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Mitsubishi Outlander Reliability and Common Problems

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Its impressive handling, posh interior, and user-friendly infotainment system make the Mitsubishi Outlander a sought-after SUV. Drivers who travel a lot will love its comfortable three-row seating and generous cargo space. Its resale value is also better than most vehicles, only depreciating 51% after five years, according to CarEdge.com.

Are Mitsubishi Outlanders Reliable?

The Mitsubishi Outlander has earned high scores on major reliability ratings. RepairPal gives it 4.0 out of 5.0, ranking it 8th out of the 26 vehicles in its segment. However, some of its models also received below-average reviews. The Mitsubishi Outlander ranked 7th from the bottom on J.D. Power’s Dependability Survey for 2017, recording a higher number of complaints compared to other SUVs (182 issues per 100 vehicles, which is higher than the average 156).

Top Mitsubishi Outlander Problems

If you’re eyeing a pre-owned Mitsubishi Outlander, it’s helpful to have an idea of the common issues you may encounter with it as it racks up mileage. Here are some of the most common issues across its model years:

Premature Brake Wear

One of the common issues that plagued the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander is premature brake wear. Several owners have reported that their brakes started to wear out just months after they bought their vehicle. Although driving habits can significantly contribute to premature brake wear, some owners believe that it’s the quality of the brake pads that caused their brakes to wear out faster than usual.

Some owners had to replace their brake pads to restore their Outlander’s brake performance. There’s no shortage of high-quality brake pad sets on the market, so finding one for an Outlander is easy.

Automatic Transmission Failure

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Mitsibushi Newsroom
Some owners of the Mitsubishi Outlander have reported hearing a whining sound that got louder when they accelerated. Mitsubishi Newsroom.

According to reports, the automatic transmission on some Mitsubishi Outlanders may fail prematurely. This issue has affected several model years, including those rolled out from 2003-2004, 2008-2009, and 2011-2016. Some drivers reported hearing a whining sound that got louder when they accelerated, others complained that their SUV suddenly decelerated while they’re driving.

If your Mitsubishi Outlander starts exhibiting transmission-related issues, take it to an auto repair shop right away. You can read this guide to learn more about spotting a bad automatic transmission. More often than not, it takes a transmission overhaul or replacement to correct the issue.

Paint Chipping

Paint issues topped the list of common problems for the 2015 model. Some owners have reported that the paint on their SUV’s hood chipped over time. Others have complained that their hood also developed rust spots as early as 28,000 miles. Drivers of affected units were able to solve the issue by touching up their paint.

Resistor and/or Fan Motor Failure

Some Mitsubishi Outlander owners have reported erratic blower motor operation because of a failed blower motor and/or blower motor resistor. This issue has been known to affect several units from the 2003-2005, 2007-2011, and 2014-2015 model years.

Experts recommend checking the blower motor if the blower motor resistor fails. If your Outlander’s fan stops working or you notice that it only works at a specific speed, then there’s a high chance your resistor has malfunctioned.

You may also have to replace the motor in addition to the resistor if the blower motor failed the functional test. You can read this article to learn more about blower motor resistors and how to test them.

AC Pressure Switch Failure

Some Mitsubishi Outlander owners have reported that their AC isn’t blowing cold air. Most of them found that a faulty pressure switch caused the problem. This issue has been known to affect units from the 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014, and 2015 model years. Replacing the bad pressure switch resolved the issue on most vehicles.

Tires Leaking Air

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Wikimedia
Some owners of the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander have complained that their low tire pressure light tended to turn on every two to three weeks. Image source: Wikimedia.

Some owners of the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander have complained that their low tire pressure light tends to turn on every two to three weeks. Upon checking, mechanics found out that the front passenger side tire was leaking air.

Most owners of the affected vehicles have reported that the problem persisted after fixing their tires. This led most of them to speculate that sensor issues (rather than the faulty tires) caused the problem.

Broken Valve Stems

Wheel and tire problems are also a part of the list of 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander common problems. According to reports, the first thing owners noticed was that their tire pressure warning light went off. More often than not, the valve suddenly shot off across the parking lot and the affected tire went flat when the drivers inspected it.

Some owners also said that their tires’ valve stems just broke while the vehicle was parked. In some cases, the stems broke when the driver added air to their tires or checked the tire pressure.

Replacing the tire sensors solved the issue on most vehicles. Repairs can cost up to $190, depending on the extent of the damage.

HVAC Temperature Knob Issues

The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) temperature control knob on some Mitsubishi Outlanders may be difficult to turn. If you’re planning to buy a 2003-2007 Mitsubishi Outlander, there’s a chance it may develop this issue.

Mitsubishi released a service bulletin for this issue detailing what repairs need to be done. They include installing a new air blend door lever and link and lubing the blend door track. Mechanics must also install a filter on top of the blower motor housing to block road debris and dirt. The entire temperature control assembly may also need replacement depending on the extent of the problem.

Bad Cooling Fan Controller

Several owners of different Outlander model years have also reported engine overheating due to a bad cooling fan controller. The complaints mostly came from owners of 2003-2005 Mitsubishi Outlanders. Most drivers were able to solve the problem by replacing the faulty controller.

Overheating is a serious concern as it can eventually lead to costly and complex engine problems. If you’re starting to experience a similar issue with your Outlander, you must address it right away. If your cooling fan controller is working as it should, chances are something else is wrong under the hood.

These are only some of the issues you may encounter with your Mitsubishi Outlander. By doing your research and asking drivers about their experience with the model year you’re considering, you can get a better estimate of its true cost of ownership. As long as you stay on top of its maintenance schedule and replace faulty parts immediately, you can enjoy many years with your Outlander.

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Vehicle Reliability

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