As we’ve touched on in some of our blog posts concerning car repair in Des Plaines, manual transmissions change gears with use of the clutch while automatic transmissions operate differently. With the help of a complex hydraulic system, automatic transmissions are able to change gears without the driver having to manually prompt it to do so. This makes the hydraulic system and the transmission solenoid, an important component of this system, vital for automatic transmissions. So what exactly does a transmission solenoid do?

The transmission solenoid helps regulate fluid pressure by opening and closing valves and allowing transmission fluid to enter. This allows the fluid to properly pressurize clutches and bands that are applied to change the gears. The solenoid receives information from sensors in the engine that determine when it’s appropriate to change gears.

Since the transmission solenoid is an essential component to a functioning automatic transmission, a lot of issues with shifting gears can be attributed to problems with the solenoid. A few common transmission solenoid warning signs include:

  • Problems Downshifting – Automatic transmissions should be downshifting your gears as you slow down or to a stop. If your vehicle begins downshifting uncontrollably or not at all, this can point to mechanical issues with the transmission solenoid.
  • Erratic Shifting – Similarly to problems downshifting, erratic shifting like skipping gears and shifting back and forth can be signs of mechanical issues for your solenoid.
  • Delayed Shifting – Another issue that is commonly seen with malfunctioning solenoids is delayed shifting. This can mean your vehicle takes a few seconds or even a few minutes to change into a higher gear, typically leaving you in a neutral state and unable to accelerate. This can be a safety hazard in certain situations, so it’s important to have your solenoid looked at by our experts in car repair in Des Plaines if this is occurring.

With this information, you can be confident knowing you have a better understanding of how your automatic transmission functions. This information will also hopefully help you identify any issues with your transmission solenoid, so you can seek help from our experts in car repair in Des Plaines before it’s too late. For more information about transmissions and our services, visit us at