Symptoms of a bad transmission solenoid switch

Updated March 23, 2017

The transmission on a vehicle is responsible for regulating gear shifting by transmitting power from the engine to the drive wheels. Components of a transmission, such as the transmission solenoid switch, are essential for it to function properly. The solenoid is an electromagnetic switch that receives power from the battery to create a magnetic field that ignites the engine's starter. If the solenoid switch stops working, a vehicle will show several symptoms.

Drive or Reverse Problems

Usually, a vehicle shifts gears as soon as the gear change is initiated, but a bad solenoid may cause a delay in the second and third gears. The vehicle may not move when the drive or reverse gear is selected. The transmission may sound like it is switching gears, but the vehicle will remain stationary.

No Down Shift

A vehicle should slow down when the accelerator is depressed; however, a faulty solenoid switch can cause it to continue moving even though you are downshifting. The vehicle will often roll slightly forward when you press on the brake pedal. You may hear revving sounds from the engine while the vehicle is stationary, indicating that the transmission does not recognise the vehicle is not moving. The vehicle may also display difficulty reaching full acceleration after making a complete stop.

Acceleration Issues

Acceleration problems, which happen when gears do not switch correctly, may indicate a solenoid switch that needs to be replaced. The vehicle may drag or hesitate when the accelerator is pressed. During acceleration, you will often feel a jolt and hear gear shifting sounds from the transmission, indicating that unwanted gear changes are occurring.

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About the Author

Katina Blue has a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for more than 10 years. Her articles are featured on several websites including Money Maiden. She currently writes daily blog posts on