Solved my car problem mystery

I knew when I had a problem that didn’t make sense it had to be because I was missing part of the puzzle. Every car problem always makes sense. I decided to look in the owners manual at the check engine lights.

When the red light came on I saw alt/temp which didn’t make my sense to me as it indicated one or the other. My eyes were tired from driving and I misread what was actually A/T temp. Makes perfect sense. I was comming out of a mountain range about 50 miles before this and most likley left the car in second gear traveling at highway speeds over heating the transmission. Thankfully I shut it off and the fluid doesn’t smell at all burned.

A side benefit to this was that I had sold a 1992 mitsubishi diamonte a few years prior, a car I really loved but it was old. The car had a violent intermittent shake in the engine I could not track it down so I advised the buyer and sold the car extrememely cheap. Reading up on my own mitsubishi I discovered that not using the factory auto trans fluid can cause this violent shake in the torque converter. Even though it does me no good now it was very satisfying to learn what that old vexing problem was. I don’t understand why the dealer mechanics did not know this.

Thanks for the follow up! I thought it was kind of odd that a car that new would have had the chintzy combination alt/temp light.

Did you ever figure anything out about the mystery fluid? Unless you’re fairly sure you just left it in second, might I re-propose my theory that it could have been stuck in four wheel drive and the fluid was gear oil from the front axle or transfer case?

I am pretty sure the fluid was trans fluid, it has a slightly different smell than standard trans oil and because it was fresh and no burned smell I didn’t recognize it. I have 4 qts of dextron in it right now that I will need to get out because I recently serviced the trans. This could have contributed to the problem. Not sure how the hell I will drain the torque converter unless I just drain the pan a few times and dilute it more.