What Is a Solenoid in a Car? Solenoid Valves Explained

Have you ever wondered what is a solenoid in a car? Solenoids are parts controlled by electricity that help your car or truck do certain functions. Learn what a solenoid valve is and what it does in cars and trucks in this article and video.

What Is the Solenoid Valve in My Car?

Solenoid valve

The solenoid valve in your car is a mechanical valve controlled by electricity. In the average car, there are many different solenoid valves that serve different functions and work with different systems, like the fuel system and the EVAP system.

What Do Solenoid Valves Do?

In your car, different solenoids have different purposes. They are useful for electronically controlling the flow of liquids and gases in different systems.

The EVAP purge valve, for example, controls the amount of vacuum sent from the intake manifold to the fuel tank.

Variable valve timing (VVT) solenoids change the camshaft timing for better horsepower and fuel mileage.

Fuel injectors are solenoids that allow fuel to enter the engine.

How Does a Solenoid Valve Work?

Copper wire in a solenoid valve
Exposed solenoid valve showing the copper wire

A solenoid valve works as a valve, meaning it allows the flow and stoppage of gases and fluids. Generally, it is designed as a ring of coil surrounding a plunger or piston. When electrical current flows through the coil, an electromagnetic field is created to move the plunger. The plunger then opens or closes the valve, stopping or moving the flow of the liquid or gas.

Piston or plunger inside a VVT solenoid
Piston or plunger inside a VVT solenoid

How Do I Fix a Solenoid Valve in My Car or Truck?

General Steps for How to Fix a Solenoid Valve

  1. Remove the Hose, Latch, etc. from the Solenoid Valve

    Loosen and remove any hoses, latches, or other fasteners from the solenoid valve

  2. Disconnect the Electrical Connectors

    Press the tab on the electrical connector and disconnect any from the valve

  3. Remove the Valve from Its Bracket

    If the solenoid valve is in a bracket, remove it from the bracket

  4. Install the Solenoid Valve into Place

    Press the solenoid valve into its bracket, retainer, etc.

  5. Connect the Electrical Connector

    Connect the electrical connector(s) into place

  6. Tighten the Fasteners, Hoses, etc.

    Tighten any fasteners or hoses to the solenoid valve

Learn what and how to fix a solenoid in your car yourself with quality auto parts and tips at 1aauto.com

Learn to Replace More Parts Than the Solenoid Valve in Your Car

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What Is a Solenoid in a Car? Automotive Solenoids Explained - 1A Auto
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What Is a Solenoid in a Car? Automotive Solenoids Explained - 1A Auto
If you're wondering, "What is a solenoid in a car?" this article and video reviews what automotive solenoids are and what they do in many cars and trucks
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1A Auto
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2 thoughts to “What Is a Solenoid in a Car? Solenoid Valves Explained”

  1. That was a fun read! Vehicles employ a variety of solenoid valves. These valves are frequently used to regulate or manage the flow of automobile fluids such as anti-skid brake fluid, oil, or even fuel due to their distinct characteristics.

  2. I never knew that solenoids are parts contained by electricity that aid your car or truck do certain functions. This morning I brought my wife’s car to a mechanic and it turns out that the problem with her car is the solenoid valve. I am now looking for a replacement and with your article, I have now an idea of where to buy this solenoid valve.

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