Dear Ask a Mechanic,
My wife owns a mint, very low mileage 2011 Mitsubishi Eclipse. Recently the check engine light came on, and the mechanic diagnosed it as needing a fuel vapour check valve, part number 8657A070. This part has been discontinued by Mitsubishi and is no longer available. I even tried contacting dealers throughout Canada and the U.S., to no avail. I’ve called Mitsubishi directly for help and had no satisfaction; this situation has me telling those looking at the brand to reconsider. What can I do? – Diamonds Not His Girl’s Best Friend
This is a situation that happens more often than you think.
It’s widely believed that U.S. law requires automakers to carry replacement parts for a period of time. Often it’s claimed to be 10 years, but I can’t find evidence of such a law referenced anywhere for any length of time. There is only the requirement for companies to honour product warranties for their duration. I’m confident that no such law exists here (if any reader has knowledge to the contrary and can point me to it via the email below, I’d be grateful).
Some automakers are better than others at carrying parts for out-of-production models. The popularity of the model(s) using a part and the obscurity/failure frequency of the component tends to determine continued availability. Unfortunately, the fourth-generation Eclipse did not sell in large numbers.
This leaves you with three options.
Option one is to live with the light. With the failed part not causing any driveability concerns or increased emissions on its own (it’s for self-diagnostics), you could continue using the car without any repercussions. I’d recommend buying an inexpensive code reader to occasionally check that nothing else new has cropped up if you go this route.
Option two is to broaden your search beyond the Mitsubishi corporate network. A quick Google search turned up at least one online seller claiming to have your part – shop carefully to avoid fraud. Alternately, these cars are young enough that they can be found in salvage yards, though you’ll have to remove the used part yourself and there’s no guarantee it will be good.
Option three is to use a comparable part from another model to serve the same purpose. This looks like a typical “evap” vent valve, a device common in operation to those in a large number of vehicles. With a little creativity, it’s possible one could be adapted to do the job of your faulty original.
Ask a Mechanic is written by Brian Early, a longtime Wheels contributor and a working Red Seal-certified automotive technician with over 25 years’ experience. You can send your questions to email@example.com. These answers are for informational purposes only. Please consult a certified mechanic before having any work done to
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