Jim Grant's Tech Tips
92 Mitsubishi Expo Van, Overheating
Overheating occurs on my '92 Mitsubishi Expo Mini Van. Ever since I bought
the car at a public auction about 8 months and 2,100 miles ago, the "Check
Engine" light has been coming on within 5 to 10 minutes after starting
and driving. Two repair shops recommended replacing the timing belt and
the IAC motor, and flushing the radiator. The second shop also recommends
a major tune-up that includes replacing the spark plugs, the plug wires,
the distributor cap and rotor. The second shop told me that the overheating
is caused by too little (2½") clearance between the engine
and the hood and if I drive on the highway with higher speed than the
customary city driving, the added air flow will equalize the overheating.
The latest estimate for parts and labor is about $1,400 that includes
all the work the second shop recommends. This could turn out to be a of
waste of money if it does nothing to resolve the overheating. I would
appreciate any insight you may share with me.
To start with Im
not sold on the work suggested on your vehicle. That "too tight of
a hood clearance" is a new one. The first question you should have
answered is why is the Check Engine light coming on? A 92 Mitsubishi
computer is not the brightest silicone chip on the block, theyre
down right dumb to todays standards. For the check engine light
to come on there has to really be a problem for this Neanderthal of a
computer to complain. Next, just when is the vehicle overheating? Is it
using coolant? If coolants disappearing and no leaks are seen there
may be engine problems such as a bad head gasket or cracked cylinder head.
No spark plugs or Idle Air Control (IAC) will fix that. A vehicle that
is nearly 11 models years old could have a restricted radiator. Its
not likely that a flush would fix that. Before you start throwing parts
at the problem pay for a couple hours of good diagnostics before you throw
money in the direction of those other shops.