Evolution IX – the long road to recovery

I would never have believed that a car could accumulate so many problems in less than 5000 miles.  This Evolution was bought new by someone in the Brooklyn, NY, and it has been a constant challenge to uncover and resolve various problems.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a great car, but how anyone could screw up things on a new car in so little time is beyond me.

OK, this time I think  I have found the culprit and removed the last big problem.  After the last adventure of trying to solve a P0500 code that turned out to be a boost leak I went over all the tubing from the turbo to the intake.  I found that the pipe coming off the turbo needed to be cut and re-welded so that it had clearance and would line up properly with the tubes going to the intercooler.  The pipe was made of aluminum so I spent some time finding a good TIG welder that could handle aluminum.  The finished product was great.  The piping now lines up as it should and the car was ready.  Well, almost.

It was time for the car to pass state inspection which, on a late model car, is primarily a scan of the ODBII port for set or pending codes.  My ECU was clean, no set or pending codes – BUT status was not set on several components, namely the O2 and heated O2 sensors as well as the EGR and evaporative emissions sensors. 

I was told to just put on some miles and drive cycles.  I drove 150 miles around the city of Raleigh.  Still nothing set.  I drove short trips around town, giving the car a chance to cool down and heat up.  Two months later and no go.  I took a drive to the dealership and one of the techs was able to raise the sensitivity so that the evaporative emissions would set, but nothing else would.  He was perplexed as much as I was.

I had already replaced the O2 sensors and put in a new catalytic converter several weeks prior, still no good.

The folks at the dealership gave me a huge price break on a new ECU and had it flashed with my VIN.  I installed it at the dealership and then the tech mated my key to the ECU.  The engine started and we went for a drive cycle.  Magically everything set as it was supposed to.  I could barely contain myself!  Off I went to get the car inspected and finally I was able to renew my registration.

The car certainly ran a lot smoother and I could actually feel it learning and adjusting like it had never quite done before.

Now I would get back with Jestr and get the power that was lurking behind the stock ECU flash.  Life is good again.

It is especially nice to feel good about my car.  I now feel like I can trust it again.  For a while I felt like it was a hopeless case and that I should consider selling it, but now that has faded away and I am looking forward to a long relationship with this Evolution.

This entry was posted in Automobiles, Car Stuff, Care and Feeding, Cars, Life and Cars, Modifying Cars, Servicing Cars. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Evolution IX – the long road to recovery

  1. Tim S. says:

    That is really great Jim! I can’t wait to get a ride in the beast next time I’m up. You going to be around mid-June?

  2. Jim says:

    The outlook is positive


  3. Jay O says:

    Glad to hear that it is finally sorted!!! Happy Motoring! 🙂

  4. markitude says:


    Glad to hear – I thought you already bought another ECU from the dealer as one of the steps trying to crack that bad PO code? If so, and that ECU would not learn, then I’d argue it was defect and wonder why the dealership didn’t provide a warranty on that and exchange it with Mitsu? Sounds like they cut you a deal… but….?

    Super to hear the EVO is back up and running like it should !

  5. Krista says:

    Hate to say I had to give the car the “side eye” when you said it was bought in the Bronx… :0)

  6. Jim! If only cars could talk… perplexing. Glad to hear the Evo is running like it should!

    Now can I have a ride in it? 🙂


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