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Geo Metro Engine Questions



  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    The first thing that I would test for is compression, Geo"s are known for burning valves, and blowing head gaskets. Because you dont know anything about this Eng. yet; test the compression first! so that you first know the condition of it. The idle control air valve could be stuck open, the fuel pressure could be low, etc..... If I where to guess! Sounds like the Air Valve, or EGR valve is stuck open to me; A vacuem hose could be off. also check to make sure that all ECM ground wires are bolted to the Eng. this is important for installation of eng. there are 2 that attach at the lower rear of intake, and most likely one also bolts to the firewall. All ground wires linked to the ECM are bolt on pig tales that come out of the wiring harness.
  • thanks for the suggestions! i will check the grounds, im pretty sure about the two under the tbi i put a new headgasket on this motor and im 100% sure about the timing. The car is not throwing ne codes but i will check the other items u mention. thaks again
  • kaseywkaseyw Posts: 1
    The check engine light in my car came on, went to auto zone to have them read it. It said 'System running too rich bank 1'. I haven't noticed any problems in driving my car, it's running the same as it always does. The only difference is my gas mileage has gotten worse. What could it be? Obviously it's saying that it's running too rich, so would I notice any problems besides my gas mileage issues? Any suggestions on what it could be? Help me! I know nothing about cars and I want to have a general idea of what it could be before I take it into a shop and possibly get ripped off. Thanks for any help anyone can give!!
  • I am selling my 97' metro just had it tuned up new wires new plugs new ignition coil
    new muffler. new battery. 1.3l 4 cyl. 4 door sedan tires are decent.
  • If it didnt give a tps code or map sensor code with that description its a good chance of a bad O2 sensor computer is compensating for this and sending too much fuel.
  • Fuel isnt getting to the engine. If I pour fuel into the engine it will run, but it isnt getting fuel from the pump to the engine. I have change the fuel filter. When I turn on the key I do not hear the fuel pump kick on. However, I dont know if the Fuel relay fuse is bad or the pump itself. Is there a way of testing the relay before replacing the pump? I want the pump replacement to be my last resort. Is there a mechanism that will switch the pump off in an accident? I had a minor front end damage when this began happening.
  • I took my 99 metro 1.3 4cyl to get the timing belt done and now it won't start, so I have replaced the ECM, Head gasket, head bolts,Cam shaft sensor and thermostat. It still won't start after reading a few comments we just got it to start but it is sucking oil into the intake so shut it off and tried to restart... won't turn over. What is going on? Any ideas?
  • These engines seem very temperamental. I still haven't figured mine out yet and it sounds like you've gone through the exact same thing I have with no real success. All I can offer is check your spark to make sure you're getting a good strong light for several engine cycles on all cylinders - not just the first crank. My engine is not getting sustained spark and I haven't trace it to any specific component yet. The engine analyzer is worthless as it doesn't even show an error code. I'm troubled however, with the oil getting into the air passage on your engine. Sounds like severe blow-by through the valves, could be caused by a valve either sucked into the cylinder (happens very often with the funky valve keepers in the 1.3L 16v slightly misaligned at installation), or a badly burned valve and worn valve guides. If your engine won't physically turn over (locked) don't force it - that will cause even more damage - especially if you have pieces of valve in the cylinder. Check your catalytic converter replacement schedule - once again these engines are prone to catalytic converter collapse with overuse, causing backpressure and overheating in the exhaust valves and eventually burning the exhaust valve(s) and dropping compression. School of hard knocks speaking loudly here. :(
  • metroguymetroguy Posts: 2
    I have a 1999 Chevy Metro LSI (130K miles) with a 4 cylinder engine and a 5-speed transmission. I have experienced a similar problem to what you have described when the weather was cold. Typically, I start and drive the car for a few miles and when I stop at a stop light, the engine starts misfiring (sputtering) when I begin to accelerate. I have discovered that when this happens, I will find water droplets on the spark plug boots down inside the valve cover. If I wipe the water off, the problem all-but disappears after driving a short distance. It doesn't seem to happen when the weather is warm. My only guess so far is that the water droplets are caused by condensation in the spark plug bores, but I have no idea why. I have replaced the spark plugs (which all had very wide gaps) and considered replacing the spark plug wires. But when the weather warms up, the problem pretty well disappears. I am curious if there is a technical service bulletin about condensation inside the spark plug bores???
  • I dont know if you will see this, but did you ever solve the problem with your Geo? I am having the same problem.
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    I checked for TSB’s for you, there are none for that that symptom. The only thing that I can think of that would cause this is the spark plug boot must be leaking at the top and is letting air get in and condensing. I would try OEM wires for that specific vehicle this should fix the problem. Most likely you live in an aria that has a lot of moisture at times and need a set of factory OEM wires; they can be purchased at any auto parts store for about 25% more then the cheep ones. From my knowledge of cars over 40 years I have seen some strange things, one of witch is that aluminum engines and or aluminum parts on engines that have pockets of trapped air, at times have a tendency to condensate moisture and cause problems; as in, under the valve cover! I am not sure why this happens at times with aluminum. It is possible that your engine temperature is to low and needs a thermostat; or for the most part you only use this car for short runs in turn the engine never reaches a high enough temp long enough to burn off the accumulated moisture and the trouble compounds its self. The same thing can happen to an exhaust system on a car. Old people sometimes only get 500 miles out of a new muffler with in 2 years it rusts and falls off of the car, and they cant figure out why. Also by the way! (if you do not know this already) and you suspect that your engines thermostat is not bringing your engine up to normal operating temperature; then you should replace it immediately. I hope that some of this info will help. Zen..
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    I think that it is one of two things T.P.S. has a dead spot in it. Or the fuel pressure regulator is bad. You did not state what engine size that you have so I can not give to you the Specs. on your fuel pressure so that you can test it. The fuel pressure regulator runs off of vacuum when you hit the gas with your foot the throttle body opens up, in turn you lose vacuum and it builds more fuel pressure! When you let off the gas, you build vacuum, but lose fuel pressure because it is not needed as much. Do a fuel pressure test running at an idle only, I think that you will find the problem is there. If you have to replace that regulator make sure that the new one tests out within Specs. of its upper limits; because if it goes over, it can make that GEO never give that good MPG again, and know one will ever know why! Zenden
  • metroguymetroguy Posts: 2
    Thanks for the input on the possible cause of condensation on the spark plug boots and for checking for TSB's. I will replace the plug wires and see what happens. The weather will probably stay warm from now on, so I may not be able to fully determine if the new wires truly solve the problem or not, but at 130K, it was about due for some new wires anyway. I know aluminum conducts heat much better than steel or cast iron, so that might have something to do the tendency to promote condensation, but this one has really been a puzzler...
  • popeolepopeole Posts: 1
    Every time I step on the gas or release the gas(while driving) just a hair she bucks and at a fresh stop she will rev. then drop and do this for a minute or two till she finds herself(has a high idle throughout driving). The clutch grabs when it's almost all the way out but has been like that for two years(doesn't seem to slip). No problems on accel. or decel. Anyone able to help?, Thanks.
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    Most likely cause in this order.
    Check For: 1st, Vacuum leeks (all hoses) first listen closely for a vacuum leek near the intake, ( to test,Pinch hoses with pliers to block off air flow; then listen for the engin to slow down to an idle; because air leaks of any type will make the idle high) And maybe replace or checkthe PCV valve it is only $3.00
    2. Idle speed control solenoid (ISC) located in, Upper rear of throttle body it has 2 wires clipped to it, most likely, a white and blue wire, and a red and white one. There is a good chance that the ISC is bad if there were no bad vacuum hoses found.
    . 3. EGR Valve may not be holding, take it off and try to blow through it, if you can, then clean it out by chipping away the carbon until it seals; if you cant get it to seal then buy a new one.
    I hope that this helps you to get started in the right direction! I have limited time to help, so off to work I go! Zenden
  • bobkat2bobkat2 Posts: 6
    When cold car cranks and cranks but won't start. Starts fine after being driven for a while. Has new plugs, cap, rotor and wires. If I take wire off solenoid on the right side of the throttle body (facing the engine) it will eventually start and chug and chug and finally run OK. I have to immediately plug the wire back in to keep it running. Won't idle, have to constantly feather throttle to keep it running. Runs fine when warmed up. Gets very poor mileage seems to be flooding.
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    What year and what eng. is it; AT or manual Trans? And if you can tell me how many wires and what colors are the wires on that clip that are going to that actuator on the throttle body, they may have stripes on them, I need the colors of the stripes also. I will answer ASAP; tonight or by 1 PM Friday then going out of town.
  • bobkat2bobkat2 Posts: 6
    thanks for the help. There are two wires. One is green with a black stripe and the other is white with a gray stripe. The unit is beneath the air cleaner and mounts horizontally into the throttle body.
    The vehicle is a 1993 with a 1.0 liter 3 cylinder engine. It has a 5 sp. standard transmission.
    It problem happened before a few months ago and if I let the car sit for a day or two it would start right up. I have also checked the timing and compression. The compression was a bit low on one cylinder but I don't think that would explain how it will start if I unhook that valve temporarily. It almost has to be flooding while it sits for a period of time. Right now I have to leave work every two hours and run the car for a short period of time or it will not start when I get off work at 1 am. It is about 45 degrees out right now.
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    Code 15 must be present (ECT coolant temp) is to high, to test for that go under the dash to the left side above the drivers left foot is the fuse box; on the fuse box there is a protruding blank it is on the forward right corner of where all the fuses are located. With the key shut off, insert a spare fuse in that slot. Then turn the key on, watch for the check engine light to flash code 15 if this happens, remove that fuse that you put in shut key off and replace that coolant sensor that you have been unplugging to get started every morning. Your engine thinks that you are running very hot and that there is no need for extra gas to get started when it gets cold outside. You must be getting great gas mileage with that bad sensor. I always get 64 MPG at 58 MPH. Hope that this helps! I have the same car that you do. Keep in touch, let me know how it goes, I will be back on line on Tuesday. Zenden
  • bobkat2bobkat2 Posts: 6
    Zenden, what you say sounds logical except that I am getting terrible mileage, about 20 MPG. Is there a way to check that sensor. Also the car won't idle even when it is warmed up which makes me think that it's not that sensor. Any ideas? thanks, Bob.
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    First did you test for codes by inserting a fuse? This will tell us pertinent info to proceed. So in order to proceed you will need to test for codes you wont hurt anything on the system. Then report the code to me.
    Because there are other components on the throttle body with similar colored wires, I need to know where this component with the clip is located. On the throttle body with the air breather cover removed and standing in front of the car; looking at it from above, the Temp. Sensor would be in the rear of the throttle body with the wires plugging into it from the driver side. Are we talking about the same component? If not please state the exact location.
  • bobkat2bobkat2 Posts: 6
    Thanks again for the help. I will get the codes tomorrow. I didn't think they would be of much help because I have plugged and unplugged so many devices. I will reset the check engine light codes and run it to see if any new codes appear. I read that you can reset the light by removing the tail lamp fuse but I don't know which fuse that is.
    It sounds like you are talking about the same sensor. It is toward the back of the t/b but screws in horizontally from right to left as you face the engine from the front of the car. Is it possible to post an image on this board?
  • bobkat2bobkat2 Posts: 6
    I went out today at about 2:30 pm and the car started pretty good. It chugged a little bit before it ran good. I took the negative battery cable off for about a minute and then checked the engine codes and it read 12. I started it again and shut it off and checked the code again and it still just read 12.
  • bobkat2bobkat2 Posts: 6
    Zenden, thanks for the reply. I got your email but didn't realize that you had left that little message about how it was too much info to post here. I thought that maybe you were still gone or something. It's late Friday night now so if you let me know a good time to call I will try to call then if you still want me to. Thanks again, Bob.
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    I have to work tomorrow and it is to late now so call me tomorrow any time, then we will set up a time to go over it in depth, after work. It is very difficult if not imposable to diagnose cars in a forum.
  • I recently purchased a 1989 metro, it runs fine...sputters a little at takeoff sometimes but idles high, i've read posts about the TPS throttle position sensor and wonder if that is the usual suspect, i have only been getting about 34mpg this low? the territory i drive is fairly undulating and requires some downshifting at freeway speeds....any help would be appreciated...
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    To know what your gas mileage should be and to help diagnose it is need to know, how many cylinders, and dose it have stick shift, with or without AC.
    The spit and sputter can be caused by a TBS, but not the high idle. A high idle is usually caused by a vacuum leek; this is what I would be looking for first; most likely there is too much air coming in from somewhere! It could also cause that spit and sputter, it would also cause a lot of extra gas consumption.
    Many things can be a cause of to much air; sticking Throttle bodies, a bad PCV valve, a blown head gasket, (Yes! with out having any other symptoms of a blown head gasket) As in! Oil in the water; water in the oil; water coming out the exhaust pipe, or flames shooting out of the head gasket, and or over heat problems. It could have a bad intake gasket, bad idle control valve, a bad A/C idle control motor that’s sticking, some one could have adjusted the factory set idle to compensate for a primary problem in the past, there could be carbon built up around the throttle body, the Idle control valve could be sticking from carbon build, or it could be bad, this would be a good possibility. All of these things are possible and must be part of the process of elimination when diagnosing.
    First closely listen with your ear for an air leek while the engine is idling; If you don’t here one, then replace the PCV valve, if the trouble is still there do a vacuum test with the idle as low as specified, if the vacuum is still low find the leak it will becoming from somewhere. The 1989 GEO metro 3 Cyl. 5spd with a full tank of gas with no passengers on a flat road at 55 MPH will produce over 60 MPG. City driving could give you up to 47 MPG. If you are equipped with an automatic Trans you will never produce that much efficiency. I hope that I have helped you in some way, it is very difficult to diagnose on line, if not impossible at times
  • Hello and thank you for some tips...the car is a 3 cylinder with 5 speed and no a/c, i will check these and report my findings....thank you
  • car will start just fine and run until the engine gets warm then car will die and not start until engine is COLD. Any ideas why?
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    need more info, sounds like EGR related, Run OBD test!
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