3rd Oct 2005, 10:52

Replaced the windshield on October 1st. Cost me $229+GST (again, Canadian dollars). When I got the quote the fellow told me the molding would probably have to be replaced (another $65), but afterwards he said the old windshield just popped right out without any problems. He could have replaced it to make extra money, but he didn't. I think that is pretty honest service.

Didn't get a chance to replace the brakes - it was raining and I don't have a garage. I'm hoping to get the brakes done soon. Right rear drum is starting to make some noise occasionally.

Had exhaust checked. I only need a new muffler and a section of pipe replaced. Apparently the Metro's muffler is somewhat specialized and costs $115. $182 for the entire job isn't too bad, but the parts costs in Canada seem really high compared to the US. I've found an entire replacement exhaust (from engine to tip including cat, resonator, and muffler) for $222.73 USD ($261 CAD) on a couple of parts websites. However shipping is around $250 CAD. Maybe one of these days I'll find a shipping deal and just get a whole new exhaust.

5th Oct 2005, 09:57

Further Update:

*Sigh* the joys of buying a used car. I've never shopped for a used car before - always purchased off family members previously so I knew what all the issues with the vehicle were.

I knew the rear struts were gone, but how are you supposed to know that the fronts are going to follow suit within two weeks? Front struts blew out sometime within the last few days - probably all the speed bumps in the local Rec Center parking lot. I guess they're not totally gone - car doesn't bounce too badly yet.

The car hasn't been a money pit by any means yet. I purchased it for $2,300 and I've only put $475 into it so far. I plan on purchasing an engine rebuild kit (mostly as a "just in case") and even with that I should only top out at $1,500. $3,800 for a used car that gets nearly 40 mpg is a good deal in my opinion.

11th Oct 2005, 08:59

And more updates:

Changed spark plugs and distributor cap - I have never had such an easy time changing spark plugs before. 20 minutes and it was done. Found out one of the original plugs was not properly torqued in place - could feel it turning as I was trying to get the wire off. Hopefully this will increase my gas mileage marginally. I'm really hoping to get a minimum of 42 mpg out of the car.

If anyone can give me ideas of things to check for to improve fuel economy it would be appreciated. New plugs, tire pressure is okay. I carry quite a few tools around, but they don't weigh any more than an extra person in the car would.

Attempted to change front struts this weekend. Ended up with a sore back and a snapped bolt - plus a bolt that simply wouldn't unscrew more than a 1/16". The broken stud is in there so securely that I just left it for now and didn't bother changing the struts. Put all the nuts back on and it's perfectly safe to drive. I'll do it next weekend I guess.

11th Oct 2005, 13:57

Don't feel too bad about your purchase, it is a good car.

I just bought a 97 Metro with 262,000 km on the clock, and had to redo the entire front end to both sides.

Rebuilt CV axles, hub bearing and seals (you will need a 20 ton press to get that bearing out, hammer will not cut it, neither will heating it up work, too much wear and tear), new ball joint with lower control arm, new roll bar link to control arm, new rotors and pads, new CV axle seals in transaxle, new radiator and hoses, plus some minor tuneup and all filter changes (air, fuel, oil).

But the big one I encountered on both sides of the car no less, was having to address the rust in the lower control arm support structure. You know, the structure the lower control arm and roll bar is bolted to. All rusted through and through.

Had to rebuild and weld it from scratch, with new heavier sheet metal. The previous owner removed the inner splash guards and forgot to replace them, leaving some holes open for salt/saltwater to enter and bugger it up.

Well it is all tidied up now and much stronger than when new. You won't see me by the road with my front wheel twisted and ripped out from underneath me, like some poor Honda SOBs you see in and around the highways of Toronto.

Oh, if you're looking for some cheap 1.0 litre engine parts, contact Richard of Longrun Imports in Trenton http://www.longrun.com. He has some very good deals.

11th Oct 2005, 16:48

I really don't feel bad about my purchase. I don't think I could have bought a better car for the money - even with all the repairs the car is saving me money compared to the cost of running my Aerostar around ($80 to fill every 450 km!).

I wanted a car that was easy to work on and - most importantly - it had to get over 40 mpg (which I am getting on the highway - up to 39.5 mpg in town before the new plugs went in).

It's definitely not a sports car, but it's economical and strictly mine - my wife doesn't care if I tinker with it. She's the type who believes everything should be treated like china - keep it pretty and new looking and try not to use it too often. I'm the type who beats the hell out of everything I own and fixes it when it breaks... until it simply can't be fixed anymore.

As I said, I'm really happy with my car. Maybe I could have checked it out a little more when I bought it, but I probably would have gone ahead with it anyway.

24th Oct 2005, 11:36

One Further Update:

Finally completed the front struts. Took forever to drill out that broken bolt. It was one hitch after another.

Anyway, car drives great now. Getting 41.7 mpg (65/35 cty/hwy driving)! I think I'm going to look for another Swift clone to fix up for my son to drive when he gets his license.

21st Feb 2006, 08:15

Kudos on your purchase working out for you. I don't doubt it for a minute, I'd take a metro over an Aerostar any day. You got to expect you have to spend a couple of bucks on a used car and it's still always cheaper than a newer car.

21st Feb 2006, 19:06

I wish I could find a decent 5 speed Geo around here that's not rediciously overpriced. There was one in the paper a bit over a month ago, it was a 93 I think. They wanted something like $2800 bucks for it! Ludicrous! I had a 93 4 door hatch Geo with the 5 speed and I loved it. I kick myself in the arse so damn hard everytime the gas price goes up for selling it. At time time I sold it, I wasn't working and I needed a hood, driver's side front fender, some rear brake work, one rear shock, and either a cylinder hear or an entire motor, and I just got fed up with it. See, I have a slight mental condition that affects my train of thought from a motorcycle accident 15 years ago. For WAY less than the cost of purchasing my next car, I could have fixed up my Geo. I figure 300 bucks in parts from a junkyard would have brought it right back up to snuff. A local junkyard only wanted $100 bucks for a running motor! Hell, 100 bucks is less than 2 tanks of gas for my current car, a 93 Crown Vic. Damn price gougers, if there was a reasonable priced 5 speed Geo, I'd be ALL over it.