really sluggish acceleration

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  #1  
Old 06-15-06, 04:03 PM
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really sluggish acceleration

Hi all,
I have a 2000 mitsubishi gallant 4cyl automatic that has about 115,000 miles on it. I'm generally pretty good about getting scheduled maintenance. for the last few thousand miles I have had really sluggish acceleration from a dead stop. it feels super slow and almost stumbling. once I'm going everything is fine. I'm not mashing on the gas from a stop, but it almost feels like a car can if you floor it and flood a little too much gas in while trying to accelerate. if I'm going 30mph and want to accelerate on a highway onramp or something like that I don't notice any power loss. I thought it might be a bad tank of gas, but I've been through at least a dozen tanks and the behavior persists. I tried a bottle of fuel cleaner too and no luck. Does anyone have any idea what this might be caused by and what I should expect for the repair of your guess? I'm thinking perhaps fuel filter?

Mark
 
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  #2  
Old 06-15-06, 04:46 PM
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You can try the fuel filter but I highly doubt thats it.

Timing Belt have you changed it yet? Thats the classic sign you better get it done soon. I am a mitsubishi maniac and I know exactly what your talking about.

You should be expecting around $400-600 for that job.
 
  #3  
Old 06-15-06, 05:42 PM
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I have a question. Could it be the transmission is stuck or not going through all the gears I've seen this problem alot on busses.They will take off real slow but once they get up to speed there fine.
 
  #4  
Old 06-15-06, 06:02 PM
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If the transmission is not jerking the tranny is fine. Plus buses have to build boost before they can go so that why they have a sluggish take off and then go.

Also you may be referring to what is called the torque converter being locked up all the time. If that were the case you would be complaining about much more than it is just sluggish especially with a 4 cyl.
 
  #5  
Old 06-15-06, 06:06 PM
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Also you have what is called an interference motor so if that belt goes say by by motor. The pistons will smash the valves and that head is about $1k then add labor on top of that and hope the piston doesn't crack usually doesn't and your easily up to $2k for putting off the timing belt.

The recommended interval on that belt should be 60kmiles (check owners manuals) the last time I checked so consider that you have driven on time cheated.

Now don't think mitsu is crap for that timing belt. Toyota and honda also have to have timing belts changed
 
  #6  
Old 06-15-06, 06:15 PM
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After the belt is changed if the car is running weird get back to us. For the most part mechanics do the job right but some don't spin the crank a few times and then recheck the marks. They will line the marks up throw the belt on put the car back together very easy car to be right on when belt is put on, but after a few spins it could be one tooth off. Thats habit from other car brands, with mitsu you always always spin the crank a few times and recheck the marks. Also you always line the marks up before taking the belt off.

Plus its called good safe practice in mechanics, that extra 3 minutes it takes can save a lot of hassle in the long run.
 
  #7  
Old 06-16-06, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by lexmarks567
I have a question. Could it be the transmission is stuck or not going through all the gears I've seen this problem alot on busses.They will take off real slow but once they get up to speed there fine.
Same thing I thought of, lex. Possibility first gear is missing due to internal tranny problem.

Mark, when you accelerate from a standstill can you feel the proper number of shift points? On a three speed you should feel the 1-2 and 2-3 shifts fairly easily. The 1-2 at low speed, perhaps 10-15 mph and the 2-3 somewhere higher, 25 or so.

I lost a shift solenoid on our previous Camry ('95) and had 2nd and 4th gears.
 
  #8  
Old 06-16-06, 06:48 AM
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interesting,
so I paid closer attention and it seems that the acceleration problem is from 0-10/15. once I basically get across the intersection all of the power kicks in and it accelerates like I'd expect. I had a bunch of work done at 96k miles, and I could swear that the timing belt was part of that. I'll have to look at the reciept. I'll watch the gear shift points next time i"m in the car. dunno if it's helpful info or not, but the acceleration problem happens most of the time, but not all the time. I can't identify any set of conditions that change to make it accelerate well or not. I'm definately not mashing the gas from a stop or driving in an otherwise erratic manner.

thanks so far.
 
  #9  
Old 06-16-06, 09:13 AM
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ok, checked the reciepts. at 104k miles (about 12k ago) I paid $850 for a bunch of work, which included replacement of timing and drive belts, pulleys and water pump.

can it be my timing belt after only 12k miles?
 
  #10  
Old 06-16-06, 11:22 AM
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Not as likely as some of the other possibilities. I'm still leaning towards you're simply not having a 1st gear. One thing you might try is selecting low gear ("L" or "1") and go from a stop. If 1st gear is missing the engine won't start to really rev until you get to the 20-25 mph range because you would be in 2nd already. [If the engine starts to scream earlier, like 10-15, go ahead and select "2" to see if you get a 1-2 shift; don't blow up the motor over-revving it]. At this point select 2nd. If the theory holds you will not get a shift, since you are already in 2nd. Then push up into Drive, and you should feel the 2-3 shift.
 
  #11  
Old 06-16-06, 01:09 PM
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I am seeing a 4speed tranny as an option to in that car. With out driving it is hard to tell if it is because of an improper timing belt which they will stretch. Or if it is because of not getting first gear or torque converter locked up.
 

Last edited by scalar; 06-16-06 at 01:58 PM.
  #12  
Old 06-19-06, 11:28 AM
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more on the topic,
had a 200 mile trip to take for work this weekend. I am definately getting shifts in the right place, first one comes at about 13mph. not sure what to do from here.
 
  #13  
Old 06-19-06, 12:23 PM
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Just to play it safe I would inspect the timing belt. Its going to be at the top of the motor opposite of the transmission side By all the pulleys and belts. You will see a hump that is plastic with a few bolts that hold it on take the cover off and see if the belt is loose. It shouldn't flop around but it should be very taught. I will try to think of other things it could be in the mean time.
 
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