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How to know if my winch solenoid is bad?

by xuxiaomin 30 Jun 2023
A winch solenoid is the most vital component in a winch system. It controls the electrical flow to the motor and is responsible for disengaging or engaging it. The winch solenoid’s action allows users to safely and efficiently operate the motor. Instances where the solenoid fails to work correctly prevent the winch from working properly, causing inconvenience and frustration.
This article discusses common signs indicating a bad winch solenoid and what users can do about it.


How to know if my winch solenoid is bad?


Poor response from the winch


This is the most obvious sign you should look for when checking for a bad winch solenoid. You should press the winch’s control button and check whether anything happens. The solenoid could be bad if you don’t notice any sounds coming from the winch or if it doesn’t move.
Pressing the winch’s control button should trigger the solenoid, allowing an electric current to flow to the motor. However, this won’t happen if you have a faulty winch solenoid.


Intermittent operation


This is another common sign individuals should look out for when determining how well their winch solenoid operates: you should check how smoothly your winch operates. The chances are high that the winch solenoid is faulty if you press the control button and the winch stops working after a few seconds.
This indicates that your winch solenoid is faulty and doesn’t allow a consistent flow of electricity to the motor causing it to work sporadically.


Clicking sounds


By pressing the winch’s control button and hearing a clicking sound, you can also know that you have a bad winch solenoid. The sound indicates that your winch’s solenoid is rapidly engaging and disengaging. This indicates that there is no consistent electrical flow to the motor, and the sound shows that the winch solenoid is trying to work properly but can’t because it’s faulty.

Burnt smell


Your winch solenoid may be faulty if you notice a burnt smell coming from the winch. Often, faulty solenoids cause an electrical overload that causes wires to become hot and burn. This causes a burnt smell that could indicate that your winch solenoid is overheating and damaging any surrounding components. You should stop using your winch immediately after you detect a burnt smell. You should also have a qualified technician check the winch and replace any damaged parts.


Electrical issues


Experiencing various electrical issues like a weak battery or dimming headlights shows a faulty winch solenoid. A bad winch solenoid can cause various electrical malfunctions in your vehicle’s electrical system.

Often, this makes diagnosing what’s wrong with your vehicle challenging. Thus, you should have a qualified mechanic inspect your vehicle and solve any issues if you start experiencing electrical malfunctions after your winch stops working.


What should you do if you suspect your winch solenoid is faulty?


You should have your which inspected and repaired by a qualified technician or mechanic if you suspect your winch solenoid is bad. Qualified technicians or mechanics can accurately diagnose the issue and provide reliable directions, like if you need to replace your winch solenoid. You should replace your winch solenoid immediately after you notice it is faulty to prevent further damage to the system.

Steps you should take if you choose to replace the bad solenoid include:

  1. Disconnecting your winch’s power supply. Remove the battery’s negative cable.
  2. Locate the winch solenoid (found near the winch or battery).
  3. Note the winch solenoid’s wire connections for easier reconnection later. Remove the wires.
  4. Unscrew the mounting bolts holding the winch solenoid in place.
  5. Replace the old winch solenoid with a new one.
  6. Connect the wires as noted earlier.
  7. Screw the new winch solenoid in place using mounting bolts.
  8. Connect the battery’s negative cable.
  9. Test your winch to ensure it is working correctly.


Conclusion: How to know if my winch solenoid is bad?


Knowing whether your winch solenoid is bad is simple. You’ll know if your winch stops working or if it works intermittently. You should have a qualified technician or mechanic make proper diagnoses and repairs. You could also replace it yourself.

Replacing your winch solenoid isn’t complicated; most DIYers can change one themselves. Regardless, you could ask a qualified technician to replace the winch solenoid if you are too busy or aren’t feeling too confident to do it yourself.

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