1997 Mitsubishi Mirage Automatic Transmission cranky transition in low gears


I just bought a used automatic MM with 137k miles. Engine and interior super clean. I did test drive and it seemed to pull back a bit and rev harder when I was starting out from a stop or in intermittent traffic where I was slowing down and speeding up with flow of traffic. It also does it worse on hills. The guy from the car lot said it was the way I was driving the car…hmmmm…I’m not a lead foot. I let the car ease into higher speeds, I don’t punch it. Ever.

Yesterday I took a longer drive and had other people in the car with me who also noticed the rough transitions between low gears and asked if that was “normal.” NOT being a car mechanic I get alarmed when others are pointing something I too thought could be at issue. I bought the car “as is” after doing some online research and finding out that these car’s even at this age get 4.5 to 5 star ratings from people who have them.

I took it to Auto Zone and they put the little code reader on the car but no codes came up. His suggestion was to have all the fluids changed in case someone put the wrong weight of transmission fluid in the car. I did check the fluid at the car lot and it was bright pink and at correct levels. Not sure that’s what it is. He also suggested the possibility of it being a “shift cellinoid”? I don’t know what that is but he said it shouldn’t be expensive to fix. He also suggested getting the transmission serviced to see if that might solve it. Someone else suggested “clean the IAC hole and throttle plate with choke cleaner…” don’t know what that is, any idea how spendy that might be? Someone else said to consider a vacuum leak in the fresh air tube between the air filter box and the throttle body…these are all just guess’s, I’m hoping someone will KNOW or have had the issue.
Anyone? Had similar issue’s, or have any other idea’s what the problem might be?


“1997 Mitsubishi Mirage Automatic Transmission cranky transition in low gears…”

Can “low gears” be defined as second and third gear in your experience?

There are no Mitsubishi cars in my neck of the woods. I have no idea what a Mirage is/was, but I found a bulletin written by Mitsubishi to help their technicians diagnose and repair a recurrent problem with 97-02 Mirages.

The problem involves “shift flare” (revving) between second and third gear shifts. While the car was still under warranty, mechanics were instructed to replace a rear O/D clutch assembly, rear cover, input shaft rear bearing, and seal if the car failed the technician’s inspection.

Unfortunately, how clean a 97 car is doesn’t really replace a pre-purchase inspection by your own mechanic.

Does this sound like your exact problem? Is it a problem shifting from 2nd to 3rd?