What is the Downshift Solenoid all about?
In modern automatic transmission, pressurized hydraulic fluid is used to change gears. Whenever a gear is changed, a transmission solenoid sends transmission fluid to the valve body so that the correct gear will be engaged. The downshift solenoid regulates the transition from a higher gear to a lower gear. It is an electronically-controlled mechanical component that allows fluid movement to engage the correct lower gear. If the downshift solenoid is not working, you can experience erratic shifts or a lack of transmission downshifting altogether.
Keep in mind:
- Downshift solenoid replacement is not part of your routine maintenance.
- The failure of the downshift solenoid may result in serious transmission problems.
How it's done:
- The vehicle front wheels are turned straight and the vehicle is lifted and supported on jack stands
- The defective downshift solenoid is removed
- The new downshift solenoid is installed
- The vehicle is removed from jack stands
- The vehicle is road tested and checked for downshift solenoid operation
There is no set interval for replacement of a shift solenoid, though the transmission fluid should be replaced per your manufacturer’s recommended interval. Because of the complexity involved in diagnosing a shifting problem, have one of our expert mechanics diagnose it.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Downshift Solenoid?
- Erratic shifting – your car skips gears, shifts back and forth between gears, or simply doesn’t shift at all
- Vehicle won’t downshift
- The transmission is stuck in neutral
- You experience delayed shifting
How important is this service?
Erratic shifting can be difficult to anticipate and control when you are driving, and can put you in a potentially difficult driving situation. It should be diagnosed immediately.