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7 Common Problems Of A Mitsubishi Mirage

7 Common Problems Of A Mitsubishi Mirage

What problems do Mitsubishi Mirage owners tackle? In this blog, we’ve outlined everything you need to watch out for when getting a used Mitsubishi Mirage. First, let’s start with the short answer. 

Most importantly, the Mitsubishi Mirage comes with airbag deployment issues across its 2014 to 2018 model years. Premature tire wear and brake wear are common issues found on the 2015 Mirage. Other common problems include starter grind on the 2014 and 2015 models and clogged heater cores on the 2013 to 2016 models. You’re also best off keeping a spare clutch cable in your Mirage as they are prone to corrosion and can snap prematurely. 

Now that we’ve given you the gist of it. Let’s move to a more comprehensive answer where you’ll find everything you need on each problem. From identifying it to fixing it, to the cost of fixing it. Let’s get started. 

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Also read: How Many Miles Can A Mitsubishi Mirage Last? (+Reliability Scores)

1. Airbag Problems 

One of the most common problems among the early Mitsubishi Mirage was airbag deployment failure. It’s something that was widely complained about as it put many lives at risk and owners usually learned about this failure the hard way. 

Unless you’re keeping tabs on all the problems your car might have, you’re bound to find out about this one in an accident. After all, who has the time to nitpick every problem that your car might have? It would be sure to drive you paranoid, unnecessarily so. In any case, that’s why we’re here, to list down some common problems so you can check them off and don’t lose sleep over them.  

Most owners would rely on manufacturers to ensure that such a vital safety feature is functional. Unfortunately with the Mirage, this wasn’t the case. After many complaints about failing airbags, Mitsubishi issued two recalls to rectify the issue. 

The first recall was to fix delayed airbag deployment. In some of the 2014 and 2015 models, a wiring connector was at risk of corrosion which could prevent it from functioning properly and result in possible injuries due to delayed airbag deployment. 

As part of the recall, the corroded connectors will be replaced and a waterproof sheet will be installed to prevent future corrosion. 

The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 15V815000

The second recall was launched in 2017 and is far more serious. It affects more vehicles across the 2014 to 2018 model years and prevents the airbags from deploying altogether. It’s a system issue, more accurately a programming one. The internal acceleration sensor misinterprets vibrations from various situations like poor road conditions or a flat tire and disables the airbags. This was a source of many of the above-mentioned complaints about failing airbags. 

As part of the recall, the dealers will reprogram the SRS-ECU software free of charge. The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 17V686000

If you’re in the market for a 2014 – 2018 Mirage, make sure to check for these recalls on your prospective vehicles. We would definitely recommend steering clear of the 2015 model. Best to avoid the 2014 model too, if possible. More on that later. 

2. Premature Brake Wear

Premature brake wear was another common problem on the 2015 model. Owners complained about having to change brake pads and disks frequently with each set lasting around or under 30,000 miles. 

We saw multiple complaints of owners having to change brakes practically every year with one owner stating that they had the car for under two years but had already made the replacement twice. 

That’s not the worst of it. According to, the average replacement mileage was only 13,900 miles, that’s ridiculous! Owners also paid an average of $950 on brake problems according to the same site. 

Fortunately, the premature brake wear is mostly limited to the 2015 model so you probably won’t have to worry about it on the other models. On the other hand, it makes the 2015 model a particularly risky venture. 

Also read: Types Of Gas A Mitsubishi Mirage Takes (All US Generations)

3. Tire Wear

We found that unusual tire wear was a complaint on some models of the Mitsubishi Mirage, especially the 2015 model. Owners complained that the tires had to be replaced much sooner than expected and that there was irregular tire wear. 

The issue can be traced back to an out-of-alignment rear axle on some of these vehicles. As far as we can tell, it’s a manufacturer defect so you don’t have to worry about developing it. However, if you do have it (burning through tires is a good way to tell!) you’ll have to replace the whole assembly which will likely cost around $1000. The rear axle could also be replaced under warranty. 

If you’re looking for a used Mirage, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the tires, new tires are a plus but cheap new ones might be a red flag. They could be a cheap cover-up for tire wear and the axle alignment issue, best to move on and avoid it.

4. Starter Grind

On the 2014 and 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage, you may notice a starter grind. This grinding noise when you start up the car is caused by improper gear meshing and it’s only bound to get worse. It could be taken care of under the warranty and there was even a technical service bulletin (TSB) issued for the problem. 

However, if the problem wasn’t taken care of under the warranty then you might be in for a pricey fix. Owners report being quoted $2,000 to $3,000 from their local service advisors to solve the grinding problem. The problem could require the replacement of any of the following parts: starter, drive plate, flywheel, bell housing cover, or knock bushings. This could rack up quite the bill as we’ve seen reported by owners.

5. Clogged Heater Cores

While doing our research we also saw a number of complaints regarding clogged heater cores on the passenger side. It was mostly a problem reported on the 2014 and 2015 models but affected the 2013 and 2016 models as well. According to forums, the 2017 model and above don’t share the same problem. 

If you reside in an area that is relatively warm or doesn’t have especially cold winters, you could do without the repair. However, for those living in cold areas or areas with harsh winters, it’ll be a really troublesome problem, primarily for your passenger who is going to be freezing! Repair costs vary but could go up to $1000 according to owners on

6. Corroding Clutch Cables

We found that the clutch cables on manual cars are susceptible to corrosion and can snap prematurely. You’ll find that many owners recommend keeping a spare clutch cable in the back of your car so you’re not left stranded and to be aware of the problem and its possibility so it doesn’t come as a shock. 

The clutch cable should cost under $100 and the labor costs for replacement should be similar (under $100). 

7. Soy-Coated Wiring

Soy-Coated wiring has become a common issue for most brands including Mitsubishi. Most automakers switched to soy-based coating for their wiring because it was more biodegradable and so more eco-friendly. Although it’s better for the environment, it’s also better for the automaker as these soy-based coatings are cheaper than their plastic counterparts.

The problem with these soy-based coatings is that they attract rodents who then like to chew on them and use them as nesting material. This could cause an array of problems, any system that utilizes wires that are accessible to these rodents is at risk of failing. This has become quite the problem since there is no easy solution and it’s a problem found in most vehicles by most automakers. 

There are some simple steps to include in your routine to try and catch these rodents before they cause an expensive problem. This includes regularly opening the hood and looking for signs of rodent activity, looking for shredded pieces of wire where you park your cars, and cleaning out all the food in your car. 

What’s The Worst Year Of The Mitsubishi Mirage

The Mitsubishi Mirage isn’t the most reliable car on the market or in the Mitsubishi lineup. It should, however, last around 150,000 to 170,000 miles. That being said, you should be able to find low-mileage Mitsubishi Mirages on the market and for a great price too. 

The Mirage is a relatively cheap vehicle that people opt for to get value for money or rather to save money. 

Nevertheless, among those available on the market, some models are best avoided, regardless of how good the price is or how low its mileage is. If you pick the wrong Mirage or any problematic used car for that matter, you’ll end up spending more on repairs than you saved on the car. 

So which models should you avoid?

The model years that you should steer clear of are 2014 and 2015. These model years have the most overall complaints and their problems generally occur at low mileage and cost quite a bit to fix. Nearly all of the problems we mentioned above overlap with these two model years, especially the 2015 model. 

Models after 2017 serve as much better options as you won’t have to worry about the many problems plaguing the older models. You’ll also have better interiors, finishing, and a more modern outlook. 

You’ll have to look out for the airbag recall for the 2017 and 2018 models of the Mirage if you opt for them. Other than that, you should be all good. We would like to mention that despite being better choices, they are still Mirages so expect improvements, not miracles! 

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