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Mitsubishi Carisma - a good buy?


atomic punk

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Going to look at one tomorrow am as a cheap runabout for sis in law - £700, 60 odd thousand miles, one old codger from new, just had cambelt done - but has electric window problem and engine management light on.

 

I've heard they are reliable enough, but mainly that they are seriously dull....

 

Any hints / tips on what probs to look for are appreciated - as I know squat about them (its not a Ford!!) - cheers!

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I've heard (and that's all, just bloke in the pub level of hearsay :D ) that the GDI Gasoline Direct Injection ones can be a real pain in the arse to fix, so I'd be interested in just why that engine management light was on....

 

Other than that they are a Volvo/Mitsubishi design built in the same factory in Holland, the Volvo ones seem to last quite well, but don't expect Shogun like levels of build quality or indestructibility.

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A mate had a 1.6 Carisma and it was dull, dull, dull. However it was quite capable, reliable and took A LOT of abuse (including a trackday) and still lives. Very good sized boot as well.

The gdi engine's are great if they are maintained well and run on super unleaded. Expensive problems can occur if they are run on regular fuel. If it's a gdi engine casually ask the seller what fuel he uses, if he says regular unleaded I'd walk away.

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I remember reading an old magazine long term test years ago (Autocar maybe) where they noticed that the GDI motor was really sluggish and crap on fuel unless it was thrashed within an inch of its life - apparently slow speed pottering didn't suit it. Maybe it just needs a good Italian tune up and a new lambda sensor.

 

Oh yes and to answer your original question - don't see why not!

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Had a 1999 Carisma Gdi as a Taxi back in 2002-3, wasn't as economical as I was told it would be and spare parts were astronomical, set of spark plugs was £84 back then, platinum tipped I think and cambelt was something like 8.5 hours to do, later D.i D versions don't seem to be much different but bogo standard 1.6 and 1.8's seem robust enough and don't seem as difficult to tweak for MOT emmisions as their afforementioned more complex bretheren, didn't find them anymore boring to drive than equivalent J tin but don't suppose they ever pretended to compete with Alfa Romeo's or such like.

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Electric windows means its a GLX most likely,with the side moulding strips on the doors. A very good solid spacious car,which has elements of Volvo within it, but unfortunately is a very very dull boring car. The Carisma is the car with no charisma ! However,they are pretty durable,so would make a sensible purchase

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Thanks for the advice,

 

Turned out to be a black 02 reg 1.6 Mirage. Full service history and all MOTs confirmed the 64,000 genuine miles (40k of which was in the first 3 years, hardly any since 2004...)

 

Went for the test drive this morning, started, drove and stopped all fine, bodywork straight except a slight dent on NSR door. Haggled down to £750 on account of slightly noisy clutch bearing and noisy brakes (which must be down to lack of use as both were quiet by the time we got it home), and the seats looking like they have seen some serious incontinence. Needs new wiper blades and an aerial, and pretty much nothing else.

 

See what you all mean about boring though.....not my cup of tea but Sis in law well happy.

 

First job is to get the seats vaxed and I'll try and get pix if anyone intrerested (don't blame you if you're not!)

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Diesel ones exhausts break at expensive parts so make sure you have access to a welder!

 

GDi petrol ones are pretty naff. Inlet ports carbon up because the petrol doesnt wash them clean. When I worked at Mitsubishi we had a walnut shell blasting thingy to clean them. It didnt work worth a fu*k so we would take the plugs out and leave it soaking overnight full of brake fluid!

Because of this the GDi injectors carbon up too. Best way to deal with them is ultrasonic cleaning. Most deeeesil specialists can do that.

Throttle flap carbons up too and sticks. When this happens you can hear it clunking open if you turn the ignition on without starting it. Sounds like someone hitting the bulkhead with a spanner! Sticking causes them to overheat which in turn causes the glue holding the magnets in the stepper motor to melt. Almost impossible to fix. Mitsy replacement about £100,000. BBA reman do them for about £200. No point in buying a scrappy one as its the probable reason the car has been scrapped!

 

Back brake calipers prone to sticking.

Gearboxes like to be kept topped up with clean oil or they get noisy quicker than most.

Petrol models genuine CV boots are not flexible enough and pop off. Best to fit cheap stretchy ones as they last longer.

Gear linkage wears leaving you without reverse. Mitsy parts expensive but plastic bushes out of K11 Nissan Micra fit and are far cheaper.

 

'Part from that they are pretty decent! LOL!

Go for non GDI 1300 or 1600 petrol.

Kia Shuma and Volvo S40 is exactly the same car underneath.

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They were miserable when they were new. I hate to think how shit they'd be with 100k on the clock, 12 years down the line. The fabric on the seats could easily induce suicidal tendencies in even the most strong willed of Shiters.

 

Just don't. They're worse than the early Volvo S40 - and that's no easy task. They're like an S40 without the flair, finesse and humour. Buy a Rover 825 instead.

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I used to collect them from Osboune Mitsubishi in Colchester back in 1998-2000 time for body work repairs when they new, they used to be one of the most depressing things I drove, everything about them was naff, coupled with a shite gear change much like waving your dick in a bucket.

 

It's no wonder the values of these dropped like lead only after a few months of being sold.

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The one I used to look after was a 97 1.6 GL with wind down windows all round ( yawn ),but did have a electric sunroof,and central locking,so wasn't totally spartan,and the interior did seem very durable.My only complaint with the dash was the instrument panel;the warning lamps,like handbrake light were a very dull red - in fact,they all seemed very dull,which wasn't plesant to look at,and made it feel a bit ... well,dull ! The owner bought a new Honda Jazz 1.2 in 2006 ( I know,some people never will know what excitement can be) and was given £300 extra discount NOT to trade in the Carisma,which was still a good car.We couldn't give it away,so it went over the bridge.

I remember the worn gear linkage issue now,as that car had to have a new bushing fitted,but appart from that,it was a reliable car.Would I reccomend a Carisma ? Yes :) I do think the pre facelift ones did look slightly less dull at the front,but as a efficienct no nonsense car,good value

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I'll try and get pix if anyone intrerested (don't blame you if you're not!)

 

Confession time I really like these so yes i'd like to see a picture. I've always liked them I think they are a nice shape, I prefer the facelifted version. When I replace my R reg Audi A4 TDi a diesel a Carisma in silver will be a likely candidate, like this:

mitsubishi_carisma_small.jpg

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700 haggled down to 750?

Result 8)

 

Doh what a stoopid typo - it should have been 800 down to 750....

 

 

Well - a good session with the vax sorted the seats out, and the broken electric window turned out to be nothing more than a broken toggle switch. A dead skoda donated its beesting aerial which means that most of the faults have now been fixed for the princely sum of £0. Which leaves a little budget if the engine light fault turns up anything when we check the diagnostics.

 

A lot of car for not a lot of cash. It isnt the most tedious car I've ever driven either - its nicer than the knackered mk4 Zephyr I tried once. But it is dull enough for me to have forgotten to take a pic or two....

 

If it proves to be boringly reliable then it will be money well spent :D

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^^^^^^^^^^^

Sorry, pedantic mode was turned up to the max :oops:

Didn't mean to draw attention to typo's; been their greatest subscriber since 1976!

Still don't think the Carisma is a bad car, mine served me well and is remembered respectfully if not fondly, my Taxi driving years were not my happiest ones and that was certainly down to the travelling public NOT Mitsubishi designers.

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Kia Shuma and Volvo S40 is exactly the same car underneath.

 

I'm pretty sure you've got something mixed up here with the KIA reference?

 

Proton yes...

 

Its true! I know Proton buy a lot of Mitsubishi technology but the Shuma is built on the same floorpan as the charisma. Rear drum brakes and gearbox are the same too.

I assume it got to Kia thru Hyundai (who own Kia) Hyundai use a lot of Mitsy stuff too.

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Kia Shuma and Volvo S40 is exactly the same car underneath.

 

I'm pretty sure you've got something mixed up here with the KIA reference?

 

Proton yes...

 

Its true! I know Proton buy a lot of Mitsubishi technology but the Shuma is built on the same floorpan as the charisma. Rear drum brakes and gearbox are the same too.

I assume it got to Kia thru Hyundai (who own Kia) Hyundai use a lot of Mitsy stuff too.

 

 

First time I've heard that regarding the Shuma - do you have a link? KIA of course used a lot of Mazda based equipment before Hyundai came along.

 

Back in the day (long time ago) Hyundai did share with Mitsubishi and I'm led to believe it's even gone the other way now with Mitsubishi using Hyundai equipment for their cars.

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I used to sell Carismas new back from 96-98.

They did a GL, GLX and GLS in saloon or hatch in the most dismal range of colours imaginable. It was quite difficult to enthuse about them to prospective customers, I have to admit. Luckily most people who bought them were 50+, who had no concept or interest in having a 'stylish' car. They sold on the perceived reliability image of the Mitsubishi brand.

 

The Galant , on the other hand , was a lovely looker...but I think I only sold one new one in 2 years!

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Spot on Mr B :) (anyone else here who can't 'quote' ?). The Shuma and its Mentor relative are indeed Mazda 323 based. The Carisma however did spawn the Proton Impian, but as the saloon versions of all look identical and are but rarely spied on these shores it is an easy mistake to make. More to the point all or any of them are weapons-grade shite and as such should have a seat at the Autoshite table. 8)

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Kia Shuma and Volvo S40 is exactly the same car underneath.

I'm pretty sure you've got something mixed up here with the KIA reference?

Proton yes...

Its true! I know Proton buy a lot of Mitsubishi technology but the Shuma is built on the same floorpan as the charisma. Rear drum brakes and gearbox are the same too.

I assume it got to Kia thru Hyundai (who own Kia) Hyundai use a lot of Mitsy stuff too.

First time I've heard that regarding the Shuma - do you have a link? KIA of course used a lot of Mazda based equipment before Hyundai came along.

Back in the day (long time ago) Hyundai did share with Mitsubishi and I'm led to believe it's even gone the other way now with Mitsubishi using Hyundai equipment for their cars.

 

Do I have a link? To what? :D

 

Was given a Kia Shuma a few years back. It had crunchy gears, worn synchros. Carismas used to suffer the same problem if abused. A local call round the local breakers failed to find a donor. Had a look at the gearbox, it looked like the carisma unit. Managed to blag one for £10 because they had damaged it cutting it out the car, LOL!

Casing was in a bad way so I stripped it and swapped the guts over into the Kia box. Wasnt identical but was close enough to build one out of the 2. Worked fine so must be pretty close.

 

As the Kia had sat about for a while the rear brake linings had rusted to the drums. When we dragged the car onto our truck it tore the linings from the shoes.

As I had been fannying about with the gearbox so long it was too late to phone up for new brake shoes.

A rake in the 'spares' pile unearthed a new set of Mitsy Colt shoes which were identical.

 

Hyundai (and abroad Kia) vans are still based on the Mitsubishi L300 panel van. Their 2.5 diesel and turbo diesel is a Korean version of the 2.5 found powering older Shoguns/L200/L300/Delicias.

4 cylinder Hyundai Coupes (up to about 2006) use a Hyundai version of the 2 litre twin cam used in loads of Mitsubishis (Mitsy Evos up to 1998 used the turbo version of it!)

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