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Mitsubishi Montero Sport 2002 - Slipping Transmission? What to do?

I own a 2002 Mitsubishi Montero Sport. I purchased the car 2 years ago, it appeared to be maintained well as it was like a new car and it has been running like dream car until now. I noticed what I believe to be a slipping transmission at the beginning of summer. It happened infrequently, but still worries me nonetheless.

I get in my car early in the morning, drive down an alleyway and turn on to a side street, then I come to complete stop at a main street. I see no traffic and push on the accelerator to go and nothing happens for about 10-20 seconds, then it seems to catch, and I head on my merry way to work. Occasionally, it will start to go (just enough to coast me into traffic in a dangerous position) and then cut out and then catch again after the 10-20 seconds. If it happens, it is only at that moment in the day and no other.

I thought maybe it could be from sitting for awhile, but the car actually sits longer at work than at home. (I work too much. Local truck driver…) Whether this is of significance or not, it did not occur during the hottest few weeks of the summer, but other than that, it appears the transmission slips about 2-3 times per week. Could the colder morning temperatures affect anything? Could it be some sort of sediment stirred up in the morning that is clogging the filter?

I was thinking of taking it to the shop and getting it drained and the filter replaced. Would that most likely alleviate the problem?

The vehicle currently has 113,270 miles on it and I am not sure if the transmission fluid has ever been changed as I bought it used at a dealership.

I was reading, and it said, “The old fluid was gritty due to metal shavings caused by normal internal wear and tear on the transmission clutches and was acting like liquid sandpaper. This “sandpaper” was producing the friction needed for the transmission to pull itself. When we changed the filter and replaced the old fluid with new fluid, the clutches inside the transmission had nothing to grab on to.” Is this something I seriously need to be concerned about? Thank you all for your consideration! o^_^o

Mary, You’ve Checked The Transmission Fluid Level, According To Procedures In The Owner’s Manual, Correct ?

That’s the first thing. And while doing that you should note the color and clarity of the fluid and give a sniff to be sure it doesn’t have a burnt smell to it.

Do you park on a surface that lets you see any drippings under the vehicle and would you have noticed any if there were any ?


A Link

Note the importance of using the correct transmission fluid. Mitsubishi is on the list, too.


Ha The “Check Engine” Or “Service Engine Soon” Or Other Light Ever Illuminated ?

I’d say that if “grittly fluid” and “metal shavings” are keeping a transmission working that the transmission won’t be working very long anyhow and it’s already damaged. If the level checks OK and no serious leaks are found, I’d have a reputable transmission shop check it out and if they feel a fluid change and filter change are in order, I’d do that.


As mentioned check the fluid level first. For whatever reason Mitsu transmissions have to be checked in Neutral I think. Check the manual and make sure if the fluid is changed you buy your own fluid from the Mitsu (of Hyndai/Kia) dealer and take it for them to use. Don’t settle for Dexron with additives. Also have the computer scanned for codes.

I park on a concrete pad that used to be my garage (thanks children!) and I am the only one who parks there, I have never seen any drippings from my car at all. The pad is clean. No dummy lights have ever lit up in my car since I got it. As far as the type of ATF, I have never changed it since I bought it. I do get regular oil changes at Valvoline Oil Change and they check the transmission fluid. They have very good at alerting me to problems in the past with other cars and they have not ever told me it was low or smelled bad. I will check the transmission fluid after I go out shopping so it is hot and report back. Thanks! o^_^o