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Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 6953
Experience:  Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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Mitsubishi Eclipse GS: Doug, I hope you can help me. My

Customer Question

Hello Doug,
I hope you can help me.
My GS wont start. Car was struck by lightning a few weeks ago and it will crank but will not start. The dealership will not help and two mechanics do not do electrical issues. Do I need to replace my ECM or just bypass the immobilizer to get the engine to start?
2003 Eclipse Gs
2.4l Automatic
Best regards, edwin
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mitsubishi
Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
Hi Edwin,This is really difficult to address without a lot of hands on inspections. Do you have no one that is comfortable with electrical work that can look at it?I would hate to just jump to replacing a ECM on speculation, as that is a very expensive proposition, plus it will still require a trip to the dealership.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the mechanic shop that i just left said that the car had anti theft code
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the dealership states that they cannot do a diagnostic because their computer software handles 2005 and later models.
Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
This isn't entirely true from the dealership... the scan tool they use will handle anything from 97 and up except for Chrysler powered vehicles (which yours is not). If they are using the new touchpad based scan tool it is a bit more work as it takes several minutes for it to change mode to early style operation, but it is not excuse against working on it.More likely they are afraid to get involved due to the costs that are going to be associated with it, and I suspect you did not have full coverage insurance on the car. Generally speaking, a lightning strike just about always ends up in either multi-thousand dollar repairs or a totaled vehicle.... it ends up being one thing after another getting the vehicle to full operating condition, as even minor strikes (not even direct hits) will usually destroy multiple logic circuits in the car (ecm, etacs, wiper motor, srs, etc). Direct hits usually require nearly full replacement of electronics.There is no anti theft code that would prevent the engine from running if nothing else changed..... is there any other relative information that I need to know about that would change that? For example are you using a new key or a different key than you usually used to start the car? Are the lights all flashing when you try to start the car?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ive got the battery disconnected but as soon as i can i will recrank and see if any lights are flashing upon turning the keys on. i remember the initial finding from the mechanic was that the radio antenna was ground zero for the lightning strike and the radio is incapacitated.
Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.Lets check that out when you can, and also I would like you to verify if you are seeing the Service Engine Soon light turn on at all. It doesn't matter if it stays on or not, I just want to know if you see it work at all.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the day it was struck by lightning, i was driving in a torrential downpour. my defrost was on but not working efficiently. my headlights and wipers were on. i was driving about 5 mph when i got struck. the car instantly turned off and then rebooted. the power windows still worked. the radio was dead. and i couldnt start the motor although i was still moving in traffic. i had no power steering and coasted to the shoulder of the road. hazard lights were working as well as power windows and door locks.
Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.Lets check those conditions, with the lights flashing or not and with the engine light working or not, and go from there. Perhaps it will not be as bad as it seems.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
just attempted a start and SERVICE ENGINE SOON was lit
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
other lights that were lit was
BRAKE parking brake currently engaged
Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** VERY good news the engine light works, that means the engine computer is powering up.When you opened the door and/or tried to start the engine, do the headlights/tail lights flash? You would notice the gauge back lighting would flash too if this was the case.Do you have some basic tools if necessary and a multi meter for some testing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I didnt use the keyless entry, i had my battery pulled out. just put it back in.... so i didnt notice the headlights/tail lights flashi do have access to a multi meter
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
although i wont have the multi meter today, i will have to borrow it
Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
No problem. The inquiry about the headlights flashing was just to see if the alarm was malfunctioning etc.We are going to need to use the multi meter pretty soon, so we will probably need to take a break until we have the meter. However in the mean time, are you able to check for spark while cranking? This could be done by removing the #1 plug wire from the valve cover (leaving it attached to the coil) and removing the plug, inserting the plug into the wire end and grounding it on the valve cover while the engine is cranked to see if it sparks. If you do not have a 5/8 socket handy to get the plug out, you can also use a screw driver (As long as it is plastic or rubber gripped and in good condition... NO wood handles!) and insert it into the wire end, then hold the shaft of the screw driver ~1/4" away from the valve cover or other grounded metal while the engine is cranked to see if spark jumps from the screw driver to the engine.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok i will try this and get back to you
Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i tried turning it over no spark, but the battery was weak. i will charge my battery and retry it tomorrow.
Expert:  Doug replied 2 years ago.