Mitsubishi – Friend Or Foe?

I drive a 2006 Mitsubishi Endeavor – but not for too much longer if the hubs has anything to say about it. I have to admit, it has given us a lot of grief since we bought it exactly two years and two weeks ago from the dealership.

The story goes like this. My hubs – Jeremy – had a ’91 Chevy Camaro that was his love – second to me of course. He had spent all day with a buddy of his putting on new shocks and struts and was on his way home down a very small side road. Most of the roads here in the South – are either newly paved, need paving, skinny, made of dirt or gravel and almost always have pot holes. I would say that only 10% of them are newly paved.

Anyway – this guy in a truck pulls out in front of him. There was only two places to go – hit the guys truck or swerve and hope that he stops in time. He was going the speed limit of 35. Well – Jeremy thought he could swerve and miss the guy and stop on time. Nope. Guy kept coming and pushed the car into a culvert. Also – for those who don’t know – a culvert is like a concrete drainage ditch. Needless to say the guy pulled back into the driveway and changed his story three times before the police got there.

Jeremy was lucky to get out of it without a scratch but if I had been in the front passenger seat, I wouldn’t have any legs. I could see the pain in his face while the wrecker pulled the vertical Camaro from the ditch. I think he even cried a bit but don’t tell him I said that. Long story short – guy was caught lying and they gave us enough for a great down payment on a new car.

Enter the Endeavor. We went looking for a compact car since we also have a 2001 Ford SportTrac. Me being the forward thinker said – “We really need another SUV or something if we are going to have more kids.” The salesman took advantage and showed us the blue Endeavor that was just traded in that day. It was an awesome deal at ten grand (after the down payment) which included an extended warranty. They cleaned it up, tuned it up and we picked it up two days later. I loved it – it was the newest used car I’d ever driven. If that makes any sense.

About a year later a sensor went out – that was about a hundred bucks. Then on Dec. 30th I was leaving the house with our son when it started missing. I thought – “Great. Now what happened?” Mind you – the Ford has cost us maybe twenty bucks for a hose and fuse ONE time. Oh – and $27 for new rear brake disks Jeremy put on yesterday himself.

I drove it to get my check cause – well – we all need money right? The guys at Auto Zone said it was a spark plug. So we took it to have them changed (because the one that was bad was under the fuel injection) which cost us $180 total, which in my opinion is stupid. The worst part – it didn’t fix the problem.

Then yesterday I took it to the dealership so they could check it out. It turned out to be an ignition coil. What is that you may ask? Well – every car has a starter but the people over at Mitsubishi decided to put little “starters” (aka ignition coils) on each spark plug – there are 6 spark plugs. This in turn means that 3 of the 6 are underneath the fuel injector which has to be taken apart to change the spark plugs which mean unless you know what you are doing, you have to take it somewhere to have it done. Whew!

Thank goodness we had the extended warranty because it covered the coil – but we have to pay a $100 deductible. So that makes $280 compared to the $50 or we’ve had to spend on the SportTrac. Don’t get me wrong. I love Mitsubishi cars & SUV’s but when it comes to working on them – it can be a total pain.

Now $280 isn’t really a lot when you look at the over all picture BUT I feel that when you are still paying on a car that’s sort of new every month – you shouldn’t have to pay to work on it either. The SportTrac is almost paid off – it will be as of August this year so (knock on wood) hopefully nothing major pops up after that. The Endeavor however – still has a bit to go. KBB otherwise known as Kelly Blue Book – puts the trade in value two grand over what we owe – that’s why there is the possibility of trading it in on something more – mechanically friendly.

So – Friend or Foe? In my opinion – if you have the moolah to spend IF something goes really bad and you don’t have a warranty – go for it. If you don’t – look somewhere else. I had an ’89 GMC Jimmy 4×4 for my first car, it was so simple to work on (yes – I did it myself). Down the road there was a ’93 Honda Accord – kind of easy, parts were not so expensive but it seemed like every 6 months something had to be replaced or changed.

If you are looking for a car, truck or SUV – look for something that has readily available parts, good service history if its used, and something that (if you are efficient enough) you can work on yourself instead of having to take it to a shop and pay $100 in labor like we had to. Research people – Research.

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