A system level analysis was carried out on the effect of flow forces on a flow control variable force solenoid (VFS) used in automatic transmissions. Classic flow force model was reviewed as a function of the pressure difference and the solenoid current. A force balance analysis was conducted on the spool valve in the VFS, in order to study the relationship among the control current, flow forces, spring forces, and flow area. Flow bench testing was used to characterize a specific flow control VFS by both the pressure drop and solenoid current, in forward and reverse flow directions. The behavior of flow control VFS valve is significantly affected by flow forces. A sub-system level model was thus created to predict the steady-state and dynamic behavior of the flow VFS valve, which can be used in a transmission system level analysis. The modeling results were compared against experimental data to show the validity of the methodology.