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50K miles on my 2005 mits.and company won't warranty my transmission

I recently had difficulty putting my 2005 mitsubishi into 1st or 2nd gear. Took it to the dealer and they stated transmission problems to first and second gears are from driver error and therefore won’t be covered under my 100K powertrain warranty. They said the brass synchros are worn and this would occur from resting my hand on the shifter while driving or hard shifting the transmission.(which, neither one of those things I do) My spyder has 50K miles on it. I’ve been driving 5spd for 20 years w/o repacing a clutch let alone transmission problems. I’ve tried to get service records from previous cars I’ve owned to show no history of transmission problems but the dealers have purged their files. I’ve already started the process of filing a dispute with NCDS but need to gather info in my favor. I could use any help anyone could offer. As it stands now, I’m responsible for the $2000+ bill at the dealership. The district rep won’t budge stating the parts are worn and not defective. The local service manager tried to plead my case - with no luck. Apparently due to the economy the gray areas of warranty are being denied. And I heard this twice from the service manager and my service advisor. I need help!!!

Had a problem with a GM product that the dealer would not want to fix. I went straight to the distributor which for me was GM Overseas and showed them the problem and the explation from the dealer. The car was fixed under warranty.

A good profesional conversation with the distributor will get you pretty far. If these people are not in your area, you might have to call them.

I appears you already talked to the district rep, so I would get a lawyer or see if the warranty issue qualifies for arbitration. Balance the cost of doing this against paying for the fix and selling the car before a recurrence.

From what you have said, you are not getting a fair hearing.

will not work with Mitsubishi.TRUST ME.

Here’s a long shot to look into. For my VW transmission, GL4 gear lube must be used. GL5 gear lube is not suitable as the sulfur in GL5 damages the brass synchros causing shifting difficulties.

At 50,000 miles it’s not likely that someone had previously replaced your trans gear lube and installed GL5 in error but not impossible.

Unfortunately, Mitsubishi has a well-documented history of denying legitimate warranty claims in both the US and in their home country, in order to save money. Yes, all car companies have been known to do this, but Mitsubishi is really notorious for this practice.

When they were in truly dire financial straits (about 6 or 7 years ago, if I recall correctly), their denial of legitimate warranty claims in Japan was so extreme that it resulted in a government investigation. The company was duly chastised by the Japanese government, but the damage had been done. Since the company had operated in such a dishonorable manner (a very serious mistake in Japanese society), it got to the point where few Japanese would buy a Mitsubishi anymore.

Incidentally, the biggest group of rejected, yet legitimate, warranty claims had to do with the transmissions on Mitsubishi vehicles. While those were mostly automatic transmissions, there may be a pattern here.

That’s not good news but is certainly good info to present to the National Center for Dispute Settlement. I’ve done a little research on-line and haven’t found much - would you be able to direct me where to go?

All I can suggest is that you do a lot of “Googling”, using search terms that include “warranty claim” and Mitsubishi. You may have to go though a lot of sites to find the information, but it is definitely out there.

So what are the symptoms behind this 1/2 shift problem?
Clutch dragging?
Hard to get into 1, 2, or both?
Any gear gnash or grind?
DO you rest your hand on the shifter?

The dollar amount precludes a full blown lawsuit based on costs, but check your small claims limits, and file a BBB complaint. In the small claims suit, name everyone involved, such as the dealership owners, service manager, district rep, and the car company. Ask them to produce studies indicating what they say is true, and present to the court all of the aforementioned Google results which are not hearsay. Ask them to prove their hypothesis about “hand on the shifter”.

It may take two or three hours of prep work and calls and a $50 or so small claims filing fee, but you are highly likely to prevail, particularly if you can lay your hands on failure patterns, such as in Consumer Reports or other pub.

Play hardball.

There were no major symptoms. Thinking back there were a few times I had a hard time getting into 1st but I assumed it was nothing. It was about a week maybe less from when I noticed the problem until I got it to the dealership. The problem was pretty consistent. It wouldn’t go into those two gears - but if I put it in third (with the clutch engaged) I could then get into first or second (if the car was moving a little). No noise involved - ever. I’m not sure what clutch dragging is but haven’t noticed any difference in the feel of the clutch. The dealer says third, fourth and fifth are fine. And no, I don’t rest my hand on the shifter.
The dealer gave me this part list that he said cost $1,000. 1st and 2nd gear synchro, 1st and 2nd gear synchro rings, 2nd gear, 1 - 2 shift fork, shift cap, 1st and 2nd synchro sleeve, output shaft bearing and some other incidentals. What things could a driver do at 50K to cause this damage? FYI the majority of my miles are x-way. Thanks for your input. I can use all the help I can get.

Has “THE DEALER” actually torn down the transmission and inspected the parts? Have YOU seen the worn parts?? Or is this all guess-work on the part of a service writer?

This really sounds more like a dragging clutch than a bad transmission. How about reverse? A dragging clutch will make it almost impossible to get the transmission in reverse (where there are no syncros) with the engine running…

Yeah, they split the case and said that the 1st and 2nd synchros were worn. I haven’t seen it yet. But, they said they would take pictures of 3rd,4th,and 5th and save all the parts so I can use them in my case with NCDS. I plan on taking the pics and parts to a few transmission places and get their take on the situation. No, I never had problems with reverse and they said the clutch looked ok. Actually when I asked about the clutch they said if it were bad it would look blue (means nothing to me). The dealer gave me this part list that he said cost $1,000. 1st and 2nd gear synchro, 1st and 2nd gear synchro rings, 2nd gear, 1 - 2 shift fork, shift cap, 1st and 2nd synchro sleeve, output shaft bearing and some other incidentals. What do you think a driver could do to cause this damage at 50K?

Well, unfortunately, resting one’s hand on the shifter will cause exactly what you’re talking about (and it does sound like the parts list addresses the issue at hand). Other than that, weak synchros in combination with poor shifting habits could take care of it at 50k. Best thing I can think of is to try to pin it on someone who has maintained it before (using the wrong fluid as Wha_Who? said), or find other people who have had them fail at low miles. Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to assume that you happened to get the two bad synchros out of the lot.

Most modern transmissions have “detents” spring-loaded positioning grooves that hold the shift fork in position in the correct gear. Resting your hand on the shift lever will not change this position or cause the syncros to wear. Once the transmission is in gear (any gear) the syncros have done their job and are not subject to further wear.

The kind of damage described here can only be caused by slam-shifting, power-shifting or otherwise abusing the transmission. A situation where you find yourself in 3rd gear and you want to be in 1st gear real bad so you just move the shifter from 3rd to 1st quickly and forcefully, accelerate at WOT to redline and then slam into 2ed gear, THAT is what caused the damage to your transmission.

If you want to play, expect to pay…

What else would cause the issue because I don’t rest my hand on the shifter? What are poor shifting habits?

I’m a 39yr old female hygienist who thinks my car looks cute. I’ve also owned a 2003 spyder w/o clutch or trans. problems. I’ve driven stick for 20 yrs and I have never done any of the things you’ve described. I’ve never forced my transmission into any gear. I’m trying to find ways to prove it wasn’t driver error. And want to thank you for clarifying the spring- loaded positioning grooves. That is something I haven’t heard before. Is it possible that the ratio of metals in the brass synchros weren’t correct - thereby causing wear.

Driving around with your hand resting on the shift lever can certainly cause premature synchronizer ring wear, shift fork wear, and synchronizer sleeve wear; or all of the above.
I state this because I’ve had the opportunity to repair more manual transmission problems due to this than I can remember.
The usual suspects are the 3/4 gear assemblies but if you do a lot of stop and go city driving this can apply to 1/2 also.
In theory, a detent ball and spring should not allow this to happen. If one has the opportunity to operate a shifter rail by hand the rail will be very hard or impossible to move off of the detent ball. However, it can ride up off of the detent ball due to the fact that the shift lever and linkage is providing leverage to it; much like one could move further out on the seesaw to bring a heavier person up.

Driving around with your foot resting on the brake pedal does what? It wears your brakes out faster.
The synchronizer rings are no different. After all, a synchronizer ring is basically nothing more than a brake shoe that stops a gear from spinning.

A dragging clutch can also cause this; usually noticeable if you’re having to force it into gear or it appears to be dragging in the 1 to 2 shift. This of course can cause premature wear on the parts you mention.

Not pushing the clutch in all the way when you make a shift, downshifting to too low a gear (eg going from 4th to 2nd), making a really hard 1-2, anything that forces the synchronizers in to action when the drive and driven gears are spinning at much different speeds.

Thanks for all your input. I really don’t rest my hand on the shifter and my driving is predominately x-way. So, I’m thinking it might be related to the dragging clutch. What’s a dragging clutch and how is it diagnosed?