How To Tell If Your Transmission Solenoid Is Going Bad

25 January 2022
 Categories: , Blog


There are many different things that can go wrong with a transmission. One of those problems is a solenoid that has gone bad and requires replacement. Since this part allows fluid to go into the valve body of the transmission, a bad solenoid can cause problems with automatic gear changing, which is a key part of your transmission. Here are some signs to look out for to identify that there is a damaged transmission solenoid in your vehicle.

The Dashboard Light Turns On

Many problems with your vehicle can be identified with a dashboard light that turns on. Most vehicles will identify a problem with the transmission by turning on the service engine soon light, but your vehicle may have a specific transmission light as well. There are several error codes that call out specific solenoids, which can help narrow down the problem so the solenoid can be replaced with a new one.

The Gears Delay When Shifting

Part of the reason that many people want a vehicle with an automatic transmission is that it seamlessly handles all of the gear shifting for you. That's why one problem you may notice when you have a solenoid problem is that the gears delay when shifting. This will be most notable when getting up to speed on the freeway when you are trying to increase your top speed very fast.

The reason for the delayed shifting is that the solenoid becomes clogged or dirty over time, which makes it less efficient at passing transmission fluid through the solenoid. This problem can happen due to dirty transmission fluid that has not been flushed. 

The Gears Do Not Shift

In an extreme situation, the solenoid will block all fluid from going into the transmission and cause the transmission to become stuck. This will result in the gears not changing at all. You'll be able to shift out of park and get it into drive, but the vehicle is not going to shift out of first gear 

The Vehicle Won't Go Above Second Or Third Gear

There is a safety feature on your vehicle often referred to as limp mode, which limits how fast your vehicle can go when there is a problem with the transmission. It will not allow the vehicle to go above second or third gear, and even shut off other nonessential parts of your vehicle so that you can safely get your vehicle home without causing damage to those parts. This safety feature may be activated if the vehicle senses the solenoid is bad and the transmission is not getting fluid.