I'm the original poster here. As of now I'm STILL using my Mirage. I just make sure I don't over rev the engine. I cannot go absolutely over 60mph, that's the limit of second gear. As of last week. I replaced the oil pan gasket. (did it myself, cost = $25. $13 gasket, $10 oil) That stopped half of the oil leak. I have discovered that the main leak is coming from the crankshaft oil seal on the "transmission side" of the engine. It leaks a lot too! No biggi here now, cause the trans needs to be removed anyway! (if I choose to fix that is) Until then, I can and will use my car for local transpo. It works out good!
So all in all, Mitsubishi is a GOOD CAR, JUST MAKE SURE YOU BUY A MANUAL TRASMISSION MODEL. DON'T BUY AN AUTOMATIC.
AND because Mitsubishi have VERY WEEK resale value, it's worthless to replace the trans. If you avoid the automatic trans models, and stick with the manual trans, you'll get plenty of miles out of these car, as the manual transmission are FAR more reliable!
BUY a Mitsubishi Mirage, these are good cars, BUT remember, avoid the automatics
TODAY! My Mirage DIED! The engine gave up! So for this case, the life of my Mirage ends here! The useful life of my car has been served.
BUT the engine gave up because of MY FAULT. Because the oil leak had got really bad, I decided to let the engine lose all the oil before adding new oil. It ran low, but it gave me NO warning that engine was going to get completely ruined. Cause typically an engine will start to make loud noises indicating needing oil. But my car gave me NO warning, no noise of any kind!!! Then in an instant, the engine starting knocking and pinging loudly. Then I added 2 quarts of oil, but it was no use, the engine was already ruined. TOO BAD!
But I'm happy that I got decent use of my Mirage even after the transmission had its problem. I had driven my car 8000 miles on the messed up transmission. I noticed the oil need much more frequent servicing when revving the engine for an extended amount of time!! I was really able to see it coming! My 97 Mitsubishi Mirage was dying SLOWLY! First the massive oil leak, then the transmission, then the air conditioner completely died too, then oil leak just got unbearably worse! Then I basically ended the life of my car!
I really did not even care for putting a SINGLE penny into my car. I really did not think it's worth it. Because these cars are boring to me. It like if I wanted to put a brand new transmission and engine on a 1990's Ford tempo/ contour.
One thing I had ALWAYS disliked on my car is the crappy ride! BUT the handling was GREAT!
So my overall experience with my 97 Mirage is :
Ride/ Comfort = 3
Gas mileage = 8 (averaged 30 mpg)
Handling = 10
Power = 8
Noises (dash, etc) = 7
Overall satisfaction of car = 5
Overall reliability = 7
OVERALL: The biggest issues I had with this 97 Mirage are, front brakes, massive oil leak, and transmission, and A/C, paint peeling off.
I started to have little things giving up on my 97. Like a motor mount, and a rubber part on the suspension. That's all I know. I NEVER had problems with starter, alternator, steering, rear brakes, fuel system, ignition, cooling sys (except water pump), or the engine too (except the MY fault situation)
I read your review with interest until I got to the part where you mentioned that you were letting the oil run out before refilling. To be honest, your review lost credibility at this point.
Sorry 'bout that, but it's the truth.
At what mileage did the Mirage die? If it was less than 133K, it wasn't that much better than your Escort.
I'm the OP here. (original poster). My Mirage died at 181,000 miles, NOT 133,000 like my Escort. My Mirage died cause of MY FAULT. Not like the Ford, it just died EVEN though I took good care of it.
The trans had a problem on my Mirage at 173,000, but was still running and driving. I used my Mirage 8000 miles with the messed up transmission. Then I basically let the car die.
On my escort, the engine completely died at 133,000 miles POS!Then when my COWORKER bought the Escort off me. He replaced engine, then the transmission died on that Escort 10000 miles later, geee!