The Mitsubishi Lancer is a good choice for a daily driver. Enjoy good acceleration, handle well thanks to easy controls, and smooth out any bumps in the road. It’s a good idea to know the common faults of the Mitsubishi Lancer if you want to buy one.
The latest features are found in the most recent models, but older vehicles offer their own advantages and can make for excellent daily drivers.
It is estimated that the 2017 Lancer will lose 60% of its value in five years. This depreciation rate is slightly higher than the average for all cars, which is estimated at 50% over five years.
How good is the Mitsubishi Lancer?
The Mitsubishi Lancer is quite a reliable vehicle. Some reports gave it a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5.0, which ranks it 29th out of 36 compact car models reviewed. It is also considered one of the most fuel efficient sedan models that Mitsubishi offers.
It’s fairly easy to find drivers talking about their Mitsubishi Lancer accumulating 100,000 miles or more on the odometer. To maximize the life of your vehicle, they advise following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and promptly replacing worn parts.
Mitsubishi Lancer Common Faults
The Mitsubishi Lancer, which debuted in 1973, became one of the Japanese automaker’s best-known brands. Although production ceased in the United States in 2017, the compact car is still a common sight on the road and remains a popular choice in the used car market.
In a testament to the Mitsubishi Lancer’s reliability, reports noted that they didn’t find many complaints about the model. The analysis identified two problem years in particular. The highest number of complaints involved the 2008 Lancer, but it was the 2011 model that scored worst.
1- Problems with the lights
Some 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer owners reported that their taillights caught fire . They believe the problem is electrical in nature because the affected vehicles also started themselves before the lights came on.
Other lighting problems included cracked fog lights on the Mitsubishi Lancer on some 2013 models and malfunctioning headlights on some 2005 model year units. Problems with exterior lights can make driving on highways more dangerous in the darkness.
2- Suspension problems
The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer is considered a well designed vehicle. However, many units were recalled for subframe rot, one of the worst problems that can plague a Lancer.
The subframe is a part of the suspension that holds the engine and the front wheels . In some units of the 2008 Lancer, this has been prone to corrosion, especially in winter states where roads are thawing with road salt.
A heavily rusted subframe can develop cracks or holes that undermine its strength. Finally, the rotten subframe can fall apart without warning. This problem turned out to be so serious that Mitsubishi recalled cars from the years 2002 to 2008 with the defective subframe.
Other model years may also develop problems with your suspensions. The rear wheels on some 2015 Mitsubishi Lancers can eventually wear against the wheel wells if the rear seat is heavily loaded. Others heard knocking noises from the rear suspension and experienced vibrations on the right side of their vehicle.
Some drivers have also reported hearing loud screeching noises whenever their 2011 Lancer makes a turn to park, backs up, or goes over speed bumps.
3- Failures in the wheels and hubs
There are many great things about the 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer, including agile handling and excellent performance from its trims. However, some drivers raised complaints about the intolerable amount of noise their stock tires make . Even a newly built vehicle could have this problem, and the only way to eliminate the noise is to install new wheels.
The front wheels and multi-unit hubs on the 2017 Mitsubishi Lancer may be defective. When the driver hits the brakes, the vehicle can jerk much more strongly than normal. Replacing the front wheels and hubs can fix the problem, but it’s an expensive affair.
Some tires on the 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer can wear out much faster than expected. The source of the problem can vary, but it seems that bad tie rod ends are a common cause. A replacement ball joint can cost around $20 a part or as much as $170 for a kit, not including labor costs.
4- Sheet metal and paint problems
Body and paint problems don’t usually render a Mitsubishi Lancer useless, but no one wants a car that looks bad. When the paint on some 2010 Lancers chips prematurely, drivers will want to fix the problem as soon as possible.
Paint chipping also appears on some units of the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer . Paint can peel, chip, or peel off various exterior body panels. To further complicate matters, several 2008 Lancers can also chip unintentionally.
Rocks kicked up by the front tires can hit the quarter panel and potentially chip the paint there. In some cases, the addition of fenders may not do anything to stop the damage.
5- Transmission problems
Bad transmissions are few and far between for the Mitsubishi Lancer. But these problems can cost a lot to fix, so it’s a good idea to identify which model years are vulnerable to transmission problems.
On some 2008 Lancers, the transmission could overheat . While some tried to fix the problem by changing the transmission oil, others were left with no choice but to spend on replacing the entire transmission.
Another potential problem with the 2008 model year Mitsubishi Lancer transmission is transmission slippage while in gear. It has been reported that several units slip into the wrong gear without warning. To make matters worse, the electronic dash can indicate that the transmission is in the correct gear even when it is not.
It may be old and out of production, but the Mitsubishi Lancer can be a reliable daily driver for years to come. Whether you already drive one or plan to own one, you can’t go wrong with this car.
Do your due diligence by reading the common faults for the Mitsubishi Lancer for the model year you own or plan to purchase. This will give you a better idea of your true cost of ownership and prepare you to deal with common problems should they arise.