Best and most reliable car I still own to this day
I purchased my 97 Eclipse-GS used from the dealership. The only problem that I had after owning the first year, was that the #2 spark plug wire went bad. Once that happened, the car would start and idle for about 3 minutes, and then would die. That happened at around 60,000 miles, and since the timing belt was to be replaced, I had it towed to the shop, and that's when they figured out what the issue was. That cost me $150.
Between 60,000 to 150,000 miles, I replaced serpentine belts, timing belt, water pump. Replaced brake pads, plugs and oil changes; all general maintenance stuff that I can do myself. No major issues with the car. The car is still running strong.
At about 150,000 miles, I had the clutch replaced, master clutch cylinder.
At about 190,000 miles, the power steering pump pulley somehow warped just a tad, so the belt would make this loud chirping noise. I just went on ebay, and got a used power steering pump, and it solved the problem.
Sunroof seal finally failed. 200,000 miles.
At 230,000 miles, the head gasket was pretty worn I would say. The engine started leaking oil from the back of the motor. My mechanic suggested that the head be re-torqued, and that somewhat solved the problem.
In between the 230,000 miles to the current 485,000, I replaced all brake rotors twice, the O2 sensor, the EGR valve, valve cover gasket twice, shocks and struts twice.
At 420,000 miles, the rack and pinion went out. I didn't realize this until it was too late. Power steering fluid would last about a week, then I would hear the moan, it needs more fluid. Once this happens, just replace the rack-in pinion. I learned the hard way, and had to drive the car without power steering for a whole year.
At 470,000 miles, I finally had my mechanic replace the motor.
The car is very reliable. Best car I have ever owned.
Long trips in this car will feel like you just got beat up. It's a comfy ride within city limits. Anything over a 5 hour drive will make you feel like you just went through a wringer. Car is good for people under 5'8"; any taller, and the ride in the car is not comfy.
Horsepower is not much at 140 hp stock. But with an additional after market exhaust and cat-back system installed, the car jumps up another 10 hp.
Without the front upper and rear upper strut bar, the car does not corner well. Invest in the $80 dollars, and have these installed. You won't believe how the car handles after putting these in. The car will corner on a rail.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th February, 2011