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My 1996 Mitsubishi won’t start now or shift out of park

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My 1996 Mitsubishi won’t start now or shift out of park .
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/8/2018
Mike V.
Mike V., Mitsubishi Mechanic
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 26,849
Experience: 25 years experience on all makes and models. Nissan and Subaru factory trained.
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Thank you for your question!
My name is ***** ***** give me a moment to review your question and type my reply. Thanks

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Does the engine crank and not start or no cranking at all?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Engine cranks, somewhat starts but won’t stay on with my attempts to keep it on.

How many miles on the car?

Did the issue with it shifting out of park just start happening when this started happening?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
136,000. Yes this just started. I purchased for my son a couple months ago. It had been parked and garaged for several years. I drove it home and drove it around a couple times. Never an issue.

Ok

First, check and see if the brake lights are working. If there is an issue with the brake lights it might keep it from shifting out of park.

For the starting issue, unplug the mass air flow sensor, this is the sensor right next to the air filter box, or in the tube from the box to the throttle. Unplug it, then see if the car will start and idle on it's own.

Try this and let me know.

Thanks.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Brake lights on the left only half work. Right side lights up entirely

Ok, did you unplug the maf sensor?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Can’t find it. Looking

What size engine is in this?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Unplugged it
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Try and start while unplugged or re plug?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
2.0 engine

Try starting it with it unplugged and see what happens.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
It tries but won’t turn on
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
There’s another plug just below it

Thats the throttle position sensor. The maf sensor if it has one should be out at the air filter box, can i get a pic of that please?

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Ok, this isn't running a maf sensor. Some do and some don't, it does list the part but I don't see it there.

Check the air filter and make sure it's clean.

It's possible there is a timing issue causing the problem. If it's jumped time then it could cause this problem.

Do you have the equipment to pull the timing cover or do a compression test?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No I do not. Would you like another angle picture to see if you see it there?

You could give me a pic of the whole tube from the air filter to the throttle, that might help. At least i will know it's not there.

However, if there isn't any electrical connections between the air filter and throttle, then it's not using a maf sensor.

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Ok, no mass air flow sensor there.

You can get a compression tester at most parts stores, you will need to be able to remove the spark plugs.

If you can do that, pull one and see what they look like, maybe the plugs are bad.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Taking spark plugs out to check
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Pulled one cover off and looks like water somewhat got inside

This could cause a problem, do you mean where the wire connects to the spark plug?

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Water and not oil? That's a really strange place to find water. If the spark is arcing because of the water it will prevent it from starting. Looking forward to seeing the plugs.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Yea there’s no spark plug cover and talking with my wife she believes our son may have attempted to spray the engine off with the hose due to how dirty the surface was
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I’ve seen some engines come with spark plug cover bolted over. This one does not have one

Makes sense, and not all have a cover and the plug wires are water proof, so if this is the reason it's not starting, it should probably have a new set of wires on it. Dry em off and let's see what happens. That's a good piece of info knowing how the water actually got in there.

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If it's me, I am getting new plugs and wires for this. That second plug looks worn out to me. You don't have to go with that fancy plug. Give me a moment and I will look up the correct plug from the factory.

Yeah, that seems like enough water to keep her from firing up to me.

I'll be back

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Already got them

That happens because it's getting gas but no spark. It's called fouled out. This is because the water between the plug wires and boots is acting like a conductor and sending the spark to the cylinder head instead of the tip of the spark plug.

Clean or dry the holes out as much as you can.

Also, I see the battery is disconnected. The car may stall on you until it learns a new idle So don't be surprised.

If you have new plugs and wires go ahead and install them one at a time so you dont lose the firing order.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Okay will do.

NGK is a good plug and likely what it came with from the factory. It most likely will start hard because the cylinders might have a lot of fuel in them. Hold it to the floor while cranking, that will help clear them out.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Okay. Did all that. Now it starts less than it did before. It used to try and stay on. Does even get there now

Are you 100% sure you have the firing order right?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
How do I check?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I connected as numbers indicate 1-4. Left to right
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Do I take out and re insert in the order of 1 -3 -4 -2?

No, from what I can tell just make sure your wires are going to the correct cylinders.

Mitsubishi is a real pain sometimes with the firing order. Meaning the service manual isn't always correct.

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Is that the style coil you have on this?

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or does it have 4 in a row instead?

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That is indeed the right firing order. No question.

Pull a plug wire off the coil and set it about 1/4 inch from the post. Crank the engine and see if there is spark arcing from the coil to the wire. Don't hold the wire by hand while doing this.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Okay

That looks fine to me.

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yes, all you need is about 1/4 inch from the coil tower to the wire. There should be hot enough spark for it to jump to the wire.

If not, kindly pull a plug and see if it's got any gas on it.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No spark. Pull the actual spark plug out?

Yes, just check and see if it's wet with gas. You can also set it next to something metal in the plug wire and see if spark arks between the electrode and the ground on it. Just to double check the spark.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Check all of them?

No, one is enough. Just can't imagine the other plugs firing and these not firing. This should have resolved the problem.

try the quick test of setting it next to one of the metal bolts while in the plug wire and crank the engine just to be sure there isn't any spark.

Thanks

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Okay. Just to confirm, disconnect the spark plug wire from the end nearest the number and place near one of the bolts to test for spark ?

Nope

Take the spark plug, put it in the wire, make sure the other end of the wire is still connected to the ignition coil. Then, lay that spark plug on something metal and crank the engine. With this test you are looking for spark right at the end of the spark plug. Again, don't hold it

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Ok

Next step, don't suppose you have a test light or have ever used one by chance?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I do
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Let me get it.

That is great news!

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With the key on, check the red wire at the coil connector for power. There should be battery voltage there.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Of the battery or spark plug?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Should it be set at 100V+ or 24V+?

24 volt DC

If this is a house meter it's not going to work, it cannot read the dc voltage.

the coil is the part that the plug wires come out to the spark plug.

There is a connector going to it and the red wire has to have voltage with the key on

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Got it

let me know if you get power on that wire.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Let me go purchase one of them

You can do this with a simple 12 volt automotive test light.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you so so much for all your help!!!
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Sounds great!!!

That's GREAT news!

You are very welcome!
Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.
Also, kindly remember to rate my answer.
Thank you so much!!

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I will. If I need assistance in the future can I request you?

I believe you can "like" me or favorite me after you rate. That will give you a direct link right back to me.

Mike V.
Mike V., Mitsubishi Mechanic
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 26,849
Experience: 25 years experience on all makes and models. Nissan and Subaru factory trained.
Verified
Mike V. and 87 other Mitsubishi Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Okay will do. Thank you again

You are very welcome and I am really glad we could get you running again!

Thank you for the rating!

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Left you a review and small tip.
Have a great evening

Thank you, ***** ***** appreciate it and you have a great night as well.

Thanks again!

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Mike V.
Mike V.
Mike V., Mitsubishi Mechanic
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 26,849
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Experience: 25 years experience on all makes and models. Nissan and Subaru factory trained.

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