Transmission Control Module

Transmission Control Module Symptoms, Location & Replacement Cost

In Transmission by 5 Comments

A transmission control module or TCM is an essential electronic device presented in all modern vehicles with an automatic transmission.

The transmission control module gathers data from the engine and transmission to make the gear shifting in the transmission.

If your vehicle’s transmission control module fails, a variety of different problems can occur, so a properly functioning transmission control module is important for your vehicle.

6 Transmission control module (TCM) Symptoms

There are a few main things that can happen when your transmission control module fails.

The most common symptoms of a bad transmission control module are check engine light, transmission fault light, gear shifting problems and high fuel consumption.

Here is a more detailed list of the 6 most common symptoms of a bad transmission control module.

1. Check engine light

Check Engine Light

The most common symptom of a bad transmission control module is a check engine light on your dashboard.

The engine control unit and the transmission control unit work together. If the engine control unit receives a faulty signal from the transmission control unit – it will light up the check engine light.

Related:  4L60E vs 4L80E Differences: Swap & Information

2. Transmission fault light

Gearbox Symbol

Some cars do also have a transmission fault light on the dashboard. It is difficult for the transmission control module to know when it is damaged, but if another control unit like the engine control unit gets strange data from the TCM, it will light up the transmission fault light.

3. No Gear shifting at all

No Gear Shifting

Another common problem when it comes to a faulty transmission control module is no shifting at all. It will maybe stay in neutral or park without even trying to put in the first gear or reverse. If this happens, it is a sign of a faulty TCM.

You can also notice it if your car is shifting to first gear and going forward but refuse to shift up to the next gear.

4. Unpredictable shifting

Car Shifting Problems E1609782519191

If your TCM has gone bad, it can do a lot of strange things with the shiftings. It can downshift when it should not and upshift when it shouldn’t. This can cause dangerous situations in the traffic, so you should check it as fast as possible if you experience it.

5. Stalling engine on gear shifting

Broken Car

You can also notice that the faulty TCM is upshifting way too early, sometimes making your engine stall or almost stall.

Related:  What is the purpose of the D3 Gear in my Automatic Transmission?

This is also a dangerous situation on the road because you can lose control over your vehicle and you should fix it as soon as possible.

6. Poor fuel economy

Refuel Car

Poor fuel economy can also happen when the transmission control unit went bad.

The transmission control module is programmed to shift the gearbox for the best possible fuel economy. If this doesn’t happen, there is a risk that your fuel economy will suffer.

What is the function of the transmission control module?

Transmission Control Unit

The transmission control module, or TCM, is an electronic device similar to the ECU or engine control unit. However, the module’s functionality differs because the TCU is basically responsible for the proper operation of the transmission and transaxle.

The transmission control unit or module essentially receives information, in the form of sensor data, from several different sensors, which are then processed and manipulated to produce specific signals and commands.

These commands are transmitted to many other components to ensure the proper operation of the vehicle.

Transmission Control Module Location

The transmission control module is usually located under the center console inside of your car. It can also be located on the transmission itself.

This is very different depending on which car you have, as the transmission control module can particularly be located anywhere inside your car.

Related:  Transmission Problems - Automatic Transmission Repair

To find the transmission control module’s exact location for your particular car model, you should check the repair manual for your car model or ask your authorized dealer.

Transmission Control Module Inside Gearbox
Transmission control modules can sometimes even be installed inside of the gearbox.

Transmission Control Module Replacement Cost

The cost of the transmission control module is between $200 and $750. The labor work usually cost between 50$ to 500$ for a replacement. You can expect a total of 250$ to 1250$ for a transmission control module replacement.

The costs associated with replacing the transmission control module in your vehicle depend on many factors, such as your vehicle’s design and type, the company, and the parts to be replaced.

In some vehicles, the transmission control module is even installed inside the transmission, which creates the problem that you have to take it apart. As you may understand, this can be very costly.

The other thing to consider is that after the transmission control module replacement, it needs to be programmed by a diagnostic tool. You most often need to do this at a workshop, and nothing you can do yourself with basic knowledge.

You can try to find a used TCM on the scrapyard to reduce the costs if you think the TCM is fried.

5 thoughts on “ Transmission Control Module Symptoms, Location & Replacement Cost ”

  1. where can i buy tcu in the philippines for 2012 strada triton?

    1. Author

      I would check Ebay for this one. However, you need to reprogram the immobilizer and the new TCU to make it functional.

      1. Everything I have read here point to the problems I’m having with my new car I just bought. However my engine light has not come on. I noticed a few days after buying it, it would shift hard into first gear. So we serveced the transmission and it seemed to be driving great. 4 days later on my way to work. It felt like out of the blue my trany went. I try shift into other gears but nothing. Only first. With really high rpms. Do u think it’s my transmission control unit?

  2. Hi ,
    I have a Audi A6 35TDI Matrix , 2015 and i am from india . 2 weeks before i got this error of ‘Gear Box malfunctio, You can continue driving ) and yesterday i got the same error with ‘Limited functionality’ . Now when i have sent it to the workshop – They have asked me to change the ‘Control unit’ worth Indian rupees 200000 ..
    Suggest me the cheaper way to get this lroblem sort ..

  3. Hi
    I hace several alarms comming up on my MB R class.
    No alarms on the display but after connectin the diagnostic equipmen i got:
    Transmission 7G- Tronic- AT
    Kode 0513 Wrong CAN feedback from EIS.
    Kode2767 Internal speed cencor
    Kode 0717 Turbine speed signal
    Kode ESP 7223 Can message from transmissin.
    Kode ESP 7222 CAn message transmission messuring exact gear.

    Dose it make sence for you, ABS module or some speed sensors?

Leave a Comment