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Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8622
Experience:  Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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Would not start replaced battery still would not start jump

Customer Question

would not start replaced battery still would not start jump started it ran one or two minutes then died with all dashboard lights blinking on and off and would not restart.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mitsubishi
Expert:  Doug replied 1 year ago.


Does the engine crank at normal speed now?
What is the mileage on the vehicle?
Any other noteworthy behavior, either now or leading up to this event?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
engine does not even turn over mileage is 122.656 had some trouble starting earlier this week which led me to believe the battery may have died since the outside temp was in single digits. when i tried and start it again all lights went dim and the dashboard was flashing plus there was a clicking noise coming from it.
Expert:  Doug replied 1 year ago.


When you try to start the engine, does it even try to turn over at all or nothing? If there is no movement, do you hear a click under the hood when the key is turned to Start position?
Is there any change to those answers if you have a jumper cable set on the battery?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
tried doing something again, first turning the key car made a winding down sound afterward when i took the key out it started making a noise similar to a child's pull toy when you pull it back to make it go. did another jump start and after a few minutes and a few tries it finally started. let it run for two minutes with the cables still attached everything seemed fine except the battery light was still on. as soon as i took the cables off the car started to sputter then died.
Expert:  Doug replied 1 year ago.


That sounds pretty definitive right there.

I would say you have lost your charging voltage, which led to the battery weakening progressively until it got so slow that it could not start. This led to a flood condition (it keeps spraying fuel even though it is turning too slowly or not at all when the key is turned), resulting in the difficulty starting when under auxiliary power.

With the vehicle finally running again and the battery light lit, this indicates that your charging voltage while running is outside the normal 13-14.5V range..... while it could be an overcharge situation, it is more likely undercharge since an over charge will normally still run when you unhook the cables.

So at that point you are down to an alternator or a PCM (engine computer... it controls the alternator). If you have the ability, I would perform the following tests:

With engine running (jumper cables and all as necessary), measure the voltage across the battery posts, then compare it to the alternator post. If you have charging voltage (13-14.5V) on the alternator but not on the battery, then suspect a bad/loose/corroded connection or cable issue.

If you have low voltage at the alternator too, then check for voltage on pin 2 (red/black wire) of the four pin connector on the alternator. If there is no voltage, expect a blown fuse.

If there is voltage, then you are rightly down to the alternator or PCM. The following inspections will tell you which is at fault:

Measure for voltage between pin 4 (yellow/black) of the alternator 4 pin connector and ground while the engine is running (jumper cables as necessary). You should see around 5V. Slowly add loads (high beams, AC fan, defroster) and watch the voltage.... it should decrease with each load.

Measure for voltage between pin 1 (black/red) and ground you should see very low (100mV etc) voltage. Slowly add loads again and with each load the voltage should increase.

If you see those voltage behaviors, the alternator is bad. If you see one of those wires fixed at 12V or similar unusual behavior, the PCM is most likely at fault (Assuming wiring is intact).

If you wanted to roll the dice.... it is nearly always the alternator. PCM failures for charging malfunction are very rare, I've run into single-digit instances of that in nearly a decade working for Mitsubishi. It is almost always the alternator on this model. That said, do not use aftermarket alternators on this vehicle. The dual-regulator design used by this era (2000+) Mitsubishi is not aftermarket friendly... best case scenario it works for a few days/weeks; worst case scenario (and more common) it blows out the regulator in the PCM, and saving $50-100 on the alternator ends up costing ~$1300 to fix the aftermath. Don't risk it... use genuine Mitsubishi alternators (sourced from a dealership) to avoid any problems.