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Doug
Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8608
Experience:  Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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Mitsubishi Galant ES: was at red light yesterday...light goes

Customer Question

was at red light yesterday...light goes green...hit accelerator and car stalls. No CEL. Then this morning on the way to work acceleration struggles...hesitation and flat spots.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mitsubishi
Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Has the engine light come on since driving it some more? Does the engine seem to idle OK? What if you rev the engine in Park?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Doug, o CEL...Idle is fine. Rev in park is good.

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.

When you go to take off does it malfunction (hesitation/flat spot) for several feet/seconds/longer after take off or does it always clear up as soon as you get moving?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

This morning it did seem sluggish. But after getting fuel and hitting the highway it seemed okay. Then I passed someone and acceleration response was terrible...noticed flat spots...and and power loss.

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
Hmm.

With no engine light operation and somewhat inconsistent behavior I would be thinking about potential fuel related issue or even tune up.

Do you know the last time the plugs were changed?
If you run the engine at idle and feel the exhaust exiting the tail pipe, does it feel like there is substantial pressure there (can compare to another car if you are unsure)? Is there any odd odor from the exhaust?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

New plugs and coil paks last year...it does smell but figured it was new second cat that I installed at the beginning of the year. Valve guide seals have not been changed yet.

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
Hmm, how is the pressure at the tail pipe?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'll let you know later. At work right now. Anything you want me to monitor on ride home...it is a about a 40min. blast up the interstate averaging 75-80mph.

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
No problem.

Just watch for any steady cutting out while holding speed, like if it feels like a cylinder is cutting out.
On acceleration try to count your gears if it feels sluggish... to make sure you aren't starting in a higher gear (due to malfunction), as that will make it feel sluggish.

Watch of course for the engine light, either to turn on or flash, and watch for the "N" light to flash.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

okay...will let you know how it goes on ride home.

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
Sounds good
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Exhaust pressure good...ran good all the way home. I was doing 79 and nailed it...kicked down two gears and powered through shifts fine. I don't know what was going on this morning. I will monitor the performance of the car and let you know if it happens again.

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.

Did anything noteworthy happen prior to the condition forming? For example had you just gotten some gas in the past few days, and perhaps from a different store than usual? How about some heavy rain the night before?

Keep me posted... no need to reply to this right now if nothing comes to mind; I will be stepping out on break for about an hour anyway.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I did fill up at a different station that morning and it has been raining on and off the last few days...maybe water...I don't know. If it does not reoccur,I will go with that.

Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
I would be most likely to think a little water or bad gas from the station if I had to guess.
With the description you had I would have figured either fuel or tune up related as I mentioned... And with it coming and going that makes ignition far less likely putting us back to fuel related.
When you combine the fill up right before... It's possible you might have gotten some funk in the tank if the station either hadn't had a delivery in a while (and the pump was scavenging the bottom), or just recently and it was all stirred up etc.
I'd say let's just play it by ear for now... Run the fuel out before making any decisions/changes/repairs, then full out with some quality brand fuel (a tank of premium wouldn't be a bad idea either) and reevaluate if needed.
If we need to get back on it I'll be here.