Unknown car troubles
March 8, 2014 6:34 PM Subscribe
I bought a second-hand Mitsubishi Magna a month ago, and it's having a weird loss of power issue. I've gone to two different mechanics and spent more than I paid for it on repairs, but nothing's changed. Has anyone had this issue before?
posted by twirlypen to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total)
It's a 1996 Magna V6 'Executive', with 173000 km on the clock, and in fairly good condition (in terms of exterior and so forth).
It starts fine, but 5 - 10 minutes into a drive (in the country, up to about 100km/hr) there will be a sudden loss of power - it feels exactly as if I'd suddenly stopped pressing the accelerator. The engine doesn't stop, and the car will roll for 5-10 seconds. I'll normally have the accelerator down wherever I had it before the problem, and after coasting it will suddenly jump forward with a burst of power and drive normally for another 5-10 seconds before suddenly losing all power again. If I pull over and turn off the engine for a few minutes, it will start fine and drive normally for another 5-10 minutes before the problem starts again. When I stop, there is a fairly acrid burning smell, and occasionally wisps of dark, non-exhaust smoke from the exhaust pipe.
One mechanic did a lot of work on the ignition system and cleaned the throttle body and so forth, but that didn't change anything. The second one said the exhaust system, from the catalytic converter backwards, was very old and blocked. He cleaned it out, and the car ran fine for a few days before the problem started again. He then replaced the whole exhaust, but the problem was there the next day.
Has anyone had a similar problem before? Do you know what it could be? I spent $750 (AUD) on the car, and the repairs so far have cost about $1600. I don't want to pour any more money into this car, unless I could be relatively sure that it was a single, <$500 job that would fix the problem. I can't afford to keep experimenting with fixes. Which I guess is the second part of the question - is there any way to salvage any value from this car, if I can't get it repaired, short of lying to someone and selling it to them? (Which I will not do).