Mirage malfunction


#1

My teenage daughter has a 1997 Mitsubishi Mirage with a manual transmission. It lost all acceleration and uphill pulling power with no warning. The mechanic has replaced the fuel filter, plug wires, distributor cap and rotor and still can’t find the problem. The check engine light never came on. The car idles fine and runs fine after you finally get up to speed.


#2

She’s burned the clutch out. You didn’t tell the mechanic a teen (inexperienced driver) had been driving the car, did you?


#3

The clutch is new six months ago. Her father burned it out. She is experienced, a clutch is all she has ever driven(four years).


#4

Check the fuel pressure. The computer doesn’t monitor the fuel pressure, and this sounds like weak pressure. You may need a new fuel pump.


#5

The mechanic knows as well ,as he has been ours for the past ten years. It also doesn’t help to downshift it that gives any further clues. The car still loses power.


#6

That also has been checked. Mech says pressure is fine at idle.


#7

“…Mech says fuel pressure is fine at idle.” Well, the car doesn’t pull a hill AT IDLE, does it? The engine needs a load on it as though it were accelerating, or pulling a hill. To do that, the mechanic could: attach a fuel pressure gage with a long fuel hose, close the hood, drive (or, be a passenger)the car at 30 mph to 50 mph with foot on brake (for engine loading), and watch the fuel pressure gauge. If the fuel pressure falls off as the engine power declines…/


#8

He should also rev the engine, and check for the effects of vacuum on the fuel pressure regulator. The regulators can sometimes be fickle to diagnose.


#9

Thanks I’ll check with him on that one. Trying not to lose hope on this one as it gets great gas mileage and she drives 100 miles a day between high school and college. I wondered about fuel injectors. Any thoughts on that??


#10

Not sure of everything he has checked out, but has had the car for about three weeks now, trying to figure it out


#11

Hey, other responders, here’s a board “feature” you may be interested in: at 12:24 PM, I clicked on the Original Poster’s name (Magma68). There, I saw that she had made two responses at 12:13 PM, and 12:17 PM. These responses were NOT on this page until about 12:30 PM. Why? The Cartalk web-lackeys should give us a reason; but, will they? I thought that this board was supposed to be unencumbered with such mechanisations.


#12

Daughter also comments that after stepping on the gas and then releasing, the car smells as if it is flooding


#13

judging by the web address, this is a PBS function. I have noticed that the server (action.publicbroadcasting.net) is very slow at times, probably overloaded and in need of an upgrade.


#14

The problem could be a restricted catalytic convertor.


#15

I will check the air filter and the whole air intake system + PCV “valve”.


#16

I’ll assume that “…the car smells as if it were flooding.” to mean she smells gasoline. When she smells the odor, is the car moving forward, or backward? Is the car moving slowly, or quickly? When the hood is opened, is the smell there, in the engine compartment?
When you walk around the car, can you smell gasoline?


#17

This is when she is slowing down or stopped and the hood is closed. I don’t think she opened the hood but could smell it around the outside of the car. She pulled over immediately when this all occurred and we called the tow truck.


#18

The car was running fine. She shut it off at work. On the way home from work this all happened. Only drove about two miles.


#19

Reboot the engine computer and see if it fixes the problem for a while.


#20

Gave my mechanic all your suggestions this morning. Appreciate the help. I’ll give you an update as soon as I know.