Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

When I turn the car off and on, it will shift gears

I have a 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse. When I start my car, it will only go through second gear. If I stop, turn the car off and back on, It will go through the gears and I can drive normally. I am now just putting the car in neutral while driving, turning it off and on again and it will shift like normal. Otherwise, it just stays in the lower gear. This has been steadily getting worse meaning, I would only have to stop and start the car once on a trip and now it is whenever I slow down to a lower gear. Every now and then it will jerk also. I thought it was a transmission issue but the transmission worked fine most of the time when this started and still does except when I slow down. The interesting thing is that it works fine when I turn the engine off and on again so I was thinking something else. The guy from advanced auto said it was possibly a power issue with something that makes the transmission shift and the transmission guy said it was electrical. I would greatly appreciate some assistance/ knowledge Thanks

I would suspect a loose or corroded connector; maybe a harness that’s been damaged (pinched or scraped).

There should be a fault stored in the transmission control module, you need that information to begin diagnosis.

Sounds like “limp home” mode. As @Nevada_545 said, there should be fault codes stored in the PCM. What is the maintenance history of the transmission?

Concur with Nevada above, the place to start is the transmission’s diagnostic codes. Guessing which part to replace is too expensive for something like this. Run out of money before running out of guesses is the basic problem. This sounds like a transmission problem, but could be an engine problem too. So the engine diagnostic codes should be read out too.

BTW, it is unsafe to turn the engine off while driving. Suggest for your sake and other drivers in the meantime to pull over to the side of the road first before turning the engine off and back on.

I believe this Diamond Star Motors (Mitsubishi/Chrysler) vehicle has the the 41TE Chrysler transmission, a failing input or output speed sensor can put the transmission in limp mode.