?Choke? stuck in 2004 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Whenever I start my car from cold, I have to let it warm up all the way before shutting it off, otherwise, on subsequent starts, the engine sputters and tries to die as though the choke were stuck in. Then, while driving, I have to keep the RPM’s over 2000 to keep the engine from trying to stall. (Not easily done while braking!)

I don’t know if my car actually has a choke, but if it does, I’d like to know where it is and if it’s possible for me to un-stick it. I’d also like to be able to stop at the mailroom on the way out of my apartment complex and not have to leave the engine running.


Sorry, no choke. Those disappeared with the carburetors they were attached to.
Offhand, it sounds like you either have an Idle Air Control problem or a serious vacuum leak.

Any Check Engine Light coming on? Even if not, you might consider dropping by a local AutoZone, Checkers, Advance, etc. and have them pull the codes for you. They will perform this service for you free. Post any results back here. There are certain codes related to the Idle Air Valve that could be present.
The best way to check for vacuum leaks IMHO is with a vacuum gauge. The gauge is easy to connect and removes all doubt as to whether there is a vac. leak or not.

There are a few other possibilities such as an EGR malfunction, etc. but you’ll have to take this a few steps at a time.
Hope some of that helps anyway. :slight_smile:

Your car does not have a choke. It’s fuel injected, as are all modern cars, and all functions are controlled by a computer.

You may have a bad coolant temperature sensor, or a bad thermostat, or about a hundred other things. Something is giving a bad signal to the computer, and that’s why your car is not running correctly.

Is the “check engine” light on?

The Check Engine light comes on, but not immediately, and it goes off after a few days of normal operation. As long as I let the car start fully, it runs perfectly.

As Mr. Meehan says all of the time on this forum, that CEL is like a kid in class waving their hand. Drop by one of those previously mentioned auto parts stores and have them scan it for codes. With the CEL illuminated that needs to be your first step.

Well, the good news there is that getting this problem to replicate is no problem at all. I’ve been very careful over the last year to make sure the car starts properly. Whenever it stops early, the problem arises. I’ll have the codes pulled.

Great! Let us know what you find out.

The point here is that with the CEL illuminating there should be something stored in the ECM’s (computer) memory even if the CEL is not on.

Probably throttle freezing. Don’t stop at mail rooms, it’s a common cause of car problems.