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2003 Mitsubishi Transmission Issue

Hello, my name is John and I’m new to this web site. I’d appreciate a little help on an issue with my daughter’s 2003 Mitsubishi Spyder GT. It has an automatic transmission with the option of shifting manually. 3.0L V-6.

When accelerating normally, when the transmission shifts from 2nd to 3rd, the car briefly brakes (slows) abruptly, then it runs normally. It’s a fairly moderate jerking motion as if someone tapped the brakes hard as it goes into 3rd gear.

If you use the manual mode, it still occurs, but can be avoided by taking your foot off the gas while selecting 3rd, and then accelerating normally after that. No engine lights on. Fluid level good and clear looking.


What you are describing is what we transmission guys call a “bind up shift” An automatic transmission uses different combinations of friction elements (Bands and clutches) to achieve 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gears. When the transmission shifts from one gear to the next, you have one friction element (whether it be a clutch pack or a band) applying and another element releasing. If the releasing element is hanging up for whatever reason it will still be applied when the next gear’s elements are applying. The cause of this could be in the valve body, servo, or clutch drum. From what you are describing, it sounds as though the 2nd and 3rd gear elements are working against each other for a brief period. You might want to have a trans shop have a quick look just to confirm what I believe.


Thanks, transman. I own a local garage, and my manager called a transmission shop. They said a “Sprag” was broken, and estimated 1000-1500 for a rebuild. I can get a rebuilt trade for 925 (plus my shop’s labor) with a lifetime warranty. That’s my gameplan. Is it worth tearing it down to be sure, or should I just swap it out?

A sprag (One way clutch) would most definately cause this issue. $925 for a rebuilt with a lifetime warranty??? I would double check that… Who is building it???


Change 1 - $950 for a 26,000 mile one out of wrecked car. Green Light Auto. It’s now in the car, and the original problem is gone, but it shifts “Hard” from 2nd to 3rd now. Initially, we had a check engine light. My guy says the computer has to “Re-learn.” Anyone have any knowledge about this?