Unending suspension, brake repairs; Mirage's rumored issues

Our tech guru has the answers to your car questions
by Ferman Lao | Oct 10, 2013

 

Good day! I want to ask for help because my car, a 2007 Toyota Altis, has been having repairs on its suspension and braking system. Broken parts have come one after another in less than a year, even if I already replaced them with new, original ones. I'm using 17-inch wheels, and my mechanic said that having bigger rims could be the possible reason I always need repairs. I already sold the stock rims, and I cannot find them in any tire/wheel shop. Should I return it to 15-inch rims? Thank you, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Mickey Garcia

 

Hi, Mickey. There are a few ways to look at your problem:

1. This is for the benefit of car owners who prefer to use replacement parts and who may be encountering similar problems: If you got the car brand-new, take note of when you first replaced your suspension components. If you didn't have to replace them after five years or so, I would replace them with original Toyota parts instead of replacement parts. They are anywhere from twice to four times the price in most cases, but you only need to pay for the labor cost once in the span of that many years.

2. If you encounter repeated problems after changing into 17-inch wheels and have always used original Toyota parts, then changing back to the original 15-inch wheels might be a good idea. I would, however, also look at the type of tires that are on your 17-inch wheels as well. Some tires are harsher than others as far as ride comfort is concerned, and I would think those will also transmit more stress to your underchassis. I don't see how you could be encountering problems with your brake system, as it is a somewhat unrelated subsystem of the car. I would consider getting a second opinion if each and every time you go to have the brakes checked, it's always for the same problem.

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3. If you've lowered your car and used cheap or poor-quality springs, then that can also be a contributing factor to your suspension woes.

4. Without added detail, it could also be that each time your car needs repairs to the suspension, the repairs needed are different from the previous repairs. If that's the case, then I don't really see a problem other than the hassle of having to keep going to the service center. A quick--but not necessarily cheap--way to resolve it would be to change all the suspension components in one go.

5. Finally, you might also want to consider your driving habits. If you don't slow down for larger humps, potholes and other road imperfections, all those will wear down your suspension and steering components sooner.

 

Sir Ferman, I would just like to ask you something about the Mitsubishi Mirage. I heard that its computer box is quite problematic, and that its manual transmission is not smooth. I am thinking of buying one, but these issues I've heard about concern me. I hope you can shed light on these issues.

Thank you very much!

James Reyes

 

Hi, James. I've driven the current Mirage for over a period of several days on a couple of different occasions, and I don't understand what the people who gave you that information mean by those statements. Here's a review of the Mitsubishi Mirage GLS MT by one of our resident test drivers, Niky Tamayo.

If the ECU is problematic, there would be many reports of complaints about it circulating on social media. I've not heard of any, nor have I encountered any during my time with the subcompact hatchback.

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Add the fact that immediately after discovering that the ABS sensor of the early releases had a waterproofing insulation issue, Mitsubishi quickly acted to recall the vehicles affected to address the problem at no cost (as far as I know) to the car owner other than the extra trip to the service center.

Regarding the manual transmission, I've always believed that a stick shift's smoothness when transitioning from one gear to the next is a function of the driver. I've never had problems in this regard with the newer cars once I get familiar with the best matching shift rpm for the gear I'm going into.

The best way to see if the Mirage is the car that best suits your needs is to go to a dealer and ask for a test drive. You might want to visit other brands' dealers with comparable price-range cars and test-drive them as well. It will give you much better information upon which to base your final decision.

 

Best regards,

Ferman Lao
Technical Editor

Do car problems keep you awake at night? Send questions to topgear@summitmedia.com.ph.

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