Mirage Rear Alignment Problem FAQ
1. What is the rear wheel alignment problem with Mirages?
A significant number of Mirages can’t pass a rear wheel alignment check.
The toe and/or camber angles of one (or both) rear wheels are not within the factory specifications.
2. Can the rear wheels be adjusted to correct the alignment?
No...that's the problem! The rear wheels in some
cars can be adjusted to fix alignment problems, but the Mirage has a solid torsion-beam
rear axle with NO ADJUSTMENTS. This means the rear wheels on a Mirage cannot
3. If a Mirage’s rear wheels can’t be adjusted, how do you fix a rear wheel alignment problem?
The only way to correct the rear alignment on a Mirage is to replace the rear axle with a new one.
4. Is the Mirage’s rear axle the source of the alignment problem?
Yes. A Mirage’s rear alignment geometry is determined by the axle assembly when it is manufactured. If the axle is constructed with incorrect tolerances, the rear wheel alignment will be out of specification from the moment the car rolls off the assembly line.
5. Will a new rear axle fix the problem?
A new axle will usually restore the rear alignment to within the factory specifications. Unfortunately, a few people have had new rear axles installed where one of the alignment angles on the replacement axle was still out of spec. A new axle is likely to cure the problem but it's not a guaranteed fix.
6. Will there be a recall to replace Mirage rear axles?
No. Manufacturers only issue recalls to correct safety issues (airbags, brakes, etc.). Even though this problem is annoying and potentially expensive to fix, it isn't considered to be a safety issue.
7. Is there a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) for this issue?
There is no TSB for the Mirage’s rear axle problem. This may be due to the fact that not enough owners have reported a problem.
8. What problems can incorrect rear wheel alignment cause?
A Mirage with incorrect rear wheel alignment may experience one or more of the following:
- Rapid and/or uneven rear tire wear
- An off-center steering wheel
- General steering instability
- Reduced fuel mileage in extreme cases
9. How serious are these problems?
The severity will depend on how bad the rear alignment is…especially the toe settings. Mirages slightly out of specification may only experience mild tire wear and no steering side effects. Other cars with extreme toe problems can wear out a set of rear tires in 10,000 miles and be annoying to drive because they require constant steering wheel correction.
10. Why do some Mirage rear axles have this problem while others don’t?
There is no official explanation. The manufacturing process of the rear axle may be inconsistent and quality control is not catching deficient assemblies. This is just speculation and we may never know.
11. What Mirages are affected?
All 2014-2019 Mirage models use the same axle and may have a rear wheel alignment problem.
12. Does that mean Mitsubishi hasn’t fixed the problem?
It looks that way. Mitsubishi should be able to fix the problem with tighter quality control when the axles are manufactured…but it’s unclear if this has happened. Do not assume a Mirage rear axle is OK until it's been checked.
13. Is this a common problem with Mirages?
This might be a very common problem.
It’s impossible to know exact numbers, but the percentage of Mirages with deficient rear axles could be quite high. Consider the following data from this forum…
- There have been ongoing complaints about Mirages with premature tire wear, wandering steering and off-center steering wheels. All of these are potential symptoms of rear alignment problems.
- Of the 30 alignment checks posted on this forum so far, 90% have incorrect rear alignment readings.
- Forum member 3dplane (a Mitsubishi technician) is reporting a 100% failure rate on Mirage rear alignment checks at his dealership…including more than 30 cars! See one of his examples here: Post 786
14. How does the Mirage’s axle relate to rear wheel alignment?
The Mirage's torsion beam rear axle (see below) is a single piece of steel with a “stub axle” welded onto each end of the assembly. The wheels ride on the stub axles. A Mirage’s rear wheel alignment is determined by the precise position of each stub axle. If a stub axle is even slightly
out of place when the rear axle is manufactured, the alignment of the wheel on that stub axle will be out of specification.
15. Can a repair shop just bend the rear axle to correct the alignment?
While it might be possible to bend the stub axles to correct the rear alignment, don’t expect to find a repair shop willing to do it because of liability concerns. Bending suspension components like this can cause metal fatigue and potential failure.
16. Are there any DIY alignment fixes I can try?
17. If my Mirage needs a new rear axle, is it covered by the factory warranty?
The rear axle is covered by the 5 year/60,000 mile warranty.
It is NOT
covered by the 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty.
See Mitsubishi’s official statement here: Post 878
When this problem was first discovered in 2015, there was a lack of information at Mitsubishi dealers. As a result, service departments did not handle rear alignment complaints consistently. Some forum members got replacement axles while others got no help from their dealer. With this statement from Mitsubishi, hopefully any defective rear axle will be replaced.
Keep in mind that this is an expensive repair that requires prior approval
from Mitsubishi before the dealer can replace your axle under warranty. Don't panic...this approval process is the way expensive warranty repairs are handled by most manufacturers.
18. How much would a dealer charge to install a new rear axle in a Mirage?
This job will cost roughly $1100 at a dealer. The list price of a rear axle assembly is $830 and requires 2.3 hours of labor to install (according to the work order pictured below). The axle assembly is available at on-line sources for around $650 if you want to attempt the job yourself.
19. What is the part number for the rear axle assembly?
The rear axle assembly for ALL 2014+ Mirage models is part number 4120A150. The original part number used to be 4120A139 in 2014, but was later replaced with 4120A150.
20. How hard is it to install a new rear axle in a Mirage?
thread to get an idea.
21. How do I know if my Mirage has a rear alignment problem?
The only way to know for certain is to have it checked on an alignment rack.
22. Should I have a Mitsubishi dealer or an independent shop check my alignment?
If you trust your dealership service department, have them check it. Otherwise, consider having an independent shop check it first…and then take it to your dealer.
If you go to an independent shop first, you'll know what your rear alignment settings are before the dealer looks at it. An independent second opinion can come in handy if you suspect a dealer may not be completely honest in evaluating your rear alignment.
Remember...many shops don’t charge a fee just to check the alignment. But even if you have to pay for it, it is money well spent.
23. Will a Mitsubishi dealer check my alignment for free?
Yes…but only if your Mirage is less than a year old and has less than 12,000 miles.
Adjustments required as a result of a manufacturing deficiency are covered during this period.
TIP: A dealer may still try to charge you for an alignment check even if your car is in the 12 month/12K mile period! To avoid this, give the Service Manager a specific complaint (the steering wheel isn't straight, the steering wanders or pulls to one side, etc). Mentioning a specific complaint will ensure the alignment is free.
TIP: Always request a printout of your alignment settings!
24. The dealer checked my alignment but didn't give me an alignment printout. Is that OK?
Not really. You should be skeptical when they don’t provide a printout from the alignment machine showing that all settings are within specifications. At a minimum they should indicate your exact alignment readings on your completed work order. This is why you should consider having the alignment verified by an independent shop.
25. My rear alignment settings are slightly outside of the specifications. Do I still have a problem?
Yes. The acceptable ranges of the factory toe/camber specifications are very generous. Even if you’re slightly beyond one of the specified measurements, you have a problem that needs to be corrected. If you're close on a camber setting, you might be OK. But any toe setting that is off should be corrected.
26. My rear alignment is not within the factory specifications. What should I do now?
If the car is still under the 5/60 warranty, bring it to your Mitsubishi dealer as soon as possible to have the dealer verify the rear alignment is incorrect. Be sure to request (and keep) copies of any alignment printouts.
If your rear tires are prematurely worn or have odd wear patterns, have the service manager make a note of this. If you must replace worn out rear tires, keep your old tires so you can show them to the dealer (or take several photos of the wear patterns). This will help support your case.
You may have to be proactive with your dealer. They may not offer a replacement axle solution immediately unless you help the process along and let them know you understand the problem. Be firm, but don’t hack off the Service Advisor. You’ll need his help during the warranty process.
27. My dealer has never heard of this problem and doesn’t seem eager to help. What can I do?
This isn’t unusual. Remember…some dealers don’t sell many Mirages and there is no technical service bulletin for this problem. So don’t be shocked if the Service Manager hasn’t heard about it.
Ask your Service Manager to call the Mitsubishi Tech Line to report the problem (this is like a help desk for Mitsubishi service departments). The Tech Line people are aware of defective Mirage rear axles and can advise your dealer about the issue. Notice the dealership work order below for a replacement Mirage rear axle assembly which specifically mentions a TECHLINE CASE #...
Here are a couple of completed work orders from other forum members who have had rear axles replaced under warranty…
28. My dealer says re-torquing the bolts that hold the rear axle assembly to the car might fix the problem. Is that going to work?
This seems to be a common request once the dealer gets the Tech Line involved. If your alignment is slightly out of spec, the Tech Line might suggest this as a way of possibly altering the rear alignment enough to correct it. They may require the dealer to try this before approving a new rear axle for your car. It's certainly not going to hurt anything, but don't bet on this fixing your problem.
29. Should I have the alignment checked BEFORE I buy a new or used Mirage?
It’s a good idea to get any Mirage checked before a purchase. This is critical when shopping for a used Mirage no longer covered by the factory warranty. A few dollars spent to check the alignment could save you from buying someone else’s problem.
30. Is an alignment check part of the dealer's inspection process when I buy a new/used Mirage?
No. Dealers don't check the alignment on cars they sell. Whatever "100-point" inspection process a dealer may advertise, be aware that an alignment check is not part of it.
31. Are there signs of rear alignment problems I can look for on a used Mirage?
Here are a few things you can check…just remember these are not
a substitute for an alignment check!
- Are both rear tires worn evenly?
- Does either rear tire have a strange tread wear pattern?
- If the car has low miles, does it have 4 original Enasave tires with fairly even tire wear?
- Does the car have 2 new tires? If so...why?!?
- When you test drive the car on a straight road, does it go straight ahead if you let go of the steering wheel? If you have to constantly hold the steering wheel off-center to keep the car tracking straight, this could be a sign of a rear alignment problem.
Here are two perfect examples of low-mileage used Mirages (at CarMax) that should make a potential buyer proceed with caution. Why do these cars with less than 15K miles have 2 new tires? There could be a legitimate reason...but both cars likely have serious rear alignment problems.
32. My car drives fine and the tire wear seems OK. Do I really need to worry about this?
Your front and/or rear alignment can be incorrect without a steering complaint or noticeable tire wear. An alignment check is the only way to verify you don’t have a problem. Get it checked BEFORE your warranty expires! THIS
forum member didn't notice anything unusual...but his car has a rear alignment problem.
TIP: Very few forum members have posted a Mirage alignment printout where both the front and
rear alignment settings from the factory were acceptable. Odds are your Mirage needs an alignment check even if the rear axle is OK!
33. My rear alignment is incorrect, but I have lowering springs, aftermarket wheels and non-stock size tires on my car. The dealer says they can’t help me because of the non-stock parts on my car. Is that true?
Yes, most dealers will follow this policy. If you know
you have a rear axle problem and you want a hassle-free warranty replacement process, do not
go to your dealer with non-stock suspension parts on the car! That’s the first thing many service departments will look for to deny an expensive warranty repair. Make it easy for you (and your dealer) and put the stock wheels/tires/springs back on the car first. HERE
is someone in this situation.
TIP: Get your alignment checked and corrected before
you put new wheels/tires or suspension components on the car.
34. Can rear wheel alignment be changed by hitting a large bump or pothole?
It’s possible but extremely unlikely in a Mirage. The car is light, the axle is strong, and the springs are soft. The rear wheels can absorb most road hazards without affecting the axle. Unless your car was in a serious collision, any rear alignment deficiency was almost certainly there when it left the factory.
Before the rear alignment problem was well-known, some service departments tried to use this as an excuse to deny a warranty claim. Hopefully this won't happen any more.
35. I haul heavy stuff all the time. Does additional weight in my Mirage affect the rear alignment?
Yes. Some technicians on the forum have said that when they compress the rear suspension, the rear toe/camber settings get worse.
36. Will lowering springs change my rear alignment settings?
Yes. Someone observed that lowering springs in his car made his rear toe settings worse than when it had the stock springs.
37. Why would Mitsubishi make a rear axle with no alignment adjustments?
The torsion beam
rear axle design used in the Mirage has several advantages. It's inexpensive to manufacture, generally durable, has fewer parts, and it's fairly lightweight. Unfortunately, one of its major disadvantages is that it can't be adjusted.
The Honda Fit uses the same type of axle…and has the same problem as the Mirage.
Read about it HERE
38. Can you explain the basics of a Mirage rear wheel alignment?
I'm working on that for a separate thread.
39. What are some alignment settings that other forum members have posted?
See the next post in this thread.