1989 Geo Spectrum 1.5 liter from North America




The only thing I can think of that is wrong with the car, is that it needs a new carburetor. I needed to put a thermostat on the car and a whole new brake system, but the car sat for 6 months and some of the lines broke and busted. The car vapor locks a lot because I race it with a couple of friends. The car itself is a good little car, and it can seat five, so I can have a good time with my car, and friends.

General Comments:

It is a good little car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd September, 2005

11th Dec 2005, 20:48

I have a 1989 geo Spectrum with 53,000 original miles. Typical old lady car. It ran great when I bought it. Then one day at 55,000 miles the timing belt snapped and the mechanic said the engine is ruined. The valves are bent. I still have it parked on the street and don't know what to do with it. Any sugesstions? It's too nice just to junk out and I can't put a new engine in myself or afford to have one put in.

12th Dec 2005, 16:15

You could try donating it to charity and claim a tax deduction, but with the change in IRS rules that went into effect about a year ago, you can no longer claim book value as the deduction, rather you can only claim whatever the charity you donate it to is able to sell it for. I don't think an 89 Spectrum with a seized engine is going to bring much.

Too many people were donating worthless beaters to charity and then taking a tax deduction for the book value. The gummint don't like it when they can't get their grubby hands on as much of your money as possible so they can waste it in ways too numerous to mention!

1989 Geo Spectrum 1.5 from North America


It is a high performance, the best car you can get


My timing belt went bad, had to replace it. Put in a CV joint, alternator. Most of the time it is just a minor problem.

General Comments:

The car is best one I have ever had, It has save me money on the gas. I would like to have another car like it, If the company were still making one like the one I got I would buy another one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th July, 2004

1989 Geo Spectrum 4-door sedan 1.5 liter from North America


Should be basic, economical transportation, with the emphasis on should.


Many things have gone wrong with the car that we refer to as the "Bomb". This is a car that my sister gave to me after she had had it for 5 years, and was much more trouble than it was worth. I picked out a car for her when she moved back to the Midwest, and that used Chevy Lumina has been strong and reliable for 5 years now.

The first year I had the Bomb, there were four dead-line items that would have left her by the side of the road.

The clutch cable firewall support literally pulled out of the wall. it pulled right through the firewall. As a result, you could not disengage the clutch. Luckily I do most of my own work, and was able to beef up a support plate and it has been fine now for four years.

It did not do well with road salt, spending 5 years in Syracuse, NY. The brake line on the back axle rusted through, and the brakes went out. I was able to replace a portion of brake line, and it has been fine for 4 years now.

The body is rusting liberally now, especially the front of the hood and the back rocker panels.

The fuel tank has rust in it, and there is trouble with water in the tank. I have to maintain duel gas filters to keep the water and rust away from the carb and fuel pump.

The carburetor had a nasty habit of having the float valve stick in the up position. I had to keep a little hammer in the car so I could tap on the side of the carb and the valve would drop free.

I think the fuel pump is now going out, since I had to have the car towed home today.

After keeping the car in storage for two years, one of the front brake calipers stuck. it would go out, but would not retract. as a result, the front brake and hub heated up to probably several hundred degrees. The caliper was easy to replace, but the bolts that prevent the rotors from being taken off would not come off, so I am still running them instead of putting on new ones that I had already bought. Have since returned the rotors.

This car has only 98,900 miles, the least of any of my vehicles. It is still a lemon, aptly named "the Bomb". It is a utilitarian box that does not compare to even my old Plymouth Horizon. It is a novelty that we will drive for awhile to see if these quirks clear up. Congrats to anyone who has better luck than me with these cars. (probably everyone)

General Comments:

Why did this happen to me?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th May, 2004

26th May 2004, 07:21

Why did this happen to you?

Because you are attempting to keep on the road a car that has deteriorated past the point of resurrection.

Since you got it for free, it's not like you need to get your money's worth out of it.

Send it to the junkyard.

26th Oct 2004, 16:04

I hear you. My '89 Spectrum I got in Buffalo New York (despite small rust, it WAS stored for three+ winters) and paid $450 for it and it had 152,000 miles on it and some issues!

Well, I though I could deal with the issues: A new horn, new brake rotors and new front struts!

JUST the beginning of my worries...

After, let's see... a totally new exhaust system, back brakes, a carb overhaul, a new clutch, two tune ups, air conditioning recharge and conversion, new clutch and accelerator cables (my clutch cable rotted straight through the firewall as well...bondo'd it together), it died YET again last week!

I was told it could use a new halfshaft/CV joint, but that it really needed rear wheel cylinders and a starter to function. Could also use an alternator! I PERSONALLY suspect that it had really low compression in the cylinders/combustion chambers! Like I was really gonna send good money after bad on THAT thing!!

So, after less than eighteen months and 15,000 miles of ownership and $450 for the car + 2G's for all the above repairs (total: $2500+), The mechanic told me his girlfriend needed a car and I said well, I'm warning you, it's your issue now!!! He bought it and said he was looking at putting $800+ parts into it.

Yeah...sure...$800 worth of parts IN A MONTH'S TIME, yeah, maybe... a lot more after that, I can tell you!

Gave it to him for $225...may God have mercy on that poor boys soul.

9th Jan 2005, 14:01

I have had a 89 Spectrum for 16 years only problems had were Human caused (Shifting into reverse going 75 Down the road... oh there is no 6th) and a fuel pump which is to be expected when turning 12 grand down the highway.

Other wise this car has been a racer and powerful if you know where to get it (9 grand at least) and awesome to drive and work on.

10th Jan 2005, 19:52

I absolutely love my 89 Geo Spectrum. It was my first new car and I have kept and maintained it all this time. I have 53,000 miles on it. The only thing I hate is that the salt is tearing it up. The engine has always been dependable and easy to work on. I'll keep it until the wheels fall off and I'll keep my eye out on a very low mileage one on Ebay.