Heavy Rains Causing Engine Problems

kat333kat333 Member Posts: 2
edited April 2014 in Mitsubishi
I have a 99 Mitsubishi Mirage with 40,000 miles on it. We've been having a great deal of rain in the past few weeks and after a rainstorm, if the car has been sitting in the driveway for hours while I'm at work or during the night, when I start it up and begin to drive, it feels like it is going to stall - the engine feels like it is hesitating. The service engine light also comes on. I've noticed that once I get onto the highway and get my speed higher than 40 mph, it no longer feels like it will stall. After driving the 47 miles to work or home - the car is fine until the next rain storm. The engine light stays on until the next day but the driving feels fine. I'm bringing it into my dealer next Monday but I wanted to get some opinions on what may be going on.


  • dc_sports_ruledc_sports_rule Member Posts: 134
    It sounds as if your Oxygen Sensor is wet and is the problem.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I'd suspect ignition wires (plug wires).
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    Not sure if the Mirage still has a distributor, but if it does, I can almost guarantee that a cracked distributor cap is causing the problem. My 93 Mitsu Diamante had severe hesitation problems mainly when it was moist outside. I replaced the spark plugs once, the spark plug wires twice (the first set was faulty), and the ignition coil, but to no avail. I finally replaced the distributor cap and all the hesitation was gone. The old one was cracked and was allowing spark to arch out, lessening the amount of spark going to the engine. The distributor cap is a common problem with the Mitsu V-6. If your car does not have a distributor, than you have a cut in one of your spark plug wires. One or the other is more than likely your problem. Both are easy and cheap to fix. Hope that helps.
  • pbraunpbraun Member Posts: 11
    It sounds like your dist. cap, plug wires, or rotor. I would replace all 3 at the same time, they don't cost much. I had the same problem with my Corolla, I replaced the above, and that took care of it. I reccomend quality electrical products, the dealer, NAPA, or Pep Boys. Sorry Auto-Zone, no made in China junk.
  • kat333kat333 Member Posts: 2
    Thank you for your input! I dropped off the car this morning for service at my dealer. They said it is a cracked distributor cap that is causing a misfire. They are replacing the spark plugs, distributor cap and rotor.

    Here's another question - Is this something common for a car with 43,000 miles on it? I'm always worried about reliability and just want to make sure this isn't a bad sign of things to come.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    I wouldn't worry. The distributor cap is made of plastic. They crack from all the extreme temperature variations they are subjected to from the engine. It is a common problem to all distributor equipped cars. They generally only last about 50K, so I would say it was a normal occurrence and you should have nothing to worry about.
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