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Auto Transmission Shift Solenoid Testing; When the trans won't shift on it's own
Topic Started: Feb 22 2010, 08:19 PM (34,083 Views)
Johnny Mullet
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Hi-Tech Redneck

Sometimes an automatic transmission can do strange things when problems start to develop. Whether it's low fluid level, clogged filter, bad solenoids, or internal damage, it is usually hard to diagnose the problem, but there is hope for the do it yourself person! Anytime automatic transmission issues develop, the first thing to do is check the fluid level with the car running, warmed up, and in Park. If the fluid level is low, top it off with the designated Automatic Transmission Fluid and test drive. If the fluid is burnt looking or dark in color instead of red, then it's time to get a transmission filter kit from your parts store.

Dropping the pan will only remove so much fluid from the system. If you want to remove all the old fluid, you will have pump the fluid out. Locate the auto trans lines and remove them both from the radiator and have a bucket ready. You might have to add rubber hose to the ends of the lines to make it to the bucket. Start the car up and let it idle until the fluid starts spitting air then shut the car off so you do not overheat anything. This should remove a majority of the fluid.

Once you remove the pan and for the filter change, you might as well test the shift solenoids while you are there. Here is the procedure...........

Removal and Installation For Testing

Posted Image

Testing Procedure

Posted Image

If the solenoids test fine and the fluid is not burnt and you still have shifting problems, it may be an issue with the transmission control module.
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bogs
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Duct tape heals all wounds

AWESOME :thumb :thumb (and I don't even have an auto)
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justliving
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good info thank you, will check solenoids after 4th holiday
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Kevin
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Excellent.
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Isaac
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I hope it's just a solenoid that went out on mine but I doubt I'm that lucky. It goes into gear fine but it won't shift out of 1st gear when driving. It just started out of nowhere while on the way to the bank this morning.
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Norby
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I'm testing my solenoids right now. Instead of using plain ole ATF, I'm using Seafoam Trans Tune fluid. I'll let it sit over night to clean it out and will flush it tomorrow before reinstalling.
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Rustyss73
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how many quarts and of what type of a.t. fluid douse this take,im thinking of draining it and checking the electrical parts. to fix my problem of it not wanting to move in drive but first and second work great along with reverse
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z3r0x01
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it took me three days to figure out what was wrong with my auto, it ended up being the fuse in the fuse panel labeled "back". when that fuse blows, you lose reverse lights, it wont shift out of park, and it stays in 3rd gear when in drive.
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metro joe
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I have a 1992 metro 1.0L auto transmission, when taking off from dead stop selector in drive, it begins in 3rd gear, I can manually change the gears from low to drive and it does just fine, but this would suck to have to do all the time, here is what I have done so far, I adjusted the TV cable and I drove it up the road and the trans shifted properly but I over adjusted the cable to get it to work, the trans also down shifted as it should when mashing on the throttle, but in the end the trans went back to its old ways so I readjusted the TV cable back to where it should be and left it there. I set up the car with the engine running and the selector in 'drive' and checked for voltage at the 2 wire plug at the trans that feeds power to the solenoids and there was 12 plus volts but after I plugged it back in the there was a voltage drop down to zero. Let me back up, I did apply 12 volts to the solenoid harness before I started engine and I heard both solenoids energize or kick in, I also did it at the harness plug coming from the TCM and also heard the solenoids energize, so then this is what I did, I jumped the solenoid harness with battery voltage for the 2 wires and test drove, as I gained speed with the trans in 'drive', I disconnected each wire one at a time and the trans shifted as it should, surely this means that the internals of the trans is okay as well as the valve body and that both solenoids are working properly. The voltage drop must be occurring in the TCM (trans control module) any input would be greatly appreciated. does anybody agree with this?? I have done it before but I just hate buying something without knowing for sure or at least 75% sure that this will solve the problem. :banghead By the Way, I ordered a factory OEM metro book for 1992, it is 1400 pages long and the dude assured me that it covered much more than the aftermarket books do, but it is gonna take over a week to get here and I will be back to help every I can at least with 1992 year model. Thanks
Edited by metro joe, Feb 4 2012, 05:05 AM.
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Woodie
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Sounds to me as if you've exhausted all doubt that the problem is in the TCM itself. You should probably continue manually shifting it until you get your new manual and can get the factory's blessing on your diagnostic. Unlike the ECM, the TCM in our cars is known to fail.
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metro joe
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:rocker Found the problem today, I caught a break when I found a salvage geo with a TCM in it and the owner was willing to let me have it to try it out first. That was the problem. Voltage drop was in the TCM. Made all final adjustments to the idle, Throttle position sensor and timing and she purrs like a kitten for now.
Edited by metro joe, Feb 4 2012, 09:15 PM.
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Mr. NeoGeo
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Mine started doing this yesterday after work. It was running fine. And it does start shifting fine when warmed up. I had already changed my fluid though.

EDIT: starts acting strange after I shut her down and go again. I am going to take a peak at the TCM this afternoon. I will post my findings.
Edited by Mr. NeoGeo, Feb 23 2012, 02:57 PM.
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Mr. NeoGeo
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I tested my solenoids and the actuate fine. I took my TCM apart and it looked great with the exception of some superficial marks in two places. I cleaned them. My solenoid connector did have some "Wire Dryer" or water in it. I dried it out. Lets see how it goes from here. It did drive fine on the way home.
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edlupo
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joe metro
Feb 4 2012, 05:01 AM
I have a 1992 metro 1.0L auto transmission, when taking off from dead stop selector in drive, it begins in 3rd gear, I can manually change the gears from low to drive and it does just fine, but this would suck to have to do all the time, here is what I have done so far, I adjusted the TV cable and I drove it up the road and the trans shifted properly but I over adjusted the cable to get it to work, the trans also down shifted as it should when mashing on the throttle, but in the end the trans went back to its old ways so I readjusted the TV cable back to where it should be and left it there. I set up the car with the engine running and the selector in 'drive' and checked for voltage at the 2 wire plug at the trans that feeds power to the solenoids and there was 12 plus volts but after I plugged it back in the there was a voltage drop down to zero. Let me back up, I did apply 12 volts to the solenoid harness before I started engine and I heard both solenoids energize or kick in, I also did it at the harness plug coming from the TCM and also heard the solenoids energize, so then this is what I did, I jumped the solenoid harness with battery voltage for the 2 wires and test drove, as I gained speed with the trans in 'drive', I disconnected each wire one at a time and the trans shifted as it should, surely this means that the internals of the trans is okay as well as the valve body and that both solenoids are working properly. The voltage drop must be occurring in the TCM (trans control module) any input would be greatly appreciated. does anybody agree with this?? I have done it before but I just hate buying something without knowing for sure or at least 75% sure that this will solve the problem. :banghead By the Way, I ordered a factory OEM metro book for 1992, it is 1400 pages long and the dude assured me that it covered much more than the aftermarket books do, but it is gonna take over a week to get here and I will be back to help every I can at least with 1992 year model. Thanks
CAN YOU TELL ME WHERE YOU ORDERED THE MANUAL-I ALSO HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR ONE THANKS
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Old Man


Johnny Mullet
Feb 22 2010, 08:19 PM
Sometimes an automatic transmission can do strange things when problems start to develop. Whether it's low fluid level, clogged filter, bad solenoids, or internal damage, it is usually hard to diagnose the problem, but there is hope for the do it yourself person! Anytime automatic transmission issues develop, the first thing to do is check the fluid level with the car running, warmed up, and in Park. If the fluid level is low, top it off with the designated Automatic Transmission Fluid and test drive. If the fluid is burnt looking or dark in color instead of red, then it's time to get a transmission filter kit from your parts store.

Dropping the pan will only remove so much fluid from the system. If you want to remove all the old fluid, you will have pump the fluid out. Locate the auto trans lines and remove them both from the radiator and have a bucket ready. You might have to add rubber hose to the ends of the lines to make it to the bucket. Start the car up and let it idle until the fluid starts spitting air then shut the car off so you do not overheat anything. This should remove a majority of the fluid.

Once you remove the pan and for the filter change, you might as well test the shift solenoids while you are there. Here is the procedure...........

Removal and Installation For Testing

Posted Image

Testing Procedure

Posted Image

If the solenoids test fine and the fluid is not burnt and you still have shifting problems, it may be an issue with the transmission control module.
:bump2
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