best way to explain what transmission solenoids do is to describe the
different solenoids that are used in an automatic
The following describes the different solenoids along with their
functions. Also included are problem symptoms, repair
information, parts and estimated repair costs.
the name suggests, shift solenoids are used to control gear engagement
and gear shifts. It works something like this... When the Engine
Control Module (ECM) or Transmission Control Module (TCM) determines it
is time to shift to a different gear, (or when the driver manually
shifts the transmission), electrical pulses cause the appropriate shift
solenoid valve to open. The opening of the solenoid allows transmission
fluid to flow to the bands and clutches to effect the desired gear
shift. The fluid provides the pressure needed to apply the bands and
clutches to engage the gear.
a Faulty Shift Solenoid
primary problem symptoms of a faulty shift solenoid are delayed
shifts, no downshifts and erratic shifts.
the shift solenoids are working properly, shifts occur smoothly and
without delay. A faulty shift solenoid can cause delayed
of a few seconds or up to one minute or longer. During a
delay no power is delivered to the drive wheels - it's as if the
shifter is in neutral. These shift delays can occur when you
first shift the transmission into a gear and when the transmission is
shifting between gears.
When the shift solenoids are function properly, the transmission
automatically downshifts as the vehicle speed slows. When the
vehicle comes to a complete stop the transmission downshifts into first
gear. A faulty shift solenoid can cause the transmission to
downshift uncontrollably (in other words at random times) or not
downshift at all, even when coming to a complete stop.
A defective shift solenoid can also cause the transmission to shift
erratically. This can be described as shifting into the wrong
gear, skipping the intended gear and shifting back and forth between
Solenoid: REPAIR INFORMATION
it is determined that you have a failed transmission shift solenoid the
only repair is to replace the faulty part. Replacing a
transmission shift solenoid can be done by most any auto repair shop,
automobile dealership service center or you can do-it-yourself "DIY".
a transmission shift solenoid or a shift solenoid pack involves
dropping the transmission oil pan in order to access the valve body,
(where the solenoids/solenoid pack is mounted), locating and replacing
the faulty solenoid and then replacing the oil pan using a new pan
gasket before refilling the transmission with the correct automatic
transmission fluid (ATF).
On some vehicles, the transmission solenoids are part of a solenoid
pack. In these instances, you must replace the solenoid pack.
Solenoid: REPLACEMENT COST
cost for transmission solenoid replacement depends heavily on the type
of vehicle you drive. For example, a single transmission
solenoid can cost anywhere from $15 to $100. A solenoid pack,
which includes all the solenoids for a particular vehicle/transmission
can cost from $65 to several hundred dollars or more. Where
get the work done, (whether at a local auto repair shop, car dealership
or you do-it-yourself), also factors heavily into the cost of
repair. If you replace the solenoid
parts supplier you purchase the solenoid (or solenoid pack) from will
factor into your final cost.
are transmission solenoid replacement costs for four different
vehicles. Use this information to give you a rough idea of
your cost might be.
Shift Solenoid Replacement Cost
REPAIR: Replace shift solenoid
SHOP COST: $260
DEALERSHIP COST: $335
COST: $40 to $65
DIY SAVINGS: $195 to $295
REPAIR: Replace failed solenoid pack
SHOP COST: $310
DEALERSHIP COST: $415
COST: $140 to $160
SAVINGS: $150 to $275
REPAIR: Replace solenoid pack
SHOP COST: $635
DEALERSHIP COST: $750
COST: $245 to $265
DIY SAVINGS: $390 to $485
REPAIR: Replace shift solenoid
SHOP COST: $175
DEALERSHIP COST: $235
COST: $35 to $45
SAVINGS: $140 to $190
the transmission fluid that is drained from the pan when replacing a
solenoid or solenoid pack is reused. If you choose to replace
this fluid with new fluid the approximate cost is $20 to $50.
costs between $6 and $10 per quart and you will need 3 to 5 quarts.