Ok so I have a 2001 Mitsubishi mirage, it started shaking one day while at a red light and shut off. It's kept doing this since then but I've changed spark plugs and fuel filter and pcv valve but I don't really see a difference other than it don't shut off it just shakes and seems like it's about die EXCEPT when I'm driving down the road it seems fine. A friend said something about a catylitic converter or maybe a fuel pump I don't really know. I just came across this website so I hope somebody here can help me out.

Also if it helps.. it's a 1.5l 4 cylinder automatic

  • Welcome to StackExchange! Do you have a Check Engine/Service Engine Light on? When is the last time the Oxygen Sensors were replaced? Are all fluids present and correct?
    – NitrusInc
    Apr 10, 2018 at 10:46
  • No lights on the dash at all. That's one of the reasons I'm so confused. The fluids are all good and I'm not sure about the O2. Apr 10, 2018 at 10:53

2 Answers 2


Here is how I would start

Battery Reset

  1. Remove and clean the terminals from your battery, with wire-brush, Emery cloth, and/or Industrial-Level 3M Scour Pad.

  2. Remove, clean, and tighten the grounds in/around the engine bay.

  3. Leave the Battery Terminals disconnected.
  4. Ensure all electrical items are off (headlights, HVAC etc etc)
  5. Connect your Battery terminals.

Idle Relearn

  1. Be prepared to sit in the car for over 20 minutes! Have a watch/clock.

  2. Get in the car and close the door.

  3. Put the key in the ignition, but don't turn it. Wait 30 seconds.
  4. Turn the key to ON, not START. Wait 1 minute.
  5. Start the car, Wait 10 minutes. Yes, 10 minutes. DO NOT touch the gas pedal, brake pedal, or anything for the ENTIRE time.
  6. After running the engine, without any input for 10 minutes. Turn the key to ACC/OFF. Wait 30 seconds. You should hear a Relay click off.
  7. Remove the key. Open the door wait a second, close the door. You should hear a relay click off within a minute. If not simply proceed.
  8. Key in, wait 30 seconds.
  9. Key to on wait 1 minute.
  10. Key to start wait 10 minutes.
  11. Done.

This is an amalgamation of numerous manufacturers Idle Relearn Procedures. This seems to cover all the bases, regardless of the car. If you're not happy with the times, please look up Mitsubishi's actual Idle Relearn Procedure, though it's likely to be very similar to this.

The Reason

Cleaning and tightening your battery terminals and grounds is simply good maintenance, if nothing else. Generally a corroded ground can cause all kinds of issues. This is a quick and easy way to ensure clean power, and rule out issues there.

The Idle relearn procedure is going to do two things in this case. One it will allow the vehicle to find baseline idle again, since the battery was disconnected. The other benefit is that if there are any issues which will set a code, they will likely show up. I've had numerous cars with symptoms that did not "throw" a code until a battery reset.

If the battery is disconnected, but the vehicle does not have the time to form a baseline-idle, numerous issues will occur like stalling/stall-like conditions. The vehicle will eventually learn baseline, but it will take far longer, with far more issues than simply performing the "Relearn Procedure".

These procedures will result in one of three things:

  1. No change.
  2. Code Set.
  3. Issue Resolved.

If the result is 2, have the code(s) read at a local Autoparts Store, or use a ODBII reader, etc.

If the result is 1. then I would further diagnose Fuel, Spark, and Air. Ensure that the Fuel Pressure Regulator isn't leaking, Check Fuel pressure at the rail with the engine on and off. Ensure that all your Plug Tube Seals are good, that plugs are not fouling with oil, etc. Ensure that your air filter is clean, air box clear and clean, MAF is clean.

Ensure all Fluids are present and correct, especially coolant and transmission fluids.

If all of these check out, I would check the O2 Sensors with a multimeter/Scan Tool to ensure that they are operating within proper range.

That is where I would start.

I hope this helps.

  • Does this Mitsubishi vehicle actually have an "idle relearn procedure" in the ECU or do you just assume this because it has worked on some cars in the past? As this is an older car diconnecting the battery probably will not cause extra problems but i'd strongly discourage this procedure on newer (say <5 years old) cars because it can cause a lot of mayhem.
    – MadMarky
    Apr 10, 2018 at 11:44

You left out the mileage on the car?

It sounds like your IAC (Idle Air Contorller) value is going out, based on the symptoms you are describing. I had one go out on my Mitsubishi and it was running like yours with the engine dying at idle, but randomly. It went on for months, but didn't throw a code until it was shot. I've read that sometimes they don't throw codes when they are bad.

First I would clean out your throttle body, just to make sure that isn't the issue or contributing to it.

Here are the manual steps to check check the IAC (my wife helped me on my 2003 Mitsubishi Galant).

1 Unplug the battery terminals. As mentioned, clean the terminals.

2 Unplug the IAC value connector.

3 There are usually bolts holding the IACV to the Throttle body. Remove them. The IACV should now come out. If there is an O ring, don't lose it.

4 Clean the IACV and plug the connecting wires back in, but don't put the IAC back in yet. Leave it out so you can see if it's working or not.

5 Re-connect the battery terminals.

6 Now have someone turn the key as you watch the IAC value. Don't crank the car over, just turn the key to get power.

7 If your IAC is bad, it will usually either not move at all, but may still tick or won't do anything. Mine didn't do anything so I knew it was bad, but you will see it move if it's working properly.

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