1989 Geo Spectrum 4 Dr Notchback 1.5 from North America


I love my small car


Muffler rusts off every 2 or 3 years.

Clutch cable snapped 7 years ago.

Replaced warped rotors and worn pads

New shocks/suspension, original no longer worked.

General Comments:

It's not flashy, it's not fast, but it's reliable.

I got this car for $1000 nine years ago when I graduated from college. The first thing I did was drive across the country. Other than minor maintenance issues, I've never had anything go seriously wrong with this car.

It's a great city car, great for tight parking and I get 30+ mpg in the city.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th November, 2007

2006 Geo Spectrum 1.5 from North America


It served me well for 16 years


Timing belt broke at less than 60K miles, due to a faulty idler pulley, which is the wrong size and application for this car. Idler pulley also contributed to the failure of the next two timing belts I put on it.

Dashboard cracked, and so did the switch POD mounted on it, where the switches are located. Plastic becomes very brittle after several years.

Hard to find parts for the car, such as a water pump, because the car was only manufactured for only 3 years.

Firewall breaks, where the clutch cable is mounted.

Clutch cable broke twice in 15 years.

CV axle boots seem to wear out prematurely.

The car could use about 15 more horsepower.

General Comments:

I used to own a Geo Spectrum, bought it new off the showroom floor in January 21, 1990. It was a 1989 model year car, built in May/89, it was the last year that it was built.

So after 15 years, getting parts for it got harder as the years went by. I broke three timing belts on the car, two times because the idler pulley froze and stretched the timing belt, and the last time, because the water pump leaked over the idler pulley.

I finally quit repairing the car, but you can't really ruin the engine when the timing belt breaks. I had the heads repaired by a machine shop. Had them replace the bent valves, had the heads resurfaced, and it ran like a champ. Cost $155 for machine shop work and labor, $79 for a gasket set from AutoZone, and miscellaneous expenses for reassembling the engine, which I did all the work myself.

The car is practically indestructible, it has its faults, but it got damn good mileage. I finally got rid of it, got $72.10 at a scrap metal yard for it. It got too much; to go out to the salvage yard to look for used parts, especially with my bad back. Wish I had kept it now, but putting on a clutch plate, a new clutch, A/C compressor (which had bad seals), CV axles, and fixing the wiring in the dashboard, became too much for me.

Anyway, I though I would add my $.02 to the discussion.

Ps: Be advised, that the wiring harness under the dashboard will develop problems after several years, due to the fact that the harness is very tight and taut, because of the way it is built at the factory. It will shrink after years, and some wiring will become brittle, and break or short out.

Overall, I would say, that the car paid for itself, the 16 years that I owned it. It served me well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th December, 2006

17th Dec 2006, 17:19

The Chevrolet Spectrum was built from 1985-1989 it was known as the Geo Spectrum for only one year before it was replaced by the Storm in 1990.

18th Dec 2006, 08:00

Spectrum was not replaced by the Storm since the two cars are totally different in purpose. The Storm was a three door, the Spectrum a four door, with different target markets. The Geo Metro four door was the logical replacement, albeit years later.

18th Dec 2006, 23:42

The Spectrum WAS available as a three-door as well as a four door, but the Storm was not it's replacement. When Isuzu replaced it's I-Mark (which was the same as the Spectrum) with the Stylus for 1990, GM decided to use a version of the Toyota Corolla instead, to replace the Spectrum: the Geo Prizm.

The Metro was certainly not the Spectrum's replacement, either; rather it replaced the Chevrolet Sprint when the Geo brand was created for 1989.

19th Dec 2006, 08:25

Yup, realized my error right after I pushed "submit". I don't have any experience with a lot of Geos, but I do know the Storm I rented in the mid-1990s was a blast to drive. One of the cars I regret not owning personally.