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New to owning a Mitsubishi FTO? See the most commonly asked
questions for all new Mitsubishi FTO owners and Japanese import cars a like.


Mitsubishi FTO Frequently Asked Questions

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The Questions:

1.1 What does FTO stand for?

1.2 Is there an FTO owners club I can join?

1.3 Is there a FTO mailing list ?

1.4 What's the different FTO models and their engines etc?

1.5 What is this Mivec thing-me-bob ?

1.6 What is Nivec ?

1.7 The FTO is available with Automatic and Manual gearboxes. But which is best for me?

1.8 On the V6 engines, there are two different types of spark plug for the front and back bank of the engine, why is this?

1.9 What does my chassis number ( DE3A 0000000000 HNGH ) mean?

2.0 Which oil should I use for my engine?

2.1 How much does my FTO weigh?

2.2 What are the dimensions of my FTO?

2.3 What are the paint codes for my FTO?

2.4 My Japanese radio only picks up Radio 2! Why?

2.5 What on earth are all those coloured stereo wires?

2.6 Why does my central locking only work on one door?

2.7 What is that strange yellow/orange light flashing on the dash whenever I brake hard or go round corners?

2.8 Does the FTO have a warning light for the fuel?

3.0 to What battery will fit my FTO?

3.1 What type and how much gearbox oil should i use in my auto/tip?

3.2 When should the FTO's cambelt be changed?

4.0 I havebeen told I need a Tracker, but which Tracker should I use?

5.0 What are the different gradings for Japanease Car Imports ?

6.0 What do I wash my fto with?

7.0 How do I tell the difference between a FTO GPX and GR?



The Answers:

1.1 Fresh Touring Origination

1.2 FTO Owners Club FTOOC

1.3 Smartgroups - FTO here

1.4 The FTO has a range of three engines: GS has an 1800 16v engine, the GR and GX have 2.0 V6 24v DOHC engines and the GPX and GPversionR have 2.0 V6 24v DOHC engines with MIVEC. More Mitsubishi FTO Engine information.

1.5 MIVEC is an acronym for 'Mitsubishi InnovativeValve timing and lift Electronic Control system'. It alters the profile of the cams to suit your driving demands. Thereby under low rev conditions the management system uses the smaller cams. The main feature however is if you open the throttle it can give the valves a longer duration and longer stroke providing maximum and efficient power and torque at all engine speeds. I amounts to an additional 20bhp over the standard engine.

1.6 NIVEC is a made up acronym for 'Non InnovativeValve timing and lift Electronic Control system' that some clever people within the FTOOC decided to call their GR and GX's.

1.7 There are auto and manual versions. Both gearboxes are possibly among the finest examples on the market. The manual gearbox is one of the most precise and rewarding available (it even has a synchromesh on reverse!). Also, the automatic INVECS-II gearbox is excellent, having full automatic mode which learns and adapts to your driving style. Also the 'Tiptronic' sports mode, just like play Gran Turismo ! As for which is best for you, it's down to personal preference. Drive both of them and then make a choice!

1.8 The reason that there are two different specifications for spark plugs is that the rear set are difficult to get to and so those ones need changed less often. If you need to change the rear set, you will need to remove the inlet manifold to get to them! The plugs are standard NGK parts.

1.9 Your number (eg. DE3A 0000000000 HNGH) is split like this:

  • Exhaust emissions: E = complies with regulations
  • Chassis series classification: D = FTO
  • Model classification: E2 = 1800 cc 4G93 4 cyl E3 = 2000cc 6A12 V6
  • Service classification: A = Passenger car Vehicle shape
  • The unique serial number can only be decoded with the help of one of Mitsubishi's FTO CD-ROM's
  • Body shape spec: H= 2 door coupe
  • The serial number can be decoded from a Mitsubishi dealer - it relates to YOUR car spec. and options etc.
  • Gear box type: R= 4 speed Tip-Auto, Y= 5 speed Tip-Auto, N = 5 speed Manual
  • Equipment usage info: U = GS, H = GR, G = GPX, F = GP
  • Engine spec level: E = 4G93 1.8 16v with electronic fuel injection, M = 6A12 DOHC V6 with Electronic fuel injection, H = 6A12 MIVEC Engine DOHC V6 with Electronic fuel injection and MIVEC



2.0 The engine oil is a personal choice a thin fully sythetic oil ( 0w40 )is good for cars that are driven hard as it warms quicker. But a thicker (10w40) is better for those noisy tappets. A good Choice is Mobil 1 or Castrol Magnatec.

2.1 Kerb Weights (kg) Manual/Auto:

  • GS =1100/1140
  • GR =1150/1190
  • GPX =1200/1240
  • GPvR =1190/1230

2.2 Dimensions:

  • Front Track 1490mm
  • Overall Width 1735mm
  • Wheel Base 2500mm
  • Overall Length 4365mm
  • Ground Clearnace (unladen) 150mm
  • Overall Height (unladen) 1300mm (1350 mm with sunroof)
  • Rear Track 1485 mm

2.3 Colours: for examples see here

  • Passion Red - R71
  • Imperial Red - R39C
  • Monaco Red - R82
  • Steel Silver - A34
  • Symphonic Silver - A26A
  • Pyreness Black - X08
  • Scotia White - W83
  • Icecelle Blue - T73
  • Moonlight Blue - T88C
  • Midnight Blue - B09
  • Dandelion Yellow - Y77C
  • Timber Green - G13

2.4 You need a band expander to plug in between the radio and the aerial. This shifts the frequencies that you receive up the scale, even though your radio may still display the incorrect frequency. Alternatively buy a new stereo ! :-0

2.5 The colours (courtesy of David White) is as follows:

  • Permanent live: red/black
  • Accessory +12v: blue
  • Illumination: green/white
  • Earth: 6mm nut
  • Antenna trigger: pink
  • Rear left speaker+ : yellow/blue
  • Rear left speaker- : grey/blue
  • Rear right speaker+ : yellow/red
  • Rear right speaker- : grey/red
  • Front left speaker+ : white/blue
  • Front left speaker- : black/blue
  • Front right speaker+ : white/red
  • Front right speaker- : black/red

2.6 Try using a new key fob or replacing the battery in the fob, this does fix some central locking problems. If this does not work you may need a new locking motor or sender unit.

2.7 Water Reservoir Warning LightWhenever your washer bottle is nearly empty this light comes on when you brake hard etc

2.8 Yes it does, there is a orange petrol pump shaped light on the left hand side (almost under the rev counter)

3.0 Go to Halfords and ask for a HB054. Nissan Micra battery!

Purchase a new car Battery

3.1 Typically change your gearbox oil as often as you want... but at least every 18,000 miles. Use a good quality Dextron 3 rated oil... Diaqueen is what most people use. You'll need about 5.5 litres to do a change... but it depends how much comes out of your box when you drain it (it holds about 8+ but will only release around 5)

3.2 I saw on a translated Japanese FTO site somewhere that it should be changed at 100,000 kms....whatever that is in miles: 60k?

4.0 I got my tracker fron Navtrak. £150 fitted and £14.99 a month (active) passive is £9.99 a month. I tested it by moving without setting tracker and they phoned me 2 check in 5mins, more info at

5.0 Japanease Import Gradings:

1 - poor
2 - below average condition for its age
3 - average condition for its age
4 - above average condition for its age
5 - showroom perfect

6.0 Personally I wash my car with Zymól car wash followed by Poorboys Polish to remove all oxidisation and stubon dirt. Then Poorboys sealant which is a finer polishing compound to make it nice and shiny and finally Poorboys wax which give the car a wet look and a really makes the paint repel water. I cant recomend this stuff enough! Poorboys is also available from Steve on the ftooc forum in the forsale section, do a search for poorboys.


7.0 The easiest way to spot the difference between the FTO GPX and GR is by looking at the engine. See our Mitsubishi FTO Engine information page for more details.



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