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What Is the Shift Solenoid?

by Jennifer VanBaren

A shift solenoid is a component of a vehicle's transmission system regulating the transmission fluid levels in a car.


A shift solenoid opens and closes the valves that allow hydraulic fluid to flow in and out of a transmission. It is computer-controlled and electronically activated. Its purpose is to allow the vehicle's transmission system to function efficiently.


This computerized component of a car automatically controls the transmission's fluid levels, allowing the right amount of fluid to flow in and out of the transmission. The shift solenoid is located on the transmission's internal valve body or on the outside of the transmission case.


If a shift solenoid fails, most likely the vehicle will not be able to shift into low gears or overdrive. Typically when a shift solenoid fails, the car suddenly will not shift properly. They typically fail from corroded or loosely connected cables on the battery.

About the Author

Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.

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