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Geo Metro Engine Questions



  • depattdepatt Posts: 6
    Problems that come and go with no logical pattern are often electrical connections. I had a bad connection to my fuel pump under the rear seat. Intermittently it would cause the engine to barely run, spit and sputter. After the car cooled off, everything was fine again.The connector was fine most of the time, but when it got hot a poor connection was only making good enough connection to keep the engine barely running. I pushed the connector together tighter and all my problems went away. If I had mounted a fuel pressure gage where I could see it while driving, I'm sure I would have seen the fuel pressure drop low when the problem occurred.
  • depattdepatt Posts: 6
    I think I found the problem. The connections to the fuel pump under the back seat was loose. The problem would go and come with no logical pattern. I've got 150 miles gone by with no problems. Thanks for the help guys, Nobody hit the problem on the head, but you gave me enough courage to keep looking.
  • jmar6jmar6 Posts: 3
    edited November 2010
    I recently purchased a 91 metro 3cyl 5speed no a/c. I guess it ran ok. I did the usuall tune up plug,wires, cap, rotor,fuel and air filter. It ran a little better. So I started to dig into it further,o2, cts, tps and found 2 things kind of odd. I cannot find the EGR valve and the voltage to the tps is just under 5.....0 at idle...then just under 5 off idle. Voltage should sweep gradually from about 0.5v to 5v, right? To me that sounded like too much. So I replaced the tps. Installed acording to the chiltons spec. Still the same. Just like the old one. I am estimating that my milage will be around 20mpg. Power does not seem to be lacking, a little boggy at take off then runs fine. Just crap milage! Currently 140mi with a quarter tank left. Any help?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    The TPS is different on manual transmission cars than on automatic transmission cars. The linear response you expect is only found on the automatic transmission vehicle's TPS. Manual transmission TPSs switch suddenly just off idle; exactly like yours does. There is a second switching point at about 7/8 throttle, which richens the mixture.

    The EGR valve is normally mounted on the rear of the intake manifold runner for # 3 cylinder; close to the throttle body. Here's a link to a photo: ( If there is no valve there; but you can see a block off plate on the manifold; then someone has removed the valve. If there is no block off plate on the manifold; then the engine you have was originally intended for a non-US application; or else is a mixture of US and non US spec parts. Such a motor will never run properly; because there is no computer that is calibrated for use without an EGR valve.

    Whether or not you locate or install an EGR valve, I would strongly recommend running a compression test on all cylinders. The normal compression pressure on this motor is 195psi. The minimum allowable pressure in any cylinder is 165 psi. If any cylinder pressure is below the minimum limit; the motor will not be capable of producing good fuel economy, regardless of adjustments.

    Other things which make this motor impossible to tune properly are the use of an unsuitable spark plug. NGKs just do not run well in Metros. The only plugs that run well in these motors are Champion # 322 (RN11YC4), Bosch Super Plus # 7907, Bosch Platinum # 4219, Autolite # 63 or # AP63, or AC Delco Rapidfire # 4. The plug gap should be checked before installation and adjusted to .041" if necessary.

    If the compression is within the above specs; and the recommended plugs are being used; disconnect both vacuum advance diaphragms on the distributor, plug the hoses, and check the ignition timing with a strobe light at idle. It should be set to 6 degrees BTDC at <850 RPM idle speed. Check both vacuum advance units to make sure they do not leak or bleed down when a vacuum is applied. Check the centrifugal advance mechanism by turning the rotor counterclockwise by hand to make sure it moves through the entire range of travel without binding; and springs back to the retarded position when it is released.

    If all the above items are correct, and the mileage is still that poor; the fuel injector is probably leaking at the seals. Rock Auto has an exchange process for reconditioning Metro injectors.
  • jmar6jmar6 Posts: 3
    I will check compression in the next couple of days. And will look for a block offplate for EGR. I know what one looks like and it is not there. I did put NGK plugs in, will change back to the bosch that I took out, they did not look bad. The car also has new exhaust from manifold, cat, muffler. I will keep you posted.
  • jmar6jmar6 Posts: 3
    Checked the compression today and holy sh_t!!! My guage must be wrong...100 on all three. I do not belive that for a second... I am used to driving with hp under my foot and this 1600lb, 3cyl, 5sp has enough hp to cruise @ 70 with little pedal and then some. There is no block off for the EGR. It just does not have one.still @ 22mpg is better than my 460 gets so I guess I can not [non-permissible content removed]. Run it until it blows, then run it over with my truck with the 460. All the componets test out whith-in spec, but it still idle hunts....anymore input?
  • depattdepatt Posts: 6
    edited November 2010
    I have a possible solution. Good news is it's free and easy to try.

    I had a similar problem that drove me nuts. After driving 10-20 miles without a problem I would suddenly lose power and was barely able to keep it going. Drop the car in neutral and it reved up fine. Put it in drive and it would spit-sputter, and barely run. It felt like I was running out of gas, when I knew the tank was full. Under the back seat (inside the car) there is a connector that goes to the fuel pump. A bad connection here is like shutting on and off the fuel pump (or down the road maybe just low fuel pressure as it makes and breaks) After the connection cools down and makes a good connection again the car is miraculously cured til you hit a bump or the connector heats up again.

    Connecting a fuel pressure gauge in line and taping it to the window where you can see it will pinpoint or eliminate fuel pressure problems. But for the connector, just clean or replace it and make sure you have a solid connection.

    BTW...low gas pressure may not produce any computer code.
  • If you connect a fuel gauge in line and tape it to the windshield so you can watch it as you drive, you can pinpoint or eliminate fuel supply problems. I had a bad connection to the fuel pump under the back seat that drove me nuts. The problem would go an come with no rime or reason. Felt like I was running out of gas with a full tank. Drop it into neutral and the motor reved up fine. Back into drive and it would spit and sputter and barely run.
  • trocatroca Posts: 3
    Owned '98 1.0 5 spd car for 8 years, 130K, problem just started. Will start and run normal when cold for about 5 minutes, then dies, no fuel from injector. After cold start all functions are normal. Have checked out TPS-engine wouldn't run for first 5 minutes throughout range if it was bad, movement looks normal on analyzer, injector measures about .8 ohms, resistor about 2.2 ohms, fuel pressure goes to 21-22 psi with igition, holds, pressure is constant at about 20psi at idle and running and maintains as engine dies. Once it dies, won't restart, no fuel from injector, gauge still will show good fuel pressure with ignition. Good spark at all times. If let alone to totally cool off, will repeat cycle again with perfect start and run for first 5 minutes. Any ideas?
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    when no start; Check for injector pulse with a noid light, You can get a free rental of one at Autozone
  • trocatroca Posts: 3
    Thanks for the reply, Zenden. I'll check for injector pulse tonight, also other basics loose wire, grounds, relays, etc. If no signal to injector when engine dies suspect ECU? No codes showed at any time through this "cycle" as we were hooked up to the OBD port and watching the whole time.
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    I assume that your car has no AC unit that helps control the idle? if so; I would test injector with a noid light first. If the injector signal is fine. It could be EGR sticking open after it worms up: that is if that car has an EGR; or the Idle Control Air Valve ( IAC ) As the eng warms up it is suppose to idle down the eng. If it closing to far it will stall out; take it out and clean the hole out where the pintle seats also clean the pintle. Do not turn the key on when the IAC valve is unbolted and plugged in. It will over extend and come apart; and good luck trying to put it back together again. Sounds like EGR or IAC to me! When the eng. is running good, ( in this order )shut it off then unplug the IAC Valve, then restart eng; see if that fixes the problem, if so clean or replace the IAC
    NOTE: If this car has an air conditioning unit the defroster runs off of AC unit and will affect IAC Valve
  • trocatroca Posts: 3
    Well, in usual fashion I went through more of the basics last night and after swapping relays, checking and cleaning the wiring connections under the rear seat, cleaning and checking the ground connections the car started and ran fine at idle for 45 minutes, never died so I never got to check the injector (although if it's running, the inj is working). Now thoroughly warm I took the car out and it ran great. Came back, had something to eat and then took all the test equip off and put it back together and went out and drove it hard for an hour and absolutely no problem. I am getting a better picture, however, as when this problem first surfaced, I had started the car and driven off with no warm up, as I usually do. Even after it seemed fine i noticed what seemed to be a stumble in that short off cold idle but not yet fully warm area and that may be where the problem lies. Normally I'd get much more into the details of this but the car will be scrapped in spring because of rust in the subframe even though it runs great. I'm just looking for 4 months out of it and it appears that if I let it warm up (gauge at normal warm position, takes maybe 7-8 minutes), all is well. Drove it to work, 25 miles freeway, today no issues. EGR moves easily (but don't know if it is actually sealing) and have thought about IAC. No A/C on this car. So for now, I'm learning how to make things work and may look at a few more components as I have time. Thanks for the input.
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    Sounds like you fixed it. On my GEO I had a bad wire connection under the back seat one time also; it was doing the same thing as yours. All cars need gas and spark to run. When turning the ignition switch to the on position, cars with electric fuel pumps will activate pump for the first initial 2 to 5 seconds then shut off automatically. When first diagnosing you can hear the pump run thru the tank fill whole, or under the car with your ear to the tank.
    By the way I have a manual trans. in my stock 94 GEO Metro LSI 1.0L, I never average less then 63 MPG at a steady 59MPH on a flat road with regular gas. Avg city is 47. You may not want to junk your car in the spring time because of rust. If it is the frame that is rusting near where the left front control arm bolts on you could sand blast and weld a patch to it before it brakes.
  • i have a 1991 geo metro, we have put a 1996 motor in the car, but we ended up putting the distributor from the 1991, but there is no vacuum hoses and there is no place on the intake for vacuum, what do we do? help!!
  • I have a 94 Metro and it will not start. Its on the verge of starting. It looks like the Crank Shaft sprocket is bad, but I was told by the dealer that they never go bad and that it is another problem connected to the crank. Do you have any ideas?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Starting problems come from either low compression (which will happen suddenly if the timing belt slips or breaks), or from lack of fuel or too much fuel being injected into the motor, or from weak ignition.

    The professional way to sort out these possibilities is to first buy or borrow a compression gauge, or pay someone to check the compression in all cylinders. On the Metro; it should be at least 160 psi (normal compression is 195 psi). If any cylinder pressure is below that figure; the motor will not start or run reliably. Low compression in all cylinders often indicates the timing belt has slipped out of position.

    If the compression is good, look at the spark plugs. The electrodes which project into the motor should be clean and dry. If they are wet or the porcelain insulators are black; the plug will not be able to ignite the incoming fuel. The electrode gap should be .040" (1.0 mm). If the gap is significantly larger than that; the motor will be liable to not start. Install a new set of spark plugs if there is any doubt about their condition. I recommend Autolite # 63 plugs (use #5503 on motors with 5/8" hex plugs).

    Distributor caps and rotors will keep the motor from starting if they become too dirty on either the inside or outside surface. Spark plug cables must have less than 1,000 ohms resistance per inch of length. The battery voltage should not drop below 10 volts while the starter is cranking (if you don't have access to a meter; turn the headlights on, and watch the lights while trying to start the motor). If the lights dim substantially or go out when you run the starter, the battery is too weak to start the motor effectively. This can come from an old or worn out battery; or from an alternator that is not properly charging the battery when the motor runs.

    If there seems to be no problem with the compression or ignition; remove the air cleaner lid, and spray a two second burst of engine starting fluid into the throttle body air inlet while the throttle butterfly is held partly open. Then release the accelerator, quickly put the lid back on the air filter housing, and try to start the motor. It it starts and then stalls; the engine is not getting enough fuel. This may be caused by a clogged fuel filter, by the car being out of gas; or by a bad fuel pump or fuel pump relay.
  • NEVER SPRAY A 2 SECOND SHOT OF STARTING FLUID(EITHER) INTO A MOTOR! You will bend the piston rods if it fires. You should never use more than 1/2 second shots at a time while some one else is cranking the engine over. If the car does not start begine by trouble shooting the ignition system first. What gives you the impression the crank sproket is bad?
  • zendenzenden Posts: 62
    edited February 2011
    These pullys dont where out, but they do crack when over tightening the lower belt pully bolts also they will become damaged by the front crank shaft bolt being to loose. Many times the front crankshaft bolt will fall out or brake off when driving these cars, in turn the Wood drift key will brake and you will jump timing. You can tell this by: When turning over the eng. watch for the lower pully to wobble. Any wobble or lose crank bolt is a sign; and will most likly be the reason for the keway to have become broken. In this case you will need a new wood drift key and a new or used lower timing pully. NOTE: When testing timing; Never turn any engine counter clockwise; it will jump timing, In fact at times when an eng backfires it can easly jump timming.
  • I have a 3cyl 5 speed that has stalled out and I can't get it to start. new fuel pump, distributor rotor and cap, plugs. my compression is now at 90/60/60, obviously too low. the timing belt is new, and is set on normal specs, but I'm using a deltacam economy camshaft grind... not sure what adjustment I may need to make here... any ideas?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    This engine can never run with compression that low. Normal compression is 195, and minimum allowable compression is 160. If it has been running up until now and nothing else has been changed except the timing belt; then either the rings and/or valves have become worn to the point that they don't seal adequately anymore. Or, if it ran well before you changed the timing belt, and the engine is not excessively worn; this means the timing belt was not set properly (even though you believe it is). If that cam is a regrind; it may have been ground on a different centerline than the stock cam. In that case; you'll have to determine the proper cam indexing by splitting the valve overlap.

    The way to split the overlap is to remove the valve cover, and turn the crankshaft until the nose of both lobes for #1 cylinder are pointing upward. Then, using a caliper or a dial indicator; carefully rotate the crankshaft small amounts in either direction until both the intake and exhaust valve for #1 cylinder are opened an equal distance. You may need to reference the amount the valves are open against a fixed object; or lay a straightedge across the flange on top of the head and measure from that. Once you have determined the crankshaft position where both valves are open equally; look at the timing notch on the pulley, and read the mark on the timing cover degree scale that the pulley notch lines up with. That is the mark which should be used for setting the crankshaft position where the marks on the cam sprocket line up with the flange on the top of the head. The timing belt should be installed in that position. If the mark is way off the stock position (which I expect it will be) please check to see whether the woodruff key that locates the crank pulley on the crankshaft has been left out or sheared off. If that key was overlooked or improperly aligned when the pulley was installed; it would throw the marks way off and make it impossible to set the cam timing.
  • thanks for the breakdown...

    if the car was running though, and drove a bit (not a ton) on the new cam as is, would that have happened if it was that far off? Just seems like I would have never had it running in the first place if that was the issue.
  • race003race003 Posts: 2
    I have a 99 geo metro that came to me barely running.It started once when I had to move it. It was hard to start, had no throttle response until it warmed up.The next time I got in it it wouldnt start. I pushed it in the shop replaced plugs wires timing belt.It cranked but was hard to start , never would accelerate. 180,000 on the car never had any work done to it.My next step I replaced the fuel pump.After to replacing the fuel pump I lost spark no fire except as the key is released from the crank position.The crank sensor was oil soaked from the seal on the crank I replaced the seal when I replaced the timing belt and replaced the crank sensor. I have voltage to the coils with the key on and a good ground no spark.I have yet to locate the ingition module,where is it hidden on this car?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    I assumed that you replaced the timing belt since the time it last ran. If that is indeed the sequence of events; then it is likely the cam is now not timed properly (even though the marks appear to have been correctly lined up) This means that either there was an error made in lining up the marks; or the woodruff key on the crank pulley sheared off when the pulley was reinstalled, so now the timing marks are not reading the true crankshaft position. The other possibility, which I mentioned in my previous post, is that the stock marks may not be the proper place to time it with the new cam. If that is the case; you'll have to ignore the marks and set the cam position by splitting the intake and exhaust valve overlap (as I previously explained).

    Whatever the cause; it is futile to try to make the engine run with such terrible compression. If your gauge is correct, and the low compression is not the result of the cam being out of time; then it is caused by burned valves and/or worn piston rings. If that is the case; the compression may have finally dropped below the level which was necessary for the motor to be able to start at all.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    The ignition module is a small black plastic box with two mounting bolts and a three terminal electrical plug on the side. It is probably mounted on the firewall, near the ignition coil. Here's a link to a photo of that module ( These modules are one of the most reliable parts on the car; so I really doubt that it would be worth replacing it without first proving it is defective.

    But some very worthwhile tests you could run are to measure the voltage at the positive primary terminal of the ignition coil WHILE THE STARTER IS RUNNING. Testing the voltage at the coil when the motor is stopped will not give you meaningful information; because there is essentially no current flowing through the coil primary when the crankshaft is not turning. (The module automatically shuts the coil current off when it does not receive trigger signals from the crank position sensor). A defective camshaft position sensor will also shut the spark down.

    If you find that the 12 V supply voltage at the high side of the coil drops way off when the starter runs; this means that there is a resistive connection in the ignition switch or the battery cables; or the battery is too weak to start the motor.

    If the voltage remains unchanged at the coil during cranking; then the module is probably not receiving a trigger signal. You can create a known good trigger signal by momentarily connecting a 1 1/2 volt flashlight battery to the two wires that go to the crank position sensor while the ignition key is in the on position. The flashlight battery polarity may need to be reversed to create a good spark. If this test creates consistent sparks from the coil; then the coil is not receiving a signal from the crank position sensor. The clearance between the crank sensor and the trigger wheel is very critical. I have heard of people who replaced the oil pan gasket with a thicker one; and found that it shut down the crank sensor (because the thicker gasket moved the sensor further away from the crankshaft).
  • race003race003 Posts: 2
    I got back to your post late zaken , thank you for the info I will run the tests tomorrow.
  • geo26geo26 Posts: 1
    96 Geo Metro with 174,000 miles cranks but won't start when it rains.
    Facility tested battery - great
    Facility replaced starter Saturday - it rained Monday and would not start. Today it rained and again won't start. In between it did not rain and started.
  • have a 95 geo that will not start, will not even click the cylinoid battery at 12.89 V, fuel pump comes on every time, lights are intermitant may or may not come on or work, then when the key is turned to start it looses all power every thing gos off, all fuses and relays are good, hope some one can help .
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    These symptoms are a classic sign that the battery posts and the inside of the cable clamps need cleaning. It is also important that the ground cable is connected to a bolt that threads directly into the engine (NOT into a bracket) and that there is a second ground wire running from the battery negative terminal to a bolt in the inner fender. If the second ground cable is missing; it will be necessary to buy or fabricate one and install it. After cleaning the battery posts and cable connectors; the cables should be reinstalled and the clamps tightened until they cannot be moved by hand.
  • bsmall1bsmall1 Posts: 2
    I am replacing a head gasket on a 2000 chevy metro i need head,intake,and cam bolt specs and tighting orders if anyone has them that would be great.
  • bsmall1bsmall1 Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 chevy metro 1.3 it is getting oil in the radiator and smokes white smoke. Engine runs good when cold small amount white smoke when cold when warms up lots of white smoke.No coolant in oil. So i was sure must be head gasket so pulled the head looks like coolant burning in the two cylinders closest to trans. I checked head gasket and i do not see any bad places . could head gasket still be bad or maybe something else what do you think
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,338
    Well it certainly seems that the gasket MUST be leaking somewhere, even if it passes the eyeball test. Since you know which two cylinders look like the problem spot, I'd start looking closely there.

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  • bad injector
  • tvmogultvmogul Posts: 5
    98, Metro, 1.0 liter hatchback, 123,000 miles, Standard 5-speed.

    Vehicle generally seems to start fine on most occasions, but intermittently it simply refuses to start - and when it does finally start everything's fine.

    On one occasion, while vehicle was in motion, CHECK ENGINE light popped on and vehicle died. Coasted to a lot, waited and after several attempts, it started and everything seemed fine.

    I assumed it was starving for gas, but pumping the pedal seems to do nothing.

    It seems electrical but I honestly don't know.

    Replaced ignition module - still same issue. Any ideas?
  • jordysjordys Posts: 3
    edited June 2011
    I also check the coil in a other car and it work, got the distributor and went to a professional and check it and with the same results, i got a diagram of the car and trase every one of the wiring, and every one is ok, there is some thing call the igniter, con you please tell me were is located, I have a thing that it may be the one, thanks for you time..........
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Pumping the gas pedal on a fuel injected car like yours serves no purpose; as it does not squirt gas into the motor like it used to do on carburetor equipped cars.

    The problem you describe most likely comes from a either a defective crankshaft position sensor or a defective camshaft position sensor. Both of these sensors send signals to the computer about when to produce sparks and trigger the fuel injector. They are known to fail; and when they go out; the motor either stops, or will not start.

    There is one potentially complicating factor here; if the oil pan gasket has been replaced with one which is thicker than the original part, it will increase the distance between the crankshaft position sensor and its trigger source. That can prevent the engine from starting. But if the oil pan gasket was not changed around the time this problem began; then just replace those two sensors. I would change the crankshaft position sensor first. If that doesn't solve the problem; then change the camshaft position sensor.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    The igniter is in different locations on different model cars. Since you responded to a post about someone else's car; I have no way of knowing what model or year car you have. There also may be other parts that you don't know about. So please click the "reply" button and post the vehicle year, model, engine and transmission type that you have. Please also tell me whether the motor stopped while driving; or whether it ran well the last time you used it but now just will not start. Thank you for your cooperation.
  • jordysjordys Posts: 3
    to zaken1 thanks for you`re help, some how my massage, iit didn`t got completed true, the problem is, i got a weak spark in my geo metro 93, i have changed the coil, distributor cap, rotor, and a new batery, and i have check the distributor with another vehicle and got a big spark, i also got check the cmp, and is ok i feel that i`m in a dark room please advise........
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Thank for the follow up. There are several possible reasons why your spark may be weaker than it should be. But we need to be clear about what you really mean when you say you "have a weak spark." Did you actually check the spark by disconnecting the coil wire from the distributor cap, and holding the end of that wire close to the engine block??? If you did check it directly; what was it that told you the spark was weak? Was it the color; or was it the maximum distance the spark would jump; or was it the sound it made? Or are you saying the "spark is weak" because the engine is hard to start or hesitates when you try to accelerate? Hard starting or hesitation could come from a hundred different things which have nothing to do with the strength of the spark.

    So in order to not waste my time or yours; we need to use words that we both understand. You said you had the "cmp" checked. Sorry; but "cmp" could mean compression, or it could mean computer. And I can't read your mind or guess accurately. So, please don't use abbreviations. If you meant that the compression was checked, and it was "OK," do you mean that the person who checked it told you it was OK, or do you mean that you saw the numbers and they were all within 15 pounds of each other? Again; I'm sorry, but this level of information doesn't mean diddly squat to me. Both of those answers would FAIL a compression test!!! Here's why: Most mechanics do not know that the normal compression on a Geo Metro is much higher than the normal compression on other brands of cars. So if they check the compression and find it is between 140 and 150 (which would be good on most other cars); they say it is OK. BUT THAT IS DEAD WRONG; the NORMAL compression on a Metro is 195psi; and the LOWEST allowable compression is 165. If the mechanic gets readings that are all within 15 pounds of each other; they say it is OK; but if ANY of those readings is below 165; that fails the compression test.

    If you installed the wrong type of coil; that could have caused it. There are several very different types of coils; which all basically look the same. If you bought the coil new at a parts store; the parts person may still have sold you the wrong coil. The coil that matches your car should look like the one in the following link: ( If the coil you now have does not look like the one in the photo; you have the wrong coil.

    If the spark plug cables on your car have aged and developed too much resistance; this would make the spark weak. This applies to the coil wire as well as the plug wires. Did you check the plug wire resistance; or have you installed new wires?

    If the spark plugs in your car are fouled, or worn, or are the wrong type, or the gap is set too wide; that would also make the car hard to start and hesitate. But most people can not tell the difference between a worn plug and a good plug, and an improperly gapped plug by looking at it.

    I'm sorry to be hard on you in this way. I realize there probably is a language difficulty here, and that you may be dealing with ignorant mechanics. But I still cannot help you unless you give me clear, accurate, and complete information.
  • jordysjordys Posts: 3
    thanks, I`m but I think is the only way,..............the compression test where 150 psi in every one of the 3 cyl, and the mechanic is me , jajaajajajajaja but I didn`t know the range of the geo was more than all the others cars, in this afternoon, i got the opportunity of having and other similar car , but two years newer and i chek the quality of the spark and there is no douth abouth it, my spark I can hear it , but can`t see it, and in the other car I can actualy see it, and I did unplug the wired from the top of the distributor cap, and like you said, I put it to the engine block, and check the distance, and the color, and in the distance it was less than 1 cc, and the color was blue but not like the one, I have tried, plus with the compression test I have noticed, that my car fail the test, because what you said, tomorrow I`ll put some oil in every cyl, to get a better compression, and maybe that way I can getted started, I`m very pleased with you help......................thanks very much............JORDY ;)
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    I'm glad I was able to be of some help. Now that you've told me more about the car; I would like to suggest a few other things to do:

    1> Measure the resistance of all the plug wires. If any one of them has more than 25,000 ohms, or if you don't have an ohmmeter; replace the whole plug wire set. Make sure that the wire terminals are inserted all the way into the coil and the distributor cap sockets.

    2> Check to see that there are TWO ground wires coming from the battery negative terminal. One of those is the heavy ground cable that goes to the engine block. The other one is a smaller wire that goes from the negative battery terminal to a bolt in the fender near the battery. If the smaller ground wire is not there anymore; fabricate a new ground wire from a length of 12 gauge stranded wire, crimp some ring terminals on it, and connect it between the battery negative cable clamp bolt and a clean bolt in the fender.

    3> Check the BACK of the intake manifold, a little closer to the passenger side of the engine, to find the ground bolt where many wires are connected. This bolt must be clean and tight. If it is at all loose; or there is any sign of corrosion on it or the wires; take the bolt out and file all the surfaces of each wire connector until they are shiny. Also file the manifold surface and the underside of the bolt head. Put the bolt back in, and tighten it securely.

    4> There is also another grounding bolt on the firewall, close to the middle of the firewall, just above the ledge; where the small wire from the distributor body connects. If this wire has been removed; you must fabricate another one and install it there. #14 or 16 gauge wire will be OK for that one.

    5> Please replace the spark plugs with a set of Autolite #63, with the electrode gap set to .040" (1.0mm). DO NOT USE NGK PLUGS IN THIS MOTOR.

    6> I would also recommend replacing the fuel filter. It is underneath the car, on the driver's side, along the fuel line, in front of the fuel tank (just in front of the left rear wheel). The fuel filter is covered by a plate that is held on by 2 or 3 small bolts.

    7> If you have a voltmeter; measure the voltage across the battery terminals while the starter runs. It should be more than 10 volts while the starter is running. If it is lower than 10 volts; disconnect both battery cables and scrape the inside surface of the cable clamps with a round file or a battery cable service tool until they are shiny. Also clean the battery posts. Reinstall and tighten the battery cable clamps. If the voltage is still less than 10 volts while the starter cranks; charge the battery with a battery charger, or try a different battery.

    8> Once the battery voltage is greater than 10 volts while the starter runs; go to the ignition coil, and measure the voltage at the battery wire to the coil while the starter is running. All the wires should be connected to the coil when you measure the voltage. If the voltage is lower than 0.7 volts below the reading you got across the battery when the starter was running; the ignition switch should be replaced.

    9> Please bear in mind that the Metro ignition switch cannot be bypassed or Hot Wired. it must be connected normally for the spark to work properly.
  • I just purchased a 1997 Geo Metro and when I ran it through emissions it failed because the Check Engine Soon light is on but there were no codes listed to diagnose the problem. I've disconnected the battery cables to see if it would reset but that didn't work. The gas cap is on correctly and tightly. Any suggestions?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    The computer and check engine light cannot be reset on your car by disconnecting the battery; that only works on OBDI emission control systems (1995 and earlier models). Your OBDII vehicle must be reset with a code scanner that has the capability of clearing codes.
  • Took the Geo to AutoZone and their scan showed a code for the air temperature sensor. I purchased one but when I went to replace it I found that the existing one was not connected and I can't find the plug that it's supposed to connect to. The manual doesn't help any. Any clue as to where I can begin to look for this?
  • Please disregard previous message. Issue is resolved. The wires came out of the plug which was still attached to the air temp sensor. Thanks for the help.
  • I have the same exact problem. Every time it's wet, it doesn't fire or doesn't get gas, not sure which, but I suspect it's not firing as I don't hear it trying. As soon as it's dry, no problem, fires right up. Now, this is with the hood shut, no leaks in the seal, so it's not "flooding" with water, nor is it after it's driven, when you drive in the rain it keeps running, it's only a startup problem.
    Anyone have any ideas? Also a 1996 Geo but a Prizm, same engine, and about the same miles.
  • Hi Fellow Metro Owners,

    I bought a 1996 Geo Metro a couple of weeks ago. The body is rough but it runs great, I bought this for the gas mileage plus it looks like a fun car to drive. The headlights did not work but after scouring this forum, I found a bad connection at the fuse box and corrected it. My new problem after driving it to work a few days is the oil consumption. It uses a quart about every 75 miles. It has no visible leaks so it must be burning it. I checked compression and #1 has about 60 psi while #2 & 3 have about 120 psi. A squirt of oil in cylinder makes no difference. Cylinder 1 has a cloud shoots out when the engine is cranked with plugs out. I have concluded a bad valve in #1 cylinder but can't imagine why that would cause my oil problem.

    Any advice or hints would be greatly appreciated. I am fairly handy around cars and have done almost every repair to my vehicles but haven't done a valve job in more years than I can remember. I have gotten prices for valves and gaskets from local auto parts store but have to wonder if I am being soaked a little on price. The parts are adding up almost to what I paid for the car.

    Thanks for your time and expertise.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    The stock compression spec on the 3 cylinder Metro is 195 psi. The MINIMUM factory limit is 165 psi. When the highest 2 cylinders have 120 psi and the remaining cylinder has 60 psi and the engine consumes a quart of oil every 75 miles and shoots vapor out the plug opening when cranked; this is not caused by burned valves. That oil is either coming from a broken piston, stuck or broken rings, or a major gouge in the cylinder wall. There is a small chance the oil is coming from a crack or leak in the head gasket between an oil passage and that cylinder; but repeated experience has shown that when the compression is even and that low in two or more cylinders; the bottom end is shot. You need a whole new motor. Suzuki (who designed and built this car) is a genius at making engines which still run smoothly when the compression is out of specs; but the fuel economy of such a motor is terrible and the oil consumption has already been demonstrated.

    If you go through this forum; you'll find post after post with the same sad story: Someone bought a Metro without checking the compression; either because they thought it ran well (because they didn't know how strong a Metro that really runs properly will pull) or because it was cheap and they thought they could fix it up easily and inexpensively; or they may have checked the compression but had no idea of how much higher the pressure spec is on a Metro than on the cars they were familiar with. They then found they couldn't make it run consistently, or it only got 35 mpg while good running Metros get 55, or it burned all sorts of oil. So they wrote in looking for a cheap and easy fix. SORRY; there is no cheap or easy fix. You need a new motor.

    This often happens to Metros with relatively low miles on them; because these motors are far more sensitive to abuse such as switching between different brands of oil (which less efficient motors may not be visibly harmed by; but the highly tuned Metro motor will fall apart from) or adjusting the ignition timing without first disabling the electronic advance circuit (which will lead to burning the valves); or using the wrong spark plug (which can lead to detonation and piston damage).

    However; a Metro which has used the same brand and type of oil all its life, never had the ignition timing set improperly, never had the wrong spark plugs used it it, never was overheated, and was not run faster than 70 mph or run under excessive load for long periods, will last well over 200,000 miles and still have good compression.

    I drive a 1990 3 cylinder 5 speed with over 300,000 miles on it which has never needed any engine work, and runs better today than when I bought it 19 years ago. I use Castrol Syntec full synthetic oil in 5W-50 grade, change it every 7,500 miles, and along with the regular oil filter, also have an Amsoil bypass oil filter on it that filters out particles 1/10th the size that a regular filter will remove.

    On engines like this; this kind of picky maintenance makes all the difference.

    The best place to buy Metro parts is The best source for quality remanufactured engines is They are in Spokane, Washington, and ship engines all over the U.S. at very affordable prices. Their remanufactured engines come with a 7 year, 100,000 mile warranty. They sell for about $1,700.
  • 91geo91geo Posts: 1
    my car will start initially with the gas pedal all the way down,it stay on for about 3 minutes and if I release the gas pedal it will die . car will not start again after that until I try it again an hour or so later. once in a while it will accelerate and i can then take my foot off the gas and it will run normally. Can someone help?
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