Should I risk buying the 1999 Eclipse?

So theres a 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse that I found for sale. Only thing is that you can hear the gears going in when shifting gears, but they go in smooth. According to the seller, it may only need transmission fluid. What could possibly be wrong with it? Is it worth buying it or could the problem be worse then it seems?

The problem could be a clutch in need of adjustment (assuming that it is adjustable), or a clutch master cylinder that is low on fluid as a result of a leak, or a worn-out clutch, or bad synchronizers, or a need for additional gear oil in the transmission. Nobody can tell you from a distance, but…if the solution is as simple as the seller claims it to be…Why not tell him to add the necessary gear oil, and then do another test drive?

In case you were not aware of it, a very high percentage of people selling used cars are…let’s just say…less than truthful about the car that they are selling. But, even if the seller turns out to be correct about the sound from the transmission, I hope you realize that a 14 year old car is going to have ongoing issues of many kinds.

If you are looking at used cars of this vintage, make sure that you have at least a couple of thousand $$ set aside for the inevitable repairs that will be necessary on a regular basis.

We here always recommend a pre-purchase inspection before you buy a used car. That would go double for any car with a possible issue like this.

is this the only eclipse you have driven? i hope you at least drive several before buying. than you can compare them. you might find another that shifts fine? and than you can ask yourself, hmm, do you like driving a car that shifts correctly?

+1 for @lion9car. Never buy a used vehicle without a pre-purchase inspection.

“According to the seller, it may only need transmission fluid.”

And I got a bridge…if that was ALL it needed, then the seller would have done it, don’t ya think? Major red flag to me.

I always recommend that if anything is obviously wrong with a car DON’T buy it. You should have the privilege of damaging it yourself. Let the current owner figure out how to fix it. If it were that easy to do, he would have spent the $35 to fix it before selling it to the next poor risk taker.

Yes, the overheating car only needs a new radiator cap. Or a little coolant. Ask any subaru owner.

@amayam93 if the car “may only need transmission fluid” why hasn’t the seller done that already?

I say walk away and keep looking.

Other big questions:

How long has the car been run with insufficient transmission fluid, and how low is it???

If the owner was willing to neglect trans fluid, what does that say about how he has treated the car othewise? (few oil changes, no coolant changes, run low on oil or coolant, run hot…)

Agree with others, keep looking, unfortunately.

Unless the car is offered dirt cheap and you can do the repairs yourself, you should avoid this headache.
The Eclipses can be a popular car for younger people to beat into the pavement and odds are this one has been.

It’s also quite common for someone to discover something about their car that they don’t want to face and choose to sell it while playing dumb about the problem.

This Eclipse isn’t much of a car to start with. Next, often owned and driven by young drivers who flog them without mercy. You have a questionable standard transmission. That looks like the 3rd strike to me.

Mitsubishi service is sketchy at best. That makes for a virtual absence of economically priced after market spares. I usually visit Midas and ask them if they have exhaust parts for a car I’m interested in. If not they will get the part from the dealer or company distribution warehous and mark it up from there.

Bad synchros are very common on Eclipses of that vintage (especially the turbo version), i had one with the 3rd one bad for years, all i had to do was shift between 3k-4k rpm.However another weak spot of this car is the engine’s main bearings.