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Doug C.
Doug C., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8610
Experience:  Mitsubishi trained and employeed technician
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L200 out of warranty in April - running hot and radiator overheating

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L200 out of warranty in April - running hot and radiator overheating sending water into expansion bottle . Stripped down by dealer who says head gasket has failed ? Dealership saying Mitsubishi will pay for parts but I have to pay 900 labour. They say gasket just failed cause unknown. However in April had replacement radiator cap and re programmed following recall? Mitsubishi said initially that had this fault happened within the first 5000 miles of the recall they would have foot the full bill? Can't help thinking its related. Could you advise?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mitsubishi
Expert:  Doug C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,As far as the failure occurring in relation to the cap replacement or the reflash, it is highly unlikely. If the cap were faulty it would have happened pretty well instantly (and could verify with a cap tester now), and the software reflash is uniform in nature... it can't get installed wrong or anything like that; it either works as designed or the truck won't start.The underlying problem is more that the engines are prone to this failure to begin with... and the reason they have had several temperature related issues particularly on the diesel units for years and years.Unfortunately the warranty limits are the warranty limits... they are able to "good will" some repairs outside of the limits as exactly that, just good will and of zero legal responsibility, however generally speaking they will usually keep that within 1000-2000 miles at most (in your case it sounds like they have a 5000 mile allowance they give specifically due to the related repair under recall. It is important to remember again though that this is not a legal responsibility/liability/guarantee. It is something they are doing for customer retention out of a "pool" or money set aside for out of warranty good will repairs per year. Some dealers do 1000 miles grace period (or under mileage but over 6 months out etc) some do more, some do none.Once you get outside that range they follow, if the district manager is willing to make an exception beyond that it is usually a 50/50 coverage (if anything at all), where either they split the repair down the middle or they cover the parts themselves but have you pay for the repair. This is what it sounds like they are doing at this point. For the failure you have, and being 5000 miles out of warranty, this is a very fair offer they are giving that they are not obligated to do. Keep in mind there is potential for more than just a gasket here, as it is common for the heads themselves to fail when this occurs and is MUCH more than $900 in parts.From a legal stand point, if you wanted to associate relation between the failure and the visit to the dealership before, you would not want to take the approach of there being a relation between the work they did and the failure now, as that would be easily debunked as there is really no way to make that connection. What you would want to do, the position you would want to take was that you had cooling related issues when you brought it in before, and taht was an indication of impending failure. You still won't likely get very far with that since it went so far afterward before a failure, but that would be the direction that would be most likely to get you some sort of nod in your direction, unlikely as it would be.Honestly.... with the time out of warranty and the deal they are offering is a good and fair offer that they don't have to do.... it is worth taking. While $900 stinks to have to lay out just out of warranty, it is much less than the repair is going to cost in total, and far less than it would cost to get a lawyer and try to take it to arbitration and in all likelihood not get anywhere anyway.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I need to know why a head gasket fails in a car that is only just over three years old? What causes such a failure?
Expert:  Doug C. replied 1 year ago.
Sadly, bad design is your leading culprit.The head gasket is only going to fail if it is either:1) Run too hot2) Not torqued properly to begin with3) Cylinder head warped (usually associated with temperature)The problem on these is usually a matter of insufficient cooling in the head causing hot spots where the head heats/cools unevenly. Of course any outside source like a problem with the fan, being low on coolant, etc would only exacerbate the problem.If the vehicle were placed under particularly heavy usage conditions that over powered the abilities of the cooling system (very heavy caravan, etc), this would only exacerbate the problem.Obviously I don't know the history of your vehicle or driving habits etc, but these are a common enough occurrence that when I hear of a head gasket failure, particularly 4D56s etc, outside influence is not usually my first thought... they fail enough on their own (and again usually end up with a crack in the head).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thanks so far. I do not drive off road or heavily . I get 38/40 mpg out of the car. My dealer is saying nothing about replacing heads or any other part other than head gasket . Should they be able to tell me why it failed? If this is s common failure or problem then how come Mitsubishi aren't owning up to it? Obviously we have taken it in because it was overheating and it was shoving water out if the radiator into the expansion bottle - is this a symptom of head gasket failure? I
Expert:  Doug C. replied 1 year ago.
They won't know on the head until it comes off and can be checked for cracks. On the car there is no way of knowing, it could go either way though.Its been an ongoing issue specifically with the 4D56, but really their diesels in general have had on and off cooling issues. Why they don't have it squared away I can't answer for you. Only that this has been going on for a while... they have had a few recalls in different circumstances/different years (yours included obviously) that are supposed to rectify the situation, but of course things still happen. In your case, there is high probability that it was already on its way out to begin with, in which case doing the recall fix wasn't going to undo pending damage. As for Mitsubishis liability at that point... that's where this turns into a legal question. However the 5000 mile buffer they have afforded without failure will keep them in the clear on that one as it is fair to expect if there was significant damage already present it would not last 5000 miles. And yes... coolant pushing into the expansion bottle will only be caused by either a faulty radiator cap not able to hold system pressure, or excessive pressure in the system. Excessive pressure in the system will come from either overheating (The hotter it gets, the more the coolant expands and the pressure increases) or exhaust pressures entering the cooling system (which would only be a head gasket or crack issue).
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