A/t temp light

Hello All!

I’m new to car talk and really hope someone can point me in the right direction. My wife was driving our recently purchased 2000 Montero sport today and the A/T Temp light came on, she pulled over and shut off the car for about 15 or 20 minutes in order to let the car cool down. Once she started the car again the light was off and did not come back on, however while driving back home the transmission was not engaging correctly in 2nd and 3rd gear (hesitating, revving high then engaging). Read several suggestions of what could be wrong ( transmission flush, new oil pan kit…etc).

Please Advise.

Hate to ask the obvious but have you checked the transmission fluid level? If you’re not familiar with doing this refer to the procedure in your owners manual. It’s not the same as checking the motor oil. Next smell the fluid on the dipstick to see if it smells burnt and has a dark brown color or if it’s pink with a sort of sweet smell. If it smells burnt you may have failing clutches.

You could try changing the fluid and filter. It might help. How many miles are on this vehicle?

Change the fluid and filter, then pray it works.

“recently purchased”

How recent?

And did a mechanic not affiliated with the seller check it out before forking over the money?

“Hate to ask the obvious but have you checked the transmission fluid level?”

This bears repeating since the transmission fluid is the coolant for automatic transmissions. Low fluid can cause over-heating.

trans cooling lines run thru bottom of radiator. How does radiator look? Clean? Any debris in fins? A 4x4 might do some off roading. Are trans cooler lines ok? No crushed lines?


I tend to agree with change the fluid and pray. It could be aged fluid or slipping clutches in the transmission.
Aged fluid can cause the latter which in most cases means the transmission is on shaky ground.
If the fluid is dark you may be in trouble.

A sixteen year old automatic transmission also has 16 year old seals in it unless the trans has been replaced or rebuilt. Aged seals affect pressure in the clutch drums which affects slippage and so on…
A vicious cycle so to speak.

Thanks for the input,