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Transmission Problems-son in Air Force in South Dakota

Old 07-23-2010, 10:54 AM
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Unhappy Transmission Problems-son in Air Force in South Dakota

My son has been driving my 1993 Eclipse for about two years. The transmission, automatic with overdrive, died several months ago. We got a used one that, I believe, had around 145,000 miles on it. There was an issue at first. It would only start in third gear. The mechanic, who put it in said there were some codes that he could not remove. the salvage yard looked at it and said some of the wires that connect to the trans were out of place. (not so sure. my mechanic is really sharp)
Anyway, it was fixed and my son drove it around home for several days, then had to drive to South Dakota, from Mississippi, around 1400 miles. He is in the Air Force and it is his first duty station. It did fine all the way there, but a couple of days after he got there, it did not want to go into drive. he had to rev the engine some, for 10 to 15 seconds before it would go into drive. Reverse works fine.
The Mitsubishi dealer said there were some codes the were all related to the valve body, and some of the valves were completely shot. I don't believe they took the pan off and looked at anything.
I'm pretty sure my mechanic did not use Mitsubishi fluid. I'm wondering if there might have been some sediment in the trans when we got it, and it got stirred up on the long trip and possibly stopped something up.
And coupled with possibly the wrong fluid, I'm wondering if changing the fluid and filter might get working again.
I know this is real long, but my son is in the Air Force in SD and I'm in MS, and can't get my hands on the car. Also, to have it taken out there and shipped here, would almost cost what I paid for it to start with, besides having his car sit without a transmission for who knows how long.
Old 07-31-2010, 04:48 PM
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This trick works on Ford Ranger transmissions, might work on your Mits trans.

Add ONE quart of ENGINE oil to the trans. Make sure this does not overfill the trans. Drain some out if necessary (disconnect one of the trans cooler lines to do this). NEVER overfill any automatic trans! The actual function of this trick was not explained to the recipient, by the trans specialist. I suspect it utilizes the large amount of detergents in engine oils, to break up deposits that are causing valve body internals to stick. May also cause seals to swell a bit, to better seal loose fits.

No guarantee this will help your trans. Does no harm that I have found.

An equivalent oil for your trans can be bought in auto parts stores. The oil sold by Mits will have a match available in the stores. Don't believe them that it is something unavailable to the public.

If the mechanic did not change oil and filter during the swap, I would question how good he is. That should have taken care of any loose sediment that might have been in it. 145k miles is a lot for an untouched trans, in general. I have no experience with the Mits auto trans, so can't comment on specifics. Their stick transmissions need service by that mileage, actually earlier if you like easy shifting!

Bear in mind, that any time you swap parts or systems in vehicles, something may go wrong due to being disturbed in some fashion.

Personally, I would never swap an auto trans with high mileage, without first being able to drive it to check function. Even low mileage ones, if possible. With that trans, I would have had it gone through by a specialist before installing it.

I've installed rebuilt auto transmissions, and had them go bad a thousand miles later. Some shops just don't have the necessary expertise to do such critical work. An auto trans is a very high tolerance assembly, that requires an absolutely spotless work area. More so than an engine, in that EVERY item must be perfectly clean, without scratches and other surface damage that might be acceptable elsewhere.
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