Problems with 03 Mitsubishi Lancer 4 cylinder

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-29-11, 10:23 AM
beck412's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 16
Question Problems with 03 Mitsubishi Lancer 4 cylinder

I had a new battery put in near Halloween. Since then I have had multiple problems. The new battery tests good. The alternator tests good and I have a new belt on it that is tight. The car drives beautifully when it will start. But it will not always start. When I turn the key-- Nothing, not a click or a slow spin, Nothing. The dome light will come on, the door open light will come on but no other dash lights will come on when it will not start. The headlights will not work and the electric door locks do not work when it will not start. Sometimes it will start again a few hours later, other times I have to have the car jumped for it to start. I have had towed to the shop 3 times but they can never find anything wrong. They have hooked it up to a code reader multiple times and it never shows anything. $300 later (tows and labor, very few parts) and they are still clueless. Right now the car is sitting in my driveway and has not started in 2 days.
Is there possibly something between the battery and alternator that is telling the alternator that the battery is fully charged causing this problem? Or could the new battery be bad but still test good? I am almost out of money and cannot afford any more tows to the shop for them to scratch their heads again.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-29-11, 10:38 AM
beck412's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 16
A few more things. The service engine light has never come on. Also, the dummy lights for the battery has never come on. When it is running it is like there is no problem.
I have had the fuses checked and they are supposed to be fine. This includes the one on the battery cable itself. I keep thinking maybe changing the cables would help but was told it would never start if the cables are bad.
 
  #3  
Old 01-29-11, 12:39 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,051
A couple of thoughts.
Does your vehicle have a security/anti theft alarm system on it? The problem could be easily related to that. If it does, with the key on is there a red light flashing or staying red?

Also, have you also checked your battery cables to ensure that the connections are clean and tight on both ends including the starter and chassis grounding.
 
  #4  
Old 01-29-11, 01:06 PM
badeyeben's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Southern ILLINOIS
Posts: 944
I too am drawn to the security system as a cause. I do not know if you have a remote to unlock the doors or not but if you do I would try opening the door locks with the remote and then see if the car starts. Also if you have only one key I would try it and if it does not start take the key out turn it over and insert the other side of the key. It could be slightly worn on the one side. If you have another key try it.
Did they load test the battery or just check voltage on it? It needs to be load tested to insure it is good.
Do you have a voltage meter you can place on the battery and someone to help you check the battery voltages at home? If you do then here is a simple test. Place the volt meter on the battery and see how many volts it reads. Should read between 12 and 15 volts. Have someone try to start the car as you watch the meter. Does the voltage drop any at all? If not then try the other things I mentioned to see if they help. If nothing helps I would be looking at the starter solenoid and it's connections. Remove the plus side cable from the battery and then remove the cables and wires on the solenoid and clean and reinstall them. If you can get to the large cable on the starter clean it also.
Write down the voltage reading of the battery at the beginning and keep it handy. When you do get the car to start read the battery voltage while it is running...it should read between 14 and 16 volt when running. If not the alternator is not working properly.
Hope this helps.
 
  #5  
Old 01-29-11, 04:01 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 10
it sounds like you might have a parasitic draw. to test for a parasitic draw first get the battery nice and charged, jump it and run it a while or put it on a battery charger for a while so its sitting at about 12.6 volts by itself. then take the key out of the ignition and the negative cable off the battery and tuck it in place so it wont move, take a multi meter, set to AMPS, and secure one lead to the negative cable and secure the other lead to the negative battery cable (it wont matter which lead to which, it will give the same reading just positive or negative). make sure not to open the door or turn on any lights as this will make too much current flow through your meter and it will blow the internal fuse or completely damage it. once its all connected right and getting a reading let it sit for an hour to let modules power down. when times up anything over .050 amps is a fail. to find out where the draw is at pull fuses one by one (DONT PUT THEM BACK IN until after your done) and if the reading drops below .050 that circuit is has the draw on it somewhere. i would suggest to pull the fuses that are for the aftermarket remote start/alarm. those are the biggest percentage of parasitic draws on car along with aftermarket stereos
 
  #6  
Old 01-29-11, 05:53 PM
ukrbyk's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA/ Pacific NW
Posts: 3,301
beck, i have 2 suggestions for you.
1. we had and still have one, total of four Mitsu-s. IT'S MITSUBISHI. they are also oil takers.
2. i always try to KISS look at problems. how about your key, if it's chipped, or lock? I had 04 CR-V, and one of the chipped keys was the same way - won't start the car "at will". so, i kept it as a spare. lock can do a lot of funny stuff either.
 
  #7  
Old 01-30-11, 01:34 PM
beck412's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 16
This car does not have a security system. It had a different ignition put in and the security was disabled. That was over 2 years ago so I know it is not the problem.
I really think don't they load tested the battery. Every time I have talked to the mechanics that worked on it they tell me they have let it sit and run in the shop and it was fine. I seriously think they just tested it while it was sitting idle in park, they never mentioned anything about running the test with it in gear with the parking brake on.
I have 3 keys and have tried them all at different times with the same result.
I printed out a bit of the comments for checking the voltage and the alternator. However the alternator has been checked by 3 different shops and they all agree it is not the problem.
I have a friend who is a mechanic(certified and works for a dealer in another town) and he is going to take the car and drive it for a day or two and see what he can come up with, he is pretty bumfuzzled too because every time he has looked at it so far it has run fine for him. Hopefully it will act up on him. Right now it is dead in the driveway so he will have to work on it to get it started-- maybe him finally seeing it dead will help.
 
  #8  
Old 01-30-11, 01:39 PM
beck412's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 16
Another quick one-- I really don't think it would be the starter solenoid since that area should not affect the door remote working. The door remote is supposed to work without the car running so I figured that sort of ruled the starter out. I may be totally offbase ruling that out since I am NOT a mechanic who really knows very much.
I hate cars with all these electronics on them!
 
  #9  
Old 01-30-11, 03:09 PM
ukrbyk's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA/ Pacific NW
Posts: 3,301
beck, we had eclipse that was quite like yours. temperamental on starting. didn't really like rains or damp weather. before you drive yourself crazy chasing this ghost, keep in mind that mitsubishis are known to have electrical quirks.
so, it's not a key. but you had ignition lock replaced 2 yrs ago, right? and who did that? have you noticed that i have mentioned lock BEFORE you mentioned that it was replaced?
why don't you take it to a decent shop and have complete diagnostics done on it? it's only 50-60 bucks, but they will scope for any possible issues.
in case of our eclipse, it was a loose cable on throttle valve sensor, or something. we sold it "as is", new owner spent another 6 mths trying to figure out why it was doing it, then problem went away by itself.

btw, keep in mind that mitsubishis ECMs are known to be "touchy" and go bad. unfortunately, outside of KISS things, like lock or loose wire, it does sound like temperamental ECM.
 
  #10  
Old 02-01-11, 01:03 PM
beck412's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 16
Thanks for all the suggestions. Mechanic friend came and took the car away to his house. lol, he almost didn't get there. He found 2 loose wires, one was a ground. He is going to talk to the shop that worked on it before the serious problems started, he thinks they may have loosened them and FORGOT about them. Right now the car is running like it did months ago and I am praying that it will behave for many more years.
 
  #11  
Old 02-02-11, 06:43 PM
ukrbyk's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA/ Pacific NW
Posts: 3,301
what was that i said about loose wire?
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes