Need Comments - '98 Mitsu Galant

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My wife will be looking at a '98 Mitsubishi Galant tonight to replace her '94 Merc Sable. The Galant has about 110K miles, automatic, and 4cyl ( I think). $3500. What kind of reputation does this car have in terms of mechanical reliability. Auto tranny? Thanks!
 
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They've got a long standing repuation for bad valve guide seals. I would say in all confidence that more than 50% of that generation of Galant I see on the road are spewing blue smoke. I haven't nailed down whether it's caused by a genuine manufacturer defect, or lack of maintenace. My 1993 Plymouth Sundance had the Mitsu 3.0 V6 and I treated that car like my first born. Never missed an oil change, always the best products used, and that car was running showroom new when I sold it at 75,000 miles. I guess I'd advise that you pay close attention to the tailpipe when you start it up at the dealer, and take it on a long drive.
 
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We purchased a '97 Galant ES (7th generation - same as '98) with: full power options(including sunroof), 4 cyl SOHC, auto tranny, and 132k miles for my daughter in November for $1500. So far there have been some repairs to be done, but I checked it over well and researched so I knew what I was getting into. Otherwise a really nice car that I like to drive... which makes my daughter really mad. [Razz] If you (or a reputable mechanic) can tell that it has been taken care of, they are good running and nice cars. Things to watch for are: front ball joints (open factory recall), bad auto trannys if not taken care of (change the fluid to Mitsu SPIII if you don't have proof it was done recently), and lifter noise (seems to be a nuisance rather than life-threatening and there is a redesigned lifter available). It is an easy car to work on (even for someone with little experience like me) so I replaced the plugs, wires, dist cap, rotor, pcv, fuel filter, and air filter. I also changed the oil and filter immediately to M1 and Purolaor Pure One, changed the P/S and brake fluid to synthetic using the turkey baster method, cleaned the throttle body, and ran a tank of Techron. This was a good weekend job and relatively inexpensive for peace of mind and it's running great! If you need parts, you can go to www.mitsubishiparts.com and order online or call and talk to Gary. Their prices are VERY low for OE parts (just compare to your local dealer) and Gary knows what he's talking about!!! Rambled on long enough so suffice it to say, we're happy with it so far. More questions... ask away.
 
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My 94 2.0 Eclipse had VERY noisy lifters when it was cold. When it warmed up, purred like a kitten. Looked into getting them replaced, but just traded it instead.
 
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The 7th gen Galants ('94-'98) have the 2.4L (4g64) motor. To my knowledge there are no seal issues. At least not on ours and not that I've seen from various Galant and Mitsu forums. The tranny is what you have to watch out for. As I said before, check it out thoroughly or have a qualified mechanic do it (well worth the money). If it's mechanically ok, in good shape, and you can buy it at a price you are comfortable with... I say go for it.
 
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I thought the valve seal problem was with the V6? To determine if the valve seals leak, let the car idle for 5-10 min. If it starts smoking the seals are bad. Might be time for a timing belt change too.
 
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If that has the same 2.0L that came in the 90 Laser/Eclipse/Talon (also in Chrysler Minivans) I would stay away from it. Mine had the seal problem and it was very common.
 

Clement

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Thanks for all the replies! It turns out that the car was a '96 and that the price after warranty, etc was almost 5K. Way too much for a 10 year old car. So, we're passing on it.
 
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$5K -- that's crazy. It will rot away on the lot. You can buy a 5-yr old Taurus, Stratus, many others for that price....
 
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