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Old 01-31-2020, 10:44 AM   #58 (permalink)
MetroMPG
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 21,546

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.8 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,309
Thanked 6,118 Times in 3,175 Posts
Everything wrong with my cheap Mirage

Well, I've put about 2500 km on the car since I got it. Here's a complete laundry list of everything wrong with it. (Some of this will be repeat info....)

1) High km/miles for the year.

While not actually a "problem" with the car itself, it did have 145k km / 90k miles on the clock when I picked it up. An average car the same age would have had around 110k km / 68k mi on it.

What's funny is: I drive a lot less than average, so in about 2 years this Mirage will have less than average kilometers for its age.


2) Minor collision damage



That's what the car looked like when I got it. A relatively minor impact cracked & scuffed the bumper cover and busted all the mounting tabs on the plastic headlight housing. Minor, yes, but potentially costly: a repair using new parts would have been around $2k-4k. (This is probably the biggest reason the Toyota dealer dumped the car "as-is".)

I've since repaired the headlight housing and tried my hand at paintless dent repair on the quarter panel, which turned out reasonably well. The bumper cover still needs work.


3) Miscellaneous cosmetic paint damage

The car's paint condition is barely "fair" -- lots of chips and sandblasting, and there are miscellaneous scrapes, scratches & scars all around - 3 out of 4 corners.


4) Worn out brakes



It needed pads all around, and probably could have used new rotors & drums too (corrosion), but I attacked them with a wire wheel on the angle grinder and cleaned 'em up.


5) Busted radio antenna

Splintered fiberglass "mast" also contributed to paint damage on the roof (scuff marks from whipping from side to side).


6) Scored windshield


This one may count as nit-picking, but it looks like the previous owner didn't change a wiper blade when she should have, or some grit was trapped and she didn't notice. Either way, there's an arc scored into the glass - fortunately on the passenger side.

The rear wiper blade was also completely shot, so there's a bit of scoring on the back glass as well.


7) No spare key

I contacted the previous owner by e-mail and snail mail to see if she still has the second key, but she never replied.


8) Front washer nozzle plugged up



Did you know that you can independently aim this type of washer nozzle?? I didn't, until I took it off to clear the blockage.


9) Starting to rust



Yup: 6 year-old car is already needing minor rust repair. Stone chips above the windshield (pic above) that were left bare are the most obvious spots, but also the seam sealer/caulking on the bottom-inside of the driver's door is starting to peel off because of rust bubbling beneath it.

People: rust-proof your cars! Krown treatment or equivalent. And touch up yer stone chips!


10) So, so dirty!



The inside of the car was absolutely filthy... still is filthy. I vacuumed up the worst of the loose crap, but I'm going to remove & shampoo the seats and carpet in the spring.

11) Winter tires only

Given the current season, it's nice that the car came with chunky winter tires installed. But just like the spare key, the summer tires are AWOL. Or they were worn out and were thrown out at the autumn changover. Either way, rats.


12) Clutch out of adjustment

The engagement point was too high. Fortunately, it's a cable, and can be adjusted. The clutch itself is still healthy -- I think most of the km on the car were highway, based on the stone chips/sandblasting of the front end.


13) Expensive to insure

Holy crap! For 3rd party liability insurance alone, it's about 40% more expensive than my 2000 Metro, and almost twice as much as my 30 year old Miata! Stop crashing Mirages, people, or I won't be able to afford this exclusive little club!


14) It's a FSP



Compared to the winter beater Metro, it's a Fuel Sucking Pig! It's heavy, draggy, and it has a huge, thirsty engine. Cruise control is nice, though, and I'm enjoying the hilariously squishy soft suspension much more than I thought I would. I must be getting old.

But I'm having fun with it. I'm looking forward to the return of mild weather to see what kind of MPG it's capable of. I think a 70 MPG US tank is possible in ideal conditions.

Lastly: it's been a while since I had a car I could just hop in and hit the road without wondering what's going to break next, and should I bring my tools with me? That's very nice.
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