The transmission in virtually all modern trucks contains components known as solenoids. The responsibility of these components is to route transmission fluid to the valve bodies, and thus to engage the appropriate gear. As you can imagine, the solenoids thus constitute a vital component in your truck.

Should one or more solenoids go bag, your transmission will no longer be able to shift smoothly from one gear to another. Unfortunately, many truck owners fail to recognize the signs of this problem, and thus end up having to deal with much more expensive issues later on. If you would like to improve your automotive troubleshooting skills, read on. This article will discuss three signs of solenoid problems.

Solenoid Failure

Before delving into the signs of solenoid trouble, it is worthwhile to understand a little bit more about what can cause a solenoid to fail. There are a variety of such issues. The basis of the trouble may be problems with the truck's electrical system causing the solenoid not to receive the signal to open or close. Dirty transmission fluid can also keep the solenoid from functioning, as can system issues that affect the pressure of the fluid.

Erratic Shifting

The most common sign of a transmission solenoid problem is a tendency to skip between gears seemingly at random. Here the transmission is simply no longer able to regulate its own position. This can lead to unpredictable shifts up and down. Likewise, it can result in a transmission that refuses to switch from one gear to another.

Failure To Downshift

In some cases, the transmission will continue to function properly in all regards--except when it comes to downshifting. As you can imagine, this make can make slowing your a potentially nightmarish scenario. Here the culprit is often a solenoid that has become stuck in an open position. As a result, transmission fluid can no longer be kept out of the valve body. Without being able to regulate the pressure in this way, the transmission is unable to downshift.

Delay In Shifting

The key to a properly functioning transmission is the ability to regulate transmission pressure. Solenoids that are weakening but not yet fully bad will often cause pressure to change much more slowly than it should. Thus you may notice that your car is experiencing strange delays in shifting from one gear to another. This may also cause your dash to display a check engine error code. Be sure to mention this to a reliable mechanic as soon as possible.