Bad Transmission Solenoid? 3 Key Signs To Be Aware Of

6 December 2017
 Categories: , Blog

Virtually all modern transmission systems contain multiple examples of a type of component known as the solenoid. These play the important role of channeling the transmission fluid into certain valve bodies, thereby allowing the transmission to change gear.

Solenoid problems often increase the transmission's difficulty of shifting from one gear to another. If bad enough, it may even cause the transmission to stop working altogether. If you would like to learn more about how to recognize the signs of an impending solenoid problem in your European car, read on. This article will outline three key symptoms to be aware of.

Erratic Gear Changes

By far, the most commonly encountered symptom that something is going wrong with a transmission solenoid is a tendency to jump without warning from one gear to another. This means that the transmission is losing its ability to maintain a fixed position. You may notice shifts in either direction, either up or down. You may also find that your transmission is slow or non-responsive when you attempt to manually alter its gear.

No Downshifting

Solenoid problems do not always manifest in quite so obvious a way. In certain cases, your transmission will go on working as usual when it comes to progressing upward through the gears as you accelerate. Only when downshifting does the problem arise, often preventing your car from decelerating in a smooth and controlled fashion.

This issue is often caused by a solenoid stuck in its open position. This may the result of an electrical burnout or a physical blockage of some sort. Dirty transmission fluid is a common culprit here. In either case, the valve body remains flushed with transmission fluid, meaning it cannot close and thus allow your transmission to shift downward.

Shifting Delays

The key to a well-working transmission is a tightly working pressure regulation system. The solenoids are directly responsible for regulating the pressure that causes changes in the internal state of a transmission. A weakened or dying solenoid will struggle to accommodate desired pressure changes, reacting to instructions in a much slower manner.

As a result, a transmission with solenoid issues often displays a noticeable time lag in completing the shift from one gear to the next. In some cases, this may trigger a somewhat misleading "check engine" light on your dashboard. Be sure to report sluggish shifting to a mechanic well versed in transmissions. They will be able to help diagnose whether a faulty solenoid is at the heart of the issue.

To learn more, contact a company like Goose Automotive.