Have you started noticing weird symptoms with your transmission, such as your car going into limp mode, and having some difficulty shifting? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic where we are going to learn everything you need to know about this transmission solenoid fuse.
- Automatic Transmission?
- How It Works
- What’s A Shift Solenoid?
- Shift Solenoid Fuse
- Repair Cost
Transmission problems are a frequent issue with many car owners. Especially on cars equipped with an automatic transmission. Why is this the case? Well, mainly because there are a ton of moving parts that allow the transmission to shift automatically.
So, more parts inside mean more possible problems and more situations where something could go wrong. Such as in our case with the transmission solenoid fuse. Inside each automatic transmission, there are shift solenoids that make the transmission shift properly. And once this component is not properly working, there are a ton of issues that could rise up. But you shouldn’t worry because we are going to help you out.
First, we are going to start with the basics. We will learn how an automatic transmission work and we will cover the solenoid, we will cover its location, and also then we will cover the solenoid fuse and its location.
After that, we will dive into the bad shift solenoid symptoms and cover some of the situations that you could come across when the shift solenoid does not operate as intended by the factory. So, if you want to learn more about this problem, feel free to follow along till the end.
What Is An Automatic Transmission
Now before we dive into the transmission solenoid fuse, let’s begin with the basics and understand what is an automatic transmission. Why is this necessary? Well, there are a ton of people reading this article who might be familiar with this problem and want to learn more about the basics.
If you have the grasp of knowledge needed, you can jump to one of the following chapters. If not, keep up with us while we cover this stuff.
Nevertheless, what is an automatic transmission? Well, in simple terms, an automatic transmission is a giant torque conversion box located inside of your vehicle.
There are two main types of transmissions as you probably know. One of them is the manual. Where you go through the gears manually while engaging and disengaging the clutch with your clutch pedal. A rather complex transmission for beginner drivers.
This is why a lot of people in the US prefer to drive an automatic. Mainly because of the ease of use. And as you probably assume, in automatic transmissions, the transmission is doing all the hard work by itself.
You just hop inside of the car and start the engine, put it in drive, and you are good to go. It is that easy. But all this ease of use increases its complexity underneath. And here we come to the transmission solenoid fuse. But more in detail about this fuse we are going to cover later on.
The first thing to do, we need to understand how this transmission works in general. And that’s what we will cover in the following chapter where we are going to elaborate on everything you need to know about how this automatic works.
How Do Automatic Transmissions Work
Now since we familiarized ourselves with the automatic transmission and learned more about the basics. Before we dive into the transmission solenoid fuse, let’s cover something about the method of work that this transmission implements. How does this transmission work in general? Let’s elaborate.
Well, as we noted previously, the automatic transmission does everything automatically. This means that there is no manual action from the driver as in manual transmissions. Where you press the clutch to engage and disengage the transmission.
In automatic transmissions, everything is done by the transmission itself. You only have a brake pedal and a gas pedal. But what happens inside of the transmission?
Well, we can say that inside, a ton of complex processes occur. Inside of the transmission you have a big valve body.
This valve body is a maze-like device. And based on the input that you give to the car with the gas pedal, transmission fluid travels through this maze and applies pressure wherever is needed and this activates the shifting mechanism of the transmission.
Hydraulic fluid is one of the most essential things that the transmission needs in order to operate correctly. And this fluid has to be perfectly clean in order for the transmission to shift well and not create problems. But why hydraulic fluid?
Well, hydraulic fluid allows the transmission to shift well. If you use regular oil, it won’t work because it will get compressed. And ATF or transmission fluid has really good properties for heavy-duty applications that allow it to outperform almost anything out there.
In addition to this, in each automatic, you have complex electronics that regulate the work of this component. And more about that we are going to cover next before we discuss the transmission solenoid fuse.
What Is A Transmission Control Solenoid
Since we learned more about the transmission and how it works. Now before we cover the transmission solenoid fuse, we can move on and dive even deeper into its method of action and cover some of the electronics that are used inside of it.
As you probably know, modern automatic transmissions are very complex and implement a ton of electronic components that make them function right.
The main brain of the transmission is the transmission control unit. This unit is something like an ECU for transmission. It comes pre-programmed from the factory for this specific application.
The TCM controls other electronic units inside of the transmission. And the most important device that your shifts depend on is the transmission shift solenoid. There is also a torque converter clutch solenoid that controls the torque converter. But in our case, we are only into the shift solenoid.
The solenoid is a component that has an electrical circuit inside. This device is simply a lock that opens and closes.
So, whenever there is a need for it to open. The TCM will send an electric signal to the shift solenoid. And the solenoid will open and allow the ATF fluid to enter the valve body and deliver a shift. Then, as you downshift, the shift solenoid will close and the transmission will go down a gear.
Overall, it is quite easy to understand its method of action. The shift solenoid is something like a regulator that regulates the flow of transmission fluid inside of the transmission. Without this solenoid, proper shifting cannot be done and if one of these solenoids fails, you will end up with only 2 or 3 gears. So, you get the idea why they are so important. As well as the transmission solenoid fuse.
Transmission Control Solenoid Location
Now since we learned more about the transmission shift solenoid and learned that this component is crucial when it comes to proper shifting, we can move on and learn more about its location before we dive into the transmission solenoid fuse.
So, where is this component located on the car? A lot of people think that these solenoids are really accessible and easy to swap out.
But the reality is that they are actually not quite accessible and replacing a solenoid can be a real menace. Especially if you are not an experienced fellow who has been working on cars. Why I’m saying this?
Well, because it is true. The shift solenoid is located on the bottom of the car. More precisely inside of the transmission itself.
These solenoids are mounted on the valve body of the transmission. So, if you really want to replace one of them. The first thing you will need to do is to lift the car in the air. Then drop the transmission pan and drain all the transmission fluid. And only then you will have the access to work on one of these solenoids and test them out with a multimeter.
So, we can say that these solenoids are pretty much soaked in transmission fluid their entire life. And servicing them is a really difficult task that is not something recommended for beginner mechanics.
But luckily, sometimes the solenoids do not fail and the thing that fails is the transmission solenoid fuse. So, what is the transmission solenoid fuse, and where to locate it? More on that, we are going to cover it in the following chapter.
After that, we will dive into the symptoms of a bad shift solenoid and how you can diagnose one if you feel up to the task.
Transmission Solenoid Fuse
Now let’s cover something really important and that is the transmission solenoid fuse. If you didn’t know, each of the solenoids in your transmission has a fuse. But what is a fuse?
Well, a fuse in simple terms is a protection against a high surge of electricity. Each car has fuses and frankly, there are a ton of these in every automobile.
If there were no fuses when something shorts out in your system will cause the wires to melt. And once wires start to melt they can cause a fire inside the car.
And the fuse is there to serve as a protection in these situations to not overload the electrical system because of a faulty component. And since the solenoid is a component that works with 12V of power, it has to have a fuse. So, where is this fuse located?
Well, this is a good question. The fuses are located inside the fusebox. Each car has a fusebox under the dash, as well as inside the engine bay compartment.
For the transmission, fuses are usually located inside the engine bay. There is a big black plastic box that has a cover on it.
What you need to do is to pop up the cover and find the transmission solenoid fuse. And finding these fuses can be really tricky.
So, what you can do is to get the plastic cover of the fuses and see on the opposite side. Usually, there are all the fuses and their function are explained.
If you can’t find this information on the cover, go online and check some diagrams for your specific model. There you could find your information. If the fuse is blown, replace it, if not, move on to the next chapters.
Bad Shift Solenoid Symptoms
Now since we covered the transmission solenoid fuse and learned more about its purpose and how to find it. We think that now it is time to cover more on the symptoms of bad shift solenoid.
If the fuse was good, then the problem is probably found in the solenoid itself. So, what are the most common symptoms of this issue? Let’s elaborate on them in detail.
1. Check Engine Light
The first and quite common symptom when you have a bad transmission solenoid fuse or a bad solenoid is the check engine light.
The computer is smart enough to notice whenever there is a problem shifting gears. So, he will know this and will tell you that you have a problem with the check engine light.
And in order to see what is causing the problem, you need to dive deeper and grab an OBD2 scanner. With this scanner, you will be able to access the computer of the car and scan the car for codes.
If the scan went well, then you probably don’t have issues. But if there are some codes concerning the transmission or the solenoids themselves, then you definitely need to troubleshoot the problem. And how you can do this, we are going to elaborate later on in the article after we cover all of the bad shift solenoid symptoms. Now let’s move on to the next symptom that can indicate a problem with the solenoid.
2. Erratic Shifting
The second common symptom of a bad transmission solenoid fuse or a bad solenoid is erratic shifting. So, what is erratic shifting?
Well, this can be described as a situation where the gearbox is skipping gears. So, instead of second, you can go into third gear, as well as the transmission can shift back and forth through the gears.
Or even end up stuck in a single gear and refuse to shift up or down. And frankly, this is a situation that you probably don’t want since a car like this is close to impossible to drive and enjoy the driving. Whenever you have a situation like this, it is important to act quickly and sort this thing out accordingly. First, check the transmission solenoid fuse, and then check the solenoid itself.
3. Transmission Doesn’t Downshift
The next situation when you have a bad transmission solenoid fuse or a bad solenoid is the situation when the transmission does not want to downshift. The transmission is stuck into a single gear and does not want to go down. Unless you stop and put the car into park and then back into drive.
This is a really common situation when the solenoids fail and cause problems like these. So, whenever this happens, you should not be alerted that your transmission has failed. The first thing you need to check is to see if the transmission solenoid fuse is good. If it’s not, replace it, if the fuse is good, then definitely the solenoid is the one that creates all the problems.
4. Delay In Shifting
The fourth symptom on our list of symptoms of a transmission solenoid fuse or bad shift solenoid is the delay in shifting.
Whenever the solenoid has failed, you will start to experience huge delays when it comes to shifting gears on your automatic transmission.
This is caused because of a bad solenoid which receives not enough electric current to activate on time. Or possibly because of a very dirty transmission fluid that does not allow the solenoid to open and close correctly. This is one of the main reasons why you should flush your fluid often because it can damage the solenoids inside.
5. Transmission Stuck In Neutral
And the last in our list of symptoms of a bad transmission solenoid fuse or a bad shift solenoid is the case when the transmission is stuck in neutral.
So, what does this means? Well, this means that the transmission is completely inoperable and you are not able to put it in drive and shift gears.
This is the situation when the car is able to roll freely and not shift gears. And a clear sign that some of your solenoids or fuses that are dedicated to the solenoids have failed. So, in this case, taking your car to the nearest shop to investigate this issue is recommended. But what about the transmission solenoid troubleshooting?
What you can do in this case and troubleshoot the transmission? Well, more about that we are going to cover in the following chapter, where we are going to elaborate on this in-depth.
Transmission Solenoid Troubleshooting
Now let’s take a look at the troubleshooting and what you can do to make sure that you tackle this problem without replacing the solenoid.
In these situations, the first thing you will want to do is to locate the fusebox. The fusebox as we mentioned previously is a big black plastic box that contains all of the fuses for your vehicle.
You will need to open this box and locate the fuses for the solenoids. Check them one by one. If one of them is burnt, then replace it with a new one. This will hopefully solve the problem if the issue is because of a bad fuse.
Or if the fuses are all in good condition, then the problem usually lies in bad transmission fluid or bad shift solenoid.
In order to find out more about the possible issue, you will have to drop down the transmission oil pan. Then check the solenoid with a multimeter and see if it works well or not. In some cases, TCM can cause issues like these as well.
This is why we recommend taking the car to a place where they have a lot of experience fixing transmissions. Experienced mechanics will tackle this problem in no time.
Transmission Solenoid Fuse Repair Cost
So, we learned about the transmission solenoid fuse, now let’s take a look at the repair cost. How much can you expect to pay to sort this problem out?
Well, in the best-case scenario, you can end up paying a single dollar for the fuse. In the worst case, you can pay between $60 and $100 for a single solenoid.
Also, the labor is quite extensive and will require about $200 to $400.
Transmission Control Module (TCM) – Signs of a Bad Module Facts:
- The TCM is a component in vehicles with automatic transmission that selects the ideal gear at any given time.
- A bad TCM can compromise a vehicle’s fuel economy and overall driving performance, leading to issues with shifting and potential accidents.
- Signs of a bad TCM include unpredictable shifting, trouble shifting into higher gears, struggling with downshifting, getting stuck in the same gear, poor fuel economy, and the check engine light coming on.
- Unpredictable shifting caused by a bad TCM can result in incorrect or unintended shifting, leading to potential accidents.
- Issues with shifting into higher gears can cause the engine’s RPM to increase rather than dropping, preventing the vehicle from reaching intended speeds.
- Struggling with downshifting caused by a bad TCM can result in the transmission being in high gear when coming to a stop, preventing the vehicle from moving at all.
- Getting stuck in the same gear, such as being stuck in neutral or first gear, can limit the vehicle’s speed and movement.
- A bad TCM can also lead to poor fuel economy, as the transmission won’t be selecting optimal gear selection and timing.
- If the check engine light appears while experiencing shifting issues, it’s most likely from the TCM or another part of the transmission system.
- A professional can use a scan tool to check for Diagnostic Trouble Codes and determine the reason for the check engine light’s appearance, and then schedule a TCM repair or replacement with a reputable mechanic.
Conclusion To Transmission Solenoid Fuse
In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the transmission solenoid fuse. First, we learned how automatic transmissions work and what are shift solenoids. Then we covered the shift solenoid fuse and learned its purpose.
After that, we learned more about the symptoms of a bad fuse or a bad solenoid. We also covered the troubleshooting process and learned what you can do in these situations to troubleshoot the problem.
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
What Is A Shift Solenoid
A shift solenoid is an electronic device that is installed inside of the transmission. The shift solenoid generally controls the flow of fluid inside of the valve body. When it activates, it allows fluid to pass and allows the transmission to go a gear up or down.
What Does A Solenoid Do In A Transmission
The transmission shift solenoid allows the transmission to shift. This solenoid gets an electric signal from the TCM and activates when necessary. Allowing the ATF fluid to pass and allow the transmission to go a gear up or down.
Will A Bad Shift Solenoid Throw a Code
Yes, in most cases it will throw a check engine code. The most common code is P0750. Even though if another solenoid is bad it could throw a different code. But somewhere in this number range.
Will A Bad Transmission Throw A Code
Yes, a bad transmission can throw a code. Usually, the codes for the transmission start at P0700. So, if you have a code that is starting with a 7, then you know that the transmission has gone bad.
How To Test Transmission Control Module
It is hard to test these computers if you don’t have the right equipment. So, it is best to find a replacement module and swap it out. This way you will be sure that the module of your car is defective or not.
Can A Bad PCM Cause Transmission Problems
Yes, it definitely can cause problems with the transmission. It can cause the transmission to hard shift, jump gears, or even not shift at all. It can also throw a check engine light and some strange codes and everything to work fine in the background. So, if you suspect the PCM, then you should definitely test it out.
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