Category Archives: The Engine

Geo Metro Engine Upgrades Through The Years

engine upgrades

Believe it or not, demand for fuel-efficient cars isn’t a new thing, ever since the dawn of the car industry folks have been clamorin’ for cars to run forever on just a thimble of petrol.  I don’t know about you but I certainly love my Geo Metro for the bucks I save whenever I use it.

Now, the problem with old cars is whether you are going to get those oldie but goodie cars to run without spending too much on fixing them first. It’s very rare to find old cars in mint condition. They are mostly left to rot in an old garage. You’d be lucky to find a vehicle that wouldn’t require much work done on it.

The Geo Metro

One of the fuel-efficient cars of the yesteryear’s is the Geo Metro. Produced by general motors, the Geo Metro isn’t actually a brand new model. It is a variation of their existing Suzuki Cultus that has been released in North America since 1989 all through 2001. It’s a product brought about by General Motors and Suzuki working together.

The Geo nameplate was found on the models from 1989 up to 1997. Then, from 1998 to 2001, they carried the Chevrolet nameplate. As the Suzuki Cultus evolved through the course of 13 years, so did the Geo Metro.

Geo Metro Through The Years

There are 3 generations and 4 body styles that the Geo Metro went through in those 13 years. The first was a hatchback with 3 doors, next was the four-door sedan, then came the five-door hatchback and finally the two-door convertible. More importantly, the engines also had changes and upgrades. Such changes affect the horsepower, torque and fuel economy.

Horsepower

The Geo Metro only had its name for 8 years before it was renamed to Chevrolet. Through the first few years from 1989 to 1994se years, the cars had a 1.0-liter engine with 49 horsepower. There is also another engine option that’s a 55 hp one.

In the following years, from 1995 to 1997, the base engine was now offered at 55hp. The higher output engine was further upgraded into a 1.3-liter engine with 70 hp.

Torque

Torque was also improved over the years. From the first one at 58 pound-feet for those produced from 1989 to 1994. Those that were made from 1995 up to 1997, on the other hand, had 58 pound-feet for the base engines while the higher output engines had a torque of 74 pound-feet.

Fuel Economy

The Geo Metro was designed for better fuel economy. It was its main purpose and that’s why manufacturers also geared towards improving it through the years. For the earlier models, the base engine had a fuel economy of 30-53 mpg when drove through the city and reached 34-58 mpg while driven on the highway. For the higher output engines, fuel economy was measured at 30-46 mpg while driving in the city and at 34-50 mpg when driven in the highway.

Geo Metro Engines

In the United States a single engine was available from 1989 through 1994: a 1.0 L I3 engine. Rated at only 55 hp (41 kW), the small Suzuki-designed engine was the most fuel efficient production engine used in a GM car to date, boasting well over 45 mpg (5.3 L/100 km) in models with manual transmissions. A detuned 49 hp unit was used in the ultra-fuel-efficient XFi model, which delivered as much as 58 miles per gallon. As the 3-cylinder engines aged however, they began to become less stable and subject to vibration as well as minor deficiencies in the fuel injection system that led to decreased fuel economy.

A flaw exists in Metro 3-cylinder engines equipped with an EGR valve – if the valve fails or the EGR passages become blocked, the center combustion chamber can get too hot, and over time, lose compression due to exhaust valve failure.

Customers who were surveyed stated that they wanted more power from their Metro as well as good fuel economy. In 1995, with the new Metro came a new engine: the 1.3 L I4. The new engine still had only a modest 70 hp (52 kW), but provided the extra power Metro owners wanted. That power came at the cost of some fuel efficiency, dropping the highway mileage down to around 35 mpg (6.8 L/100 km). The engine however, was not new. It was the same engine that had been in use in the Suzuki Swift (except for the GT models) for years. LSi models produced from 1995 on had the 4-cylinder engine, but the 3-cylinder was still the base power plant in the car, becoming an option for non-LSi models in 1997.

Canadian Metros had the 1.3 L engine available as an option beginning in 1993 in the 3-door GSi model, and as standard equipment in the sedan (exclusive to the Canadian market at the time: as noted in the previous paragraph, American market Metros were not available in a sedan bodystyle until 1995).