Inconsistent brake force
Many early Lancers of this generation suffer from a specific brake issue that may manifest itself with several symptoms. In general, the force generated by brakes may be inconsistent in certain situations, which makes stopping less controllable. In most cases, the initial braking action would be feeble first, only to suddenly lock up afterward.
When that happens, a strong pull to one side may be noticed on some cars. In extreme scenarios, the brakes will fail to react at all. The cause for these issues is faulty brake calipers, with brake pistons seizing in certain situations.
Replacing the brake calipers with remanufactured or newer ones solves this problem.
Premature brake wear
Besides the aforementioned caliper problem, these cars also have a problem with excessive brake pads and rotor wear. Many drivers complain that brakes on their Lancers wear at a much faster rate when compared with other cars. Although Mitsubishi addressed this by redesigning brake pads and rotors, that only partially solved the issue.
Another alternative is heavy-duty aftermarket alternatives, which may offer more durable parts.
The bottom line is that drivers must learn to live with this problem.
Front cross member corrosion
Cases of corrosion affect front cross members, and even some suspension components are wide-spread among Lancer's generation. If left unchecked, this may result in the front suspension collapsing when going over bumps or even braking hard.
As the front suspension is complex, checking for traces of corrosion requires a trained and experienced eye. As this is a safety issue that can lead to serious accidents, replacing any affected components is necessary.
Mitsubishi is aware of this problem, and there is a safety campaign called 16V791000.
Squealing noise coming from the back
There are frequent complaints about noises coming from the back of the car while driving. This ranges from random squeals to noticeable cracks and bangs when going over bumps. Although this noise is quite noticeable when driving, most workshops cannot replicate it while tracking the source.
Although Mitsubishi never addressed this, independent workshops found out that stock control arm bushings cause this issue. Replacing control arms with new OEM or reputable aftermarket ones cures this annoying problem.
Heater/air conditioner control knob broken.
Models with a manually adjustable cabin heater and air conditioner controls can suffer from knobs that fracture while the driver is turning them. This is something that affects either the temperature or airstream direction control knob.
The cause of this issue is the cables behind the control unit that operate corresponding mechanisms. When the temperatures are very low, these cables can freeze and become stuck.
Some owners established that adding a small PTFE lubricant makes the cables less vulnerable to this issue.
Later cars of this generation have an issue with slow but constant coolant loss and sporadic steam coming from under the hood. The cause of this problem is the microscopic fractures on the radiator housing that expand with time. Tracking that down in the initial phases is hard, as it causes a very small leak while the car is cooling down.
As time goes by, vibrations and pressure cause the fractures to expand and allows small amounts of steam to escape. There is no repair to this, so replacing the radiator with an updated model is the only option.
Just like with many other Mitsubishi cars of that time, Lacer drivers can experience something that is called uncontrolled and unintentional acceleration. This will manifest itself as an increase in engine speed, although there is no such requirement from the driver. Scenarios in which this may happen range from motorway cruising to idling at a standstill.
However, situations that include low-speed maneuvers proved to be the most dangerous, as they don’t leave much time for reaction. This issue is caused by a glitch in the operation of the electronically controlled throttle valve.