Transmission Solenoid Warning Signs

By Mister Transmission

What are transmission solenoids?

Solenoids are electro-hydraulic valves that control the flow of transmission fluid needed to change gears, opening and closing in response to the electrical signals they receive from your vehicle’s engine or transmission control unit, which pulls its data from a series of speed sensors in the engine. It is the flow of transmission fluid, which is controlled by the solenoid valves, that pressurizes your transmission’s clutches and bands, facilitating gear changes.

In automatic transmissions, transmission fluid is directed through the valve body by several types of solenoids, including:

  • The transmission shift solenoid
  • The lockup solenoid
  • The transmission control solenoid
  • The torque converter clutch solenoid

Manual transmissions do not typically have shift solenoids. Instead, they use the manual clutch to control how and when gears shift.

The solenoid body itself is generally constructed from steel and designed in a cylindrical shape, with a valve and return spring. The solenoid coil consists of a wire wound around a conductive component that acts as an electromagnet. Though they vary in design, most transmission solenoids comprise the following nine parts:

  • Valve body
  • Inlet port
  • Outlet port
  • Solenoid coil body
  • Coil winding
  • Lead wires
  • Plunger or piston
  • Spring
  • Orifice

If any of these parts fail, your solenoids stop working, and your transmission stops performing.

Why do transmission solenoids fail?

Common causes of transmission solenoid failure include:

  • Electrical issues (e.g. applying incorrect voltage to the coil)
  • Dirty transmission fluid, which may cause the shift solenoid to become stuck open or closed
  • Wear and tear—like any mechanical device or component, solenoids can simply wear out over time, although preventative maintenance can offset or reduce wear and extend the service life of your solenoids

If you suspect that one or more transmission solenoids have gone bad, get in touch with a Mister Transmission near you, and we will help you pinpoint and repair the problem, fast.

When to book a transmission service: 7 signs of solenoid failure

Plenty of transmission shifting problems can be traced back to a malfunctioning shift solenoid, including:

  1. Delayed or unpredictable gear shifting. If you experience a delay in shifting, or your vehicle has ever jumped to another gear on its own, there is a very good chance that one or more solenoids are failing.
  2. Skipping gears. If your vehicle has problems engaging certain gears, and it tends to skip over the “problem gear” whenever you attempt it, there’s a good chance that specific solenoid is broken or worn out.
  3. Getting stuck in certain gears. If your shift solenoid was damaged while a gear was engaged, it might cause the transmission to end up stuck in that gear.
  4. Vehicle sluggishness. Does your vehicle seem a bit sluggish or slower than usual? In response to solenoid failures, some vehicles engage Limp Mode, a protective function for your engine that caps RPM at 2500-3000, limits shifting, and keeps you under third gear. If your vehicle has engaged this protective mode, you’re probably dealing with a solenoid issue.
  5. Inability to downshift/upshift. In many cases, solenoid problems make shifting difficult. Sometimes the transmission will be able to move upward from gear to gear without a problem, but it will be unable to shift back down. This generally occurs when the solenoid has become stuck in an open orientation, perhaps due to physical damage to the solenoid body, wiring issues, or dirty fluid leaving foreign matter that prevents the solenoid from shifting into position.
  6. Check Engine light / transmission warning light. Some modern vehicles come with dashboard indicators that alert drivers to solenoid/transmission issues. If you have an OBD-II code reader, or you drop by your local Mister Transmission for a diagnostics test, you may also see a P0700 code, which indicates that there’s a malfunction with your Transmission Control Module. However, P0700 codes may also indicate problems with transmission fluid levels, broken wires between TCM and ECM, and more. For a concrete diagnosis and cost-effective repair, get in touch with your local Mister Transmission.
  7. Engine continues to rev when applying the brakes. If your tachometer needle keeps climbing as you hit the brakes, there’s a good chance you have a faulty solenoid.

What does it cost to repair/replace transmission solenoids?

Depending on the make, model, and year of your vehicle, transmission solenoid replacement costs can vary. In general, a single faulty transmission solenoid replacement costs approximately $250. Replacing the entire solenoid pack can cost around $400.

As you can see, replacements are often costly, so you want to make sure that you do not replace a functional shift solenoid. To that end, we offer 100% free road tests and multi-check inspections to help you get to the root of the problem, maintain your vehicle’s performance for longer, and pay only for the services you need. To book your free battery of tests, get in touch with your local Mister Transmission.

Book a transmission solenoid repair/replacement at Mister Transmission

For more than 58 years, Mister Transmission has been a leading provider of solenoid maintenance, repair and replacement services across Canada. To date, we’ve helped thousands of Canadians keep their transmission solenoids in-shape, and we can do the same for you.

For your convenience, we offer:

And no matter which location works for you, you’re guaranteed:

  • A history of success—Our commitment to customer care and superior service is borne out by 58+ years of success and over 11,000+ glowing reviews.
  • Leading transmission technology—We equip our highly trained transmission specialists with high-quality tools and leading diagnostic technology to get you great results on every service.
  • Flexible payment plans and customer rewards—We offer flexible payment plans and give away $1000 worth of transmission repair services every month, so you can keep your transmission solenoids in shape without breaking the bank.
  • Nationwide warranty—We stand behind our transmission repair, maintenance, and replacement services with one of Canada’s best warranties.

To book a free road test and multi-check inspection, use the Mister Transmission Finder to connect with a transmission expert near you.

image-reviews image-reviews
Customer Reviews
Recently had the transmission of...
Gui Gagnon
Recently had the transmission of our RV replaced there. Amazing garage, would highly recommend! Staff is knowledgeable, understanding and very accommodating. You can see that the mechanics there are professionals, the repair-shop is so clean that I would almost say it looks cozy!
Date: November 7, 2022
Website: Google
Great environment to grow
Director, Operations
A niche market in the automotive repair industry that makes a huge impact in people's lives. New technology and advancement in the vehicle market make the everyday more exciting.
Date: November 7, 2022
Website: indeed
Great Managment with a Fun and Productive Work Enviroment
Administrative Assistant
Working at Mister Transmission has been great. The workplace culture is fun and upbeat, my coworkers are kind and knowledgeable, and the management truly wants to see everyone succeed and do well. There is a nice mix of fast-paced and slow-paced work, meaning you are always busy but not always stressed about a deadline. There is a good amount of work-life balance and management is understanding.
Date: November 7, 2022
Website: indeed
Great place, very helpful owner.
Leonpona
Great place, very helpful owner.
Date: November 7, 2022
Website: Google
Just wanted to say a...
Marilyn Cowie
Just wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU! to Kris, Dawn and the entire team for taking the time to help us with our VW Eurovan Camper. Your willingness to take us on and put back on the road was much appreciated. Our vehicle has never run better. Five Star all the way. Marilyn, Al and Bella (the Bouvier)
Date: November 6, 2022
Website: Google
They were awesome
Jack Freda
They were awesome
Date: November 6, 2022
Website: Google
Great experience here, would highly...
Sydney H-m
Great experience here, would highly recommend
Date: November 4, 2022
Website: Google
I called another transmission shop...
Fred Howitt
I called another transmission shop before Mister Transmission & was told maybe on 3 weeks. Mr. T got me in on Monday & my truck was ready Thursday morning. Very good & friendly service. I would use their services again.
Date: November 4, 2022
Website: Google
If you ever need a...
Sean Marvill
If you ever need a reliable, no BS mechanic, this is the place to go
Date: November 4, 2022
Website: Google
I recently had a transmission...
Chris Parr
I recently had a transmission problem and everyone I spoke to told me the vehicle isn’t worth repairing as the transmission was done, it was a write off. Until I spoke with Ken and his team. They made me feel comfortable and confident that I didn’t need a repair that I can’t exactly afford. They were the only ones to really listen to my description of the issue and ensured me that it can be fixed and not to panic. The honesty and integrity this business showed me is so refreshing. I would recommend Ken and this Mr. Transmission to anyone. Thank you so much guys. My problem has been fixed and at a very reasonable price. Absolutely excellent
Date: November 4, 2022
Website: Google
Featured Services
Transmission Repair

The evolution of transmissions has made these machines and systems increasingly complex. When transmission repairs are required, determining the cause and cure for what ails can be tricky.

Read More
Transmission Technology

At Mister Transmission we have access to leading-edge diagnostic equipment, enabling us to offer you the fastest and most accurate findings about what’s going on inside your vehicle’s transmission.

Read More
Transmission Maintenance & Service

Just as you have other parts of your car serviced, your transmission needs maintenance to ensure a long life and avoid transmission problems.

Read More
Recent Blogs
Why It’s Better To Trust Your Tran...
Learn about the different services offered by a transmission shop and discover why
Read More
November 7, 2022
What Is An Automatic Transmission Rebuil...
Learn how an automatic transmission rebuild works, when these rebuilds are necessary,
Read More
November 3, 2022
The Big Mistake To Avoid When It Comes T...
If your vehicle needs a transmission replacement, you’re likely having a rough
Read More
October 31, 2022
What You’re Getting Wrong About Tr...
Whether you’re a first-time vehicle owner or a seasoned driver, here are some
Read More
October 27, 2022
What Mister Transmission Looks For When ...
Discover how Mister Transmission performs our diagnostic services and conducts
Read More
October 24, 2022
“What’s The Best Transmissio...
If you’ve been searching, “What’s the best transmission shop near me?” in
Read More
October 20, 2022
6 Of The Most Common Transmission Servic...
Learn about six of the more common transmission services offered by Mister
Read More
October 14, 2022
What You Should Know About Manual Transm...
Discover how manual transmission repair differs from automatic transmission repair
Read More
October 7, 2022
What Services Do High-Performance Transm...
If you demand a higher level of performance from your transmission, it needs a higher
Read More
August 12, 2022
What Is Transmission Oil, And What Do Yo...
Discover what transmission oil is, what it does, what transmissions use transmission
Read More
August 5, 2022