Understanding Transmission Solenoids

A Transmission Solenoid? I’ve Never Heard of That!

When you need reliable transmission repair, you don’t have to drive into Atlanta–and worry that your car won’t make it there. Instead, choose the ASE-certified technicians at TA Automotive of Conyers in Conyers, Georgia. We’ve been in business for years, so you know we’ve earned our customers’ trust to maintain our solid reputation. What’s more, we back our work with an outstanding 24-month/24,000-mile warranty through the NAPA AutoCare network that protects you nationwide. If it’s time for transmission service or you suspect a problem, bring your vehicle to us before you incur additional damage.

What is that Thing?

One internal part that can eventually cause trouble is a transmission solenoid. If you’re not into the technicalities of gears, you may be wondering, “What is that thing?” A transmission solenoid controls the flow of transmission fluid in an automatic model. These usually present themselves in a transmission “pack,” so you may hear reference to this component as a “solenoid pack.” You can probably guess that a solenoid is important. After all, your auto’s transmission doesn’t function without fluid. Therefore, it stands to reason that if the solenoid allows fluid to move, it’s critical. Automatic transmissions have more than one solenoid. Most of them have three. There’s a transmission solenoid that facilitates the shift from first gear to second, second to third, and third to fourth. Nearly everything is electronic and computerized today, so the transmission’s computer tells the proper components (the solenoid and others) to act relevant to the gear they control as the transmission adapts based on speed and driving conditions. Amazingly complex for its size, this cylinder-shaped steel part is usually installed inside another transmission component (transmission control unit, control module, or valve body). In turn, the solenoid itself is made of 9 parts (valve body, orifice, inlet port, outlet port, coil winding, solenoid coil body, lead wires, spring, and piston or plunger). If any tiny piece fails, the main component can cause trouble and impact transmission performance.

Signs that the Transmission Solenoid Might be Bad

If you experience car trouble, your first thought isn’t likely, “Oh, my transmission solenoid is bad.” Some of the potential signs are your auto’s transmission shifting into the wrong gear, failing to downshift at the proper time and a delay (whether short or long) in shifting. So how will you know? If the source of trouble is electronic, the check engine light may illuminate. If there’s another culprit, there may not be a warning light. If you notice that something is “off,” you don’t have to guess. Instead, rely on the helpful staff at TA Automotive of Conyers.