What Causes a Transmission Control Module to Fail

Voltage overload is often what causes a transmission control module to fail. When this happens, the vehicle’s other transmission components begin to fail. Now is the time to pay great attention to the indicators.

How can you tell if your transmission is failing?

Top Signs

  • Engine warning signal
  • Irregular gear shifting
  • Gear downshift problem
  • Stuck gear position
  • Delay in gear shifting
  • Quick fuel exhaustion

Engine Warning Signal

When this warning light shows up on your dashboard, there could be several reasons for this. However, if you start experiencing any strange changes or shifting problems, it’s likely due to a faulty transmission control module.

If you are skilled with mechanical instruments, you may simply use a scan tool to diagnose the car for issue codes; otherwise, you should seek the assistance of a professional immediately.

Irregular Gear Shifting

The control module of an automated transmission system is responsible for shifting gears. If a vehicle control module fails, you will experience erratic or difficult shifting. It may also change when you do not intend it to.

If your car shifts into a different gear without warning, it’s most likely due to an issue with the TCM. You must bring it to the attention of a mechanic since it is dangerous to ignore it and continue driving the car.

Gear downshift problem

This is quite similar to the prior symptom. The gear becomes abnormally unresponsive in this case. It occurs when the control module fails and refuses to communicate signals to reduce gear.

For example, when attempting to slow down or park the car, a malfunction like that might cause a gear downshifting issue. When you see indicators like these, you should inspect your car or have a professional inspect it for you.

Stuck gear position

Unlike with sporadic shifting, your vehicle’s gear gets locked in a mode, commonly first or neutral. When this occurs, it is typically due to a fault with the control module failing to transfer the signal to the gear.

This implies that your car will not drive in neutral, and you may struggle with the fast speed of first gear. This is especially risky when driving on a highway. When these symptoms appear, it is critical to contact a TCM professional for assistance.

Delay in gear shifting

The speed of your car is determined by the timing precision of the shifting. This indicates that a defective control module will not communicate correctly, causing your car to slow down.

This broken transmission relay symptom will also influence acceleration, causing your car to slow down rather than accelerate. Things might become worse if you’re attempting to overtake a sluggish car and the gear won’t change.

More: Should I Change Transmission Fluid after 100k Miles

Quick fuel exhaustion

A faulty TCM in a car can lead to rapid fuel depletion. A TCM’s role is to manage the timing and change in your vehicle gear so that it functions optimally.

However, if this component of your car fails, your vehicle will begin to consume more gasoline, resulting in rapid fuel exhaustion.

What Causes a Transmission Control Module to Fail?

  • Transmission oil/fluid that is low, dirty or the wrong fluid can also cause this problem in manual transmissions.
  • The clutch pedal grabs very low or very high. A clutch pedal that engages very low is typically a problem with the linkage or hydraulic system that operates the clutch.

What causes a car’s transmission to failsafe?

Another, more insidious cause is faulty electronics. Faults in the instrument cluster (which houses your warning lights and speedometer), blown fuses, and even a malfunction in the transmission control module (the computer that regulates the transmission) can all result in “Trans.

What is the most common cause of transmission failure?

The most common reason of transmission failure is a lack of maintenance. Individuals do not properly maintain their vehicles, which causes these systems to fail and may permanently damage their vehicles. If you have any queries regarding your car’s maintenance, you can always phone the manufacturer and they will answer them.

What causes a vehicle transmission to fail?

This might also occur if your system begins to overheat. If the transmission begins to overheat, it will finally fail. If transmission fluid cannot reach the system’s components, they will overheat. Will cause transmission damage and, eventually, transmission failure.

The following are the most common causes of transmission failure: The transmission fluid is dripping. A crimson fluid under the car indicates a transmission fluid leak from one of the cooler lines, a gasket, or a seal. This is not only detrimental to the transmission but also hazardous if the fluid escapes into a hot pipe or another surface.

More: Cars with CVT Transmission Problems

How to test the transmission control module?

What Causes a Transmission Control Module to Fail

Troubleshooting a TCM needs the use of a scan tool and an awareness of the issue codes. There is, however, a technique to troubleshoot a TCM without having to go through the tiresome pages of a TCM handbook.

You’ll need a screwdriver with a Phillips head, a socket set, and a spray cleaner for electrical connectors. To begin troubleshooting, turn off the engine and disconnect the battery.

Apply the vehicle’s emergency brake and shift into neutral. Then, open the hood and locate your vehicle’s TCM, which is normally located in the distributor cap or between the engine and gearbox underneath the hood. It is also available in the car handbook.

The TCM must then be removed. Using the Philip-head screwdriver, unscrew the distributor cap. Take care not to cause any electrical shocks. Then, before removing the TCM, detach the bolts or nuts that are holding it in place.

Remove the fluid from the TCM and use the electronic spray cleaner to clean the connections and the module. Install the TCM with care and replace the nuts and bolts.

If troubleshooting does not resolve the issue, you may elect to conduct a scan tool test if you comprehend the error code findings. However, after you’ve identified the problem, you’ll need to contact an expert for assistance. To save yourself time and money, call a repair right away.

How do you fix the transmission control module?

Most often than not, this component of a vehicle can’t be fixed but replaced. This is why you need to call the attention of a TCM expert to the problem when you start noticing the malfunctioning.

About The Author

Avatar for Ibrar Ayyub

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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