1993 Geo Metro Reviews - Page 7 of 15

1993 Geo Metro Base 1.0 3 cylinder TBI from North America

Year of manufacture1993
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.0 3 cylinder TBI Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired255000 kilometres
Most recent distance257500 kilometres
Previous carBuick Skylark

Summary:

CHEAP

Faults:

Wheel bearings. $28 at Canadian Tire for inner and outer bearings.

Rear right door won't open.

Front right window doesn't roll down properly, but can still be used.

Gearshift linkage badly worn, makes it hard to get in gear sometimes.

Engine worn out, despite being 'rebuilt' according to person who sold it to me.

Oilpan drainplug fell out while on highway, luckily I stopped before the motor seized up.

Handbrake doesn't work.

Brakes need adjustment.

General Comments:

Well, I bought this car about a month ago for $500 bucks. The guy I bought it from told me the motor had been rebuilt. I doubt that, as the cylinder head has at least 1 burnt valve, and a hell of a lot of cam noise. As a result, I am afraid to run the engine at higher RPM's, I don't want anything to blow apart. Despite the worn engine, I still get about 36 mpg around town, more on the highway. I'm in the market for a good head, anyone have one for sale?

The gearshifter's linkages or something are worn badly, it just flops around. I can still shift fine, but occasionally I have trouble getting it into 5th or reverse.

The body is a bit rusty, it's had some bodyfiller used on it.

Tiny little 12 inch tires don't offer very much roadholding ability, but hell, they're only 20 bucks at Walmart for the Ulysses KH.

Handbrake doesn't work at all. The guy I bought the car from told me he had it reinspected just prior to selling it, I am seriously led to believe that he may have bought the sticker illegally, due to the handbrake problem, and a obviously leaking rear shock that any good mechanic would have noticed.

Lots of squeaks and rattles, general noises. Annoying, but not detrimental.

My clutch pedal has too much play in it, leads me to believe the clutch itself may be worn.

This Metro, being the 4 door hatchback, has a fair amount of room inside. It can carry a lot of stuff in the back, providing the rear seat has been folded down first.

As I said earlier, my cylinder head is bad. I suspect a burnt valve. I've never changed a head on any car, but from what I hear, they can be changed in less than a day.

Despite all it's problems, I like this little car. It rides rough, but it's not too bad. This thing has one heck of a heater in it, that'll be a good thing come winter.

These cars are cheap in every sense of the word. They were cheaply made, despite the oddity all aluminum engine. Cheap to run, it gets great fuel mileage. Cheap to buy, you can get a good one for less than $1000. Cheap to insure, only a few hundred a year for me. Cheap to repair, parts are plentiful, repairs are surprisingly simple. Too bad the new Swift/Aveo aren't the same anymore.

Anyone want to chat about their Metro/Firefly/Swift or have any parts for sale? Email me jason.bright@gmail.com.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th August, 2004

1993 Geo Metro XFI 1.0 liter throttle body from North America

Year of manufacture1993
First year of ownership1993
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.0 liter throttle body Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10
Distance when acquired1 miles
Most recent distance164000 miles
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

I wish I could buy a new one like it

Faults:

Brakes need replacing every 36,000 to 48,000 miles. Something to do with GM buying part of Suzuki and telling them to make Suzuki brakes to GM's really cheap brake standards. "Lifetime" brakes last longer, but develop ABS style stopping patterns of slightly warped rotor after panic stops.

Driver's side door gasket tore and needed replacement at 120,000 miles.

Window regulator handles both needed replacement at 80,000 miles.

Distributor cap and rotor need replacement every 50,000 miles or so.

Spark plug wires need replacement at least every 60,000 miles. Best time to find your distributor cap/rotor needs replacement is right after a heavy rain, when the car stalls. Battery fails every 50,000 miles.

Car came with some kind of defect that made the front tires wear out too fast. That was corrected at around 150,000 miles when the drive shaft and CV joint were replaced. Now the only problem is to keep the tires at the same pressure so that it steers straight. Funny people at local oil change emporiums like to inflate the tires so the car pulls to one side.

General Comments:

What most Metro owners don't know is that the engine was designed for motorcycles and adapted for car use. That means the engine still puts out torque when revved up, and accelerating "to keep up with traffic" means really running the low gears the same way that an automatic transmission passing gear works: You ignore the upshift light on the dash and run fourth gear up to 45 or 50 mph, and corresponding increases for lower gear. It makes the car sound like a motorcycle, but it also drags out motorcycles. You want to give the engine time to cool down between drag racing it to keep up with traffic.

Actually, other reviewers claim the car works fine at low highway speeds in fourth gear, and I believe them.

It gets a rock-solid 42 miles per gallon in local driving, pedal to the metal or driving to conserve gas. All you need is a clean air filter and nonflat tires.

It starts beautifully in very cold weather, it has excellent traction on snow, especially with all-season tires that have a footprint.

The hatchback is a terrific idea. It allows the Metro XFI to carry all kinds of objects as though it were a van. By a strange coincidence, later models of the Metro lost the popout rear windows, just as Chrysler and other manufacturers introduced vans with exactly the same design of rear window.

The only question is why Suzuki/GM successively cheapened the car from one year to the next, then removed the economy engine, and finally stopped manufacturing it in North America. Considering how loyal Metro owners are, even to the downgraded later versions, it just doesn't make any kind of business sense. The car is still sold in Asia and parts of Europe that appreciate its economy of operation, reliability, and relative comfort and convenience.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 2004

24th Aug 2004, 09:38

I wrote the above review. To be accurate, the Metro starts just fine after a heavy rain, _except_ at the 50,000 mile mark when the distributor needs replacement.

30th Aug 2004, 15:19

Your warped rotor problem may be caused by overtightened wheel nuts. I read somewhere that the lugnuts on the Metro are only supposed to be torqued to 45 ft/lbs, most garages and tire shops equipment is set to 75 or 100ft/lbs. Keep that in mind next time you have your tires changed.

13th Aug 2006, 14:57

All cars and trucks that I know of, that I have worked on (which is a large number) call for a specific torque on the lug nuts. Use a torque wrench. The auto shops and tire shops do.

Average review marks: 7.7 / 10, based on 53 reviews