Originally Posted by Ryland I'm going to look at a 2000 Geo metro with 80,000 miles, they guy is asking $2000 for it, but I know who he got it from,and a year ago he paid $1,200 for it, any idea what I should check on it? or what it's worth?
Check: transmission - the syncros are the biggest problem on these cars, lower gears (2nd particularly). They're kind of weak, and may wear prematurely, especially if the owner was agressive. Crunchy shifting.
Rust: probably not an issue on a 2000, but the areas that go are: the rockers (underneath, where it meets the floor pan), and most importantly the lower front suspension mount points (where the control arm bolts on).
What its worth - 1200 is a great price for a 2000 if it's in good shape. I paid 1500 CDN for my first one ('98), and it needed $400 in parts to get it certified, so 1900 on the road, with a bit fewer miles (70 K miles).
One more thing: on the pre-1989 models, the EGR clogging up (plumbing, not the valve itself) is a common complaint and can cause all sorts of problems, leading in the worst case to burnt exhaust valves (since EGR helps to control - ie. lower - combustion temps).
My observation: US prices for these cars are far less than in Canada. Cultural differences. Demand for sub-compacts has been higher here for a long time, and it shows up in the asking prices for small used cars.
FWIW, Ryland, I sold my 1998 Firefly#1 for $3200 CDN last November, uncertified (though it would have passed with no repairs). I put a couple hundred more into it after I got it on the road @1900, but made a few bucks on it (not counting time invested of course).
Maybe we need to set up a business arrangment: a supply chain of used Metros to north of the border...
Watch out for:
Emergency brake handle takes too many clicks to lock the rear wheels
Loose shifter - should be really tight
Sticky shifter - will not move forward and backwards easily - bad boot
CV boots ripped noise
Lots of brake dust on the front wheels
Play in the steering
Unusal wear on the tires
Rusty leaking exhost - block the tail pipe with your hand or smooth sole shoe it should stall the engine and build up pressure
Smell the exhost - should not smell oily or smoky
Check for tail pipe soot
Rust around windows lower panels of doors rear bottom of front fenders