Transmission solenoids

My 1998 Mitsu Montero Sport (2-wheel drive)has an automatic trans with L-2-D options. You can manually start in “Low” and go to “2” and then to "Drive, or just drive in D as usual. It also has an AT button for (auto traction) and a button for overdrive mode.

PROBLEM: The car stopped shifting properly in the Drive mode. Intermittently it does not shift down to low, so I have to manually shift to Low and then to 2 or drive, etc. Everything else works fine except occaissionally in the Drive mode. I was told the “Check Engine” error was to replace the Transmission solenoids. Does that make sense and how much can I expect to spend?

First tell us who scanned it for codes, and what if anything was actually done to actually diagnose the problem. Also report the exact and specific error codes - format: P1234

There is no error code that can tell you to replace transmission solenoids. Most any of these codes probably refer to circuits (though that’s why you have to post the actual codes). You could just as easily have a chafed wire or damaged/dirty wiring harness.

Your best bet is really just to find your best local, independently owned shop that specializes in transmission work and bring the car to them for evaluation.

How many miles are on it and what has been done over the life of the vehicle in terms of transmission service?

My regular mechanic shop diagnosed - I think it was a 1753 code?? The car has 186,000 miles and the trans fluid has been replaced twice and then again after this problem started. Actually the guy who recently replaced the fluid (tire shop that also does oil/fluid changes, etc.) said it’s probably the solenoids.

P1753: (Mitsubishi)A/T Control Relay Malfunction.

The solenoids are in the valve body in the transmission. No need to drop the transmission out in many cases. The solenoids can be replaced by dropping the transmission oil pan and unbolting the solenoid pack from the valve body or taking the valve body out. This can be tricky, however, because there could be check balls and valves that are restrained by the valve body. An expert is highly recommended. Stay away from the chain stores, like AAMCO (All Automatics Must Come Out)and Cottman.

at 186K it would have been best to have gotten 6 fluid changes by now (about once every 30K). That’s probably not what the owner’s manual says though. As such, you might just think about not having the transmission much longer anyway.

That said, BustedKnuckles advice is basically right on.

Thanks very much. Any idea how much it should cost? I’m in the Nashville, TN area.