For any vehicle that works with an automatic transmission system, the transmission control module plays a significant role in its performance.
This is opted for in these types of vehicles instead of the hydraulic or mechanical control that is in the convention for earlier vehicles.
However, the latest models of vehicles utilize the transmission control module.
There are ways that you can tell that your vehicle’s transmission control module is experiencing some issues.
While replacing it might not be an option, having it repaired will guarantee optimal performance.
Here’s 7 signs that will indicate a damaged transmission control module include:
- The Check Engine Light Comes On
- When The Vehicle Shifts Gears Unpredictably
- When You Experience Difficulties Shifting The Gears Of The Vehicle To Higher Gears
- Challenges During Downshifting
- When The Transmission Gets Stuck In One Gear
- Delayed Reaction From The Transmission When You Shift Gears
- A Rather Poor Fuel Economy
The role of the vehicle’s transmission control module is to provide a communication network to other computer systems fitted in the vehicle.
It works to select the perfect gear that the vehicle should be moving in at a particular moment in time.
This will ensure that the vehicle is able to move at the right speed and also guarantees fuel economy.
What Is A Transmission Control Module?
In an automatic transmission vehicle, the shifting of the gears is determined by the transmission control module.
It does this while responding to signals and data it collects from the transmission of the vehicle.
The transmission control module can be described as an electronic component that is attached to the transmission of the vehicle that works with electric signals sent from the sensors and guides it to select the gears through which the vehicle moves.
The transmission control module is attached to many components, such as the engine of the vehicle, the brake pedal position sensor, the turbine sensor, and other parts.
It plays a vital role in ensuring that the shifting of the gears is done in an effective and consistent manner and provides you with the best experience driving the vehicle.
When it gets damaged, you will have a difficult time with the transmission of the vehicle, and other parts associated with it may also get damaged as a result.
The importance of the transmission control module of the automatic vehicle is because it provides that link between the transmission of the vehicle and the engine.
It is a crucial component that works to provide the vehicle with consistent driving speeds all through when the vehicle is being used.
Through its ability to automate the shifting of the gears, you should be able to use it smoothly all through your driving experience.
It also provides much relief when compared to the manual types of vehicles that require you to step on the clutch and use the gear shifter to change gears every time.
Can A Bad Transmission Control Module Cause Transmission Problems?
Yes, a transmission control module that is in poor condition may affect the performance of the transmission. Here’s another signs of a bad transmission.
This happens when it is unable to mix the air and fuel through the appropriate ratio.
What this leads to is the vehicle responding in a poor manner, and you might notice this when it reacts by kicking or jumping unexpectedly.
A transmission control module should offer the driver with a shift in gears that they can anticipate working with.
This is whether they are accelerating or decelerating, and either of them should be done through a simple process without any glitches whatsoever.
Is It Safe To Drive With A Bad Transmission Control Module?
No, it is not safe to drive the vehicle if its transmission control module is damaged.
The transmission control module of the vehicle determines the way the vehicle shifts gears, and this determines the speed through which the vehicle moves in.
This should be done in a manner that the driver can predict so that they are aware of the speed that the vehicle is moving in.
This helps them make a choice and also works for them when they want to slow down, stop, or even increase the speed and overtake a vehicle on the highway.
If the transmission control module is damaged, it may not enable the vehicle to accelerate fast enough, and this may make it difficult to overtake a vehicle through a chance that you get.
The delayed response from the transmission of the vehicle when the transmission control module is affected makes it unpredictable and unreliable to work with.
It is also not recommendable that you insist on driving your automatic vehicle when you realize that the transmission control module is damaged.
This is because continuing driving such a vehicle will damage other components associated with it. You will, therefore, have to spend more for the repair work.
7 Signs Of A Bad Transmission Control Module
For most vehicles, the transmission control module is usually situated under the cover at the rear end of the transmission case.
If you notice any of the following signs while using the vehicle, they might point out complications with your vehicle’s transmission control module, and a repair will be necessary.
It is wise that you have your mechanic inspect the transmission control module first, and they will advise the repair that needs to be performed on it.
1. The Check Engine Light Comes On
On the dashboard of every vehicle, there is a check engine light that will be illuminated when it detects an issue with the vehicle.
At some point, the issue might be with the vehicle’s transmission control module, especially when it lights up and is accompanied by any of the signs in this list.
If you notice that that check engine light is on, then this is a warning that will need you to respond fast enough.
It is wise that you consult your mechanic to check all the associated components because it is a light that warns a variety of complications and may also be a warning about the vehicle’s engine.
2. When The Vehicle Shifts Gears Unpredictably
Unlike the manual transmission system in some vehicles, the transmission control module does the shifting of the gears in automatic vehicles.
However, if there are complications within the transmission control module, it will be noticed in the way the gears shift.
For instance, you might be driving the vehicle at a gear, say 1, but it shifts dramatically to neutral.
In such an instance, it is dangerous driving this type of vehicle as the gears might shift while you are on the road and pose as a danger not only to you but for other motorists on the road.
3. When You Experience Difficulties Shifting The Gears Of The Vehicle To Higher Gears
When you are driving an automatic vehicle, as you keep on accelerating it, the gears should shift to higher ones quite smoothly.
This should happen at the right time when you hit the threshold of the speed for that shift in gear.
However, if the transmission control module is not in excellent condition, the RPM of the vehicle increases exponentially, and this prevents the vehicle from getting to greater speeds.
In this type of vehicle, you will have a difficult time driving it as you will be limited to the speed in which the vehicle can move in.
4. Challenges During Downshifting
Take a situation where you are driving on the road and want to slow down and maybe make a turn.
You will have to shift gears, and this is done automatically for the automatic transmission in the vehicle.
However, a transmission control module that is not in the perfect state may not be able to get this done.
You will notice this when you want the vehicle to move to the lower gears when you decrease your driving speed.
It should also settle at the first gear when you put the car to a stop, but it may not be able to do this.
This is dangerous because when you eventually start moving the car again, it will start moving at high speeds that you were not expecting.
This might cause accidents on the roads. It may also prevent the vehicle from moving entirely.
5. When The Transmission Gets Stuck In One Gear
A vehicle needs to move through a series of gears that determine the speed that you are moving through.
It is the role of the transmission control module to get this done, but it won’t be able to deliver when it goes bad.
One sign is that it might get stuck at a particular gear, which might either be neutral or even at gear 1. Driving such a vehicle is greatly inconvenient for you and has its fair share of challenges.
6. Delayed Reaction From The Transmission When You Shift Gears
Automatic transmission of a vehicle is included to provide you with a simple experience when you are driving the vehicle.
This is guaranteed by the vehicle reacting almost immediately and in an automated manner whenever the transmission control module sets it at a particular gear.
However, when you notice that the vehicle cycles to another gear with hesitation, then the transmission control module has complications.
You will not be able to have the smoothest experience when accelerating the vehicle while driving on the road.
You may also notice this when the vehicle slows down instead of accelerating when you want it to.
7. A Rather Poor Fuel Economy
The transmission control module that is damaged in a vehicle will lead to a poor fuel economy.
If it is bad, it will force the engine to work harder than it should, and this leads to it using up more fuel than it should.
You might notice this sign if you are sure that everything else that is associated with the fuel is in perfect condition, except the transmission of the vehicle.
What Is The Solution For Solving Bad Transmission Control Module?
In most cases, what causes the transmission control module to be unable to do its work is a blocked passage or a faulty valve solenoid that is in the transmission.
At this point, it may not be getting the appropriate voltage that is needed to power it. This can be easily fixed by any qualified mechanic who will provide you with an effective solution.
Replacing the device is not common because it is quite costly to replace the whole thing.
Simple repair work will do the trick, and you should be able to use your transmission control module comfortably once again.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace TCM?
If you want the transmission control module replaced, it will cost you approximately $500 on the lower side and $900 on the upper side.
This is inclusive of the labor charges that will not be more than $200. The cost of the device varies between one manufacturer to another, but it should not be more than $700.
The table below illustrates the different prices for the variety of the transmission control module for the variety of the different models of the vehicle as well as their different years.
Transition Control Module Cost by Make And Model
The table below shows the prices of the various types of transition control modules used:
As indicated above, the transmission control module plays a significant role in determining how the transmission of the vehicle performs.
When it gets damaged, you will have a difficult time shifting gears through your automatic transmission vehicle.
This might also lead to damage to other components associated with it and also a poor fuel economy that will force you to pay too much at the fuel pump than necessary.
1. Fred Beans – https://www.fredbeans.com/bad-transmission-control-module-doylestown-pa/
2. Sun Devil Auto – https://www.sundevilauto.com/what-is-a-transmission-control-module/
3. My Transmission Expert – https://www.mytransmissionexperts.com/signs-of-a-bad-transmission-control-module-tcm-replacement-cost/