1996 Geo Prizm Repair and Maintenance

A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your 1996 Geo Prizm

1996 Geo Prizm Problems

Ignition Coil Inside Distributor May Fail

The ignition coil inside the distributor may fail. Our technicians tell us this may result in a hesitation on acceleration, especially when the vehicle is warming up on cold, rainy days. The pickup coils inside the distributor can also fail and cause a no-start condition. There have also been some failures of the radio noise suppressors inside the distributors, which can short out. Our technicians recommend replacing the whole distributor with a complete, genuine Toyota distributor if any of its components fail.

Automatic Transmission May Not Shift Correctly at High Mileages

At higher mileages, (125,000-150,000) the automatic transmission may not shift correctly. This can be caused by the throttle position sensor being out of adjustment or a shift solenoid needing to be replaced. Typically the transmission does not need to be completely overhauled.

Vehicle Won't Crank Due To Starter

If the engine will not crank over, the most common problem is the starter. These will tend to go out at about 100,00-125,000 miles. Sometimes it is only the starter solenoid, but often the complete starter (including solenoid) needs to be replaced.

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1996 Geo Prizm Reviews

Love, love, love this car. It might not be the most glamorous car.but it has never left me stranded on the side of the road and I have had it for almost ten years. It has 216K miles and all it has needed besides maintenance is front wheel bearings and a clutch. Amazing car! The only downside is the dark green ones seem to fad in the sun.
I have a 96 Geo Prizm that I got after it was terribly abused by the previous owners. It had 208,000 on it when I bought it 12/2010, and now has 220,000 miles. Even abused, this car has never left me stranded! I have recently put a lot of "preventative" parts into it (timing belt, serpentine belt, v-belt, water pump, radiator, struts all the way around). It is not the prettiest car I've seen, ...
i have a 1996 geo prizm lsi 1.6 liter bought the car in 97 with 18.000 miles on it best car i hve ever had drove it from boulder to providence RI and back twice this car never misses a beat.keep the oil changed and all the other little details the car will run for ever just turned 166990 miles only thing replaced starter/timing belt/water pump and it was only a maintance thing on my part noth...

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