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Geo Metro Engine Questions



  • have a 2000 Metro with 135K on it. About two weeks ago, it would studder a little from idle then immediatly clear and run perfect. This happened a few times over a week. Then it was more frequent. Yesterday, it was constantly sputtered and backfire through intake and exhaust. The "service engine soon" light started flashing so I changed spark plugs (one was cracked). and the same thing happens. What could it be? I discconnected the injector wires (one at a time) but the difference sounded the same on all cylinders, so maybe ign. wires?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Sounds more like a bad distributor cap or rotor than anything else. I would only buy these parts from a NAPA parts store. There are some poor quality Metro caps and rotors out there; and NAPA is the one sure way to get a top quality ignition part.

    A bad plug wire is the second likely possibility.

    If the center insulator (on the engine end) of your spark plug was cracked; it could indicate an excessive amount of spark advance. This has the potential to cause major engine damage. I would check the ignition timing. But if the distributor cap was bad, it also could cause a plug insulator to crack. So could using a spark plug that is not the model intended for this motor.

    Some less likely possibilities are a defective ignition module, a bad coil, or a bad ignition pick up unit.

    I hope this helps!!!
  • Joel, Thanks for the response. This year does not have a distributor with cap and rotor. I have what looks like two small coil packs that bolt straight to the valve cover with a spark plug under each one. Also, each coil pack has a spark plug wire coming out, going to the other two spark plugs. I will replace these two wires with fingers crossed. If that dosen't work, I'll check ign. module, ign. pick up unit which might lead to another question on this site.
    Thanks again.
  • i have a 97 metro 3 cylinder 5 speed
    my problem is when cool and to make clear its not a over heating issue.
    i can drive it 40 miles or 10 miles shut off the engine then it wont restart
    it will turn over and act like it wants to start and sometimes will start briefly than quit. or if drive long enough will eventually stall out and not restart until oh about
    as little as an hour or as many as 2 or 3 hours then i can repeat. like this mourning i drove 10 miles stopped at a gas station let the car run idling fine go 2 more miles to the library shut it off wont start now waiting my 2 hours to start and drive again!
  • I've just overhauled the head on my engine. Upon putting it back together engine won't run. Compression: 170, 170, 165, 170. Valve timing lines-up with top and bottom marks per manufacturer's shop manual. Isolated problem to spark - I see healthy spark to both coils on first rotation, then no spark at all anywhere for subsequent crank rotations. Replaced camshaft and crankshaft sensors - no change in spark status. All wiring appears connected with good connections. Where should I look to find the ignition problem?
  • i had a similar problem with my 92.i had to change out the fan sensor,temp sensor,several vacuum lines and adjust the timing plus change the idle control valve
  • I just rebuilt the engine in the car (It sat for 10 years) The car idles great but won't revvup normally through the midrange when floored? ( it breaks up for some reason) Timing and firing order is perfect. could it be the injector. I put on a new dist. cap, plugs, wires, rotor ,and i tried a new coil with no luck. Any help would be nice -Thanks
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    I hope you're not trying to run it on ten year old fuel!!! All the old fuel must be completely drained out of the tank. You'll also need to put at least 5 gallons of fresh fuel in the tank. If you've already done this, the first thing I would do is to replace the fuel filter. It is located underneath the car, just in front of the gas tank, next to the fuel pump, on the driver's side. If that doesn't fix it, I would replace the injector. And if it still doesn't rev up properly, I would try turning the throttle position sensor a little further in the clockwise direction.

    I hope this helps!!!
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    I would replace the fuel filter. It is located underneath the car, in front of the gas tank, next to the fuel pump, on the driver's side. There is a metal cover underneath it, which has to be removed to access the filter.

    It is also a good practice to always start the car by turning the key to the position where the dashboard warning lights come on, and waiting in this position for ten full seconds; then turn the key the rest of the way to start the engine. The reason to do this is that it allows enough time for the electric fuel pump to properly prime the fuel injection system. On some cars, this can make all the difference between the engine starting, or refusing to start.

    I am hearing more and more reports from people who own many different types of vehicles, who are having this problem. It is becoming worse, as more and more oxygenating additives are being added fuel in order to reduce emissions. But this starting technique makes a huge difference!!
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Sorry about the delayed response! I would suspect either the ignition control module, or the transistor unit. These items are pictured on Rock Auto's website, once you scroll to the right place.
  • Hi all,

    I have a 2000 Metro hatchback w/90,000 miles on it. Other than preventative maintenance it has only been in the shop once, for a loose dashboard instrument wire.

    Now there's a problem. When you first start it, it sounds like there's a hole in the muffler (there's not). Kick it into gear and it's even louder and has nowhere near the power it should have (imagine a Harley that's all noise and no speed). Once it finally gets into the high end of the gear, however, it "takes off"...the sputter is replaced by zoom. This happens quicker in the acceleration if your foot is only half-way down on the gas pedal; if you floor it it goes back to sputter and low-power until it gets near the top of the gear. Any ideas?
  • Hi there,
    I had a 1996 Geo Metro that did the same thing about a month before it threw a rod. I took it to a mechanic who said that the spark plugs should be changed and the catilytic converter needed to be changed. I dont know where you live, but I am in CA and the car came from Illionois and someone had put a coil in the air intake to give it more fuel to keep it warmer in the cool weather. You may want to check it out. '
    I hope this helps
  • I have a 95 metro 3 cy. it just stopped running one day. the timing belt is lined up and have change several thing and distriber what will cause it to lose fire and gas
    thank you thomas
  • geo97geo97 Posts: 1
    i have a 97 geo metro that i just purchased a few weeks ago. the seller explained that when it is cold outside, it does not want to start. to start the car, he simply sprayed a small amount of gas over the fuel injector, then the car starts right up. after the car is started this way, it will start every time until the next morning when it is cold again. is this a bad fuel injector or fuel pressure regulator? the service engine light is also on, and the car has 101,000 miles on it. thanks for the help.
  • geo97,have you figured out the problem.I have a 96 metro 1.3 liter with the exact
    same problem,will not start when it is cold.Any input would be helpful.
  • Thanks for asking. No resolution yet. No one has come forward yet with an answer specific to my problem: No spark after first revolution of the crank. 1999 Geo Metro 1.3L. My ignition system is all sensors and computer - NO distributor. I've been told the PCM never goes bad on these cars and it does pass its error checking, so it appears to be somewhere between the computer and the spark plugs. Coils are fine, all sensors replaced with new. Haven't found a way yet to troubleshoot and isolate problem to diagnose and fix. I really thought this would be a common problem and this forum would immediately respond with like problems and fixes.
  • I've got a 97 geo metro, 4 cyl. automatic. the idle will automaticlaly go to high rpm, then really low rpm. sometimes the engine will stall when it goes to low rpm and it will not start, like it is fuel starved.
    Any suggestions?
    all input is welcome.
  • We recently pulled the engine on my roomate's 98 3-cylinder Metro to fix the clutch. Upon re-installation, these two wires were still un-attached.

    Note that I'm standing in front of the vehicle, so the firewall is up. My hand is holding up the wires. They look like ground wires, but I'm not sure where to attach them. Any help would be appreciated.

    Right now with them un-attached, the engine will try to start, but gets no fuel. I'm fairly certain the fuel pump isn't coming on. Another single-blade-edge connector ground wire will also smoke, presumably because the other grounding straps should be grounded and it's being forced to carry too much current. :) When I attach both wires shown above to the firewall, the engine won't even try to start, but the fuel pump sounds like it's coming on. I get a Check Engine light, the code for which I will pull once I'm sure where these two wires go.

    Note that I have both the Chilton's and the factory repair manual set, but haven't quite been able to figure out the wire's identities or locations yet.
  • We have a 1997 Geo Metro with the 1 liter 3 cyl. I found a 1992 motor, 1l 3cyl in good shape. Both are standard trannies. Will these year models compatibly swap out. Or swap out easily. Any mods that may have to be done. All help appreciated. Thanks!
  • Hi bitmaster,
    I just went thru the same project and found that those two sets of wires are indeed ground wires, their purpose is to provide a ground for all of the sensors in the head and intake manifold that require a grounded circuit.
    You might need a mirror to see where they are mounted to on the back side of the intake manifold just below the air intake base. You need 2 bolts about 1/2 long not sure of metric bolt size but a 10m wrench fits. There is one on each bottom corner on the throttle body.
    Good luck
  • Coach,

    Thanks! I tried a couple different things after getting recommendations from one other group, and found that having one attached to the firewall and one on the post where you mentioned seems to work best. I will add your input to the list if things go wrong. As it stands, I took the little Metro for a spin around the block for the first time since we switched out the clutch, and it runs! I'm really grateful for all the help I've had working on it. :)

  • hi, i have a geo metro 94 4 cyl. 1.3L

    Sometime, in no particular circontances, the car don'T start at the first try (not always but, we just ear the "clic" from the starter). 10 sec. after, i try again and it start with no problem.

    I changed the alternator 4 month ago
    the batterie 2 days ago
    the starter 6 month ago

    I'm realy not a pro in mechanic so i need help to find what it can be.
  • suz13suz13 Posts: 10
    My Geo Metro gave me this same problem just the other day, BUT in it's defense I did let the gas tank get below one eigth full, with NO dry gas additive, in 10 degree weather (less if you count wind chill then it was really colder) and had not started it in two days ! Whatda ya expect from an old eco car ? I mean we can only abuse them so much before they retaliate ! A little dry gas in the tank & some dumped right onto the carbeurator, and a hair dryer on the spark plugs for a half hour and she finally started. When I put a new engine in her next spring I'm also putting in a engine block warmer (frost plug kind) for a measley $20 it'll be well worth it. Otherwise you gotta kepp these fine old Geo's in a warm garage if it gets below 20 degrees. And thats my two cents guys !
  • suz13suz13 Posts: 10
    I know you all have talked on this site before about where to get an engine but I can't find the thread. I intend to spend some of my tax money this March putting a new engine in my Geo. It can be a used engine w/ under 50G miles on it OR one of those new Japanese jobbers (i think i can afford it). Locating a "USED" engine with my old mechanic is taking too long so I'm leaning toward just getting a new one. Afterall, I've replaced so many other major things in my Geo I might as well consider it a slow rebuilt top to bottom, I'm STILL spending less per year than car payments and gettin 39mpg on my commute. Can anyone tell me how to buy the engine ? Do I need to say anything to my new mechanic about where to get the engine (he is a trusted affilaite of my employer and reputable) or should I just see what he says & compare it to what you guys say ? Or should I attempt to buy it myself & have it shipped to him ?
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    First check the bat. termanels and or clean them. Know one can know this answer, as it is an intermit problem. I'm sure as you know, this is sometimes a warning before leaving you broke down. If it is not the connection at the termanels, it could be a bad possative connection attaching to the starter selonoid. Most likely the starter selonoid is going bad, and is giving you its warning now. It is a bolt on part,of the starter. Its very common for it to go bad and blame it on the starter. In short, he selonoid job is to engage the starter gear in to the flywheel and trigger the starter to spin at the same time; it is electra mechanical! The clicking sound is coming from the week selonids electromagnet, making it unable to engage the flywheel; in turn the starter will not spin. So if you brake down, dont give up and call that tow truck, try turning that key about 50 times eventually it will give you 1 last start; and if that does not work, hit that starter with a wrench or a small hammer, then try to start it; this will get you home! I hope this helps you! :D
  • Hi zenden and thanx for your answer.

    One thing is sure, it's not the batterie: it new from 2 day ago :P
    Maybe the termanels? (is there a simple way to check if it's that?)
    And for the started selonoid
    (srry, i'm sure it gonna look stupid, but i realy bad in mechanic..) So the selonoid is a different part of than the starter. Cause my starter have been changed only 6 month ago... (do when we changed the started, the selonoid is also normaly changed??)

    thanx for you help,
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    Yes! the solenoid almost always comes with the starter 97% of the time. I just read your 1st post about this, so please excuse me for that. The bat. was changed so most likely the connections are good. There are many things that can cause this, but I would be focusing on that starter selonoid even tho it was replaced. The odds are high that this is going bad if you where not having this same trouble before you replaced the starter; especially if the one that you bought was not new; or had a lifetime warranty on it. Re manufactured starters come in 2 grades, the one with the short term warranty is processed quickly on an assembly line; No one is held responsible and corners are cut. At times I have found that these starters will not work at all when purchased. Often they only last for 3 months.
    If you have noticed this problem before the replacement of the starter, then I would be looking for a bad connection in the wiring system; AS IN: a bad ground connection where the negative wire from the battery connects to the engine; or possibly a faulty ignition switch witch is inside the steering column. I hope that this info helps you.
    PS: If the headlights dim when you here the clicking sound then there is a bad connection between the battery and the engine! On the positive or negative side!
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    If you here a click noise under the hood when you turn the key on then the system is activating, take out the bottom of the back seat and probe the wires with a test light they are on the right side of the car. when you turn that key on, one of them will become live, that is the positive going to the fuel pump, if there is no power there, then the fuel pump relay is bad or a broken connection going to it, or coming out of it. If that wire under the seat that goes to the fuel pump does power up, but the pump does not come on, then it would be a bad fuel pump , or a bad ground wire going to it; they can both be tested at that point under the seat. Hope this helps.
  • 1997 metro 1.3l i replaced the engine. At first had it running but very rough, the more i started it the harder it was to get running until it wouldn,t start at all. I have substituted coils wires plugs distributor rotor and cap but it will not start. Any suggestions??
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