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Geo Metro Engine Questions



  • you better find a service manual for this one. if you make a mistake it could be very bad. the cams are real fussy as to there position. i removed the cams in my car to remove the head and after i discoverd the cylinders where a bit worn i just found a low mileage engine and repalce it. i was thinking hard about the cam replacment though, and i have the book. good luck. bp
  • Hello Metro - Geo- owners.
    Personally I'm really surprised about the posted questions about problems.
    The vehicle is really easy to diagnosed and fix, but most of the questioners - so call back yard mechanics - they do not have any experience to qualified to work on the cars. If you never work on cars, or your knowledge is limited, do not attempt to fix the problem, because you will create more problems that you can handle.
    Your explanation about problems i rising questions about the problem to focus on.
    One is asking question about the fuel problem, another guy is advising about dirty fuel tanks in gas stations. What is giving me conclusion - you must own gas station to keep clean fuel in the tank.
    Another guy is asking about electrical problem on the starter and lights on the dashboard - looks like he must replaced all wiring on the car, because he do not know where he can start to diagnose the problem. You do not know, that the fuse box also has ground? The starter switch can be check also? You can start the car with the ignition on and screwdriver ?
    What happen to the basics.
    You are not a doctor when you sick, you can't fix your problem with your poor knowledge. Asking questions and getting stupid answers - can cost you more than you can handle. Second, you will loose your "love" toward Geos Metro.
    The car do not "brake" easy. If you never work on cars - do not attempt to fix the "monster" with the kitchen knife and fork. You will creat more problems and you will hate this car.
    This email is only for those who thing the car is easy to fix just by asking questions.
  • Either you are a pissed off mechanic or you think that everyone should use one. :mad:

    To everyone else thanks for your Q&A and a place to share. I recently rebuilt a 96 engine and had an unusual failure. The engine started making noise like a loose bearing so I removed it and found the crank pulley bore very loose and moving on the crank. This explained the poor idle and acceleration. I have 93-96 models and cannot find a crank pulley in my area and as this is the only model with a crank sensor I am considering changing the engine management system to a pre-96 pcm. If this is what I want to do I will need a wiring schematic for both models with pin identification for both models. Any help with the pin id's would be apperciated. T
  • rblumerblume Posts: 3
    I found the same problem on my 95,---I was able to replace the key, and put loctite (intended for rotating shafts) and tighten the crank bolt (with semi-permanent thread loc) it smoothed the car right out, be sure to replace the crank seal as it will require heat to remove assy, in the future,,, I dont know if you will have luck installing an un-worn pully as this may be a common problem,, I gave up on the search when I realized the end of the crank had worn as well, hope this helps,, (apparently some people dont appreciate the satisfaction of the underdog repairing his own car)
  • itsolditsold Posts: 1
    77, ran and idled I checked cyl,compression.#3 cyl.1/2 compression.
    pulled head found exhaust#3 burnt.sent out for head job.they call to tell me the head not repairable.the cam is all worn and head where it ride(bearing surface on one end).so I got a used head for them to rebuild and that will be done...what I would like to know is the why it wore out?oil flow to head bad?If so,how would I check to make it now has flow ,or that the passage way for oil to the head are clear .can I blow air in the block up that way.the engine is still in the car. the intake
    exhaust,and head are removed .looking for Ideas,and or experiences here.thank you
  • wwurstwwurst Posts: 1
    my 1993 geo metro quit running with out any warning I towed it home and found no spark and no activity from fuel pump when fuel pump is turned on I replaced the distubtor, coil, igniter on fire wall,still no I replaced the ecu and still no spark or fuel pump activity I don't know what to try next I really need help here thanks
  • I recently bought a '93 3-cyl automatic, and in temperatures well below freezing, or otherwise intermittently, it runs strongest at part throttle, and sometimes the oxygen sensor warning comes on. Fuel economy is almost cut in half. I changed the plugs and wires, and oven-dried the coil.

    Testing on a warmer day, the economy was back, but I got another engine-warning. This time, it still felt good, and speeding up a bit helped. It has also been running considerably warmer than usual. I want to know if it will be reliable for a long trip this weekend.
  • I have the same symtoms on my 96. Why would a loose pulley cause bad idle and poor acceleration? Does it effect the timing ever so slightly? Have you resolved the problem? What do you think about the "loctite" method mentioned after your post?
  • buzz11buzz11 Posts: 4
    recently had to replace the head on my 98 geo. 2 burnt exh. vlvs. number 2 and 3. got it all back together and it was running pretty good as i was setting time and idle. i shut if off as it was getting late and came out the next day and the damn thing wont start. all ign. components are new as well as the fuel press. reg. kinda screwy but im thinkin it so obvious i cant find it. im not sure what pipeman was meaning but at one time i was ase certified.....35 yrs ago. got out of it so my knuckles would heal and never got back into it. anyway any ides why would be very helpful

    thank-you :confuse:
  • After owning the car for two weeks, had been running fine. Went out to start it and never fired once just cranked over. Took the air cleaner off and it was getting fuel when being cranked. Pulled spark plug wire. Put spark plug in wire and no spark. Checked spark at end of coil wire by taking it off of cap and putting it by the block. Had very good spark. Decided to pull cap to look. Was thinking possibly cracked cap. Cap and rotor not bad but changed anyway. Not expecting car to be any different; car fired right up and has been very dependable the last 2 weeks. Went out today and had same problem . Any ideas?
  • My suggestion is to give the car to me! LOL! And buy a new one! Purple and Geo Metro...I'm in love! Answer to question..depends on how faded and if it is peeling.
  • Have you pulled the timing belt cover and checked for a broken or slipped timing belt? Lots of cars when the belt goes will shut off fuel and spark to keep you from warping the valves!
  • suz13suz13 Posts: 10
    Ah ! One of the many wierd little quirky problems of the Geo Metro that I have had too, though I still love my Geo ! I thought the trunk/key problem was due to bad key copying but nah..I don't think so now because I've noticed other similar similar problems , like the driver window is hard to crank, the doors squeek like the beejeezus. I finally attacked the car with a can of W-D lubricant with the little straw connected to it. I hit all the door hinges, keyholes, & anywhere i could fit that little straw where I was suspecting trouble. And I redo it regularly now before the snow,rain,hail & wind dry it out ! I also check the engine oil avidly. My Geo's almost like a little old lady thats just needs lots of oil on her skin & in her insides to keep everything humming ! -- suz13
  • I think I have the same problem as you. Did you get any answers to your question? My motor is floating the valves when I try starting it. If or when I figure out my motor's problem I will let you know what caused the problem. Rebuilt heads, ran fine the first time, after that its a NO-GO.

    Thanks, WTSteve
  • havent had any responses. a talked to a guru that seems to think its more vacuum. maybe a hose. not sure but all looks ok. checked timing, t/v gaskets, etc. my luck is that it is so obvious......will look today.

    thanks, kendall :confuse:
  • steve

    had mine towed and the place called this am. said the intake is leaking causing a vac leak. im thinking i am about to get raped mmmmmm. they have to order the gasket and will call thursday. will keep you posted.

    kendall :sick:
  • sitronsitron Posts: 4
    I just rebuilt the engine on my 97 geo and it idles up and down a few minutes after I start it. We have changed out the computer and distributor and it still doesn't idle evenly. Also when we put the timing light on it and try and shut the puter down with the block it will not shut it down. Does anyone know what to try next? thanx in advance. Jeff
  • I just purchased a '94 metro w/ 1.0 engine. The seller just completed an engine swap. Car uses oil and engine light comes on for periods (mostly at higher rpm). Is this possibly a symptom associated w/ substituting a newer model engine in an older car without changing the oil pump and cam sensor?
  • masterbmasterb Posts: 1
    My 1997 Geo Metro LSI with 65000miles that dies on the freeway when you slow down/press on the brake going from 60MPH. An example would be slowing down from cruising speed to slow down for an off ramp or a slow driver. I have already checked the electrical system MANY times myself and at the dealer. Everything passes with flying colors. When it dies and you pull over the car usually will not start up right away, but after a few minutes and attempts to crank it over the car finally starts. In addition, there are no error codes or service engine lights showing. Any ideas of what the problem is?
  • some auto parts stores can look at bolt and tell you what size and will open a few to get it right or they can let you use theirs to fix it or find right size.
  • just remember to use the markings to align crankshaft and camshaft. you dont have to take out plug of first cylinder and stick something in to get top dead center. thats how a backyard mechanic broke mine. just line up the markings on the block with crank and cam shaft. the cam shaft will be in mid stroke so would be helpful to have another hold it in mid stroke so wont slip while you slip timing belt on. looked easy but i think you can do water pump without taking timing belt off and go all thru this crap. i miss my old 3 cyl.
  • i dont know anything about taking out camshafts but in book says if you line up all the markings on camshaft wheel and block and crankshaft and block, then will be at top dead. a backyard mechanic broke mine because he never worked on a geo metro before and he did old fashioned way.
  • maybe harmonic balancer? my crank shaft pulley came apart and was loose and when i found it, i turned the crank shaft without realizing it and mine cranked but didnt start until a few attempts later. maybe something loose.
  • sacdon1sacdon1 Posts: 2
    I'm reading the no-start is a fuel pump relay going bad. when you turn the ignition key to run position you should be hearing a humming sound, the fuel pump turning.
    try vibrating the relay with another person in the car with key in on position. the censis is the relay solder joints are breaking away from the metal posts.
  • sacdon1sacdon1 Posts: 2
    try changing the fuel pump relay with a relay from another circuit on the fuse box. this may answer your problem.
  • I've got a 96 metro when driven around 1000 miles you have to add 3 quarts. There is no smoke at the tailpipe. The engine when cold ticks loud and not as loud when it warms up. Should I shoot it or save it? I have no idea how much it would cost to have someone rebuild the engine. The check engine light is on...ran a test on it and it has a bad egr valve and O2 sensors....Other than that it starts right up and gets 37 miles a gallon.
  • ludipupludipup Posts: 1
    I have a 92 geo that I performed an engine swap on. The engine that I purchased appears to be an 89-90. The swap out went well, but after approximately 500 miles the car just died. I suspected the timing belt the way it died (I put a new one on before installing the replacement engine), but sure enough the teeth on the belt were gone (completely). I replaced the belt and tensioner (again) and approximately 500 miles later the same thing. I replaced again, just checked and the teeth are about half worn off of the leading edge. I do not claim to be an expert, but this is starting to get old. Any ideas or recommendations? thanks!
  • kuankuan Posts: 1
    fuel injection.
  • paulp5paulp5 Posts: 3
    Sorry I'm late. Just got here myself. I have a 98 metro, and your problem sounds like the front crank seal. It's kind of a bear to get to (remove lots of plastic, and timing belt etc.) But it's a 4 hour job any backyard mechanic can do with the right tools. Note: nothing special needed, just some sockets and the like. An impact wrench to loosen the cranknut is very helpful (they use locktight at the factory). I've done mine twice (260,000 miles) and they crack and leak from there. replace the timing belt while your at it and check the water pump for wobbles and looseness, replace if you suspect it's going to fail. This way you only have to get in there once every 60,000+ miles.

    I love my metro and now that gas has hit $4.00 a gallon, I love it even more!!!
  • paulp5paulp5 Posts: 3
    I've done my timing belt twice now, due for a third (260,000 miles), I've noticed that the idler is sensitive to adjustment tension. I know it has a spring on it, but there is a locking bolt (that doubles as a standoff for the timing belt cover), and I always run my engine prior to putting the tining belt cover back on. I've noticed that my belt will track differently, depending on the tension I place on it, when I adjust the tensioner. If I leave it too loose, it will slap and flop around, and could cause premature wear on the belt teeth, if I tighten it too tight, will will drive the belt to the edge of the timing gears, and start to wear the teeth at their edges. I reccomend that you try to run the engine with the timing belt cover off, and rev the motor, and watch the belt. See what it does, and adjust the tension, for the best tracking and belt behavior.
  • paulp5paulp5 Posts: 3
    my 98 metro has a engine check light and my OBDII reader is giving me a code of P1530, when translated is supposed to be "Ignition timing Adjustment Circuit". Any thoughts or experience with this code would be helpful. Other than the translation, I have not found any reference to what it could possibly be in terms of what the root cause of this code is. Engine runs fine, and all else seems well.
  • I have a Canadian built 94' Geo Metro TBI 2dr HB. It dropped a valve while driving on interstate a couple years ago. I finally got around to buying a Japanese long block off ebay for it. Got everything buttoned up and now I don't have spark to the plugs. I have cleaned all the grounds and replaced the dist. cap, rotor, plugs, and plug wires. I have also made new battery cables (heavy duty cables too lol). Could this problem be from a bad coil or ECM? I tested the coil with a test light. I don't have a voltmeter. It has power going to the coil, just don't know how much though. I don't want to buy an ECM just yet because it may not be the problem. It has an automatic trans and throttle body if that makes any difference. I need to get this thing back on the road quick! Gas keeps going up and it seems there is no end in sight. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

  • dano84dano84 Posts: 2
    You might check the relation of the shape of the belt teeth to the crank and cam gear teeth. Some years ( mostly later 94 or 95 on up) had a slightly different shape this will shorten the life of your belt. Hope this helps. Dan
  • gennsgenns Posts: 1
    Dear Dan,

    I'm having the same problem on my 98. Did you get any help and if so, would you please share!

  • latinasolatinaso Posts: 1
    I've got a strong gaseous smell coming from the exhaust of my Geo Metro 1994.
  • rmoconnrmoconn Posts: 1
    So I've had some problems with my '97 Geo Metro starting. It seems to have trouble starting if it gets cold. I took it to a mechanic and they said that I had a leaky PCV valve. They replaced it, and since then, it seems to be working a bit better. But it still chokes a lot before starting. I'm wondering if there could be another problem. I recently put a new battery in there also, so hopefully that's not the problem.
  • My service engine soon light comes on, when the car is idling is remains on steady, but once i get going it starts to blink. The owners manual states thtat a blinking light indicates an ignition problem. I changed cap,rotor, plugs and wires. and still the problem persists. I also have lack of power when taking off or up hills. any suggestions? anybody?
  • I owned a 1997 GEO Metro and the same thing happened. I replaced just about everything as well including the generator. turns out it was the battery cables were worn and had a loose connection. Once I replaced the battery cables the problem went away. don't know if that helps but that was it was on my car.
  • I just purchased a 93 Geo metro 3 cyl and had the engine rebuilt. The engine runs great except frequently, usually after topping a hill and starting downhill, the engine will cutout as if the fuel or ignition were suddenly cut off. Sometimes it only lasts for a second. Other times it lasts several seconds before it picks back up. It never does it while climbing a hill, only when the engine is unloaded. Any suggestions?
  • i have a 92 metro 4dr hatchback a/t and a 1.0L engine.I just put in a new engine and had the trans rebuilt everything on the engine is new the car ran great till i had the trans the car after it warms up idle rough and dies and wont start till it cools off completing the fan doesnt kick in till the car starts to over heat.what might be my problem
  • have a 2000 Metro with 135K on it. About two weeks ago, it would studder a little from idle then immediatly clear and run perfect. This happened a few times over a week. Then it was more frequent. Yesterday, it was constantly sputtered and backfire through intake and exhaust. The "service engine soon" light started flashing so I changed spark plugs (one was cracked). and the same thing happens. What could it be? I discconnected the injector wires (one at a time) but the difference sounded the same on all cylinders, so maybe ign. wires?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Sounds more like a bad distributor cap or rotor than anything else. I would only buy these parts from a NAPA parts store. There are some poor quality Metro caps and rotors out there; and NAPA is the one sure way to get a top quality ignition part.

    A bad plug wire is the second likely possibility.

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

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

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

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

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

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