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Doug C.
Doug C., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8652
Experience:  Mitsubishi trained and employeed technician
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The mechanics at the repair shop followed the instructions

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The mechanics at the repair shop followed the instructions provided by "Just Answer" and my 2003 Mitsubishi Montero Limited transmission and shifting problem was fixed (it was a vacuum leak from a crimped seal from a newly installed intake manifold. Thank
you Doug C!!!). I was driving normally when the transmission would not shift from the first range and I was in 2WD mode at the time. The RPM's went up to 5000 and then there was a clunk and the Transverse Case, yellow warning light began flashing. I pulled
into a gas station and tried to shift through the ranges and turned the engine off then back on. The Montero went into "Limp Mode" and I think I am driving around in 3rd or 4th range. What could be the problem now and what should be my next step. Please note
that the transmission was rebuilt and has lest than 100 miles on it and the engine has been rebuilt and has less than 500 miles on it...and the vacuum leak has been fixed to the so the 2WD mode and 4WD on demand work...or used to work until the Transverse
Case went out. The only thing out of the ordinary was the continuous smell of burning gear oil...even when the car was idling, but I could see no drips. Help?
I'm Shantal and I'm a moderator for this topic.
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello, Ms. Shantal!No, I have not received an answer regarding my question. Is Doug C. still available? He helped me last time.Thank you!
RT Jr.
Hello RT Jr,
Thanks for getting back to me.
I will send a message to this Professional to see whether he is available and able to assist.
Thank you for your patience,
I apologize for the delay, I do not get notifications from the UK based site anymore.
It definitely sounds like you have gone into fail safe.... and unfortunately means there is likely something that went amiss with the transmission build.
Whenever the sensor readings on the transmission read substantially out of range the computer puts the transmission into fail safe. This is done because if the computer does not understand the sensor readings (either due to being missing or just implausible), it considers operation of the transmission dangerous (in that it may worsen the condition if it is allowed to continue operating).
When this judgment is made, the computer cuts the power to the transmission (AT relay shuts off), killing all electronic operation. The transmission then relies on the manual valve (the mechanical valve that is operated when the shift cable moves) to manually select 3rd gear and Reverse.
The transfer case light is not really of any consequence right now, as the transfer ecu is going to flip out when the transmission goes to fail safe anyway.
What you need to do first is get the transmission scanned (not an OBD scan, but done with a scan tool with specific transmission access) to see what fault(s) set to put it into fail safe. With any luck it is just a speed sensor or something along those lines and not an internal issue. Given that the transmission free revved to 5000 before the failure, it is more likely to be internal though (either mechanical failure or loss of oil pressure on a circuit etc).
It is worth noting that these vehicles do not get along well with aftermarket sensors, so if anything electronic was changed during the overhaul that would certainly be a suspect.
Once the transmission fault is resolved, then I would look into the transfer case fault separately if it still remains. The same would go as before regarding getting the transfer ecu scanned with a proper scan tool to see what faults are recorded. More than likely it will be related to the transmission fail safe however.
Doug C., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8652
Experience: Mitsubishi trained and employeed technician
Doug C. and other Mitsubishi Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Doug, Sir. I am sooooo sorry! I thought our transaction was complete and I only discovered today that you did not receive payment and a tip for the information you gave me about the repairs to my 2003 Mitsubishi Montero Limited with the 3.8L engine!!! Please accept my apology! You are the greatest of Mechanics and your advice is valuable and spot-on!!! I also wanted you to know that another car repair shop inspected the complete replacement of the transmission and found an oil leak coming from the valve cover in the rear of the engine spilling onto the exhaust (which cuts-across the trani just under the floor board. The also found the Transverse Case had almost no oil in it (I ask them to check it...thank goodness)!!! I have put three hundred miles on the Montero since the repairs and once in awhile I hear a shearing gears are not meshing at high RPM under very hard acceleration (yikes!), but this nose is also going away.
No worries at all!
Thank you so much for the kind words, it really made my day!
It sounds like there were quite a few things amiss there... probably best to direct future business elsewhere if that is any indication of their work. Hopefully things continue to smooth out and you can put all this behind you.
Thanks again for the follow up and the tip too, it is much appreciated. If I can help you again you know where to find me.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
...your advice is well taken (again)!. The second repair shop I went to said the mechanics at the repair shop that replaced the Montero transmission appeared to not know what they were doing. The 2nd repair shop found a blown transmission fuse and replaced it (the original repair shop did not replace the splash pan and when I went through a car wash, the water spraying from the ground-up got into the fuse box and shorted the fuse...unbelievable!!!. The 2nd repair shop replaced the splash pan(s) and said for me to, "put some miles on the Montero" before they do anymore work. So far, so good (fingers and toes crossed!). I will ask you a question again later (for payment) if the burning-oil smell does not go away. It is an oil smell that I do not recognize (not motor oil). I think a seal is settling-in, but I will let you know (with a question!).
Wow, definitely an adventure.
If the oil odor maintains we can talk about it when the time comes; if you open a new question put Doug only at the start and that will help get it to me so you don't have as much of a wait next time.
We have a few things we can look at regarding the leak that can usually identify the source without needing any tools or to go to the shop first etc, there are only a few leak points that are super common on these.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you! I had no oil leaks at all until the rebuilt/used transmission was installed! What started all this is when my soon took my perfect condition and showroom clean 2003 Mitsubishi Montero Limited (previously owned by the Assistant Manager of the Colorado Rockies baseball team that I bought from the dealer in 2007; when the new "perk" car for the coach came in to the Mitsubishi dealer). My son took the car (last year) and revved the RPM's up beyond red-line and dropped it into gear using the Fun Shift. After the car died, the Limp Mode found 3rd gear and my wife was able to "limp" the car to a repair garage. The car repair shop (Japanese Motor Specialists) pulled the transmission and took it to a transmission repair shop. The mechanic said he wanted to sue me (with a smile) because when he dropped the transmission pan, the planetary gears fell-out and almost broke his foot! It has been a nightmare to get the car fixed over the past couple of years, but I love the car. I will contact you about the oil smell after I get -up underneath the car (to see what may be going on) over the weekend. Thanx!!!
I apologize for any difficulties with the site right now... It appears your question is being migrated to the new system and may be missing chunks of information (I can't see my original replies anymore but can see today's).That must have been a sight to see inside that thing, I would have liked to experience that (less the foot contact!). Just let me know on the other issue and we can take that if necessary.