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Chevrolet (Geo) Prizm



  • abigail1abigail1 Posts: 1
    Denniswade responded in this forum to someone and mentioned being able to get 150,000 to 200,000 on a Prizm.

    My '93 Prizm has 98,000 miles on it. I have been happy with it for the most part. Major repairs I can recall are replacing alternator, replacing brakes, replacing catalytic converter and muffler.

    I have been thinking seriously of purchasing either a '00 Prizm or a '00 Honda Civic. Since my Prizm is heading towards 100,000 miles, and since I rely on it very much for my job, not to mention many other areas of my life, I need a reliable car. I have been getting concerned that the Prizm might soon require additional and/or costly repairs, as it approaches 100,000 miles.

    Is this a good point at which to consider purchasing a new car? Or should I hang in there and see what happens? But then suppose something major and costly occurs?

    Also, my current Prizm has considerable body damage. Cosmetically, it is not a pretty car, due to this damage. And I think it is leaking oil. Otherwise, though, it seems to be okay.

    Any advice on whether this would be a good time to purchase a new car to replace this one?

    Many thanks.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    Why not just start saving your money? Just keep driving the car to however long it will last. When it does eventually develope a big problem, you have the option of either use the money you saved to fix it or just put that money down on a new car. Both Prizm and Civic are all over the place. You can go to the dealership and walk out with a car on the same day.
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    If your car has body damage, it won't be worth much as a trade-in anyway, so if your main concern is money, keep it until the wheels fall off. Just maintain the mechanicals well, since that's what gets you down the road.

    If and when you decide to buy a new car, keep the old one as a spare -- I've always had a back-up car, it comes in handy when I need to service mine or carry something i don't want to put in my new car. I even loan it to my friends from time to time. Back in Michigan, a lot of people have second cars they call "winter" cars, because you drive them after it's snowed, to keep the salt off your good car.
  • jashujashu Posts: 1
    I am getting a 1996 Geo Prizm Lsi (1.8 Litre engine, fully loaded with options like Automatic transmission, ABS, Power windows, power locks, keyless entry, rear defogger, alloy wheels, cruise control etc.) with ONLY 24000 miles and original owner. The owner paid $18775 for it and is not willing to go below $9000.

    It is in really excellent condition but I suspect the price is a bit high. After all, it is 1996 model!

    Should I really go for it?

    Will appreciate if you can throw up some options.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    The miles are very low. That's probably why the owner wants so much for it.

    Go to Edmund's used car section for 96 Geo Prizm, and use the "appraise" button on the bottom to see how much the car is worth. You can then show the number to the owner and try to strike a number between the trade-in and the retail price. Good luck.
  • flamanarflamanar Posts: 11
    Just found out some disconcerting news about my '99 prizm. First, the vibration problem I posted about a while back was due to a bad hub-bearing (at 12,000 miles???!!) and lack of tire rotation (the car was a rental purchased recently by myself). I've had a really annoying problem since I bought slows down and speeds up at around 45 MPH especially when going down a hill. Trying to maintain a constant speed between 45 and 50 MPH is impossible. I called a Chevy dealer yesterday to find out that it's a problem with the torque converter that Chevy is aware of...but won't fix because there aren't enough people complaining. Nice. Funny thing is, I owned a '73 Chevy Nova that was a 3spd auto and don't recall this problem. In fact, my Nova was the reason I went back to buying Chevy and especially the 3spd! Do yourself a favor and go with the 4spd auto.
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    The 3spd auto in the Corolla/Prizm is really not up to the task of freeway driving, especially on grades -- and it you have the A/C on, it's even worse. I'd trade the thing in a get one with a 4spd. You won't believe the difference. Other than that, it's a great car.
  • lmcclurelmcclure Posts: 1
    I am looking at a 1999 Prizm and have read enough to be concerned with the engine power of a 3 speed automatic. How do I know when looking at the car if it has the 3 speed or 4 speed transmission?
  • flamanarflamanar Posts: 11
    Now you tell me! Unfortunately I'll have to stick with the car for quite some time until I can afford to trade it in. As far as telling whether it's a 3 or 4 spd just by looking at it, look in the window of the car at the center console by the 'T' shifter. My car has the following settings for the shifter: [L],[2],[D], etc. Correct me anyone if I'm wrong, but a 4 spd auto should have in addition either a [3] between the [2] and [D], or another [D] with a box around it for overdrive. Can anyone confirm this??
  • liufeiliufei Posts: 201
    Not for the corolla/prizm. The shifter has the P,N,D,2,L settings in, but the 4spd has an overdrive button on the shifter while the 3spd doesnt.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    liufei is right on. a 4-spd automatic will have an "overdrive" button on the shifter, the 3 spd doesn't. It allows you to turn off the 4th gear and let the car behave as a 3 spd. But most people just leave it on at all times.
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    For merging into freeway traffic and shifting down for a curve, however. I use mine that way all the time. It's also handy for creeping along in commuter traffic because you get some engine braking, whereas with the overdrive you don't.
  • I bought a new LSi in 1996 and I have about 50K
    miles on it now and it hasn't given me a lick of
    trouble except for the knob on the temperature
    control busting off twice. (warranty covered)

    I REALLY like this car. I got the 5 speed manual
    with the 1.8L engine option--a combination that
    provides much more power than most people expect
    from a Geo. I drive in the mountains of Colorado
    with no problem at all, and the folding rear seats
    make it a breeze to throw snowboards and skis
    in the back. The alloy wheels give it a nice look
    too--sometimes I think of it as my "poor man's
    Audi A4."

    I'm thinking about a 2000 Celica GTS, but I can
    honestly say that I probably won't trade in the
    Prizm. It seems like it's going to last forever
    and I haven't exactly "gone easy" on it!

    Edmunds told me $8500 and I wouldn't sell it for
    a penny less. Great car.
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    for when you need to do scheduled maintenance on your GT-S, or take the dog to the beach!
  • lallylally Posts: 5
    I have a 2000 LSI with the 4 speed auto and the 1.8. The sticker said 37 on the highway, and I'm lucky to get 32mpg. I was wondering what everyone else is getting. The 93 LSI I traded in with 200,000 miles was getting 33mpg right up until the tranny went.
  • tr0sstr0ss Posts: 14
    Have a 96 Prizm with about 72K miles. I have never changed the front brakes. The brakes have never squeaked and seem to function OK. I did
    change the rear brakes at about 40K, but they
    told me at that time that the front ones were OK.
    Is this normal?

    Does anyone else have problems with adjusting the
    a/c vents to a position other than "all the way up" or "all the way down". They seem to have lost the friction that would keep it pointing at me.
  • I own a 91 Prism with 160,000 and love it. I recently bought a 95 Prism Lsi with 60,000 miles thinking that I'd bought a newer version of my beloved car. It is clunkier, heavier and not nearly as nimble on the road. It is no longer a fun drive.

    Only three days after bringing it home from the dealership it had a "problem". A couple days ago, I had it in reverse and when I put it in drive the engine cut out, when I put it back in park it STARTED ITSELF BACK UP! I also heard a metallic grinding noise. After three times of this it finally stayed running in drive and I drove it home. I made an appointment to get it fixed and when I drove it to the mechanic shop today it was fine. I was told that the only way to fix this problem is if the car was acting up when I brought it in. The mechanic had never heard of such a thing and said it wouldn't be possible to find anything with a computer diagnostic. The car is also very loud at about 65-70 mph, the whole thing shakes. Has anyone else had "phantom" problems with their 95 Prism? And did you find out what it was? I would hate to wait until the starter is completely wrecked to finally get it fixed.

    Thanks for your time.
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    I drive a 2000 Corolla with 4spd auto and get 30-32 mpg. I think my mileage is due partly to the wider, stickier tires (16" 45s), but you're still not gonna get the same mileage as with a 5spd manual.
  • ina_purina_pur Posts: 1
    Hi there!

    I am a foreigner who wants to buy a car. I am looking for something within the $4,000-5,000 price range, and I was able to find a 1995 Geo offered by the dealer for $4,750. It has 85,000 miles on it, though, I am not sure whether that's OK or not. (I'm used to kilomters(: ). It has AC, new tires, stereo, and other goodies. I would greatly appreciate any advice from any 1995 Geo owner or any other person knowledgeable about this specific brand. Please, HELP!!!

  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    Edmunds own site for used car prices. 85k is fine if the car has been properly maintained (I assume you're talking about a Geo Prizm?). If it's a Metro, watch out -- it's a throwaway car.
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