Question about 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer

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2.4l won't start, has spark fuel

My sons '04 lancer ralliart died while driving it. It has spark and is getting fuel. What should the compression be for this engine (2.4 liter)? I suspect shot valves. 15 lbs is all i got in one cylinder with both a wet and dry compression test.The other cylinder that I tested didn't read on the gauge (5psi increments)

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  • abader3 Jan 03, 2009

    checked it, looks good, no cracks

  • abader3 Jan 04, 2009

    Took the cover off and belt looks good, turn good. No problem with it. Any idea what the compression should be.

  • abader3 Jan 06, 2009

    Thanks, the two outer ones read about 15 -20 psi while the two inner ones didn't register at all. He did mention a lot of steam just before the car quit. May be a head gasket after all.

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Bet you a dollar you have a broken timing belt!!!!

Posted on Jan 03, 2009

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  • Richard Scordino Jan 03, 2009

    Are you looking at the timing belt (drives the cam & is located within the timing cover) Or, are you looking at the serpentine belt (on the outside of the engine, drives accessories...Alt etc.)
    If you have removed the belt cover, watch the way it turns as you crank engine. It will either "stutter" or not turn at all. Low overall compression is due to the crank being out of phase with cam & valve movement) The only other cause of this is extremely massive overheat, in which case the piston rings will loose tension. You did not report overheat, so I will not consider that!
    I don't think I'm right, I know I'm right on this one!!!


  • Richard Scordino Jan 04, 2009

    Should be about 130... Will vary with ring/cyl bore wear. What you are looking for should be % difference between cyls. None should be more than 15% of any other, either up or down. Unless you crashed the valves into the pistons, there is no way you will come up with low readings across the board all of a sudden!!!! If two adjacent cyls are low, you could have a bad head gasket, but generally you would have had some idea something was not right way before now!!

  • Richard Scordino Jan 06, 2009

    That's the difficulty of diagnosing by "remote control".In your original post, you mentioned nothing about steam, temperature or overheat!!!
    What you posted were the classic symptoms of a failed timing belt.
    With todays aluminium engines, a "warning light" serves only to tell you that your engine has just destroyed itself...(after the fact) Even with gauges, they must be monitored or they are useless!
    If you opt for head gasket replacement, the cylinder head must be taken to a shop and dye checked for internal cracks. It should also be checked for warpage. Valve seats must also be checked for shrinkage. In the block, cylinders should be checked for out of round condition. If oil is coolant contaminated, bearings are suspect as well. Changing just the head gasket is like playing the lottery... your chance of winning is not good. A complete engine swap is usually expensive and time consuming. Only you can determine it's cost effectiveness.
    I have always maintained that aluminium belongs in race cars.(which are torn down after every race) You can thank the EPA for making rules that caused the manufacturers to go there.(you can't get more milage without taking weight out)
    The "growth rate" of aluminium is almost 3 times that of cast iron when heated. Most manufacturers don't use a really good grade alloy to begin with which leads to crackingand warping, under high temp operation. Add to that mix, an inexperienced driver, who is unaware of the delicate balance between safe and dangerous operation (with regard to temperatures) and you end up where you are now!!!
    You used to be able to overheat an old 283 chevy engine so badly that you could cook on it an hour after you parked it, then fix whatever caused the problem and drive away with no problems. Can't do that anymore!!!! And they wonder why the "big3" and everyone else for that matter are in trouble?????
    Good luck with it. If you decide to do repair, make sure you find what caused the problem (water pump, thermostat or other leak), so that you don't repeat history!!!


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