Auto transmission warning light

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Auto transmission warning light

Unread postby richardbtanner » Fri May 11, 2012 6:00 pm

Hello. I am new to this forum, and to my 1988 Lesharo, and I'm hoping for alittle--for now--basic help. Just purchased this in Sacramento with 34K miles (and I live in Reno). I'm getting basic service done in a couple of areas, and am wondering about the Auto transmission warning light. When it runs in 2nd gear, when going over Donner Pass for example, the Auto warning light comes on. I can't find out if this means the transmission is overheating, just working too hard (about 40 mph in 2nd), or just doesn't like me! I'm planning to get the transmission serviced at AAMCO since they have a goodreputation here.
Does anyone have some information that may help me? I know the LeSharo has to work hard uphill, but I drove an old VW Van so I'm used to being passes by semi-trucks on the hills!
Richard Tanner

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Re: Auto transmission warning light

Unread postby martyj56010 » Fri May 11, 2012 6:11 pm

The warning light only comes on when you have an electrical issue. Does itstill shift normally or do you have to restart the camper to make light goout and go back into first gear. If the tranny faults out and goes into limp mode you will only have high and reverse. Taking off from a dead stop or climbing hills in third gear is very hard on these transmissions and canburn them out

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Re: Auto transmission warning light

Unread postby Rick Heslop » Fri May 11, 2012 6:29 pm

Welcome to the group!
There is a troubleshooting section in the service manual which should address your problem. Most likely, like Marty said, it is an electrical problem, probably a poor ground connection at the transmission.
When you have the transmission serviced, tell them the filter is re-usable and just needs to be washed out to clean it.
Hope it helps,
btw take a tour of the Files section as there is a great wealth of info there.

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Rick Heslop

Re: Auto transmission warning light

Unread postby Fred Brann » Sun May 13, 2012 12:14 pm

I would be wary of aamco anyway.they cost me a rebuilt transmission. had them replace a clutch and they knocked a keeper out and all my trans fluid leaked off burning up trans and they refused responsibility. burned by incompetent mechanic many times on this.
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Fred Brann

RE: Auto transmission warning light

Unread postby Aldo il Toscano » Sun May 13, 2012 2:15 pm

AAMCO ? ..... The major problems with Renault based Le Sharo/Phasar are directly attributed to the drive train !! I would NOT trust a "Franchise Shop" to have the expertise ..........I am in the process of a $3500.00 repair task, including re-built transmission/clutches (parts from Mobility RV., inIowa) on my 1986. My comments are biased !! ...........Have a nice day ..........Papa Aldo - San Jose, California
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Aldo il Toscano

Re: Auto transmission warning light

Unread postby richardbtanner » Mon May 14, 2012 3:04 pm

Thank you all for your feedback! I was a bit uncertain about AAMCO, but theshop here did have good reviews. I think I'll just get the transmission fluid changed, elsewhere, and go from there. I have figured out there are a few electrical problems to work on-the biggest being the engine heat gauge. When I turn on the ignition it drops from a 'normal' rest position do dead low and doesn't change.
Does anyone know of a Chilton manual or something similar for the LeSharo?
I figured out that the transmission light comes on when I shift to 2nd for more than a minute or so, or hit passing gear. Not that I'm likely to pass much of anything else! All gears still work when the light is on, so I'm feeling OK there.
I will spend some time in the Files section. Again, thanks for your feedback--This seems to a great group for a great vehicle, and I'm not nearly as trepidatious as I was!

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Re: Auto transmission warning light

Unread postby martyj56010 » Mon May 14, 2012 3:25 pm

If your transmission is still working with the light on then it should be the potentiometer mounted on the throttle plate. It must have a spot on it that doesn't read. This will cause the light to come on but only affects theshift points

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Re: Auto transmission warning light

Unread postby Walter Spencer » Mon May 14, 2012 4:44 pm


I used to have an 89 2.2 gas Phasar (LeSharo - same thing) and as long as I
owned her. she NEVER gave me a problem shifting, running or any other
transmission ailment, except for the blame light would not go out. It was
dim when ignition was on . all the time. After 9,000 miles, I sold her.
If memory serves me, the light did go out shortly before I sold her and I
seem to recall it coming on but I don't remember under what circumstance.
So the light thingy? If the tranny works like supposed to, put a black tape
over the light and call it a day. It was suggested at some point by someone
else.but I never got to it, the light went out.

Strange trany.that.


Cumming, GA

88LX/96GM 3800 Series II


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Walter Spencer

Re: Auto transmission warning light

Unread postby Aldo il Toscano » Mon May 14, 2012 6:02 pm

Richard .................. I have two factory (2) manuals, quite big (Volume 1 of 2 ....and ....2 of 2. in multi-ring binders. They cover gas and diesel versions, inside, outside , engine, transmission etc., etc., suggest youcheck with either Mobility RV in Iowa or Winnebago. Originally they cost @ $75.00 a piece ....I think they are worth a fortune, would not sell mine !! You may also try posting on the "LeSharo" users group site and see if anyone has made copies and may be selling them .Good Luck ...............Aldo.................Aka ...........Papa Aldo
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