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Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8369
Experience:  Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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Mitsubishi Galant ES: i have had my 2003 galant in shop for

Resolved Question:

i have had my 2003 galant in shop for surging problems.they have replaced plugs,wires,valve cover gaskets,ecm,cracked vacuum lines and still having issues with surging while times pushing gas pedal almost quarter of the way down car slow to respond then surging up to and including at low rpms.i have noticed when it gets to 4000 rpm at times takes off like a rocket.not sure if timing belt has been changed. it has 94k on it. any ideas?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mitsubishi
Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.

Are any faults being recorded in the computer?

At any point has the timing been inspected to see if it has changed?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no codes in computer.timing was checked 5 days ago

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
Was the belt timing checked only or also the ignition timing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

timing belt was not checked.but no check eng lite is on and no codes

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
What were you referring to when you said the timing was checked 5 days ago?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

mechanic checked it with snapon scanner

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
That isn't possible. The belt and ignition timing have to be visually inspected, a scan tool can not tell you if you slipped time.

So no one has inspected the belt and ignition timing to make sure they have not slipped?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

i am just giving you the info i was told.but i dont think a mechanic has checked timing belt alignment with distributor. did not have this problem until first shop worked on the valve cover gaskets and ecm replacement.i also was told the distributor was moved to advance timing.

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.

Was the ecm replaced trying to correct this issue, or was it replaced for other reasons? If other reasons, is there any correlation between the problem occurring and the ecm being replaced?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

check engine lite came on and showed crank pos sensor and cam pos diagnosis was ecm complete failure and replaced ecm.not sensors.wouldnt the check engine lite activate if timing belt marks didnt alighn with each other?

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.

It sounds more like the problem was not diagnosed correctly the first time.

It is pretty much 100% impossible for you to get cam and crank codes and have the problem be the ecm. It just doesn't work that way... the odds of having two different sensor faults occur at the same time is rare in itself, but beyond that to have these faults occur and not prevent the engine from running tells you right off the bat what the problem is.

When you see cam and crank errors at the same time, it is a correlation error... meaning the cam and crank sensors are not in agreement, or out of time.
When that occurs it is always due to the timing belt having slipped. When the timing belt slips you will note drivability problems at low speed, but at upper RPM where the computer timing adjusts automatically the power improves significantly.

What has happened here is the vehicle slipped time, was diagnosed incorrectly as an ecm, then when the ecm did not correct anything they adjusted the distributor to get the error codes to go away. This is because the cam sensor is built into the distributor, by rotating the distributor it made the belt appear in alignment again, when in reality the ignition timing was just adjusted.
This is not an acceptable solution for a multitude of reasons, and this is also why the distributor is meant to be fixed (it only has one adjustable slot for diagnosis, the other bolt hole is fixed).

First things first, you need to get the timing belt replaced and re-time the engine. The timing belt needs to be replaced every 60k miles without fail, and you are already beyond that. If the belt fails completely or jumps more than 3 teeth or so it will destroy the engine.

Once that is done the distributor needs to be repositioned correctly or the cam/crank correlation errors will return. This isn't hard to find the right spot like on older cars, as again one bolt hole is fixed so it is impossible to have it installed wrong if both bolts are in.

The ecm you can leave or switch back, it doesn't really matter. Personally I would at least try to get your money back from the shop that screwed up the diagnosis..... but on the flip side if they replaced an ecm for P0335/340 and further adjusted the distributor which should never be done on this model, I don't know that I would want them working on any car of mine again.
Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8369
Experience: Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thank you for information.if the timing marks are not aligned right wouldnt that make the check engine lite come on?

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
It depends on two things....

If the left bank is wrong, absolutely not. The left bank is not monitored at all, so you can have that cam in any position you want and it would never set the lights on.

If the right bank is wrong, yes it would set the light (or if the crank was wrong, thereby making both cams wrong). However if someone were to take the set bolt out of the distributor and adjust it out of normal position...... because this is what determines if the belt is aligned using the cam sensor inside the distributor, then you could adjust the distributor to a point where the light does not come on. And given that you know they have adjusted the distributor, this is what really puts the nail in the coffin here. There is no reason to adjust the distributor and leave it there on this car, that is why it has a fixed position bolt. The only explanation for moving the distributor to "fix" anything would be if the belt timing was wrong and someone either didn't know/understand how that works or did know and was using the distributor position to mask the problem.

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