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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, new to the forum as well as new to Eclipses. I am also a newbie when it comes to car repair; I know a little bit, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to most of you guys. I'm willing to learn but I guess I don't even know where to start.

Anyway, I bought a 2000 Eclipse GT V6 automatic off of Craigslist yesterday, and my dumbass never checked the oil before I bought it... :facepalm: which should have been the first thing I checked but I guess I was too caught up with other things on the car and talking to the owner, etc.

I drove it back home, blissfully ignorant, roughly 160 miles with no problems at all. It runs and drives great. But the next morning I decided to check the oil... not only was it low, it was very dark, and there was burnt residue on the tip that wouldn't rub off on the rag. Turns out the previous owner (a young woman) must not have been great at regular oil changes. I've only had it for a day so I don't know if it burns or leaks oil yet. I've read that the burnt oil on the tip can be very bad, what should I do?

Also, when I looked at the spark plugs, I noticed there was some oil down in the cylinder. I actually only looked at the first one on the left, but I assume the others were the same way. I will check in the morning and get pics. I have read that this can be due to a bad valve cover gasket, which brings me to my next question. While looking around the forums, I read mixed reviews on Felpro gaskets and that OEMs fit better. What sites do you guys prefer for OEM parts? I had this part/site in mind: MIllions of 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse Engine Gaskets and Sealing Systems replacement parts

I'm a poor college student, so I only have a budget of about $200 MAX to spend on this thing at the moment. I am planning to attempt to install the valve cover gasket myself as I can't afford to go to a mechanic. I also read that while I'm at it, I should change the upper intake gasket, is there any validity to that?

Also, I'm not moving the car an inch until tomorrow and I buy some oil and a filter for an oil change. I'm planning on getting Mobil1 Full Synthetic if that matters. Once I DO change the oil, though, is it safe to drive the car temporarily until I get the new gasket and install it?

One last off-topic question: in previous cars I've owned, my coolant reservoir always had a "full hot" and "full cold" mark, the Eclipse only has a "full" and "low" mark. Am I right in my assumption that I check that only when the engine is hot? When it was cold, I removed the radiator cap and saw that it was full up.

Again, sorry if I sound like the complete idiot I am and for the laundry list of probably mundane questions that may or may not have been answered elsewhere, but I really appreciate any input you guys can give this newbie. Thanks for reading.
 

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yes, change the oil immediately. Mobil 1 is an excellent choice. I've used it for years. Valvoline SynPower is also a very good synthetic oil. Once you get the oil changed you should be good to drive it if the valve covers are leaking a bit. just keep an eye on the oil level.

As for OEM parts sites, I've never found a site cheaper than Parts.com but their service is slow. So I mostly only use it for research and buy from autopartspeople.com They have much better service and deliver to me within a week.

You didn't mention it, but I would be concerned whether or not the timing belt has ever been changed. The Mitsubishi engines are an interference motor, so you don't ever want to neglect the timing belt.

As for the coolant reservoir, just make sure it is above the LOW level when the engine is cold.

If you want to learn more about cars and like to read, AA1CAR has a great library of knowledge. And we also have our Garage section here on the forum with lots of good info.

You can also download the Factory Service Manual for free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks

@rc_maniac, Thank you for all the info and links. These will really help. I have no idea if the previous owner replaced the timing belt or not. I'd get a CARFAX report, but I'd rather spend that $40 on a new belt, so I'll put that on my growing shopping list lol.

@toddrs93, I live in central Minnesota. I know there's another part of the forum for local meet-ups and such that I poked around in. I'll definitely look into that some more. Thanks.
 
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