got 42 mpg's with 50/50 mix driving. I have no egr valve from the factory? and i have the minimum compression, 155 psi give or take a few, on all 3 cylinders. its a 5 speed. I think if i shift a smidge earlier all the time and coast up to stops more and stay closer to 55 mph i could get that up to about 45 or so, but i only do between 55 and 60 on country highways. sounds good
  • drewkohlsdrewkohls Posts: 12
    i just did the calculations and i got 42 mpg's with 50/50 mix driving. I have no egr valve from the factory? and i have the minimum compression, 155 psi give or take a few, on all 3 cylinders. its a 5 speed. I think if i shift a smidge earlier all the time and coast up to stops more and stay closer to 55 mph i could get that up to about 45 or so, but i only do between 55 and 60 on country highways. sounds good
  • drewkohlsdrewkohls Posts: 12
    i just did the calculations and i got 42 mpg's with 50/50 mix driving. I have no egr valve from the factory? and i have the minimum compression, 155 psi give or take a few, on all 3 cylinders. its a 5 speed. I think if i shift a smidge earlier all the time and coast up to stops more and stay closer to 55 mph i could get that up to about 45 or so, but i only do between 55 and 60 on country highways. sounds good
  • fincenmibfincenmib Posts: 4
    My best mpg on a new engine, 3 cyc. is 50 so far. Just regular gas, nothing special other than platnum plugs. The old engined smoked and was an oil burner and consistantly got 53-57 mpg, go figure! The newer engine goes pretty fast for a 3 banger, it has the power now, but it did lose a few on the mileage.

  • mikell1mikell1 Posts: 1
    New to the forum. Have a 1998 Chevy Metro 3 cyl. 1.0 liter. Was getting in the mid-40's up until a few months ago when I had to replace the balding tires. About the same time, had to replace the water pump, which required removing the timing belt. Lost about 5 mpg after either the tire replacement or possibly affecting the timing in the water pump replacement (had to remove timing belt). Wondering what others with same engine are timed at and whether I should try and advance timing to regain fuel economy. Or could improved traction of new tires caused this much lost in fuel economy.
  • I have 1990 geo metro where head is recently changed and recent full tune up but mileage is only 25 mpg.
    What could be the main reason why fuel economy is bad?
    One mechanic said timing belt other said timing needs confused.
    What are the main possible reasons?
    is it a easy fix or it is just because it is old?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    The answer to the last point you asked about is that there is no such thing as an engine getting bad mileage because it is too old. ANY engine, regardless of its age, will get good mileage if the internal parts are not worn excessively, the compression is good, and the fuel and ignition systems are adjusted right.

    On the other hand; even a nearly new engine will get bad mileage if it has been damaged, or improperly adjusted, or from wrong connections of the vacuum controls; or by installation of parts which do not match the specifications of the parts that originally came on that motor.

    To fix a problem like yours may be easy, or it may be very difficult; this all depends on what is wrong. If someone installed the wrong model head on it; that would be very hard to fix. But if they reversed the connections of the vacuum hoses; it could be easy to fix. But if the mechanic who works on the car does not understand how to troubleshoot this problem, or doesn't have a service manual for this car model (or is too arrogant, or too illiterate, or too sure of themselves to bother to read the manual); they may never be able to fix it. Metros are different than many of the cars that mechanics usually work on; and it takes the willingness to admit the limits to one's knowledge and then learn the unique and important details about this engine design, before a mechanic can even know where to look for the real problem.

    There were at least two different cylinder head designs used in the 3 cylinder Metro. The base Metro and the LSI both used one head; while the XFI model used a different head. The camshafts are different in the two heads, and I believe the porting and possibly the valve sizes are also different. If a different model head has been installed; the computer on your car can not work properly with a change like that. So my guess is that the reason you are now getting such poor mileage is either that the replacement head came from a different engine model; or that the replacement head is in bad mechanical condition.

    You can find out whether the head is in good condition by running a compression check on the motor. The compression should ideally be 195psi in all cylinders. If it is less than 155 in any one or more cylinders; the timing belt may have not been installed in the right position. That is a surprisingly common mistake that mechanics make. But if there is instead more than 20 pounds difference between any two cylinders; then the head and/or the rest of the motor is worn internally to the point where it becomes impossible to tune it properly. In that case; you'll need to get a remanufactured motor.

    But if the compression is within the allowable limits in all cylinders; then it would be worth finding out whether the cylinder head is the right model for the year and model of your motor. Just because the head could be bolted on to the block does not mean it is the same model head as the old one. It may be very difficult to determine the model of the head that is now on the motor. If you can find a casting number on the head; you might be able to phone a Chevy dealer's parts department and ask them if they can tell you the engine model that head belongs on.

    The other thing you can do is to find a vacuum hose diagram for that motor (which originally was printed on a label fastened to the underside of the hood; and is also found in the service manual for that year and model Metro) Make ABSOLUTELY certain that every hose goes exactly where it is supposed to (on BOTH ends). Also check the ignition timing with a strobe light; and be sure to disconnect BOTH vacuum hoses from the distributor advance units while doing so. The timing should be set to 6 degrees BTDC when the engine is idling. If you find the timing more than 5 degrees different than that, the timing belt should be rechecked to see if it is installed in the right position. (The timing belt connects the crankshaft to the camshaft, but the distributor is driven by the camshaft; so if the timing belt is not installed right, BOTH the cam timing and the ignition timing will be off).

    If you check and adjust all the things mentioned above, and still can't find the problem, one other thing you can do is to check the exhaust emissions with an emission analyzer (at both idle and 2500 RPM). If the CO or HC levels are too high, that could come from the throttle position sensor being set too rich, or from a clogged EGR valve, or from the wrong spark plug model or wrong plug gap setting, or bad plug wires or a bad distributor cap, or from a clogged fuel filter or clogged air filter, or a defective vacuum or mechanical advance in the distributor. And all of those could cause bad mileage.
  • you have the automatic, the 5 speed gets tremendously better gas mileage however, the automatic gets "standard" to "good" gas mileage. For instance if you had the xfi model you would be getting 45-60mpg.
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