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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
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  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

92 Mitsubishi Expo Van, Overheating

Q: 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.

A: To start with I’m 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, they’re down right dumb to today’s 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 coolant’s 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. It’s 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.

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