Shift solenoids are most likely to be the culprit when your 4l60e starts to act up and not shift correctly.
When commanded to do so by the computer, there are 2 shift solenoids in a 4l60e that control up and downshifts with fluid passing through them.
When they go bad, your transmission will show a variety of symptoms, but sometimes these issues can be confused with other common 4l60e issues.
Fortunately, it is straightforward testing and replacing 4l60e shift solenoids.
If you discover the shift solenoids are the cause of your issues, they are inexpensive to purchase and repair yourself if you have the skills and knowledge to do so.
Symptoms Of Bad 4L60E Shift Solenoids
Several things can be considered when evaluating a shift solenoid issue.
A bad accumulator, stuck shift valve, and other common issues may cause you to believe that the 1-2 or 2-3 shift solenoids are malfunctioning.
If you want to make sure that your shift solenoids are not the root cause, you need to test them.
Symptoms of a bad shift solenoid can include:
Failure To Down Shift
If a shift solenoid isn’t downshifting from one gear to another, you may be facing an issue
The transmission stays in the same gear if the solenoid is stuck because fluid is routed through them when the computer commands a downshift.
Transmission Won’t Shift Out Of Neutral
The transmission won’t be able to shift into gear when the shift solenoid fails. The 4l60e sometimes gets 6 neutrals.
Delayed or Inconsistent Shifts
The transmission will start to shift in a very inconsistent and delayed manner if your shift solenoids malfunction.
The transmission may try to find the correct gear to be in.
The transmission is told to do one thing by the computer, but it is doing its own thing regarding gear selection.
On a 4l60e, the shift solenoids are located on the rearward end of the transmission against where the pan bolts to the case.
The easiest piece to remove and install if you need to replace your shift solenoids is them.
Testing Shift Solenoid On A 4L60E
If you want to test your shift solenoids, you can use a simple 9v battery to see if they are working. A 9v battery and a pair of test leads are required when using this method.
The first thing to do when testing shift solenoids is to remove the plugs from their harness.
Some plugs have a tab that is easy to open. Sometimes the plugs are stuck, so wiggle them a little to get them free.
It doesn’t matter which wire goes where if you connect your test leads to the back of the solenoid where the electrical prongs are.
Simply connect the test leads to the 9v battery one at a time after attaching them.
When you attach the 2nd wire to the battery, you will hear a clicking sound if the solenoid works. To verify that both are working, repeat this process for the other solenoid.
If you want to check the resistance of the shift solenoids, you can use a multimeter.
Replacing A Shift Solenoid On A 4L60E
Replacing your 4l60e shift solenoids with high-quality ACDelco factory replacement components is the best way to go.
If you haven’t started the process yet, you will need to follow the procedure for replacing your 4l60e shift solenoids.
- If you have a transmission pan that does not have a drain plug, it can be as easy as removing a drain plug.
- It gives you more room to work, even if it isn’t necessary.
- With the use of a pick or screwdriver, you can remove the small c-shaped clip that holds the solenoid in place. It’s possible to remove the solenoid once that is released.
- The rubber o-ring on the solenoids provides a seal so simply wiggle and pull on it to remove it.
- Take Steps 3 and 4 to replace the new Solenoid.
If you haven’t changed your fluid recently or you want a transmission pan with a drain plug for future convenience, now is the perfect time to replace your transmission pan and filter.
Truck driver by profession, automotive lover by heart. Ricky is the main publisher and editor at Truckile.com sharing his life-long knowledge and experience in the auto industry and truck driving!