Pajero AT Mode Switch

Pajero AT Mode SwitchThis switch is often asked about on various Pajero discussion forums and I’ve been asked about it through this website too. So let me tell you what it’s all about.

Firstly, you’re only going to have one if you have an automatic gearbox and even then, only on certain models. A/T stands for Automatic Transmission and Mode therefore means that the automatic transmission can be placed in different modes using this button.

I guess the default mode is with the button in the central position. This is called the auto mode and when in this position, nothing shows on the dash. In this position the transmission will automatically change from power to economy mode as the conditions require. If you’re driving steadily without pressing hard on the accelerator, the gearbox will change up as soon as it can. If you hit the pedal hard the gearbox will drop a gear or two and increase the revs/performance.

Push the button forward and you’ll be in power mode – “PWR” will show up on the dash. In this mode the gears will be kept as low as possible and the revs are allowed to go higher, even when you’re not hitting the accelerator hard. This should result in faster performance. Beware though that your fuel economy may drop drastically in this mode.

Finally, by knocking the switch into its backwards position you’ll light up the dash with “HOLD”. This is the hold mode. In this mode when you set off from a standing start you will be in 2nd gear and the gearbox will change up as soon as it can, keeping the revs low. In theory this should be the most economical setting. It can also help stop wheel spinning in slippery conditions and could be useful for instance when pulling a trailer out of a muddy field.

Personally I keep my Pajero in the auto mode and occasionally knock it into power mode if I’m feeling racy at the traffic lights. I always flick it back into auto once I’ve burnt off the boy-racers!

68 Comments on Pajero AT Mode Switch

  1. Hi

    What models have the A/T switch as i have one on my paj.


  2. Hi Diana

    All automatics as far as I know.

    • only the ones with a ecu fitted and autos,
      ecu is near the foot pedals. usually a blue conector to it,
      you could remove this conector for 5 minutes to reset the memory on the ecu. then it will learn your driving habits and adjust gear changes to suit you,

    • MAZHAR KAZMI // July 7, 2012 at 10:04 am //

      i have mitshubishi pajero 2000 model. i am getting a flash of A/T on speedometer continuesly. what does that mean.

    • Hi Tim I have a Mitsubishi Montero 1995. I failed my emissions test and wondered if it could be because I had it in the hold mode.? The oxides of nitrogen were 5.43 and standard is 3.00.?

  3. thank you so much, i thought my car was broken, like as if it had oil pressure problems, because te A/T light often flashes on the dash, thank you!

  4. Glad we could help Dercio 🙂

    • Penny Hammond // October 14, 2017 at 1:03 pm //

      My Mitsubishi Pajero 1995 2.8
      S/w based. .. A/T light keeps flashing can you advise please. Many thanks

    • Vishal M Goundar // April 28, 2018 at 10:47 pm //

      Hi my A/T lights keep on never goes off on my 1994 pajero 4m40 model over drive lights not working and break lights not working engine lights not working

  5. Thanks for this info. The PWR light on my Pajero dashboard came on a couple of days ago and I noticed my revs were going higher than usual. I wondered what was happening. And since buying the car, I wondered what the A/T switch was for. Now I know! Thankyou very much 🙂

  6. Thanks for the feedback Rabb, it’s good to know we’ve helped someone.

  7. Hi

    The A/T light is flashing after 10 sec what does this mean

    Many Thanks

    • Nyamka Idema // March 16, 2011 at 10:35 am //

      You need to get it fixed right away, my pajero did the same thing, the revs are going higher but my car wasn’t moving forward. Happens if your A/T oil is too hot, not very good for the car

  8. If it stays on when the engine is running it indicates your auto transmission oil is too hot. You’d need to get it to a mechanic.

    • so which is it if the A/T light is on constantly (solid red) is that over heating and when it’s flashing it a fault or the other way round! I’ve been reading lots of people’s comments on other forums and everyone seems to say a different thing!!! Confused……..

  9. Hi, A/T switch not on all automatics – mine doesnt have switch – boo hoo!

  10. hi tim could you help me the A/T light come on wen the car is running but some days it is alright ny dad is a mechanic he seems to think it is they altornator wich he is going to test but if you know of any thing that would help i would be very greatfull cheers jay

  11. hi i like to know pajero automatic gearbox how much letr of oil tack

  12. the pajero is r 1999

  13. Gerhard Venter // February 7, 2010 at 3:27 am // Reply


    What will cause the oil to be to hot?

  14. chris bennett // April 12, 2010 at 4:15 pm // Reply

    you have just got me out of the s… im 76 and i was thinking the worst,eg. that the had something drasticly wrong with it! manythanks and best wishes to you.

  15. Aussie Jay // May 7, 2010 at 12:13 pm // Reply

    Hi Tim: i have a 98 NL Auto Pajero LWB done 230K. I have had extensive work on it new head,new manifold gaskets X 3, valves, water pump radiator, alternator, Hydrulic lifters etc etc, Had the Transmission serviced as well. However I still have flashing A/T light and the engine check light come on when slowing down and apply the break. Once I accelerate it goes away. I am also running rough and long on first gear change. Need help as have been back to the mechanic 10 times to no avail but engine under warranty. I am thinking sensor on the transmission or the throttle sensor?? Do not know any assitance would be appreciated.


    • hey i have a 99 pajero,drives real well.mine does exactly the same thing my engine light and alt lights flash but when i put my foot on the gas it goes away until i slow down i dont know what it is sounds like a comon problem but it doesnt seem to hurt the car

  16. Thanks for the great article! I have no job and I´m living at my wife´s expenses for now, but if I ´d be working I´d definitely make a donation! cheers

  17. Hey Gustavo, glad you liked the article!

  18. hiya

    after i had fuse melt due by cig ligter..i had pull out the fuse which i never use cig lighter…somehow i saw cig lighter wire had bad burn all wire….i sort out the wire..everything is back normail until i got three light on is..OD…PWR…and HOLD..light on all the time…i notice my diesel is so thirsy alot…how i find for three light off…need back to normal drive…is fuse come with it or not???hope anyone can tell me how get light off switch broke or not??

    hope someone out there to know how

    help will be great


    • Nyamka Idema // March 16, 2011 at 10:37 am //

      OD on/off is the button on your gearstick. With it the reving of the car changes. you should have that on otherwise you will be eating loads of diesel.

  19. I’ve been wandering what does PWR in my pajero mean. I noticed that my fuel consumption is so high. After reading this, I switch from PWR to auto mode w/c has a better fuel economy. Thanks a lot!

    • Glad that helped you 🙂

    • how do you unlock a frozen wheel cylinder my front pass brake locked up in a parking lot and had hope to get it home about two miles away 1999 Montero sport limited to change brakes

  20. HI
    I have a 97-p reg pajero,i’v a little problem with it when it’s ticking over in drive (foot on break)it ticks over fine but every 10 seconds or so,it has a little splutter with a bit black smoke out of the back,It’s been doing it for a while now (ticks over perfect when in park)any one have a clue whats up…?????


  21. hello all.

    I am a holder Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2.5 GLS from month, and I have many questions:)
    1. Where is the fuse from the fog lights?
    2. I snatched the armrest switch and do not know what it is!
    If anyone has any questions then welcome the opportunity to answer:)
    3. Where is the air filter?

  22. very use full ,,yesterday i bought a full option pajero 1994 with A/T mode,,but i have some more problems ,,in dash there is CRUSE option,,how to use it?? what it does? and how to start COOLER not AC.. its an full option full auto pajero,, if some one can help plz tell me i will upload the Pictures.

  23. Thanks mate very useful!!!!Just done 1600KM towing a small caravan wondering if i had it right but i did thanks!

  24. Own a 97 Fieldmaster,had it for approx 12 months. whilst driving home PWR light came on on dash,scared the life out of me.Only a few miles from home so carried on.Checked the workshop manuel,no help.found this website/article on the net.Peace of mind now riegns supreme thanks to your article.The significant other denies putting her haversack sorry handbag by the handbrake.Many thanks for
    article/peace of mind

  25. can any one tell me where the rev counter sencor is

  26. hi tim,

    i have a question for you..
    i own a mitsubishi montero 1998.
    couple of days ago i was driving and 3 lights came on first… the brake light then the battery and last but more important the A/T light.. it was still running but it smelled like burn oil or something it turns on and everything but i still have does 3 lights on… dont know what that means if u can help me please…

  27. Hi can anybody help, the rev counter on my paj works when it wants to but when it does work the a/t mode button works, when the rev counter fails the a/t mode button doesn’t. Is this a failing alternator?

  28. Hello,

    I have a 1993 3.5 v6 swb and it feels like im driving a boat the steering wheel seems too sensitive. When straitening up after a turn the wheels seems to go left and right and not solidly going straight. Hope this makes sense, someone metioned pulman arm..

  29. Great write up Tim, i liked the Facebook page which i got the link for on here, i also posted on it in regards to a few queries i have on buying a second gen Pajero.

  30. I have a Mitsubishi Pajero Junior. Much smaller than a big Pajero, doesn’t have an A/T Mode but does have an auto Gearbox ECU computer in the car (near the passenger’s footwell).
    My gearbox problem is the the gears are in a permanant top gear(D)situation and refuse to shift, even if I move the stick to (1) or (2) it still revs as though it is in top gear.
    It drives OK after a very slow start, once I get it up to top gear. But starting off in top gear can be dangerous if someone comes round a roundabout a bit sharpish and I am just a few yards into it at 5-10 miles an hour??
    I have spoken to just about everyone in the world including at least 8 Mitsubishi dealers in UK and in Ireland (where I live) No one had even heard of an ECU computer or knew how to repair it.
    What I need to know is can I simply turn off the ECU and throw it away. Removing all the wires that are connected to it? I think one of my problems is that the Pajero Junior was never officially imported into UK or Ireland and Mitsubishi UK Ltd will not even consider having a look at it or offering advice.?? I need advice???

  31. Hi,

    I have a 1999 V6 3500cc Pajero. The A/T light flash occassionally for 7-8 times and then the check engine light comes on. This happens mostly when I am slowing down or on a slope (going downhill). It clears up after a few times and may not happen for weeks. Sometimes this sequence happens 10 times in a day. I have been to my mechanic a few times to get it checked but it never happens when he is around. He hooked up a computer to get the error codes but none were read on his device.

    Also, the AT fluid is a bit excessive when it is HOT when I checked the dipstick and the colour of the fluid is not dirty brown but pink (I am not sure when it was changed).

    This is driving me crazy and I request the experts to please help me get this problem solved.

    Thanks in advance.

  32. i have a 93 2.5td pajero auto trans and the tranny is stuck in 2 gear, i think. drive wont light up with the shifter in d, and it shifts only after 4200 rpm. just did a trany flush but its still the same. somebody said my tranny is done. i hope not. thanks in advance

  33. Hello Tim,
    I have 2001 Pajero Sport and it has an A/T button. And its manual gear box. Looks like button doesnt do anything. Would you know anything about this?

  34. Hi Tim,
    I own a 1994 Pajero 2.8td LWB. its great fun needs a bit of TLC. I recently fitted new glow plugs hoping to cure cold starting. Well that’s debatable! Cloud of grey smoke and eventually lift off. This is my first so i’m still learning my way round it, but appreciate any help.
    In the Haynes manual that shows the different pictures of the engines i noticed the air filter box on the 2.8td is a cylinder with clips at the front, Well my 4×4 has to be different, going by the pics mine seems to be fitted with the oval air box/filter from the 2.5l diesel ? Would this cause a lack of power or wrong fuel air mix or nothing to worry about..
    many thanks

  35. @ martin. I have a 93 2.8td exceed and i had the same problem with mine. Thats how it started and soon it wud run for a random distance then cut out and was a nightmare to restart. I paid £150 to have the fuel pump seal replaced and this cured the problem. Hope ths helps

  36. Any help.would be awsome I have a 98 triton when I slow down.the at light starts.flashing and the engine light comes on as soon as I touch the accelerator it goes a away does anyone know what might cause this and how I might resolve the.issue any advise will be much.appreciated cheers seems like a common problem between pajero and the triton

    • Hi dan just wondering if u found the problem as i have same issue with my 95 pajero. Only started today after i went 4wding yesterday in alot of mud

  37. Hi Tim my a/t light came on today while driving never done it before any idea why.

  38. Hi Tim, I had 2013 Pajero automatic transmission.
    I want to explore my Pajero in Sand dunes area like in Wahiba sands here in Oman
    I just want to know which 4 Wheel gear mode I’m going to use is it 4H, 4HLc or 4LLc?
    Also there is one switch control shows R/D Lock what is the function of this control and when will I use this control

  39. i have a mitsubishi pajero 2500 deisel it has a overdrive button on gear shift it has stopped working and will not go into fourth gear can any one help

  40. Well done job. very informative.
    But am yet to get reply to my questions. My 1996 Pajero shifts gears up to 3. what is wrong with it

  41. roy cabangbang // February 15, 2016 at 2:50 am // Reply

    good day everyone.. need help on my pajero… the speedometer and tachometer with the overdrive was not functioning already fro quite sometime already. yesterday while driving far,my paj wont change gears anymore as it used to be on the a/t switch on normal position. i have to select to “HOLD” position in order to run again normally. whats the possible problem? very few mechanic are available here in our small town in the philippines (sogod, So. Leyte)..

  42. good day everyone. i have a pajero exceed.automatic tranmission it was good transfer in 1st,2nd and 3rd gear but in four gear its not transferring.i think OD is not functioning. can any one help

  43. My car is pajero v46,some time AT switch light coming blinking .i want to know what happen.pls explain me

  44. Blew my 100wt alternater fuse replaced battery now i got power windows back etc. Now ive lost 4wdselection by using it to go over a 1 mtr high sand hump now stuck in diff lock. $$$$$$$$

  45. will this a/t mode be safe on the highway? thankyou

  46. i have a 1998 montero sport.. will it be safe on the highway?..

  47. I have recently bought a pajero 1996 n plate , imported 2004 , it starts but only runs a few seconds then cuts out like it running out of fuel . Would I be right thinking the pump seal needs replacing ?

  48. My 1995 4M40T paj runs good on 1st gear and shifts to 2nd, but quickly shifts to 3rd gear. What might be the issue?

  49. Sijin K Sebastian // August 26, 2018 at 11:19 am // Reply

    Pajero 3.5

    On the dashboard:

    the diagram for the 4 wheel drive has green illumination for all wheels and an orange illumination in the centre.

    Driving normally the rear wheels on the diagram are illuminated green but after about 15 miles they go out and the centre orange light comes on and flashes every second.

    Stopping the jeep and restarting it gets rid of it and the green illumination comes back on for the two rear wheels but after another 15 miles the orange light is back on again.

    The manual says to stop and restart and it should disappear (and it does) but if it reappears (and it does) to get to a service agent.

    Before I go there …. can anyone tell me what’s wrong?, is it serious? and is it easily sorted?


  50. Jeffrey Mbilitu // September 7, 2018 at 11:32 am // Reply

    My pajero exceed 2.8 1995 model A/T Light flashing and the transmission can engage in third and fourth gear what could be the problem?

  51. Wilson Galetsoswe // October 28, 2018 at 1:44 pm // Reply

    My Pajero 2.8 flashes A/T and won’t change to last gear.

  52. I have a colt 3.0 v6 automatic the power and hold button doesn’t indicate that it is working and i must change gears manually. Pleas i tried every thing i could think of

  53. Hi I’m driving a colt 3.0 v6 automatic the PWR & HOLD button doesn’t indicate that it is workin and i must shift it manually plaes any help

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.