I have a 1992 Montero that won't shift without letting off the gas


Asked by Feb 15, 2014 at 11:54 PM about the 1992 Mitsubishi Montero Base 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

When I first started driving the truck I noticed the RPMs would reach almost 4 before it would  shift from one gear to the next. I finally figured out I could let my foot off the gas pedal at 3 and a 1/2 and it would shift. That was in June and it was only from 3rd to 4th gear. Now it has a hard time but will shift from 1st to 2nd not too smoothly though. As for 2nd to 3rd I need to let of the gas. Now I'm beginning to think its not even shifting from 3rd to 4th so I avoid freeways and highways with a speed limit over 40 mph. I've had a tune-up and my timing adjusted with no change. Is it a transmission problem?

10 Answers

Daniel Foster

sounds to me like either the transmission computer or shift solenoid,, most likely the solenoid though,, you should take and get it scanned at auto zone, they will do it for free,, do you have a check engine light on, in the dash? no matter still get it scanned,, and then have them clear the codes when they are finished, if its the shift solenoids its not an entirely big deal to fix, just have to drop the transmission pan and they should be right there,, put a retainer clip and pull them out then put new one in and replace the clip etc and your done, but get it scanned first though,, also you can manually check if its shifting into 4th,, when you get up to the speed that it should be in just drop a gear and the rpms should go up and you should feel the car shift, also are the RPM's different at highway speeds etc than normal? I so then your probably not in top gear,, you don't have to be on the highway for the car to shift to top gear though like 35 45 or whatever you should be in top gear when your cruising,, so just drop the gear like I said when your cruising about 45 just don't go down to 2nd or anything one gear is all you need to tell,, let me know what you figure out and ill be more than happy to help further if needed

Best Answer

has the transmission been serviced new fluid and filter? that would be a good start. definitely a transmission problem

Daniel Foster

I did forget to add that you should check the level of the fluid,, if its low it wont want to shift correctly, but if it is low theres a problem there, be it a leak or whatever, I would start off with a scan transmission fluid changes aren't cheap but a fluid level check and scan is free

Tom Demyan

I'd also look into your motor mounts, if they are broken the motor lifts up under acceleration changing the angle of the drivetrain not allowing it to shift properly until you let off the gas the motor sit back down on the frame. Check the trans mount as well.

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Daniel Foster

so did you ever get the problem sorted out ?


I check the fluids every other day because of the oil leak. As for Autozone they won't hook up their machine to anything before 1996. They also don't want to bother unless the check engine light is on. The only time my light came on was while I was driving to get a car wash. When it came on I pulled into the gas station and checked the fluids which were fine. Then I went through the car wash and when I put it in gear to leave the car wash the light went off and hasn't come back on since. None the less it's going in the shop tomorrow (Tuesday) so to be continued.


I forgot to mention it did have a fluid change about 8 or 9 months ago.

Daniel Foster

yeh I wasn't thinking about the year so I didn't realize it was OBII sorry

Daniel Foster

let us know what the problem turns out to be though,, my moneys on the shift solenoid


Well I didn't get anything important done to the transmission I did however ask the so called mechanic to check it out he said there was too much fluid and drained a lot out. I was worried when I saw how much he drained but I checked it before I left his shop and it was still at full. After three separate issues (none of which involved the transmission) and $580 later I still have a shifting problem. However to my surprise shortly after the fluid had been drained I was on the freeway attempting to keep up with the people I was following to a hiking trail and it final shifted into 5th gear so I can safely use the freeway now. I will someday find a mechanic who will listen to my concern and maybe even fix the problem but for now it starts and runs and goes from a to b. I keep the fluids topped off get the oil changed as needed and do my best to treat it well including vacuuming it every other week.

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