I own a 2002 Lancer ES automatic 2L (120HP) since new. Even with only 22,000 miles, I opted for a timing belt replacement just last week because of the cars age at my dealership where it was purchased. This package for $995 includes new timing belt, new timing tensioner, new water pump, new alternator belt, and new A/C, steering belt. I see this as required regular maintenance avoiding costly repairs.
I also have a still valid 7yr/100,000 mile warranty. I mention this because I too heard small steel balls rolling (good description) from under the hood at moving idle to 25mph on quiet, level street. Having some experience I assumed either valves, water pump, or alternator bearings. I then decided on the timing belt package since belts needed changing anyway and the tensioner and water pump would also be replaced. If the water pump was bad I could have waited for it to leak before it was repaired under warranty, but I'm afraid to be stranded on the expressway or taking a chance of overheating/ruining the engine.
Talked to the service adviser about all this upon initial service writeup. Received free loaner car: 2009 Galant; 2.4L 4CYL; nice styling, powerful, excellent handling/turns. 2 days later replacement was done. Service checked all suspension and underbody saying all OK. Service adviser said to drive it and listen for any noise.
Surprisingly, my bill was less! My tensioner was possibly clicking and therefore covered by my extended warranty. Service charged my extended warranty to search for the ball bearing noise. My cost $0 deductible.
I love my Lancer as much if not more than the day I bought it. As I drove home I heard no more balls rolling.
The only surprise was a smaller bill. Refreshing, very refreshing, to hear from a dealer we checked everything and everything is in working order to actually be the case. I suggested since my Lancer is going on 7 years I should replace my struts and shocks perhaps from dry rot. I was told they were in good working order that it was not necessary. Too bad that was not the case with my new 1989 Olds 88 nor my new 1992 Ford Taurus. As one reviewer had put it: It feels so solid and tight that it will last forever. I agree. And the dealership will see to it.
Sorry about your paint. I'm sure Mitsu won't leave anyone disappointed intentionally. Certain things may break down intermittently, but much more and worse things have happened to too many other brands.
As for wheel hop; have the suspension checked. I have seen cars ahead of me on the highway with bad shocks where the tire actually bounces like a basketball on the court on a flat, smooth road. I would have not believed it had I not seen it.
Other than that, I would have to agree with your general comments; I feel the same way about my 2002; I park way alone in the parking mall and always come back with a car parked next to me. In my years I have only seen one handful and to this day it still looks up to date.
I think you should do a good deed and ask your excellent Mitsu dealer where they found this steel ball noise was coming from, and advise the guy with the stonewacked Lancer of what it might be and of what they did to fix it.
Also couldn't the same guy owning the Lancer with stonewacked paintwork, not attempt to claim on the paintwork warranty due to the paint's thickness being like eggshells. Otherwise it still sounds like a good car and does not really deserve the statement "I wouldn't buy this car if I were you", if he can sort those two problems out under warranty? then he's good to go!!.
If all else fails touch-up, T-cut, polish and turn up the sound system up.
Umm, I have a a black CJ Lancer, done 10000k's and the paint is still perfect, you must just be driving behind trucks or driving on dirt roads, with the steel ball rolling round, maybe its engine ping, see what your dealer says.
This is one of the best cars I've driven, best ride/build/quality in its class and price.
It's true, new paint regulations now require car manufacturers to use more environmentally friendly paints.
Subaru is having a similar issue with the WRX's wide, flared rear fender which gets really badly chipped (like sandblasted) from dirt and rocks flying off the front tires and hitting the rear side fenders.
My car (2006 Mitsu Lancer Ralliart) also is chipping, but mainly on the hood from rocks hitting it.
Same thing happen to my Corolla. When you hit the gas a little bit at first gear, the car will hop. Every time I put in the first gear, it's like a nightmare!!!
That steal ball rolling around noise... could it be that you're in too high a gear? I'm not saying it has to be that, but maybe?
No, the Lancer is not a good car. And dealership service is also horrible. I'm the guy who wrote this review. I told my Mitsubishi dealer about the weird noise, and I test drove it. One of them sat in the passenger seat, and he could hear the noise when I drove. He kinda agreed with my opinion. And he brought another guy who was just trying to cover up the problem. He said it's just because it's too low rpm. But I don't think 1500-2000 is too low. Even though it's too low, it shouldn't make that kind of weird sound. And I swear, it never happened when I first bought it. Never even happened to other "crappy cars" I've driven in my life as well.
And now I've driven about 30000 miles, and it has numerous chips and scratches like a car with 150000 miles. If you are one of those who cares about paint quality, don't buy this car.
I'm from Quebec, Canada and I own a 2009 Lancer DE.
4 months after the purchase, I also started to have paint problems, and I've been battling my dealer and Mistu Canada to get it fixed.
And no, I don't follow trucks on gravel roads!
I have a Lancer 2009, and I have noticed two funny sounds; one at the brake when you pump it; every time I push the pedal, it sounds like some air is being released. I told the service dealer and they say it is normal.
The second one is on the A/C system. Every time the compressor starts, it make such a click / clack sound it is really annoying. Have you guys had any experience like this?
I don't even own a Lancer and I can tell you that both of these "problems" ARE NORMAL.
When you press the brake you hear air being released? Well since your car has power brakes, and power brakes usually use atmospheric pressure and engine vacuum to work, this is normal. I've never had a car that didn't make a slight "hiss" when I stepped on the brakes (except for my older vehicles that didn't have power brakes.)
The A/C compressor makes a "click-clack" sound every time it engages? The A/C compressor has a small clutch inside of it that engages each time you turn on the A/C. This "click-clack" sound you are hearing is that clutch engaging.
The brakes "hissing" in no way, shape or form could be a problem. And unless the "click-clack" sound coming from the compressor is continuous while the compressor is turning, and not just when it turns on do you have a problem. Otherwise, everything you described is normal.