1st Oct 2002, 13:00

My Geo Prizm just had it's first new alternator installed. It is as 142000 miles. It died in town near a phone! My handles on the doors also have broken and my emergency brake doesn't work. Also it can get up to 400 miles for a full tank of gasoline! It has had it's fair share of good and bad times. Though I wish it had a little more get up and go it is and excellent little car!

11th Jun 2003, 13:13

My girlfriend owns a 93, and it has 135000 miles on it. Great little car if you want excellent gas mileage. The color of the car is emerald!!! Perfect vehicle for the beginning driver.

25th Jul 2003, 06:56

I have a 1990 Geo Prizm and all, but the drivers door interior door handles are broken. Gear shift is exposed, headliner is dead... The only reason I like my car is because it gets me where I need to go, but given a choice, I would have gotten a half-way decent car that doesn't break every time you touch something.

2nd Feb 2004, 11:07

My 1991 Prism has been pretty reliable. Like others, interior door handle on drivers' side broke in 2001. Replaced alternator at 150,000 miles. Replaced alternator again at 210,000 miles. Not bad, all in all, but I am surprised that my "new" alternator lasted only 60K miles, and I am surprised that this is common.

Otherwise, it has been very reliable. The car now has 240K miles and still starts every time and runs quite well (for what it is).

8th Feb 2004, 08:23

Like other comments on this site, cracked door handle on passenger side, low crack all along the front windshield that I thought was a rock now get that it has to do with defroster vents, automatic transmission shift lever cover broke, only 2/3 of rear window defroster works, cooling fan clutch broken runs all the time, dome light doesn't work. Noisy, doesn't handle well in high winds.

On the good side... excellent mileage, low maintenance, good transportation, plenty of room. Good grandma car or car for first-timers.

17th Jul 2004, 18:18

My 1995 Geo Prizm has had four alternators in 67,000 miles!!!

25th Oct 2004, 20:18

The Geo Prism seems to have one common problem... the Alternator.

I just replaced mine at 88,000 miles, had the battery checked and charged, and the alternator/brake lights still won't go off.

There is so much experience in this forum, did anyone ever actually fix the problem for good?

18th Feb 2005, 11:32

I have a had my Prism Lsi for a little over a year now. And I have had no major engine problems. However, the dome light doesn't work, the passenger door handle is broke, and the second day after I bought my car, the door panels fell off. Yes, on the same day, both of them.

19th Feb 2005, 21:39

I just bought a 1991 Prism and so far so good. This seems to be a good source for information.

6th Mar 2005, 17:08

I had a 1991 and put 100,000 miles on it. Bought it at 50,000 The alternators are AC Delco and are lousy. As for the interior door handles, you can buy them @ the dealer for about 15 dollars, they are easy to put in. I replaced the front ones a couple times. Also I put one in from the same year corolla, it fits and the plastic seemed a little better quality. My friend has the car now @ 170,000 miles, runs fine. As for the car all the important things are well made, and the smaller things (put in by GM) are lousy. Alt, radiator, and the interior are GM specific. Starter, brakes engine, tranny, AC are Toyota. Guess what I replaced Alt (twice) radiator and interior parts.

29th Oct 2006, 02:12

I own a 1990 geo prism it has 189,000 miles it has been through four car accidents, three deer accidents, and two demolition derbies and I still drive it around the yard with no engine problems. I love my little car.

27th Apr 2009, 20:05

My wife's 1991 Prizm outer door handle on the driver's side broke today. You lift it and nothing happens. Any fix-it advice? I had this happen on my 1992 Metro and it cost $300 to get (poorly) fixed -- on a $200 car. The passenger side on the Metro did the same thing, but no way that gets fixed for another $300.

For the record this car is now rusty, but has been fantastic (knock on wood). We've owned it for 12+ years.


15th Jul 2009, 08:35

I have a 95 Geo Prizm. I bought it with 60k on the odometer. It now has 100K on it. I replaced the alternator once at 85K, after hours of stop and go driving with the a/c on at the beach, so that was to be expected, as it placed a huge demand on the older alternator. The door handles did crack, as normal. The headliner has started sagging. Other than normal maintenance, you can't beat this car for ride quality, reliability, and ease of maintenance.

22nd Aug 2010, 20:10

My wife's 1991 Prizm was a program car with every available option. It is now 20 years old. I can't say enough about this vehicle -- it's showing its age, but what a car! 168,000 miles. 30 trips of 800 miles to NYC and back. We've owned it for almost 14 years. My daughter learned to drive in it. I paid $6000 for it 110,000 miles ago.

Repairs -- not counting the normal tires, brakes etc., have been under $1000 total (driver door handle, right CV joint boot, two wheel bearings, driver door window motor).

I love this car, and will hate to see it go in a few months.

22nd Sep 2010, 21:36

I just bought a 1991 automatic, the first trip I need to change the alternator, but still a good deal for $ 1000. To death and beyond.