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Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8621
Experience:  Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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Mitsubishi Outlander: Hi Doug- I have a 2005 outlander that

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Hi Doug- I have a 2005 outlander that has a transmission issue. It will kick in when cold but after it is hot, transmission won't kick in at all. Also, there is a noise from the transmission, however goes away after driving. Suspect noise is from 1st gear. Could this be a transmission sensor issue? Thanks heaps!

When the transmission is hot, does it just free-rev like it is in neutral or is there a different symptom?

Can you describe the noise? And when it occurs exactly (is it only in Park/sitting still and goes away as soon as you drive, or do you mean it goes away after a certain speed/distance)?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
When the transmission is hot- yes, it just feels like it is in neutral and do not move at all.

The noise occurs when going at very slow speed, after say getting on the motorway/highway noise goes away.

Thank you.

When the transmission is hot, is there no Reverse either?

Can you describe what the noise sounds like?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes, when the transmission is hot no Reverse either.

The noise sounds like a loud fan noise when parked with the bonnet open, and when driving in slow speed, sounds like a grinding noise as if something's stuck, than goes away at high speed.

My guess is temperature sensors are out, and something internal in the transmission may be out as well. Wanted to check with an expert.

Thank you

Definitely something internal going on here, no sensor is going to cause either of these situations.

Have you checked the fluid level in the transmission with the engine running? Where does it read on the dipstick with the engine running and warmed up?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Have not checked the fluid level, previous owner purchased the vehicle at 6,000km and came to me with 66,000km on the clock. Sounded like the transmission oil was never changed.

So - from your expertise it would not be worth taking a bet on the sensors? Based on the noise?

I understand your reply is strictly from the details given from me, what would be your bet on remedying the issue?

Can the transmission freeze from internal issues? And not the sensors.

Thanks again
I can assure you the odds of it being a sensor are about the same as the odds of it being your radio or anything else unrelated..... they just don't interact that way.

There are three sensors in the transmission.... a temperature, input speed and output speed sensor.
The temperature sensor is there solely to protect the transmission and shut it down if it gets too hot. When it shuts it down, you still have reverse and third gear no matter what. It won't leave you with no gears.
Input and output speed sensors are used to verify if the system is operating correctly only. The two sensors are divided to determine the ratio between them, then this is compared against the gear ratio for the intended gear. If it does not match, again it shuts down to prevent damage leaving you with reverse and third gear only.

A problem that occurs based on temperature the majority of the time will be one of the following:

Over filled transmission (fluid expands when hot, creating pressure regulation issue)
Valve body issue (metal expanding/contracting causing regulator valve to stick)
Oil pump issue

While the abnormal noise is further indicative of an internal issue (planetary failure etc), I'd be most interested in seeing the fluid level still just to be sure it isn't over filled. Anything beyond that is going to get expensive pretty quick. From there you would want to have it check out in person by either a dealer or transmission specialty shop.
From there they would want to listen with a stethoscope to see where the noise is originating (my money would be on planetary, it is the most common source for grinding noise). Then a line pressure test would be performed to see what is going on there while malfunctioning.
For example if all line pressures are low once warmed up, we can be certain the pump is failing. If all line pressures except pump pressure are low, then there is likely a regulator valve sticking in the valve body. If only certain circuits are low, then we could suspect individual valves in the valve body or stuck solenoids in the valve body etc.

Again given the abnormal noises, it is most likely there is physical damage occurring like in the planetary set, and any debris caused by this will find it's way into the valve body fairly quickly and result in loss of pressure. Typically this will eventually happen even when cold, so there is still a bit up in the air in that respect.

Before anything though you need to make sure the fluid is level and not over filled. This will give you an opportunity to check the fluid for debris/sediment as well as an indication of internal issue to the frictions etc.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Would you mind if I come back to you after checking the fluid level and for debris/sediments?
Thanks for your detailed reply.
No problem.

I will be here for a few hours yet.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Doug, before getting on to checking the oil level. What is the factory recommended oil amount based on litre for these transmissions? Will be replacing the transmission oil before sending on to a more costly procedure. Thanks again
The transmission uses 8 liters (an extra half liter for AWD) but keep in mind this is a full replacement. If you are draining from the plug and refilling it will only remove about 4 liters.

Changing the fluid is always a good idea, and honestly in most cases is the first recommendation when a transmission problem is brought in if there is no history etc.
Keep in mind though that to be effective all of the fluid would need to be replaced, meaning a flush not just a drain and fill. If the fluid is that severely depleted that it is slipping severely that would cause it to worsen at warm up and result in no motion..... however it would not cause any significant noises in most circumstance.
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