Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Mitsubishi Lancer Problems

Are you having problems with your Mitsubishi Lancer? Let our team of motoring experts keep you up to date with all of the latest Mitsubishi Lancer issues & faults. We have gathered all of the most frequently asked questions and problems relating to the Mitsubishi Lancer in one spot to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

Is something wrong with my 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer's air-conditioning?

There鈥檚 nothing wrong with your car, Regina, this is just the way a car鈥檚 air-conditioning works. And yours is behaving completely normally.

Although the fan will blow air when the car鈥檚 engine is stopped, the actual air-conditioning (which is what makes the air cold) needs the engine to be running to power the AC鈥檚 pump. Without the car鈥檚 engine, the AC pump won鈥檛 work and the air coming out the vents won鈥檛 be cold. When you start the engine, the AC pump suddenly has the power it requires and the air gets cold. That鈥檚 just how it works.

Why is my 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer jumping out of gear?

It could be that the gearbox linkages are poorly adjusted, meaning that the gearbox is not fully selecting fifth gear, allowing it to jump into neutral. But it could also be that the selectors themselves are worn or that there鈥檚 internal wear inside the transmission that is allowing the gearbox to leap from fifth to neutral all on its own. Either way, it鈥檚 a problem that could lead to a range of potentially dangerous situations, so it needs further investigation.

It鈥檚 probably worth mentioning that a batch of five-speed manual Lancers made between May and June 2014 were recalled to fix a problem with the gear selectors which could see them suffer gear-selection problems with reverse and fifth gear. Your car, as a 2011 model, shouldn鈥檛 be affected by that, but it does seem a bit of a coincidence.

How do you access the plenum chamber drain in a 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer?

The first sign of a blocked drainage system in a car is usually wet carpets. This, however, is not necessarily the result of a blocked plenum drain, as there are other causes including a blocked air-conditioning drain, a poor door or window seal and even a hole in the firewall between the engine bay and the passenger compartment.

In the case of a simple hole in the firewall, the solution is usually a rubber grommet which will cost a few cents and will sort things. For other leaks, however, you need to take the time to learn where the drain tubes live and ensure that they鈥檙e clear and free of mud or dust that could be blocking them, causing them to overflow into the cabin.

The other possibility is that the leak into the car is being caused by a faulty heater core which is allowing the engine鈥檚 coolant to escape. That鈥檚 a bigger fix as it usually involves removing the dashboard to access the heater core which then needs to be replaced. But if you鈥檙e lucky and it鈥檚 a simple blocked drain pipe, the drain holes for both the plenum and the air-conditioning drain should be visible on the firewall, below the windscreen. Undoing them and clearing them would be the first step to curing the problem.

Does my 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer sedan run a timing belt or a timing chain?

Your Lancer uses a timing belt which is made from a rubber compound and drives the camshaft. This makes for a cheaper engine to build and potentially quieter running, but it also means that the belt has to be changed periodically to prevent it snapping in service.

Mitsubishi recommends a belt-change interval of 100,000km. The advice of most mechanics it to replace the water pump at the same time since this part of the engine will be apart to change the belt anyway. It鈥檚 a lot cheaper to do both things at once, rather than open the engine a second time to change a water pump at a later date.

What can I do about the metallic red paint on my 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer peeling?

I鈥檝e certainly heard of metallic paint on Mitsubishi Lancers peeling from the clear coat before, but it鈥檚 hardly a Mitsubishi-specific problem. Many car-makers had trouble (and some of them still struggle) to get clear-over-base paint finishes to work with Australian levels of UV radiation. Strangely enough, Australian car-makers have been some of the worst offenders over the years. The problem is that once the top, clear coat has begun to discolour and peel, the lower, colour cat is usually compromised beyond salvation as well. Repainting either the entire car or the horizontal surfaces (which cop the most UV grief) is the only real long-term solution.

I鈥檇 be very surprised if any car-maker came to the rescue with a paint-finish warranty claim after a decade, but it certainly can鈥檛 hurt to ask Mitsubishi Australia鈥檚 customer service department at head office. In any case, getting any sort of help with this will depend on how the vehicle has been maintained, where it鈥檚 been parked and whether any aftermarket paint treatments were ever applied. Largely, however, this type of paint degradation is regarded as normal wear and tear.

Should the thermatic fan run constantly in a 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer?

A thermatic fan is designed to run only when it鈥檚 needed. As the name suggests, it should switch on when the engine attains a pre-set temperature and then turn off below that temperature. It鈥檚 a way of having the engine run at a more constant temperature as well as saving the power normally used to run a fan that isn鈥檛 needed the whole time. Sometimes, a second electric fan will cut in when you turn the air-conditioning on, but the short answer is no, a thematic fan should not run all the time.

What is included on the 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer InStyle?

We have no record or recollection of the Mitsubishi Lancer InStyle from any year sold in Australia, and nor are there any Intense or Basic models sold in this country in which to compare and contrast it to. It appears these may be European-specification grades.

Mitsubishi Lancer 2010: Are there any known problems?

That price sound about right for a manual Lancer with those kilometres on board. If anything, it鈥檚 probably a little on the bargain side. A lot of cars need a windscreen to gain a roadworthy certificate, so that鈥檚 no big deal and, provided the car is in good condition generally, it sounds like a decent buy.

Common problems with this model often involved the electrical systems, so make sure all the lights and gadgets in the car work properly. Manual lancers also had the odd problem with a gearshift that could become disconnected from the gearbox itself. If that has happened, you鈥檇 definitely know about it as you wouldn鈥檛 be able to select gears. It鈥檚 not a huge fix if it does happen.

Other relatively common faults in this model included a faulty ABS module that needed to be replaced and this can be a big expense. Oil leaks from the front of the engine are also an issue (particularly for a roadworthy inspection). And don鈥檛 keep the ignition key in the same pocket as your phone; stray signals can wipe the key鈥檚 memory and leave you stranded.

STOP DRIVING IMMEDIATELY: Australian car owners in danger!
If you own one of these popular late '90s models, stop driving immediately!
Read the article
Mitsubishi Lancer 2017: At what impact should airbags deploy?

Air-bags deploy according to what force the crash places on the car. There鈥檚 no hard and fast rule to this, because no two crashes are the same. So, the sensors that tell the air-bags to deploy take into account the amount of deceleration involved and compare that with a threshold reading to decide whether to deploy the bags or not.

A car travelling at very low speed that noses into a wire-rope barrier, for instance, may not decelerated sufficiently for the bags to go off. But the same car, travelling at the same low speed that is hit by a moving car coming the other way, is much more likely to deploy its air-bags.

And just because the side air-bags have deployed in a crash, doesn鈥檛 necessarily mean the front air-bags will also be deployed. Sometimes the front bags will go off in sympathy with the side air-bags, but if there was not sufficient forward deceleration, the front ones should remain intact.

However, the tule of thumb is this: In Australia, air-bags are designed to deploy at speeds above about 25km/h and, in the case of front air-bags, in any impact within roughly 30 degrees of the car鈥檚 direction of travel at the time.

Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.
Have a new question for the CarsGuide team?
More than 9,000 questions asked and answered.
Complete guide to Mitsubishi Lancer
Complete guide to Mitsubishi Lancer CarsGuide Logo
Reviews, price, specs and more