The Symptoms of a Bad Transmission Solenoid

A vehicle’s automatic transmission is composed of several critical components, one of which is the transmission solenoid. Solenoids are electro-hydraulic valves that control the flow of transmission fluid into and throughout a vehicle’s automatic transmission system. Based on the voltage or currents that they receive from the transmission control unit, the solenoids either open or close to allow or block the flow of transmission fluid. When these transmission solenoids malfunction or fail, a vehicle may begin to perform erratically. Here are some of the symptoms of a bad transmission solenoid.

Delayed shifting

Often, solenoid issues will reveal themselves in the form of delayed gear shifting. If there is a problem with a transmission solenoid, the proper amount of hydraulic fluid for shifting may not be supplied. As a result, a lack of pressure will likely occur, which may delay your vehicle’s ability to shift gears. If you notice that your vehicle is taking longer than usual to shift gears, it’s a good idea to get its transmission solenoids checked out.

Inability to shift gears

Solenoids play a large role in gear selection. In addition to delayed shifting, a faulty transmission solenoid may prevent your vehicle from shifting gears entirely.

When a solenoid malfunctions, the proper amount of fluid pressure may not be sent to the desired gear, thus preventing the appropriate gears from being activated. As a result, you may lose the ability to use one gear, multiple gears, or all gears, leaving your vehicle stuck in one particular gear.

The vehicle is stuck in limp mode

Another symptom of a bad transmission solenoid is when the vehicle gets stuck in limp mode. Also known as limp-home mode, limp mode is activated when a system failure—such as a transmission solenoid malfunction—is detected by the transmission control module.

When in limp mode, the transmission will likely be forced into second or third gear to limit the vehicle’s speed. By reducing the vehicle’s speed, limp mode helps minimize strain on the malfunctioning system to mitigate any additional damage from occurring to the vehicle’s engine or transmission while still allowing the vehicle to be driven home or to a repair shop.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of a bad transmission solenoid, you can find the replacement parts you need at Transparts Warehouse. As a leading transmission supply shop, we specialize in selling a wide range of quality standard and automatic transmission replacement parts, including solenoids. To get your vehicle’s transmission running smoothly again, shop our products today.