Unknown fluid leak, '03 Eclipse GTS


Asked by Oct 26, 2010 at 10:25 AM about the 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse GTS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I purchased a 2003 Eclipse GTS 3.0L V-6 with manual tranny, 107800 miles on it, a couple of weeks ago for my daughter to drive back and forth to college.
The guy I bought it from was the 2nd owner, and had owned it for 4 years. When he purchased the car from a dealer, he added a comprehensive Warranty Plan that covered all repairs. In addition, he had a CarFax showing all the issues that had been addressed, items replaced, etc. the entire time he owned it.
These included struts, O2 sensor, MAF sensor, emission system, steering box housing, and so on, along with every tire rotation, oil and filter change, maintenance inspection, and etc.
I was impressed with this fact, and was also quite impressed with the car each time I drove it after I made the purchase. (My first Mitsubishi)

I kept a close check on tire pressure, gas mileage, and all fluid levels over the past 2+ weeks, and had noticed nothing, at all, that cause me any concern as I put about another 1000 miles on it.

The issue:
On Friday, I made a short business trip in the car. I drove it about 150 miles on the interstate; made about 3 moderate drives through the city, with several stops at businesses during these drives; and then made the return-trip the following day.
I noticed nothing different or out of the ordinary in driving the car during this time, as compared to any time previously.

However, after my daughter took the car to college on Sunday I found fluid in the driveway near where the front driver’s wheel would have been.
This was a notable “puddle” and based upon the color (pinkish-red) and the smell of the fluid, I suspected it was likely Power Steering Fluid.
I talked with my daughter, and after she checked under the front end, she said that she saw some hanging droplets of fluid inside the front left wheel, near what she described as a “boxy shaped thing.”
(sorry about the technical terminology, there!)
Now, of course, I am concerned that she will run into problems while she is away, and while I am unable to assist. I am also confused as to what would be leaking, without any of the reservoirs ever having shown any depletion over the past couple weeks… ?
(Unless something happened during my last trip on Friday+Saturday)

Does anyone recognize what the “boxy shaped thing” where the droplets are coming from may actually be? (I know what I’m figuring it is, but…)
Has anyone experienced a similar problem on their own Eclipse GTS, or suggest what the likely issue may be?
If so, what was required to obtain a resolution?

Many thanks to all for your replies and your assistance.
I appreciate it!

2 Answers

Jordan McMurray

it could possibly be either a fitting coming off of the power steering pump, which would be on the proper side of that motor, ask her if ther "boxy looking thing" has a pulley on it, or if it has metal bars (tie rods) going to the wheel, as it could also be coming from the steering rack, i work for mitsu, and these are a common problem on that motor, either the rack is leaking, or it could be coming from the (usually) high pressure line of the power steering. as for the fluid level going down, it doesnt take much fluid to make a fair sized puddle :( hope this helps but it seems as though yuo have a power steering issue, try using some degreaser to clean the fluid, start the motor and crank the wheels both ways and check for some leaks.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Thanks, Jordan !

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