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Mitsubishi Montero



  • cct1cct1 Posts: 221
    Yokohama makes another SUV tire that is a step above the Geolander that is very highly rated--especially with regard to off roading, but I can't remember the name. Maybe someone else can help us out here--I think it was in a previous post.
  • Hey brill,

    I turn 48 tomorrow and I have:

    Son, 25 and married
    Daughter 24 married
    Daughter 22 working on her Doctorate at Bama
    Son 19 freshman at Bama...

    whew, time does march on my friend. You have the right SUV for the job. Most of our time was spent in an old Suburban that we put 300,000+ miles on, (all were soccer players, BEFORE it was cool).

    Good luck my friend,
  • I love the Montero but because I have 100's of tapes, I need a tape player in the car. Has anyone had any success in finding a way to do this? I think Mits is missing the boat believing people are going to immediately go buy bunches of CD's to replace what's been doing well for years. Bob
  • Hi Montero Owners - I own a Montero Sport (1999) and wish I had waited for the new full size to debut for I am finding the Sport smaller than I would like. In Scarborough Maine, the Mitsubishi dealer wants MSRP (36717) for a Limited with no real effort to accept less. Where are you folks finding the Limited (w/rear air) for 34500? It appears I'll be ready for a serious effort to purchase in Spring 2001 and want to expand my list of probable dealers. Thanks!
  • ora9ora9 Posts: 3
    Thank you everyone.

    Finally got a great deal on Montero XLS. Paid 29,205 including destination charges, which works to around a 100 dollars over invoice.

    Got the XLS this weekend and loving every moment while driving.

  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    Have not given the tires much thought.

    Yok does have one or two more aggressive patterns out, I think the next one is the AT.

    My concern is not trading off unacceptable tire noise but since these SUV's are so quite anyway I will accept some.

    I gave some thought to going with "winter tires" in the winter and back to the Geolanders in the summer until the Geo's wear out. That way I can have a more aggressive tread and rubber that is formulated to get better traction in the snow, ice, mud and a more road-like tire in the summer where I probably wont need the extra aggressiveness.

    Just some ideas Im tossing around.

    The local tire store will give 5 seasons of mounting for free so it would just be the cost of the winter tires and then my time to switch them each season.
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    To top this off we are, of course, thinking of having another child just after we squeeze in a trip to Europe this summer if we can.
  • The lease on my Jeep is almost up and I'd love to get my hands on a 1999 or 2000 full-size Montero. I am having a hard time finding one of these babies in my area (Kansas City). If anyone out there has a suggestion please share them.

  • My XLS came with Bridgestone Dueller tires. They are great on the road but as Consumer Reports shows, they are not any good in snow. Got stuck once in 8 inches of snow on flat land,did a 360 on a road when I turned onto it and my stopping distances are much greater than my 93 Montero with Dunlop tires. I haven't tried to use it yet on pasture grass but I made it through deer season last month.
  • brill,

    We went to Hawaii in the Spring of 2000, then a cruise to the Carribean at Christmas...I never had any $$ until the kids grew up and moved on...
    Good luck on your trip and your future bambinos. Mine are my best friends now.

    tga, check the Montero board at
    there is a classifeds board with some accessories and trucks for sale, maybe you will find one in your area.

    michaeljames, a great site that BigAlEasy showed many of us,
    may help you get a better deal from your dealer. It sure helped me.
    One week ago, I bought a 2000 MS LS 2wd with 25k miles for just over $18k and I am very happy with it.

    Good luck to all,
  • I am still trying to decide on which SUB to buy and I found it a little disturbing on the cost of scheduled maintenance for the 2001 Monte Ltd.s,
    especially for 60K miles as follows:
    1. Change timing belt - $522.
    2. Tune-up - $327.
    3. Repack wheel bearing $150.
    4. Transmission&coolant $???
    Any way way over $1,000.(at today's prices) seems pretty high when some SUB's are claiming only regular service Maintenance for 1st 100K miles.

    I guess having to change the timing belt, while most cars made in the last 8-10yrs go 90K miles before changing this. I have not got the official recommended scheduled maintenance, this is just what I got over the phone while still negotiating a price. $34,400. with rear air. How does the Monte compare to other SUB's for Scheduled Maintenance?

    I had estimates from dealers for about $350. for factory hitch and wiring harness. But when I tried to get a firm price it was $380.(dealer cost?) for hitch plus $100. installation or $480. total. Steep! May have to get a Reese hitch. What advantage does the factory hitch have? Better fit? Any recommendations? Any indications more incentives may be coming? Like lower interest rates (4.9% @ present). Thanks for any help! I am glad I only do this type search about every 10 years.
  • viet2viet2 Posts: 66
    Yes, the maintainance cost is higher. And I am mad at Mitsubishi for placing the intake manifold right on top of the spark plugs, and make changing plug a nightmare. But you can buy other comparable Suv and pay more, much more in advance to save a few hundred dollars for maintainance. When the time come for maintainance
    fine a reputable shop and cut your bill by 30%. I will just do the maintainance my self. About the tow hitch, I got one from dealer, and it was made by Valley hitch industries. You can save some money by going after market, But if you need good wiring hardness, you have to go with dealer hitch.
  • phonosphonos Posts: 206
    I agree with viet2 -- find an independant Mitsubishi garage.

    My limited experience is that most dealer's mechanics (with exceptions) are one or more of the following: 1) lazy, 2) incompetent 3)illiterate 4) have limited experience.

    I have never been able to get them to fix minor brake noise at the end of rolling to a stop. Although it appears to be related to ambient humidity and temperature more than anything else. (I.e. warm and dry, squeek; cool and damp; no noise)

    (Times are great, everybody has a job, good help is hard to find, warm bodies will do just fine. However, this may be a changin'). This I find at not only the Mitsubishi dealer but at the Honda dealer (who used to have excellent service)as well.

    Alternative is to ask the dealer if he runs "coupon" specials. These usually can save you 30-40 % on "regular" cost. Most don't even care if you have the coupons ("I had one but I lost it someplace around the house, the dog (kids) ate it, etc.")or will give you one when you bring the vehicle in for service.

    Viet2 -- have you investigated a special tool that may exist and/or instructions for spark plug removal?
  • rascalrascal Posts: 26
    Hi Clay,

    As a retired Harley Davidson mechanic, I do most of my own work and would tell you that I do not allow dealers to do anything to my cars unless they are in warranty, they just charge too much.

    I know of NO car that has a timing belt that will go 90,000 miles. I have 5 Hondas and 60,000 is all they recommend. Too expensive if they are pushed longer than that and fail.
    I have a contact for a bolt-on Class III trailer hitch for $69, and yes it is new. About $15 shipping. Easy to bolt on yourself.
    Tune up $327 ?? Is that a 30k or 60k service? Tune ups are not expensive and yes the plugs are a bit harder to get to but you only replace them the recommended 60,000 miles so what is that 2-3 times (180,000 miles...). I was intimidated at first, but got a factory service manual and I can get the plugs in and out in about an hour and the cost of one $4 gasket.
    $150 to repack bearings? Nah! Midas will do that for a lot less, shop around my friend.
    Flushing and changing the coolant is about a $10 deal if you do it yourself and easy on the Monty.

    Do this same work on the other SUV(B)s and you will see the same silly prices from dealers.
    NONE of these other cars can ignore all these items for 100,000 miles. I remember GM told folks that they could go 100,000 miles on spark plugs..then after 5 years, the damn things would not come out, (can you say "carbon on the threads?).
    Go to your local parts houses, (NAPA, Advance, Autozone), and ask them for a good mechanic that works at home...find a good one and go talk to him and then some of the folks he has done work for. You can save some serious $$ if you snoop around and some great "shadetree mechanics".
    Good luck

    I drove them ALL and I am even more impressed with my MS by the day.
    Good luck
  • viet2viet2 Posts: 66
    Phonos, I have not research about the procedures to remove the spark-plugs but staring at the problem. Looks like to replace those plugs, I have to remove the manifold (yike). I hope that Mitsubishi will offer a supercharger kit with a manifold that clear the spark-plug wells.
  • rascalrascal Posts: 26
    It looks worse than it really is viet2, don't let it bug you but I hope they refigure this for my next Montero.
    Along those lines...
    I still cannot believe what a hassle it is to get to the oil filters on my Hondas...unreal...

  • Thanks for the responses and help. The prices for maintenance was from a Washington Mitsubishi dealer. On the timing belt replacement cost of $522. + tax; I wonder if that includes other parts, like a water pump or other wear parts. That seems pretty high for just a timing belt replacement. Any info on this? The old Monte's must have been similar? Is it the same engine in the 2001 Monte? I have a 1993 Acura legend that I recently replaced the timing belt at the recommended 90K miles, also replaced the water pump due to the labor cost to do it later (plus reliability issue - wife's car-one break down and she wants a new car); both the belt and the water pump looked almost like new, no appreciable wear. I bought the car with only 18K miles so I know they were original. Also my daughter has a 1996 Honda Accord and they also recommend replacing that @ 90K miles. Not sure when they changed from 60K to 90K miles.

    I can better understand $327. for a tune-up every 60K miles (probably platinum plugs - Legends plugs good for 60K miles - Cost about $13. each)if the manifold has to be removed to change spark plugs, but it does make me wonder about engineers that would design something like that. Only thing worse are the cars that you have to pull the engine to change plugs (Cobra?). Is the going rate really about $480 for a dealer installed hitch and wiring harness; I thought the estimate $350 installed was bad. Thanks for you help. The Monte still looks the best right now to me; but wife likes the QX4 (the fancy Pathfinder).
  • rascalrascal Posts: 26
    Again, $300-450 for a trailer hitch is outrageous. I did the whole thing for under $100..
    I doubt that the dealer cost of $522 for the timing belt includes water pump and so forth but I would definitely do it while there, just good maintenance and NO, I would NOT go to the dealer for this. I just hear that dealer mechanics are either awesome or terrible and not much in between, but both charge the same. I would look elsewhere.
    A belt can "look" just great but 90,000 miles is still millions of revolutions on a belt and if you have ever seen what an engine looks like when one breaks, well, it is not usually destroys enough parts that cause the engine to be destroyed, so "pay me now, or pay me later" applies.
    If your maintenance schedule says 90,000, more power to you but I do not press my luck further than the people who engineer these parts recommend but then I enjoy tinkering with these jobs.
    Good luck and let us know what you purchase.
  • lcruzlcruz Posts: 1
    For you full size Montero owners.

    I had a 2001 Limited, only 2 months old but I racked 7700 miles on it. I took it off roading, took it to the Sierras to go snowboarding almost every weekend, and drove long trips up n down California. One early morning, driving to work, a full size Chevy truck pulled out right in front of me and I T-Boned him going 40-45 mph (I think it was around that speed) and was able to walk away from it scracth free, of course you're going to get whiplash and stuff. It was a solid hit into the side of the truck. Both front air bags deployed but my seat belt did the job and stopped me from leaving my seat. The Montero was considered a total loss and now I'm just waiting on the Insurance company to give me money. And guess what I'm going to buy next???? Another one! The only thing that I didn't like about the Montero, before the accident, was the lack of power in the V6, I had difficulty going up the Sierras with 4 passengers. But you know what? My Monte saved my life and that's one of the main reasons why I'm getting another. I used to drive a 95 2 door Acura Integra. That car would have gone under the truck and who knows what would of happend. Now that I look at it from a different point of view, I don't need any more power to go any faster. As long as I'm driving the speed limit then I'm fine with that. I've actually been looking around and most of the SUVs out there are not up to par with the Montero's off road capabilities, smooth ride, luxury and style. You've got the LCs and the Land Rovers but that's way more $ than I can fork out.

    Be safe and wear your seatbelts.
  • photo3photo3 Posts: 26
    I too, am almost ready to buy a Montero Limited. I appreciate all the info on this forum. I'm just wondering about a few things. I had also been considering an Acura MDX but I just don't know if the car is tough enough for bumps and ruts that we tend to find. I also found the seats a little stiff . I also am leary of the estimated high gas mileage. What are people really getting for gas mileage on the Montero Ltd. 2001? And what kind of gas do people use successfully? I've read about paint chipping off as a concern on other forums. Is that really a problem? What about the safety of the back middle seat with no headrest and no three point seatbelt? Has Mitsubishi addressed that safety issue? Does anyone know when the 2002s are coming out and what are the changes..I could wait. I have been looking at Monteros for years and they seem really good (but fairly unknown over here).
    Thanks for the crash info, Icruz, glad you're basically OK. How were the rest of the passengers?
  • I've been getting about 16-17 MPG with mostly highway driving and 87 octane gas. It seems to be running OK with the cheapest gas, although I'm going to try premium for a while to see if that improves my gas mileage. But in the end, I'm going to consider miles/dollar more than miles/gallon.

  • rascalrascal Posts: 26
    My Montero Sport is (2000 MS LS) is slightly smaller than the full size Montero, but I get 20 around town and 24 on the highway. I couldn't be happier.
    The Acura is strong on the open road but terrible off road, so it depends on how where you plan to drive.
    Let us know what you buy.
    Good luck,
  • cct1cct1 Posts: 221
    I use premium only, get around 15 mpg in town, 20 on the highway.

    Unfortunately, the paint chipping issue is for real--I have a pearl red, sudan beige two tone and I have had some of the paint flake off on the two tone rocker panels (the pearl red is only on metal--I think the rocker panels may not take the paint as well as they should). I am going to talk to the dealer about this at my 6,000 mile service.

    Otherwise, I absolutely love this thing. I think the MDX is a good vehicle too, and reasonably priced against the RX30, BMW, and ML320; the Montero is in a slightly different class---more truck, less carlike. Personally, I finally sat in an MDX, and although its wider than the Monte, I still feel claustrophobic in it, but that is probably because I'm used to the Montero. The Montero's large amount of headroom gives it a very nice feeling of spaciousness.

    I think the MDX would be fine if you aren't going to do a lot of offroading. The MDX does fairly well off road, but over the course of time, I would be concerned how tough it would be, and how well it would hold up--I don't think any MDX's were entered at the Dakar rally's; there is probably a reason for this.
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    1. I have driven Acuras my whole life, other than my 69 Firebird (oh the sound of a large V8), and I would never even think of a timing belt before 100K and no honest dealer is going to look at you in the face and tell you you are running a large risk not replacing it until 100K. I have a GSR and if I have to worry about anything it is this puppy. Hondas valves dont clear the pistons like toyota so a broken belt will take out the valves. I wont even think about replacing it until 100K and that comes from discussing this with several mechanics. Sure you take incrementally greater risk with increased mileage but that risk just doesnt go up enough up to 100K.

    2. Dont get the Montero hitch. I had mine installed for about 150.00. The wiring will cost 50.00. I am waiting for Mitsu to break out the harness separately like they have in past years. If they dont I'll just have the guys do a univeral type fit.

    3. I have no problems with my Sudan beige chipping, it is solid color.

    4. Re:MDX Great on road, poor off road. On a recent TV report, Car and Drive I think, they bashed the off road handling stating limiting ground clearence and rear end got too light with faster off road driving.

    I like the on road sporty handling and better milage but really didnt like the increased road harshness and noise. very noticable to the group of 5 I took with me when we tested the MDX and Monte back to back.

    "Stiff Seats", yes my inital thought too but as a guy with a 90 year old back at 40 I found out that soft seats over a long trip much worse. You will notice that the MB seats are also firm and they are a respected part of that SUV. Firm is better the longer you drive. Ask a trucker or anyone with a bad back who is sensitive too this.

    5. Icruz: I am very glad to hear do did alright. That is a fast speed to hit someone with the front of you vehicle. I guess those guys over at the sequoia site can stop second guessing the abiltiy of the Monte to preform well in a 40mph crash test. Glad to hear your going for another Monte as well.
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    The replacement cost for a timing belt... I have never seen anything under $600.00 due to what it takes to get to the belt. I usually replace all the other belts and the water pump at that point since they usually have done all the work to get there and the parts are nothing compared to the labor.
  • rascalrascal Posts: 26
    Go to
    the world's top producer of timing belts.
    Anyone that tells you not to worry about your timing belt for at least 100k miles is a nimrod for MOST cars.
    SOME Acuras can go 105k miles, but until about 1997, the recommendation is 60-75k.
    ALL Porches, 45-60k
    ALL Saab, 35k
    ALL Subaru, 52-60k
    ALL MITSUBISHI, 60k (except 83-86 pickup 45k)
    Most Fords, 60k, a few 100k
    Toyota Rav4 and 4Runner (most) 60k
    to give you a bottom end...Fiats, 25-30k

    Valve to piston clearance is none closer on Hondas than other engines by the way...and Hondas are 60, (most older ones), to 90k

    You can find places that will just JUST the timing belt all day for $300
    BUT, I do agree, replace them ALL, the waterpump, and even some "O" Rings and seals on some engines, and THAT will cost you more. My bet is a dealer will hesitate to just do the timing belt solely, at least I hope so.

    The junkyards are full of engines that snapped those so-called 100k mile timing belts..MOST cars do not have them, but SOME do.

    And..oh yeah..the Firebird, the 69, that had the 400 engine was FAMOUS for snapping timing CHAINS..too funny..

    I concur with you about the Acura off road, I saw the TV show that said it was a mini van made into a SUV and it hated being off road but they raved about it on the pavement.

    By the way, what is a GSR?

    Just my two cents, and that is about what its, time to go fire up the Panhead, (thats a Harley).

  • Thanks for the replies. I called the Mitsubishi service manager today to confirm some prices. I thought $522. for the timing belt change @ 60K miles was expensive, but it is worse. About $200. extra for a water pump plus the fan belt/s, coolant extra labor, etc. I guess nobody said Mitsubishi's were cheap or easy to maintain. Oh, another item on the tune-up also @ 60K they recommend changing the spark plug wires @ the same time for another $100., or it could cost you 2 hours shop time later for a bad wire to remove the manifold again. Is this innovation and progress? Is this Japanese engineering @ it's finest? Or is this another get you now and get you later? Bottom line it looks like a 60K service a dealer will run $1,300 to 1,400. Can anybody confirm this or have gotten better dealer prices? Dealer is softening a little, he's @ "weekend special" of $34,000. + Tax & Lic. and 4.9% financing for 2001 Monte LSD's with rear A/C no other goodies(I just love dealing with these guys-about like taking a cold shower in the winter). Anybody getting better pricing or financing. I would really like to see 1.9 or 2.9% financing.
  • mp19fanmp19fan Posts: 102
    I'm planning to make a purchase within 1-2 months and I've narrowed it down to these two. I understand Montero LTDs are right around $34k fully loaded. I'm also considering the 4WD Seq SR5 w/ leather, convenience pkg and alloy pkg, which should go for around $37k (hopefully). The Seq is a bit bigger than I'd like, but I like the idea of a V8 and the Toyota dependability. The Montero I like because of its 4wd capabilities and the creature comforts. $3k less doesn't hurt, either! How is reliability? That's my primary reason for not choosing a JGC LTD. Also, how is the V6? I've heard it's a bit sluggish, esp. on inclines. Any, thoughts? Those two are my main concerns about the Montero. Thanks for any advice! --Jimmy
  • Good questions, I am in the same boat. Good luck on the $37K and leather + in a Sequoia. They wanted a minimum of $41-42K, so I didn't even test drive one. It my be my local dealer E-Wa, as they are selling as fast as they are coming in for now and really turned me off. What kind of deals with all the goodies are being quoted? The drive system of applying the brake to wheels that are spinning, when trying to get out of the mud or other slippery mess does not appeal to me. It may work great, but braking while trying to get out a slippery mess? Anybody with experience on this?

    Talking to the service manager on the Monte engine, it sounds like the base engine goes back to the 1980's, is this true, and good or bad?
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    I dont disagree that the manufacture suggests replacement far earlier than I would do it. They have to cover their butts and it does make good $$$ for them..can you imagine that they would ever give us the true statistics as to how long the belts are designed to last. A lot of people would then take thier cars right to that point. The ones that drive thier car hard probably would have more early failures and then want the company to cover it under warrenty. Hence the early warning about replacement.

    Saabs really suggest it at 35K! WOW theres a design flaw or an overly conservative reccomendation.

    About the valves, I am no mechanic but I think you will find that Toyotas valves do clear and will not be damaged in the event of a timing belt break. At least that is what I was told by several mechanics including toyota about a 1990 Creseda. I think they said the camry also is designed this way.

    What is a GSR? That is an acura 1.8l little sports car that is a blast to drive and a wounderful value for what they charge for it.

    My 69 Firebird had the "economy" motor the 350. I wish I had the 400. We had 3 over many years and never had a timing belt problem. With the kind of HP these things were capable of putting out it would not suprise me that you could break a lot more. I ran a little known 428 Pontiac 4 bolt main designed to run against the 427 Chevy for a while there. Now that thing had HP and torque and could break everything if you were on it all the time.

    I'll take my chances and not do the belt until closer to at least 90K. Perhaps I will change my mind about the Mitsubishi if I hear about early failures or in retrospect I have driven it harder than what I had anticipated.
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