7 Symptoms Of A Bad Shift Solenoid And Replacement Cost (2023)

Does your transmission have strange shifting problems and unexpected error messages on the dashboard?

The shift solenoid is a part that can cause a lot of strange problems with your automatic transmission if it is faulty.

Replacing a shift solenoid is often costly, so you want to make sure that you do not replace a functional shift solenoid.

In this guide, you will find the common symptoms, location, replacement cost, and how to diagnose the shift solenoid. Let’s take a quick look at the signs you should look for.

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Symptoms Of A Bad Shift Solenoid

The most common symptoms of a bad or failing shift solenoid include hard shifting, stuck in gear, rough shifting, or other shifting issues with your automatic transmission. You may also notice a transmission warning light or other warning lights on your dashboard.

This is a quick look at the signs that can appear when you have problems with a faulty shift solenoid. Here is more information on the signs of a bad shift solenoid to look for:

1. Check Engine light

7 Symptoms Of A Bad Shift Solenoid And Replacement Cost (1)

The first sign you will notice of all bad shift solenoid symptoms is probably the check engine light. The check engine light will light up even when there is a problem with the transmission.

Usually, if you use OBD2 canner to read the trouble code, and you will see a P0700 Trouble code. This code basically tells you that there is a problem with the transmission control, and more trouble codes will be found in the transmission control module.


2. Transmission Warning Light

7 Symptoms Of A Bad Shift Solenoid And Replacement Cost (2)

Some cars also have a separate warning light for the transmission. If this light is on, there may be a stored trouble code related to a bad shift solenoid.

To read the trouble codes from the transmission control module, you need an OBD2 scanner to read generic and enhanced trouble codes. Most cheaper ones can only read the codes from the engine control module.

3. Shifting delays

7 Symptoms Of A Bad Shift Solenoid And Replacement Cost (3)

If the transmission control unit recognizes any shift solenoid problems, it may cause the transmission to shift very slowly. This applies to both upshifting and downshifting.

4. Skipping gears

7 Symptoms Of A Bad Shift Solenoid And Replacement Cost (4)

You may also notice that your car has a problem engaging some gears, and therefore it will skip to the next gear. This is a big sign that you have transmission shift solenoid problems. You have one or more shift solenoid for each gear, and if one is broken, it will not shift to that gear. Instead, it will jump directly to the next gear.

5. Stuck in gear

7 Symptoms Of A Bad Shift Solenoid And Replacement Cost (5)

If the shift solenoid got damaged while the gear was engaged, it might cause the transmission to be stuck in that gear. If this is the case, you can try to give the shift solenoid external power to release the gear if you know how to do it.

6. Downshift or Upshift Issues

7 Symptoms Of A Bad Shift Solenoid And Replacement Cost (6)

You may also have intermittent problems with the transmission shift solenoid, which will cause shifting problems. This can cause hard shifting or shiftings at too low or too high RPM, for example.

7. Limp mode

7 Symptoms Of A Bad Shift Solenoid And Replacement Cost (7)

Limp mode is a protective mode for your engine, and you will notice it mostly because your engine will get an RPM limit of 2500-3000 RPM, and it may also affect your transmission shifting.

Limp mode causes the transmission to not shift over gear 3, and if there is a bad shift solenoid, it may cause your car to activate limp mode. You can read more about it here: Limp mode.

What Is A Shift Solenoid?

A transmission shift solenoid is an electromagnet component of an automatic or semi-automatic transmission that controls the flow of fluid to change gears and other functions in the transmission.

The transmission control unit is collecting information from the engine, vehicle speed sensors, and other sensors. The transmission control module uses all these parameters to calculate when it’s time to shift to the next gear.

When it’s time to shift, the transmission control unit sends out power or ground to the required shift solenoid, and it causes the solenoid to open and let the transmission oil flow into the valve body, which then shifts to the next gear.

(Video) 8 Symptoms of a Bad Shift Solenoid

Shift Solenoid Location

7 Symptoms Of A Bad Shift Solenoid And Replacement Cost (8)

The transmission shift solenoids are located inside the valve body of your automatic transmission.

They are integrated into the valve body, and on some car models, you can see them without removing the valve body, while on others, you have to remove the valve body to reach them.

In the picture above, you see the shift solenoids located on the valve body. The shift solenoids are the tubes with yellow, green, and black colors.

Shift Solenoid Replacement Cost

A single shift solenoid’s replacement cost is between $100 and $350, and a shift solenoid pack costs between $400 and $700, including transmission fluid, filter, parts, and labor work.

The replacement cost of a shift solenoid depends a lot on what car model and transmission model you have.

As I mentioned before, in some cars, you can’t replace just one solenoid. You have to replace the whole solenoid pack, or in some cars, even the whole valve body, which is often very expensive.

When you replace a shift solenoid, valve body, or solenoid pack, you should always replace the transmission fluid and filter.

These are the prices, including parts and labor costs. The prices do not include diagnosis and fluid replacement costs.

  • Single shift solenoid replacement cost: $50-150$
  • Shift solenoid pack replacement cost: $300-600$
  • Valve body replacement cost: $500 to $1000

The price is also affected a lot depending on what parts and transmission fluid you are using. Aftermarket parts are often cheaper than original parts but often not of the same quality.

You do also want to look for technical service bulletins for your vehicle because many car models such as Hyundai have bulletins on the shift solenoids.

How to Diagnose a Shift Solenoid Problem?

First, we have to figure out if it’s a wiring, shift solenoid, TCM,or mechanical problem. To do so, you should read and research the trouble codes carefully to understand the problem before starting the troubleshooting.


If the trouble code tells us that it’s stuck or an electrical problem, it is most likely a wiring or shift solenoid problem and you need to test the shift solenoids.

Many shift solenoid-related codes can be solved by doing a transmission fluid replacement or carrying out a transmission flush. A transmission fluid change is often not that expensive, so it’s well worth doing.

Using a diagnostic scanner is a must when it comes to shift solenoid-related problems.

Here is a list of how you can carry out the troubleshooting with a scanner:

  1. Find a transmission wiring diagram for your transmission.
  2. Find out which pins are going to the affected shift solenoid.
  3. Loosen the transmission wiring plug on the transmission
  4. Use the OBD2 scanner and start the output test of the affected shift solenoid.
  5. Measure with a multimeter to see whether you get both 12 volts and ground to the shift solenoid at the plug on the transmission on the affected pin.

If you do not get both 12 volts and ground, you may have a wiring problem or a faulty transmission control unit (TCM).

If you get 12 volts and ground and the shift solenoid trouble code keeps coming back after you have erased it, you probably have a faulty shift solenoid.

Common Shift Solenoid Trouble Codes

  • P0750 – Shift Solenoid A
  • P0752 – Shift Solenoid A – Stuck Solenoid @ ON
  • P0753 – Transmission 3-4 Shift Solenoid – Relay Circuits
  • P0754 – Shift Solenoid A – Intermittent fault
  • P0755 – Shift Solenoid B
  • P0756 – AW4 Shift Sol B (2-3) – Functional Failure
  • P0757 – Shift Solenoid B – Stuck Solenoid @ ON
  • P0758 – Shift Solenoid B – Electrical
  • P0759 – Shift Solenoid B – Intermittent fault
  • P0760 – Shift Solenoid C
  • P0761 – Shift Solenoid C – Performance or Stuck Off
  • P0762 – Shift Solenoid C – Stuck Solenoid @ ON
  • P0763 – Shift Solenoid C – Electrical
  • P0764 – Shift Solenoid C – Intermittent fault
  • P0765 – Shift Solenoid D
  • P0766 – Shift Solenoid D – Performance or Stuck Off
  • P0767 – Shift Solenoid D – Stuck Solenoid @ ON
  • P0768 – Shift Solenoid D – Electrical
  • P0769 – Shift Solenoid D – Interm
  • P0770 – Shift Solenoid E
  • P0771 – Shift Solenoid E – Performance or Stuck Off
  • P0772 – Shift Solenoid E – Stuck Solenoid @ ON
  • P0773 – Shift Solenoid E – Electrical
  • P0774 – Shift Solenoid E – Intermittent fault


Can you drive with a faulty shift solenoid?

Although you can probably drive your car with a faulty shift solenoid, it is not recommended. A faulty shift solenoid can cause further damage to your transmission which will be more expensive than repairing the shift solenoid immediately.

Can you replace a shift solenoid yourself?

Whether you can replace a shift solenoid yourself is entirely up to what car model you drive and how much knowledge you have. Some shift solenoids are fairly easy to replace by removing the transmission and valve body with the help of a repair manual. However, it is quite difficult to replace a shift solenoid in most car models, and you may need a computer afterward to adjust it.

(Video) Top 7 Signs of Bad Transmission Shift Solenoid Valve

How do you fix a stuck shift solenoid?

In some cases, you can fix a stuck shift solenoid by changing the transmission oil and filter and doing a transmission fluid flush. Unfortunately, in most cases you will need to replace the stuck shift solenoid if a flush doesn’t help.

How many shift solenoids are in a transmission?

There are usually 2 to 5 shift solenoids in most automatic transmissions, depending on the make and model of the car. Their primary purpose is to control the flow of hydraulic fluid to the clutch packs in the transmission, which allow for shifts between gears.


If you notice any of the bad shift solenoid symptoms mentioned above, it’s time to take your car to a mechanic if you are not sure how to diagnose it yourself. They will be able to diagnose the problem and, hopefully, fix it without having to replace the entire transmission.

Worn shift solenoids are a much more common problem in older cars, so if you have an older vehicle, this is something to keep in mind.

Learn more:

  • Automatic Transmission Won’t Shift into the Third Gear (Causes)



How much does it cost to fix a bad shift solenoid? ›

Shift Solenoid Repair and Replacement Cost

The overall cost to replace the shift solenoid in an automatic transmission ranges from $200 to $500 for a single solenoid. If the damage requires you to replace the entire solenoid pack the cost increases to between $250 and $700.

What are the symptoms of a bad shift solenoid? ›

You experience delayed gear shifting and a sense of pulling or slipping when trying to shift between gears. The vehicle will not downshift as you slow down. An inability for the solenoid valve to operate may prevent your car from downshifting, and the engine will continue to rev as you attempt to brake.

How long does it take to replace a transmission shift solenoid? ›

Replacing the shift solenoids takes a day or two. A full rebuild, however, is very time and labor-intensive and will typically take three to four days.

Can you replace a shift solenoid yourself? ›


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”.

What causes a transmission shift solenoid to go bad? ›

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.

What causes a solenoid to go bad? ›

Solenoid coil failure can be caused by a number of factors. Applying an incorrect voltage to the coil will cause it to fail and may cause the coil to burn out. Electrical surges or spikes may also damage the coil. Burnt out coils cannot be repaired and will need to be replaced.

What is the 5 five common problems for solenoid? ›

Rusting, power failure, irregular pressure, missing equipment, an incorrect amount of voltage or current, dirt stuck in the system and corrosion are some of the possible reasons why a solenoid valve may not properly close or open.

How do you reset a shift solenoid? ›

Switch off your vehicle's air conditioner and move the shifter into the 'Park' position. Turn off your vehicle's ignition and wait patiently for 5 to 10 seconds. Start the engine and allow it to idle for several seconds. Switch off the ignition and wait patiently for another 30 to 40 seconds.

How many shift solenoids are in a transmission? ›

There are 2 shift solenoids in a 4l60e (1-2 and 2-3), and both control up and downshifts with fluid passing through them when commanded to do so by the computer. However, when they go bad, you will notice very quickly.

Can transmission solenoids be cleaned? ›

Each solenoid valve typically has 1 filter screen on the bottom and several on the sides. Hold a solenoid valve over an absorbent surface, such as a rag. Spray the MAF sensor cleaner through each screen using the red straw attachment on the spray nozzle. Repeat this for each valve.

Can you drive with a broken shift solenoid? ›

Can You Drive With a Bad Transmission Solenoid? It is not recommended to continue driving with a bad transmission solenoid, especially if you are having a hard time shifting gears or the car is shaking with a louder-than-normal engine.

Is a transmission control solenoid the same as a shift solenoid? ›

If your car has an automatic transmission, the shift solenoid will shift the gears for you. The transmission control unit will take the information from the engine and speed sensors along with other parts of your vehicle to then decide when to shift gears for power and fuel efficiency.

What can be used instead of a solenoid? ›

HASEL actuators are an excellent alternative to solenoids for applications that require linear motion in a compact and simple package. HASEL actuators have several advantages over solenoid actuators, but a key benefit of HASEL actuators is that they consume very little power and do not generate heat while activated.

How do you bypass a solenoid? ›

In bypass starting, you touch a wrench or a screwdriver to the terminals of the starter motor, to the solenoid of a tractor, or to other equipment. This bypasses all tractor-neutral starting switches. Sparks fly and electricity snaps as the circuit is completed, the starter engages and the engine starts.

Will check engine light come on for shift solenoid? ›

The P0750 will be set when the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) detects a fault with shift solenoid “A.” The PCM controls the shift solenoid by commanding the solenoid when to engage and disengage. This fault will display a Check Engine Light on the dashboard and put the vehicle into a failsafe mode.

What sound does a bad solenoid make? ›

One possibility is the solenoid. A single “click” sound comes from the engine compartment or from under the car. This could mean that the solenoid is trying to engage but that the internal components are stuck and unable to work properly. Repeated “clicking” sounds usually indicate a dead battery.

Will a car run with a bad solenoid? ›

Engine Does Not Start

When you have a bad starter solenoid, the starter motor won't work. This means the engine won't start when you turn on the starter switch or press the start button. However, if your vehicle has an automatic transmission, the engine could sometimes not crank because of the neutral safety switch.

How long do car solenoids last? ›

It is expected to last normallyabout 1-3 years. Valves that have to work harder duty condition often have a shorter lifespan — about 1-3 years. Through regular maintenance, users can extend the valve's lifespan and keep operations on track.

Can I drive my car with a bad shift solenoid? ›

Can You Drive With a Bad Transmission Solenoid? It is not recommended to continue driving with a bad transmission solenoid, especially if you are having a hard time shifting gears or the car is shaking with a louder-than-normal engine.

Is driving with a bad solenoid bad? ›

How long can you drive with a bad solenoid? It depends on the solenoid. If it's the one that opens your trunk with the button on the key fob, you can drive indefinitely. If it's a solenoid that controls the air/fuel mixture, the distance is much less, and you'll be damaging the catalytic converter as you do.


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