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Geo Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems for 3 Geo models based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

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.

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.

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.

An engine vacuum leak from the throttle-body base gasket may result in a rough idle and/or stumble on acceleration. If this occurs, replacement of the failed gasket will be necessary.

An engine oil leak may develop from the front crankshaft seal due to hardening of the rubber seal. There is a revised seal and sleeve available to correct this concern. Our technicians tell us that changing the oil every 3000 miles may help prolong seal life.

The anti-lock brake system (ABS) may function erratically or illuminate the warning light due a damaged wheel speed sensor. A wheel bearing and/or CV joint with excessive runout can cause the ABS trigger rings to rub against the ABS sensors and damage them.

A loss of power on the freeway may due to an internally leaking fuel pulsation dampener. This commonly occurs on higher mileage vehicles.

The Geo Metro uses a 1.0L 3 cylinder engine that is very sensitive to faulty spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap, and distributor rotor. When one of these ignition system components fail, the Geo Metro will experience one or more of the following:

-Stalling

-Difficulty starting

-Stuttering with loss of power

-Hesitation at various engine speeds

If these issues are related to the components listed above, changing the damaged component will resolve the issue. Less common possible causes are the ignition coil, alternator, and crankshaft position sensor. 

On vehicles with a manual transmission, worn shift bushings can cause the transmission to pop out of gear, especially when coasting down in 1st or 2nd gear. Replacing all the shift linkage bushings is pretty straight forward and not expensive and will commonly correct this concern.

At 125,000-150,000 miles, the Brake Master Cylinder may need replacing. When replacing the master cylinder, it is critical to adjust the brake pedal to master cylinder pushrod clearance or the brakes can drag and overheat.

Illumination of the Check Engine Light can be caused by a loose or worn gas cap.

The EGR System tends to get restricted or blocked with carbon after 100,000- 125,000 miles which will cause an emissions test failure for NOX. If the EGR system is equipped with an EGR temperature sensor it will trigger a Check Engine Light for improper EGR flow. The repair is to clean out the EGR passages and the EGR Temperature sensor. Our technicians tell this repair is pretty straight forward and takes about 1-1.5 hours. It is also wise to verify the EGR system components i.e. the Transducer, EGR Valve and VSV Solenoid at this time.

The spark plugs should be replaced every 30,000 miles and the spark plug wires checked for hot spots and cracks.

You may be able to prevent automatic transmission problems by servicing the transmission and inspecting the fluid every 30,000 miles. If the fluid is dark or burned, the transmission system should be completely flushed.