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Looking at buying a ‘96 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS

I’m looking at buying a 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS(I4, non-turbo). It has 104k miles, needs new timing belt and water pump installed(comes with the car) but has been sitting for almost 3 years. Is this even worth considering buying? If it is and I do, what maintenance besides checking fluids and oil change should be done to ensure it is road worthy? Thanks I’m advance!

I say No . A vehicle this old setting for 3 years is going to need a lot of things that will put the cost way higher then the value . And if it has had the same fuel in it all this time that could be costly to get the fuel system cleaned.
Also any time someone is here asking what they need to do to make something like this road worthy I suspect that this project may be beyond their ability.

I have fairly basic engine knowledge. However, I work with mechanics and they’ve told me that if I ever need help to just ask. So the help and knowledge is there. I just don’t know if it would end up being a waste of time. Also I figured I would have to clean out the fuel tank, fuel system, check spark plugs, check fluids, oil change, check any rubber(radiator hoses, belt, etc).

I’d pass, there could be problems that don’t crop up until you’ve spent a lot of time money getting it running. Do you have, say, $2000 to spend on it, once you buy it?

I recently sold my 03 Eclipse Spyder GTS for $2200 and the asking price on this is $1250 but if it seems worth it I’m gonna try to haggle the price down to $500 - $800

Then you should be talking to them . For the price of a good lunch one of them might go and look at this potential money consuming project.

Since it has been sitting for 3 years, if they can’t show you that it runs, I’d walk away from this one. If it is time for a new timing belt…why??

Here’s what I think happened;

The car broke the timing belt so the owner bought one and a water pump to do the repair. At that point they may have determined the engine had bent valves so they didn’t bother doing the repair which had grown to a rebuilt cylinder head. Not enough time, money or skill. 3 years (or much longer - look at the license tags) later, they’ve forgotten (or are not telling you) about the bent valves. Smells like a money pit.


Yea. Something seemed kind of fishy but I wanted to ask before I made a big mistake

Lets see , you sold a vehicle for 2200.00 , now you want to buy a 7 year older vehicle that has not ran for 3 years . Needs lots of work , probably has past due tags and registration , plus tires and maybe rusted brake rotors .
As Spock would say ( That is not logical ).

I did not know what all else could be wrong with it hence the reason I asked. And the only reason I even considered it is because the 2g eclipse (1995-1999) is one of my dream cars so I saw a potential opportunity. But I wanted to ask a couple questions before I put too much thought into it

Does it run?

I don’t blame you. That car was beautiful. But unless you have a lot of time and money and tools to throw at it, or you’re OK with it just being pretty in your garage, it should probably be a pass. Maintaining 20/30 year old sport compacts can be an exercise in frustration, both because they’re all old enough to be unreliable, and because they’re old enough to have parts availability problems as well.