Chevy Equinox Solenoid Problems

Chevy Equinox Solenoid Problems & VVT Solenoid Replacement

Are you dealing with Chevy Equinox solenoid problems? Do you want to learn how to perform a VVT solenoid replacement?

My friend that owns a 2014 Chevy Equinox, just repaired his solenoid. As usual, I was his first point of call. So, we diagnosed the problem and found out that the solenoid was damaged and needed to be replaced.

After successfully replacing the VVT solenoid, his vehicle started functioning properly.

In this article, I discuss the most common Chevy Equinox problems and their fixes. I also share the method I used in replacing my friend’s solenoid.

Top 5 Chevy Equinox Solenoid Problems

These are the 5 common Chevy Equinox Solenoid Problems:

Chevy Equinox Solenoid Problems

1. Irregular Gear Shifting

Unexpected gear shifts are one of the most common Chevy Equinox solenoid problems. This problem is better explained with a scenery where your Chevy Equinox makes a sudden gear shift from a lower gear to a higher gear while you are driving and vice versa.


Irregular gear shifts in a Chevy Equinox are usually caused by electrical problems. The solenoid needs voltage from the battery to function. Hence, any problem with the wiring can cause gear-shifting faults.

In a case where the wiring is intact, check the transmission fluid. The dirtiness of the transmission fluid can give rise to this problem. Drain and replace the fluid with a good one, if it is contaminated.

Check out this article on the Chevy Starter Engagement Problems.

2. Check Engine Light is Turned ON

This is the first sign you will notice that indicates a fault in the solenoid. This Chevy Equinox solenoid problem of check engine light is usually triggered by error codes and/or other solenoid faults.


Since this Chevy Equinox solenoid problem can be caused by error codes, use a scanner to scan the vehicle for any error code(s). If an error code is detected, ensure that you clear the code. The check engine light will turn off automatically when the problem is solved.

3. Delayed Gear Shifting

Unlike irregular gear shifting problems, this Chevy Equinox solenoid problem is experienced in an instance where the process of gear shifting is delayed. It occurs as a result of the dirtiness of the solenoid, or the contamination of the transmission fluid.

The problem makes the solenoid block the flow of fluid through its opening and closing path. Thereby resulting in a gear shift delay.


Check the solenoid to evaluate its state of cleanliness. If it’s got dirt on it, proper cleaning should help in solving this Chevy Equinox solenoid problem. Inspect the transmission fluid as well. If it is filthy, drain it and replace it with a good one.

4. Limp Mode Activation

Sometimes, on detection of a Chevy Equinox solenoid problems like the Limp Mode Activation, the vehicle activates the limp Mode by default. This is done for safety reasons. The limp mode activation reduces the RPMs, and speed of the vehicle. It also generates some gear issues in the vehicle.


Use a car error code scanner to scan the vehicle for any error code(s). Make sure that the detected error code(s) are erased from the vehicle. This should return the car to its normal functioning mode.

5. Inability Of The Transmission To Downshift

Another Chevy Equinox solenoid problem that is quite common is vehicle downshifting issues. This Chevy Equinox solenoid problem occurs when the transmission solenoid is faulty and is open and unable to close.

The transmission downshift inability is usually caused by bad wiring in the solenoid. When this occurs, electrical signal transmission to the solenoid becomes altered. This makes the solenoid to be stuck open, which causes more intake of fluids, and pressure.

Thereby making the vehicle unable to shift to a lower gear.


Check the wiring within the solenoid. The wiring should be corrected with a proper connection if it is wrong. Inspect the solenoid for any damage. A damaged solenoid should be repaired/replaced accordingly. Also, drain and replace the transmission fluid, if it is dirty.

I hope you now know the top Chevy Equinox Solenoid Problems and how to fix them.

Chevy Equinox VVT Solenoid Replacement Process

Chevy Equinox VVT Solenoid Replacement

This is the step-by-step Chevy Equinox VVT Solenoid Replacement process:

  1. Remove the connection of the battery’s positive and negative terminals to prevent getting electrocuted while carrying out the VVT solenoid replacement,
  2. Clear any obstructions on the way (vacuum lines and wiring harness), and use an elastic strap, or a bungee to secure them. This should be done carefully, to avoid damaging any part or connection.
  3. Use the appropriate wrench to remove the mounting bolts holding the solenoid in place.
  4. Detach the connector on the Chevy Equinox solenoid.
  5. Use a pair of channel locks to hold any metal part of the solenoid. Then, lift it out of the vehicle.
  6. Examine the variable valve for any signs of damage, or fault. Ensure that any dirt or abnormal substance discovered on the hole of the mounting surface is removed. You can achieve this by using a long pair of needle nose pliers. Make sure that any fault on the variable valve is repaired before putting it back.
  7. Use lithium grease to lubricate the seals on the spool of the solenoid.
  8. After confirming that the new solenoid is compatible with the vehicle, insert it into the mounting surface hole.
  9. Use a wrench to screw back the mounting bolts and give them a snug tightening.
  10. To avoid rusting of the solenoid’s electrical connector, and ease its installation, apply a small amount of dielectric grease to the face of the connector and the seal. Then, place back the electrical connector.
  11. Remove the bungee/elastic strap and place back all the previously cleared parts.
  12. Fasten the engine cover back to its place.
  13. Restore the connection of the negative and positive battery terminals to the battery and tighten each connection respectively.

Chevy Equinox Solenoid Replacement Cost

A Chevy Equinox solenoid replacement has an estimated cost of $125. This estimated cost comprises the costs for both the labor and parts required for the replacement. The labor should cost about $58-$67. The cost for a Chevy Equinox solenoid replacement varies based on your location, and car model.

You may also like this article on the Common Problems with Chevy 305 and their fixes.

How To Clean A VVT Solenoid Chevy Equinox

For this exercise, you will need a mass air flow sensor cleaner, or any other suitable cleaner of your choice, a 10 mm socket, gloves, and safety goggles. To avoid sustaining burns from the engine while working, ensure that the engine is cool.

This is How To Clean A VVT Solenoid Chevy Equinox:

  1. Pull off the electrical harness connection. Use a socket to detach the bolt holding the VVT solenoid in place.
  2. Put on your gloves and safety goggles. Before cleaning the solenoid, connect it to the battery to activate its opening and closing functions. The opening and closing function will allow you to clean the solenoid properly. Clean the solenoid with a neat towel and apply a mass air flow sensor cleaner to it. Keep spraying the cleaner till all dirt is wiped out of the solenoid.
  3. Allow the solenoid to dry, and test it to ensure that it is functioning properly.
  4. Put back the solenoid and hold it in place with its bolts. Then, replace the removed electrical harness.
  5. Scan the vehicle for error code(s), and delete anyone that is detected. After completing this step, your vehicle is good to go.

What Happens When VVT Solenoid Fails In A Chevy Equinox?

VVT Solenoid Failure symptoms

These are the VVT Solenoid Failure symptoms:

  • Illumination of the check engine light.
  • Production of rattling or clicking sounds by the engine.
  • The engine starts running roughly.
  • Poor acceleration of the vehicle.
  • Gear shifting problems.
  • Increased fuel consumption.

Can You Drive With A Broken VVT Solenoid In A Chevrolet Equinox?

Your vehicle will likely be able to drive with a broken VVT solenoid but be rest assured that the drive will not be a smooth one. Though driving with a broken VVT solenoid may sound okay, it’s still not a plausible decision to make.

How To Test A VVT Solenoid

In this segment, we will be using a digital multimeter for the test.

How To Test A VVT Solenoid

Follow these steps to Test A VVT Solenoid:

  1. Detach any electrical connection to the VVT solenoid.
  2. Without starting the vehicle, turn on the ignition key.
  3. Set the digital multimeter to DC volts, and contact the two test leads to the two electrical connections, respectively.
  4. If no voltage is detected, it is a sign that the VVT solenoid has a fault.


As Chevy Equinox solenoid problems can cause various degrees of harm to the vehicle over time, you must fix the issue(s) promptly.

You need to know that failing to repair the solenoid on time will lead to more complicated problems, that will lead to a more expensive repair and greater damage to your vehicle.

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