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Discussion Starter #1
Have a 2007 Rondo and intermittently the current gear number will pop up beside the PRND display on the instrument cluster. Normally, when driving down the road, only the "D" indicator is on the dash. However very randomly and sporadically, the current gear number will pop up beside the D. I've attached a photo below showing the number "3" beside the "D" on the dash (apologies for bad quality). The random/sporadic nature of the display has me leaning toward an electrical connection, but I really don't know.

I have no OBD codes, no MIL, and the transmission seems to shift fine. I will note that the "manual mode" doesn't seem to shift up at all, and won't reliably shift down. I do not use this mode, and only did so as a test in a parking lot since I knew that the numbers come up on the dash in this mode.

Anyone have any insight into what this could be?

Image as referred to above, notice that shift position shows "D3":
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2008 Kia Rondo EX 2.7 V6
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Is it always a 3? If so, the transmission may be restricting itself to under drive gears (Some Hondas have a D4 mode). If not, then I have no idea what it could be. There is no mention of such a display in the manual; I read through it again upon seeing your post. I think you are correct in assuming there is an electrical fault. If there is such a fault, I would think that it resides in the shift lever position sensor. This could result in the car thinking it is in drive and manual mode at the same time, leading to the strange readout.
See if you can controllably replicate the malfunction. This would help with diagnosing the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No the number display seems shows the current gear, I've seen D5, D3, D2 and D1. Also drivability appears to be unaffected.

I'm going to pull apart the console this weekend and take a look at the sport mode switch and connector, and check the signal to the PCM when sport mode, normal mode, shift up (in sport) and shift down (in sport) are active.

May end up doing a transmission fluid change this weekend as well. Just about due for one anyway, not that I think these are related.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Pulled the sport mode switch connector apart did a continuity check on the mode, shift up, and shift down switch as per wiring diagram below. Also jumped 12V from the connector to the PCM control pins to test the wiring from the connector to the PCM and everything behaved as expected.

Oddly, upon plugging everything back in, putting the shifter in manual mode (sport mode) clears all letter or number indicators from the dash, and the transmission behaves normally as if in drive. I'm going to check the inputs at the PCM tomorrow to see if the signal is actually getting there or not.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Final Update: Turned out connector MC12 at the base of the passenger side A-pillar underneath the glove box had a mild case of the green crusties. Just enough to cause short/open circuits on the three wires that control sport mode signals to the ECM. Cleaned them off with some isopropyl alcohol and issue is fixed.
 
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