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Mitsubishi Eclipse Reliability and Common Problems

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From the beginning, the Mitsubishi Eclipse was designed to be a true driver’s car. The first-generation Eclipse offered different engine and drivetrain options to match its sports coupe styling. The ergonomic design and performance characteristics of the early Eclipse was carried over to subsequent generations and even inspired the creation of the Eclipse Cross— Mitsubishi’s current SUV offering. More than a decade after being discontinued, the Mitsubishi Eclipse still manages to catch the attention of car enthusiasts everywhere.

The 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse is the best model in the lineup, boasting a 2.4-liter base engine that produces 162 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. The 2011 model comes equipped with safety features like anti-lock brakes, stability control, and frontal air bags. A used 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse is listed at $7,516 on Kelley Blue Book. According to J.D. Power’s forecast, the 2011 Eclipse has an average resale value of 79 out of 100.

2011 mitsubishi eclipse
The ergonomic design and performance characteristics of the early Eclipse were carried over to subsequent generations and even inspired the creation of the Eclipse Cross— Mitsubishi’s current SUV offering. Image source: Mitsubishi Press Kit

Is the Mitsubishi Eclipse Reliable?

The Mitsubishi Eclipse received a 4.6 out of 5.0 reliability rating from Kelley Blue Book users, who cited the car’s strong performance and low maintenance needs. The car also scored well with EveryAuto users. 

The Mitsubishi Eclipse typically costs $510 per year to maintain, according to RepairPal experts. Maintenance costs vary depending on the car’s condition, mileage, and location. The five most commonly replaced parts on the Eclipse are blower motor resistors, head gaskets, fuel injectors, PCV valves, and starters.

A 2011 Eclipse with a 4-cylinder, 2.4-liter engine has an average fuel economy rating of 23 combined city/highway MPG. That translates to 4.3 gallons of oil for every 100 miles. 

Top Mitsubishi Eclipse Problems

Just like other cars, the Mitsubishi Eclipse has its share of problems. We’ve listed down the most common ones to help you with your purchasing decision.

Manual Transmission Problems

1990 to 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse models may exhibit transmission problems. Sixty-one users on RepairPal have reported difficulty shifting gears with affected models. Experts on the site believe that this is caused by the binding of the synchronizer gear to the gear surface. The spline and grooves on the main shaft of the synchronizer assembly may develop burrs that cause difficult shifting. You can try adding a special friction modifier to the manual transmission fluid. If that doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to install a revised synchronizer kit. We recommend that you hire a mechanic to inspect your transmission system before ordering a replacement. A general diagnosis will run anywhere from $88 to $111.

A bad clutch disc or clutch pressure plate may also cause difficult shifting. Both components are critical to the clutch assembly’s operation. If either one fails, the manual transmission as a whole may be affected. 1995 to 2008 Mitsubishi Eclipse models are known to have clutch problems. Some RepairPal users have noticed rattle noises when the car is idle. This may indicate a bad clutch pressure plate. When you press down on the clutch pedal, you should hear a creaking noise if the pressure plate is in bad condition. Otherwise, you may need to check the spring alignment in your clutch disc for wear.

Transmission problems aren’t limited to the Mitsubishi Eclipse. The faulty continuously variable transmission (CVT) in the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is just one example. 

Brake System Problems

CarProblemZoo users have reported 170 complaints related to the Mitsubishi Eclipse’s faulty service brakes. The majority of the complaints are directed at models manufactured between 2006 and 2009. Service brakes on affected models may fail to function or lock up while in use. 

Many Mitsubishi Eclipse owners have noticed their ABS randomly lighting up or shutting off when the brakes are engaged. That’s a sign of brake system failure. Other symptoms include spongy brake pedals, wobbling sensations, and leaking brake fluid. 

Mitsubishi has addressed this issue with a recall that targeted certain Eclipse models equipped with defective brake boosters and master cylinder assemblies. Dealers have been instructed to inspect and repair any faulty brake components in affected models.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), faulty brake components account for 22% of vehicular accidents caused by mechanical failure. That’s why you should have your brakes checked every six months or whenever you get your tires rotated. Regular maintenance can keep you and your passengers safe from catastrophic brake system failure.

Wheels Prone to Bending

Certain 1998 to 2009 Eclipse models have reportedly weak wheel rims. Some owners have cracked their wheel rims while driving over potholes and bumps. Others have experienced blowouts while driving at normal speeds because their stock rims punctured a hole in the tires. 

Some Mitsubishi Eclipse’s stock wheel rims are poorly constructed. They can fail regardless of your driving habits. This is why many owners have resorted to buying aftermarket replacements.

Aftermarket wheel rims are designed to be durable. They can support the weight of your car because of their high payload capacities. If you’re buying a used Mitsubishi Eclipse, you should consider replacing its stock wheel rims with aftermarket ones to avoid unexpected blowouts when you drive.

2008 mitsubishi eclipse
Certain 1998 to 2009 Eclipse models’ stock wheel rims are reportedly poorly constructed, and could crack while driving over potholes and bumps. Image source: Mitsubishi Press Kit

Sunroof Can Get Stuck

The sunroof may become stuck in some 2002 to 2008 Mitsubishi Eclipse models. Some owners have managed to open their sunroofs by pushing the sunroof cover forward. A RepairPal user, who drives a 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse, doesn’t believe the problem is caused by a faulty motor because their sunroof can still slide halfway back or forward with a press of a button. We don’t know for sure if that’s the case. 

Rainwater can enter the cabin through a half-open sunroof and damage your car’s electrical components. When that happens, you’ll have no choice but to replace these parts. That means spending an extra hundred or so. 

Mitsubishi hasn’t recalled the faulty sunroofs on affected models, so you’ll have to shoulder the repair costs yourself. 

Is the Mitsubishi Eclipse a true driver’s car? Eclipse owners seem to think so. It has a great performance track record, excellent reliability ratings on reputable review sites, and decent fuel economy for a sports coupe. Just make sure to ask your seller about the car’s history to avoid unexpected repairs down the line.

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Vehicle Reliability

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