Buying A used Geo Tracker – What To Look For

Looking to buy a used Geo Tracker? Here’s some things to look for:

Rust on Chassis:

Make sure there isn’t very much rust on the frame. Check the rear suspension and gas tank since rust seems to start there first. Also check the crossmember just forward of the gas tank. This is usually rusty, but repairable.

Rust on Body:

Check for rust around the door hinges where they bolt to the body (rust from the inside). Check the rocker panels, the bottom of the doors, the floor pan behind the front seats, and on the floor board where it meets the firewall. It may be difficult to check due to the carpet, but you may be able to check the floor pans by looking underneath.

Check Engine Light:

Make sure that the check engine light (CEL) comes on when you turn the key on, and goes out when you start the engine. This way you know that the CEL is working, and not receiving and trouble codes when the engine is running. A seller could disable the light if they don’t want you to know there is a problem


When the engine starts it should idle at 1,500 RPM’s until it warms up, and then drop to 800 RPM’s.Once the engine is warm, turn on the lights and the heater. the idle should stay at 800 RPM’s. If it drops down a lot, the idle speed sensor is bad and needs replaced.

Timing belts need to be replaced after 80,000 miles. The 1.6L 8-Valve engine is not an interference engine, so if the timing belt breaks, it won’t do internal damage. However, the 1.6L 16-Valve engine IS an interference engine, so you need to make sure you replace the timing belt on a 1.6L 16-valve engine, unless you’re certain it’s been replaced.

Geo Tracker engines are known to leak. The rear main seal can be a big job to replace since you either need to remove the engine, or remove the transmission to get to it. Cam seal and crank seal are known to leak.

Use a small mirror (or take a photo with your phone) and look at the front of the crankshaft and make sure the large 17mm bolt is not welded on. The key in the crankshaft can become worn and allow the timing sprocket to move and take the engine out of time. Someone may have fixed it by welding the bolt, timing sprocket, and crankshaft together.

Test Drive:

Does the engine bog down when you give it gas? This could be caused by a worn key / crankshaft timing sprocket on the crankshaft causing the engine to be out of time.


The torque converter lockup solenoid goes bad on Trackers with automatic transmissions. You can access it to replace it by removing the transmission pan.