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Geo Metro Engine Questions



  • I just got a 2000 Chev. Metro, 3 cyl. I limped home with it from the auction. The air filter bracket was reversed. Compression is 120 lb. It has a surging idle from 2 to 3000. Mechanic said to try replacing the idle motor, but it's still the same after I put in one from the junk yard. I sprayed carb cleaner to check for leaks. EGR valve is free and holding a vacuum. Car has 153,000, seems ok otherwise. It shows no engine codes.
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    a vacuem test would tell if you had multable burnt valves; it could be!! one because it has low compression; Metro 3 cyl engines are knowen for this! Are they all within 15% of each outher, over the total avrager?
  • Compression test was close to 120 on all three. I guess I'm still thinking of old VW's where that would be good compression.
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    I checked the specs. on your 2000 Metro 3 cyl Normal Compression : 199 PSI, minimum 156 PSI
  • pcthurmanpcthurman Posts: 1
    I am buying a 93 the engine is bad so I purchased a 90 model engine I see some different sensors on both can I drop it in or do I need to swap everything?????
  • mageomageo Posts: 3
    I recently purchased an 89 metro and it pretty much runs fine except when I try to travel in 5th gear. As soon as I reach the appropriate speed for 5th gear and try to put it in it seems to bog and starts to decelerate as if it's almost to high a gear, but I can't maintain speed or accelerate. I can leave it in 4th and climb up to 65 no problem. Could this be because of an EGR or PCV clog that effects the amount of load the car can push at 55pmh in that gear, or fuel filter?
  • mageomageo Posts: 3
    Hello, I saw your response and you seemed like you knew a thing or two about those metro's. I have an 89 and all seems to run fine except when traveling in 5th gear. I can run the car up to 65-70 in 4th no problem but when I try to shift to 5th it almost acts like it bogs and starts to decelerate, not maintaining speed or accelerating at all. What do you think the problem could be?

  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    It could be low vacume due to a clogged catalytic converter but then it would have a loss of power through the whole power range. How long has it been doing this? How long have you had it do you know the car; or GEO's and how they feel?; and is this problem getting worse? Is it possible that the tires are to tall for that car are they 12 inch tires on the car? Is it possible that it has the FXI trans in it, that would throw the speedo off and be making you go faster then what it shows; in turn putting an extra strain on the eng,
    It could be the fuel filter or pump; or the pump pressure regulator, it is under the air breather on top of the throttle body toward the front passengers side. it is round with about 3 screws. If the fuel pressure is low when under a load due to the regulater, you could replace for about $40. parts, or clean it out with spray cleaner; watch out most likely its spring loaded and a small ball check valve seated. Make sure that you seal it properly. If it where a fuel supply problem witch it sounds like it could be, then most likely when you are on the highway pulling a hill as it has that loss of power slows down if you where to put it to the floor and hold it then immediately down shift and hold it to the floor again , this would be the extreme test for the fuel supply system. The car will then fall flat on its face, chug and maybe even come to a stop due to lack of fuel pressure, or low fuel flow when needed; unless you where to let off of the gas to let the pressure build back up.
    If it where a cat clog, then it could be tested with a vacuum gage at idle; and if it where a cat clog then there would be a primary reason for the clog, like low eng temp as in bad thermostat( running to cold, low ignition timing; is many times the reason for the cat clog! all of this would be a symptom of bad MPG for a long time to clog it. Its hard to fix a car online so sorry for thinking out loud! but hopefully it is what you needed to give you some ideas that will help. Most people on here will try to fix there own or get pointed in the general direction, then speak to other mechanics about it. Ask away I will do my best when I can to help.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    I've never heard of the fuel pressure regulator on a Metro giving trouble. And the PCV valve and EGR valve would have a much greater effect on running at low speeds and in the lower gears than they would in 5th at high speed.

    I believe it is one of 5 possibilities: poor compression, excessive resistance in the plug wires, defective distributor cap or rotor, clogged fuel filter, or worn or unsuitable spark plugs.

    The compression pressure in the 3 cylinder Metro should be 195psi. If it is lower than 180psi in any cylinder; the engine cannot be made to perform properly.

    The spark plug wires should have no more than 1,000 ohms resistance for each inch of wire length. (They measure 500 ohms per inch of length when new.)

    The distributor cap can create problems if the carbon button in the center of the inside edge is missing or damaged. There also can be problems if the inside surface of the cap has any carbon tracks or lines on it; or if it is coated with dirt on either the inside or outside. It must be kept surgically clean. The same goes for the rotor.

    The fuel filter should be replaced, as it is the least commonly maintained item on that car; and is thus the most likely to need replacement. And it will have the greatest effect on running in 5th gear.

    Metro engines are astonishingly sensitive to spark plug brand and condition. Most people install NGK plugs in that engine; just because they are such a popular brand. But in the 17 years I have owned my 1990 Metro, and in the 30 plus years that I have been a diagnostic, fuel and electrical systems specialist; I have never seen a worse spark plug choice for the Metro than NGK plugs!!! In this car, I would recommend either Bosch # 7900 Super Plus (which is a fairly new part number, and may be difficult to locate), or Champion # 332 (RN7YC). The gap in these plugs should be set to .043". These plugs are slightly colder than the recommended ones; and my experience is that they work better, for that reason.
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    What you said sounds like good advice! As for the PCV and EGR comment that I made, that was in refrance to anouther post; Not this (5th grear struggle post). He could also check the resistance on the ignition coil.
  • 97 metro 3 cyl , 1.0 liter, is pinging at part to full throttle after it is warmed up. have not messed with timing at all. the car has 156,000 on it and when i did a compression test it came up as follows: #3 90psi; #2 120psi; #1 125psi; i'm gettin a cat efficiency below threshold code. i replaced plugs and wires and pcv valve. any ideas? i'm sure there's about a 1001 different problems as usual. lol. so throw me some ideas folks. haha.
  • mageomageo Posts: 3
    Thanks again for the help. I've only had the car for a few weeks, my first one. So I'm new to the machine. But really in every gear there seems to be a sweet spot for accelerating that I can't push past until the car matches in speed and RPM's. Once past the optimal running speed in that gear I can then floor it and have it accelerate. The exception is in the 5th gear. I thought well if the load is just to much for that speed I might be able to compensate by flooring it past the optimal speed to shift from 4th to 5th and then jump to 5th to have it be a better working speed. Doesn't work. I have added an oil additive and will see if that helps a little. If it does then I think it's safe to assume it's a compression problem and I'm SOL for a quick fix.
    The gas gauge doesn't work very well so I'm still waiting to see how far I can go on a tank till I add the fuel system cleaner and see how that changes things.

    P.S. all testing is done on level road highways.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    There is ONLY ONE problem which is behind this situation; your compression is WAY out of specs. With compression that low (assuming your gauge is not defective) there is no way on earth you'll ever make the engine run right. The minimum compression spec is over 150 PSI; and the original compression in that motor was 195 PSI. So it's time to bite the bullet, and at least overhaul the cylinder head; but it probably will require redoing the whole engine.

    What you describe as "pinging" seems to me to be very likely the sound of one or more broken piston skirts or broken rings.

    FYI; you can get a premium quality remanufactured engine for the Metro for an outrageously cheap price; from Hiperformer Engines in Spokane Washington. They have a 7 year, 100,000 mile warranty; and the last time I checked the price, it was about $1,300 plus shipping:
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    You know; what you just wrote rang a bell in my head: It sure sounds like your clutch pedal free play has all gone away; and the clutch is just beginning to slip. When this first happens, it will only be noticeable under the heaviest loads; and that would be in 5th gear. So try loosening the adjusting nut on the end of the clutch cable to give about 1 to 1.5 inches of free play at the clutch pedal when it is all the way up; and then tell me whether this clears up the problem!!!
  • drewkohlsdrewkohls Posts: 12
    I have an 89 metro 3 cylinder 5 speed and it ran pretty good when i first got it about a week ago. it has some exhaust issues such as a cat converter that has been poorly clamped into place by the P.O and a muffler that has been rusted out almost completely through the bottom of it and sounds like a fart can. It ran fine until i went and past a fellah doing 45 in a 55. It's a small 3 cylinder so i went and goosed it a little bit and after i got around him and got her into 5th it started to kinda sputter a little bit and hesitate. I thought maybe my cousin had moved one of my plug wires, i had stopped and checked everything out and it seemed fine, then it started to sound like i was running on 2 cylinders, i limped her home and started diagnostics on it. Compression reads, #1 120 psi, #2 15 psi, #3 120 psi. I put some oil in all cylinders and no improvements, so i burned some valves. Was it likely my exhaust that is the cause of this? or EGR valve? i'm new to these fuel miser's.
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    In my experience I have never heard of a valve burning out suddenly like that. I have seen a head gasket do that. It could be a valve is stuck open from a peace of carbon that may have broke loose when you goosed it; if this be the case then the small chunk of carbon would be stuck between the valve and its seat keeping it from sealing. Usually in a short period of time it would have broke lose by its self and then run fine again . To me it sounds like a peace of the spark plug may have broken off in the cylinder and broke or bent a valve, maybe even piston damage with it. Some times a piece of the porcelain in the spark plug can crack off and cause damage in there. To tell if it is a intake valve take the air breather off and the coil wire off; crack the throttle open just a hair and crank it over. If it is a intake valve you will hear it breathing back out of the throttle body pretty bad. You can do the same with the exhaust, but it will be harder for you to here the abnormal sound on your car because your exhaust system has leaks. If the exhaust was sealed tight and not leaking you could simply test a bad exhaust valve by putting a dollar bill up to the exhaust pipe it will keep sucking it up in the pipe and blowing it back out as it is idling. I hope some of these tips help. Maybe some one else has some better ideas, I would like to here them.

    OH! I see! You said 15 Lbs if this is a true reading then was the car pinging when you pushed on it , if so it could be a broken piston from pre detonation.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Take a look at the spark plug that came out of the cylinder that had low compression. If that plug is different in appearance from the other two plugs, or is obviously damaged; try replacing it. I would also measure the resistance of the plug wire for that cylinder (should be less than 1,000 ohms per inch of wire length) and check the rotor and the inside and outside surface of the distributor cap for cracks or carbon tracks.

    As Zenden said; sometimes carbon can become stuck underneath a valve. That is particularly likely if you goose an engine that has not been driven hard recently. So it might be worth running some liquid graphite through the air intake. But the normal compression for that engine is 195 psi; and the minimum allowable pressure is 155 psi; so it does seem obvious that the compression is WAY out of the ballpark.

    The only good solution for low compression is to overhaul the head, or the entire engine. The lowest price and highest quality remanufactured engines for Metros come from a place called Hiperformer Engines in Spokane, Washington. They have a 7 year, 100,000 mile warranty. This company does all the engines for NAPA stores; and has the lowest rate of warranty returns in the industry. They charge about $1,300 for a completely remanufactured 3 cylinder Metro motor, and can ship anywhere in the US at affordable rates:
  • drewkohlsdrewkohls Posts: 12
    I was going to run a flow test on it but i cant find the fitting. But I didn't hear any pinging or anything when i got on it. But the 15 psi is only when the engine is warmed up. I changed the plugs to be sure that they were all new and the troubled cylinder's old plug was completely fouled, carbon, oil and the center electrode was shrunk it seemed. I ran some valve medic through the oil and that helped the other two cylinders a smidge and now they are up to 130 or there about but the #2 is still at 15 warm. I dont and didn't hear any funny noises coming from the engine indicating any predetonation or a busted piston or piston skirt. and The car doesnt run hot at all though and there isnt any water in the oil or visa versa, so i don't think it could be a head gasket, i guess it's hard to tell sometimes because different cars react different ways. Actually, thinkin about it, it very well could be a head gasket. It wasn't pinging before this problem, and it runs a bit better when it's warm so when the head and block expands it would seal a smidge better. and the low compression on the #2 would cause the other 2 cylinders to lose compression also because it is in the middle of the 3 correct? I guess i won't know until i can do the flow test. I'll get to looking for that fitting i suppose. What do you guys think? You guys seem like you've had these cars for awhile. I love these things but they are just like Beetles and Corvairs, they have their personalities that you have to be in tune with or else basically. I love it lol. Thanks for your help fellahs.
  • drewkohlsdrewkohls Posts: 12
    Well, i am the one that has the issues with the compression on the #2 cylinder and i thought it was just hesitating. well. i thought i would try to find my flow test fitting but i cant, so i thought i would try to see if i can hear the air coming out of the throttle body while the car was running, so i took the air cleaner off, started the car and started to listen, all i heard was sucking, so i revved it up a smidge and then it backfired through the tbi while my ear was right close, that hurt lol. so on old cars, backfiring is usually because of bad timing or some other ignition source or poor carberation. is that the same? or is it just a valve? or is it there was too much fuel in the cylinder that wasnt yet combusted and then it popped from heat or what? im kinda stuck.
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    I will do my best to try to answer some of your questions, and give my input. As I stated before when listening in to the throttle body disconnect the coil wire first; at least I think that I stated that part; eather way, sorry about your ear! I don’t know what flow test your speaking of, or what kind of port you are looking for, I don’t claim to know it all, I have 3, 3cyl GEO’s I overhauled a few and love them all. have I have been a mechanic for 40 years and was rebuilding one today. With 15 lbs of compression it is time to take the head off! You will then find your problem unless you have a scope that you can put down inside of the spark plug hole to see the damage. Re building a GEO 3 Cyl is easy. You wont need to even take the engine out. Pull the head with the intake on it. Drop the oil pan. Unbolt the three rods push the pistons up out of the block. Send the head out to be rebuilt or I could walk you through it Maybe? Spend $85. for a head set. $75. For standard size rings, spend $9.00 for an oil pan gasket. That’s it. As easy as rebuilding a lawn mower engine.
  • drewkohlsdrewkohls Posts: 12
    i've got the rebuild part down for the most part but these could be different you know, its just the running part for these cars lol. I've had 3 beetles and 2 corvairs just in the last year, the body's were in great shape but they all had no motors or they were stuck so i can rebuild without a problem. I like projects and keep selling the cars to make a little profit and get another project. I'm stickin with the fuel miser this time though i think. The metro personality is what i'm not used to lol. When i was listening to the throttle body i had the car running, i had never done it that way before, i always used what i call a flow test. I couldnt find my fitting so i made another one, i take an old spark plug, take all the inerds out of it and then i take an air fitting and weld it into it and thread it into the plug hole of the desired cylinder when the cylinder is on its compression stroke and at tdc and turn the air on and listen and use some thin paper at the carb and exhaust to find the bad valve(s). anyways, I attempted to take the valve cover off of this beast today and it did not want to come off, is there some kind of trick, unless i am mistaken, there are only 4 nuts holding the valve cover on right? And i think i might just ask my neighbor tomorow to see if he has a scope, i have 2 mechanic shops less than a hundred yards away from me on either side, that can be a plus sometimes haha. Thanks again for any advice.
  • drewkohlsdrewkohls Posts: 12
    well, so it turns out, it was a burnt valve on the #2 cylinder. I still have only 150 psi on 2 of the 3 cylinders and 160 on the other. I think i will keep checkin and watching the compression on the engine and if it gets any lower then i'll just rebuild her. For the extra 35 dollars in a new top end gasket kit and 40 dollars or so for the bottom end gasket kid and then new rings at 20 bucks it's not bad at all. All the parts that i listed being from ebay anyways. New plugs and wires and it'll be just like new.
  • debjeandebjean Posts: 2
    This car has been a great car...but it's getting where it doesn't wanna get up and go....when I come to a stop and then mash the gas it goes real slow..I can even mash it to the floor and still won't hardly move...but finally and gradually it picks up you think this is the Catalytic converter or some thing more simple and less expensive???
  • drewkohlsdrewkohls Posts: 12
    i would say that it could be the catalytic converter but the only way to really find out is to cut the pipe and look in there.. well, the only way that i think is most accurate. then if it's ok then purchase adapters and muffler clamps and put it back together or just weld it if you have access.. Before you do anything drastic though, and probably the first thing you ought to do is to do a compression test and that could tell you everything you need to know. But if it is still within specs, between 150 and 195 psi then check the cat, then, if all that checks out then a tune up, could b weak spark but highly unlikely. just roll with the punches i reckon, keep us posted
  • 4_banger4_banger Posts: 2
    i have a 96 4 cyl. and i had the same problem. cut off my cat. converter and didn't help. ended up being the crank gear keyway broke. a new key and some jb weld took care of the issue. i know what it's like to try crossing the street with no get up and go
  • debjeandebjean Posts: 2
    was this exspensive? did you you fix it? and how did you do it? sorry..things have to be explained in detail for
  • pantharenpantharen Posts: 2
    Sometimes when I am sitting at a light. I release the clutch, and the car lurches and bucks like I am a new driver (I have been driving stick for 25 years). The air cleaner is new, The oil is due for a change, its got a new clutch (less than 5000 kilometres on the clutch). Weirdest thing today, I was sitting at a light on a steep hill, it went into first and bogged right down, no HP at all. For about an hour after that didn't matter if I was in 1st or 5th, I had no go juice at all.

    mine is a 1995 2dr with 300,000 kilometres
  • victorh61victorh61 Posts: 3
    I have a geo metro 3 cilynders1995, can l change my eeprom for another one with same serial code or no matter if It belongs to another geo metro 3 cilynders with a different serial code?
    B regards
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    I guess this depends on what you mean by "eeprom." The actual eprom chip is a part which plugs into a circuit board in the engine control computer. But what most people would mean by that term is the whole computer assembly. The computer assemblies are made in several different models; some of which were used on California emission spec cars; others used on federal emission spec cars; some were used on manual transmission vehicles; and others were used on automatic transmission vehicles. There was also a computer used on the XFI model; which was only made through 1994. This model was calibrated for maximum fuel economy. And the computer in the 1988 to 1991 base model Metro and the 1988 to 1990 LSI did not have electronic spark timing; so it would not be compatible with the later cars ignition systems.

    So if you want to find a computer which can be used to replace your 1995 model; it would have to be from a 3 cylinder car, with the same type of transmission as yours. It would be an even better match if it was also made for the same type of emission spec (either federal or California, or Canadian) I would also recommend not using a computer from a convertible in a sedan; or vice versa. Beyond that, most of the other differences would not be important.

    The same would apply if you just wanted to change the eprom chip; but I believe this chip is not removable; like it is in some larger American vehicles.
  • victorh61victorh61 Posts: 3
    Hi zaken 1
    Thank you for info..what eeprom means is engine control computer,and what I understand,according to what you said is that I can change my engine control computer keeping in mind the same characteristics: 3 cylinder, transmission and type of emission spec. Am I rigth?
    thanks for your help.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Yes, what you said is right; except for one thing. The name e-prom does not mean the engine contol computer. It is the name of one small part which is located inside that computer. The computer is called the EEC, for electronic engine control. EEPROM means electronic engine programmable unit. The eprom is the part that contains the instructions to tell the rest of the computer how to process the information it receives from all the vehicle's sensors. This part is also known as the "chip." It is the only part in the computer that can be programmed.
  • jrilljrill Posts: 2
    the timing gear on my 95 metro 1.3 L broke and I ordered a new one. the problem is that the engine has been replaced before I bought it and i guess the engine is diff. from the original. the new gear came and it only had four bolt holes for the belt pulley and the old one has five holes. does anyone out there know how to identify the year of my engine with the engine I.D. number??? Or do I have to keep ordering pulleys at 35 bucks a pop till I get the right one?? The dealers and junkyards are no help....
    :confuse: :confuse:
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Both the crankshaft timing belt sprocket and the camshaft timing belt sprocket (which are located underneath the timing cover) on the 1990 Metro 1.0 3 cyl engine are attached with just one bolt. But the crankshaft pulley for the fan, water pump, and alternator belt is attached with 4 bolts. So it sounds like you are referring to that pulley; rather than the timing sprocket. The number of bolts used on the pulley for the 1.0 liter 3 cyl engine may be different from those on the pulley for the 1.3 liter 4 cyl engine. So you may have been ordering the wrong pulley; or the clerk may have misunderstood your engine information.

    But if you have been ordering a pulley for the correct engine; my experience with these apparently incompatible part situations is that they frequently happen when Suzuki engines are used to replace Geo engines. Suzuki (who designed and built the Geo Metro for GM) also sold a very similar, but not identical car called the Suzuki Swift. The Swift was produced with several different engines which might have been installed as a replacement in your car. These were the G13B, which is an 8 valve, SOHC, 1.3 liter 4; that was used in Swifts from 1989-2001. The G13A was an engine of the same description that was used in Swifts from 1989-1997. There was also an SF310, which was a 1.0 liter 4, used in Swifts from 1990-1994. And there was an SJ413; which was a 1.3 liter 4 used in a car called the SJ413 in 1985. Those would be the most likely engines to have been transplanted into your Metro.

    Suzuki also made a car called the Forsa from 1985-1988, with an SA310 motor that was a 1.0 liter 4.

    Both Suzuki and Chevy dealers have exploded parts diagrams on microfiche, or on computer; which should include an image of the fan belt pulley for each model engine; that would show how many bolt holes it has. So you may have to personally go to the parts departments at those dealerships; in order to look at the microfiches. You could also make a trip to a local auto wrecker who has a 4 cylinder Geo or Chevy Metro to look at the pulley. It may be that the pulley used on engines with power steering or air conditioning has more bolt holes than the one used on cars without those accessories. And even if your engine does not have those accessories; they may have been on the car that the engine came from.
  • jrilljrill Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info. After several trips and phone calls I found a pulley at the dealer for a 96 Geo, the only diff. is that it has spokes on the back of the pulley for the crank sensor, my Eng. has a distributor and no sensor. After reading your info I looked over the engine and found a casting tag on the end of the head by the bell housing, It reads [G 13 B]. so it seams that I may have a swift engine. As far as the year of the engine I still have no clue. But all things said, at least I got the little thing going and it is running good again. Again, thanks for the info and help. :shades:
  • A few days ago my 98 Chevy Metro LSi 1.3l 4cyl 250k miles, drove fine to work but when I got off and tried to start it, it would run real rough and stall after a few minutes. After a few more starts it would seem a few minutes turned into 5-10 seconds, now it does not turn over. I borrowed a ODB II sensor from a friend and it read a P0335 code (crank position A circuit malfunction) so the next day I bought a new sensor and installed it, made sure the the teeth inside were fine. Everything seemed good so I crossed my fingers and went to start it.... With it having the same issue with no code due to dissconnecting the battery. Now I cant get it to run at idle to produce a new code. Spark plugs/wires are fairly new(I have spark), timing belt seemed fine, I know I have fuel in the tank, checked the fuses under the hood and under the dash. Any ideas what im looking for now? I have a feeling it has something to do with fuel delivery? Any help would be A+ in my book right now.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    This sounds to me like your timing belt has jumped out of position; but it looks fine because it is still physically intact. You can check this by turning the engine until the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley lines up with the 5 degree mark on the scale on the timing cover. Then remove the distributor cap and see where the tip of the rotor is pointing. The rotor should point DIRECTLY to either the cap terminal for the plug wire to number 1 cylinder or the wire to number 4 cylinder. If it points anywhere else; the timing belt has jumped, and must be replaced.
  • Well my dad said he checked the timing belt after I changed the crankshaft sensor but I will give it another look today when I get off work. Will update when I check it. Thank you zaken1 for replying.
  • joehujoehu Posts: 1
    Does anybody have a full diagram of the vacume and emmision hoses to a 1991 geo metro or maybe pictures of them within the engine compartment. I can't find any, even in repair manuals.
  • rjcurajrjcuraj Posts: 1
    Hello to all,
    I am new to this commmunity. I am looking at 1993 Geo Metro Convertible. I have never owner a Metro before but I like this car and the asking price is $1000. I would like to know what can I expect from a Metro? This on has had a new head gasket installed. I noticed the inside of the tail pipe is wet with what appears to be dirty oil. I am told it does run. And only needs some cosmestic issues repaired. I am will be going to check it tonight and will learn more when I start it up. I would be taking to my mechanic to have the compression checked, brakes, exhaust system and the electrical.
    Any thought on what else to look for would be appreciated.
    $1000. Seems to be a very good price??
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    If the head gasket was replaced without having a machine shop check the head to see if it was cracked or warped when the motor overheated; then there still may be coolant leaking into the cylinders. And that could be why the exhaust pipe is wet. (But it is also normal for the exhaust pipe to become wet when the engine is first started. However, it should dry out after a few miles of driving). So it would be a good idea to pressure check the cooling system; including seeing whether it holds pressure when the motor is running. It would also be a good idea to check whether the electric radiator fan comes on when the coolant temperature goes more than 3/4 of the way up on the gauge. The fan relay often goes out on those cars; which will lead to overheating and potential engine damage. And if you live in a state which requires an emission inspection on change of ownership; that emission test will tell you a lot about the condition of the engine. Incidentally, here in California, it is the seller's responsibility to pay for the smog test, and to make sure the car passes.

    Some of the other things that could be a problem on such a car are the amount of life left in the battery, the amount of wear left in the brakes, the condition of the tires, whether the clutch is slipping or needs adjustment, how much oil the car uses between changes (or whether the oil was even changed regularly). If the motor is in good condition, I would find out what brand and weight of oil the owner was using, and would make an effort to continue using the same oil brand and type. This can make a substantial difference in the length of the engine life.

    Also; many mechanics consider compression good if it is similar in all the cylinders. But on the Metro, it also has to be AT LEAST 170 psi in all cylinders.(Normal compression on that motor is 195 psi).

    The kind of service you'll get from such a car will depend greatly on its mechanical condition; and on the quality of maintenance and repair it has been given. Metro engines are extremely responsive to the way they are maintained. Neglect, abuse, or misadjust them; and they will fall apart. Keep them well tuned, treat them with respect; and they will be astonishingly trouble free and economical. If you get less than 38 mpg in city driving; or less than 50 mpg on long highway trips; the engine is not running right. But those figures are for a car with a 5 speed transmission. Metros with an automatic will get about 10 mpg less than those with a stick shift.
  • I have an 89 metro 3 cyl 5 speed and i rebuild the head and replaced the burnt valve and cleaned everything right up. the cylinder walls looked exceptional but the rings r bad. I only getting 145 psi give or take a few on all 3 cylinders. I know they need replaced. So since it is still summer and hot in indiana i stopped my excessive oil consumption by puttin some stp in the oil and whatever else it lost after i put in some 10w40 and it stopped burning oil. Now I know that it's not the greatest for these engines but i currently dont have the cash flow to rebuild it. Now getting further to my question, after i rebuilt the head, i ran a couple tanks through the car and then had to leave for maine for a month and i parked the car at my grandmothers house. I am certain that no one messed with anything on the car while i was away, but now the check engine light comes on periodically, and it only seems to be when im at slower speeds or downshifting to slow down. I am thinking a bad sensor because the car doesnt seem to run anydifferent when the light comes on. Where is the OBD 1 plug for these cars. i have the key for reading it but i do not know where to stick it. When i rebuild it i was going to replace most of the sensors but for the time being i want to make sure the car will make it until then. thanks to all
  • gentleman......just picked up a 89 LSI....I knew it had problems when I bought it,but it looked good and my 93 was having problems so for $800 what the hek.....
    anyway its been a real headache from day one!! itll start but doesnt sound right and make a familiar timing belt noise" ive heard that sound before" thiers also clicking coming from the head, when it 1st starts I can see smoke out the pipe
    heres the bad part>>>>>>>>>> Ill excellerate out of 1st and it wants to pop and fart then it dies like its not getting gas, well this BS has happened on the freeway 2-3 times and the car just dies!!!!! Ill wait a few minutes and itll start.....

    2 things are possible, ignition or fuel...just tinkering around havent been able to figure it out ............Ive replaced the plugs.rotor,cap and wires but nothing seems to simply runs rough!! BTW when I pulled the old plugs the elctrodes were eatin away and the plugs looked terrible!! they also had plug extentions on all 3.....I dont know why? the car also eats oil like thiers no tommorrw!! any ideas??
    the speedo reads 104K....or so it sez!? the clutch pedal isnt that worn down so it could be right, ...I belive it was not replaced
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    When the check engine light comes on under the conditions you listed; it almost always is caused by the "insufficient EGR" code. That can be triggered by too lean a fuel mixture, or too much spark advance, or intake or exhaust modifications, or a clogged or disconnected EGR valve; any of which can cause the motor to run at such a small throttle opening that the EGR valve does not receive enough of a vacuum signal; so it does not open as far as it normally would. If the compression is too low; it can also set that code. These engine will not tolerate changes from stock specs.

    The code readout is turned on by shorting two terminals in the fuse block under the dashboard; but it's been so long that I forgot where the terminals are. Sorry about that. It's in the service manual.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    It sounds like the reason they put extensions on the plugs was because they were fouling from all the oil the engine was burning. There is no way to tune out the consequences of low compression. So since that is probably the root of the problem here; run a compression check on all 3 cylinders. Stock compression on that motor is 195 psi. If any cylinder is below 170 psi; you'll never be able to make it run right without an overhaul.
  • I do not have an EGR valve though. Some 89 models didn't have them, when i rebuilt the head because i had a burnt exhaust valve i started to look for why the valve burnt. the first thing i looked to replace was the EGR valve and there was none. so i did some research. I believe the valve burnt because the catalytic converter was improperly installed by the previous owner. I believe the timing is supposed to be 6 degrees or something like that. I cant remember for sure but i can check within the week, do you remember what the timing specs are? also, This happened a day after my cousin installed a radio in the car, it previously did not have one and had the harness cut. Could something have shorted? because now the light has not come on at all in 2 days
  • is it possible to swap a 96 4 cylinder and drop it into a 98 with a 3 cylinder
  • I'm looking at buying a 93 metro but it has low compression in the third hole is this a burnt valve and how would I check this or does it just need a new motor
  • i had same problem new set of rings and stainless valves and it will last you a long time cost of my job 1000.00
  • I need to replace to 3 cylinder engine of my '95. Will a 3-cylinder and trany from a '92 drop right in or do I need to bring along the cv axles, hub-knuckle assemblies, and struts?
  • Bought the car a year ago and had to replace the fuel module to get it running, and it has been running strong, however occasionally the fuel pump will not come on and bring the fuel system to pressure when the ignition is turned on. The way i get around this is simply to turn the key back and fourth four or five times and eventually the pump will kick on. The pump corresponds with the check engine light. in other words when the pump is not working the check engine light will not come on before the car is started and when the pump does work the check engine light will come on and turn off as soon as the car started. this is what makes me think it is an ignition problem. possibley a switch somewhere? have any of you encountered this before? or at least what is your guess at what the problem is?
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