What Is Winch Solenoid and How Does It Work?

Last Updated on September 21, 2022 by Automobile Note

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If you have a heavy-duty jeep or a truck, you might use it to carry and tow heavy objects. And your best friend in doing so would be a winch. In the winch mounted on the vehicle, there is a winch motor. And to activate the motor, there is a winch solenoid.

Today you will know what is winch solenoid. It is a large electronic switch to activate the vehicle winch. But how does a winch solenoid work? We’ll talk about that as well. So, without further ado, let’s get straight into it!

What Is a Winch Solenoid?

The solenoid is a significant part of a properly functioning winch system. So it plays one of the most significant roles in ensuring that the winch works correctly and safely.

It does so by maintaining the flow of electricity from the battery and not letting any damage be caused to the winch motor or the winch switch.

Electrical Solenoid

How Does a Winch Solenoid Work?

If you have a winch, you know that an excellent and strong flow of electricity is needed to make it works. The solenoid comes into play to get that heavy flow of electricity without causing any damage to the winch motor or the winch switch.

This electronic device triggers the winch motor or the winch switch on the winch mounted to a vehicle. When the activation switch is pressed, the current from the battery is conducted towards the solenoid, which ultimately results in its activation.

As the solenoid is activated, the current is directed at the winch motor, and the motor turns the winch drum on. And the drum then feeds the cable inward and out as per your needs. This is how the towing and hauling of large things are done.

How Does a Winch Solenoid Work

Where Is the Winch Solenoid in the Winch System?

In the common winches, which are more common and inexpensive, a single winch solenoid is used separately to draw the winch drum in both directions as per your needs. However, this is not the case in the more heavy-duty and expensive ones.

In the stronger ones, there is a placement of four winch solenoids. What happens is that two winch solenoids are working together to move the winch drum in both directions.

 Winch Solenoid in the Winch System

The winch solenoid can be in a distant location or mounted on the winch itself. But, of course, this depends on the manufacturers, and both have their own advantages.

  • Solenoid Mounted on the Winch

When it is mounted on the winch, it is generally on top of the winch motor. In this case, there is no need for any extra wiring—reducing a lot of hassle and reducing mess. This also allows the electrical system of the winch to not create a short since the wire does not get worn out or abraded.

However, sometimes there might be a lot of heat coming out of the winch motor, and due to the placement of the solenoid being right on top of the motor, there remains a possibility of it getting burnt.

Related: How To Bypass Winch Solenoid
  • Winch Solenoid Mounted Remotely

When the winch solenoid is remotely mounted, it can protect the solenoid from getting heated by the motor’s heat which is the biggest plus point. It eliminates the risk of the solenoid getting burned to interrupt the pulling or towing.

Although the setup does not remain as compact and might be a little more complex overall.

Also, a separate solenoid allows the winch to take up less space, so it can be easily mounted on the car behind the bumper without being noticed.

Due to the smaller design, it is also made sure that the winch does not get damaged as the car moves. Because, a damaged winch is more often than not, the reason behind why it is not working properly.

Do You Need a Functioning Winch Solenoid?

As you have probably guessed by now, the solenoid is a substantial part of the entire winch system. Without a functioning solenoid, the winch motor or the winch switch is very susceptible.

The absence of the solenoid can lead the winch motor to burn out many times and give out at some point. And, to get a new winch motor is a lot more pricey than getting a new winch solenoid if the current one is not working properly.

If you have a faulty or a non-functioning solenoid, it is the best decision to get it replaced as soon as possible to save your winch motor. But if you are in an urgent position, you can wire around the defective solenoid for the time being.

The Endnote

So, now you know what a winch solenoid is and how it works — and you also know the importance of having a fully functioning winch solenoid. If you have any trouble with it, get it fixed for the sake of your winch motor, which is way more expensive.

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