TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC


Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by apacheguy, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

    Oct 21, 2012
    So Cal
    All too often on these forums I see people throwing around the vague, non-descriptive word "solenoid". Can someone please define what they mean by solenoids?

    A solenoid (per Wikipedia) is a metal coil. However, I know that it can also refer to valves/gauges/God knows what else. I would be very appreciative if folks would use a more descriptive term next time they post. Instead of saying, "Oh, well it's probably a bad solenoid" please be more specific as that gives me very little information.
  2. AndreN

    AndreN Member

    Feb 22, 2012
    Redmond, WA
    A solenoid is basically a wire coil around a hollow center. When electrically energized, the coil becomes an electromagnet, pulling in a metal rod. The rod's connected to something that needs to move linearly. For example, pinball machines use solenoids to move the flippers (the metal rod pulls on a lever that turns the shaft the flipper is mounted on). In cars, solenoids are most often used to engage the starter gear or to lock/unlock the doors. The Model S doesn't need/use solenoids for either of those things.

    Solenoids can go bad. Usually either the wire in the coil breaks somewhere (solenoid stops working) or the insulation melts somewhere on the wire, leading to a short and probably a blown fuse. Solenoids usually have a return spring to move the metal rod back out of the solenoid when the power is cut off, and those springs can wear out and break as well.

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.