5 Symptoms of a Bad Transmission Control Module and Replacement Cost

The transmission control module is a vital component of any vehicle with an automatic transmission system. Rather than relying on hydraulic or mechanical control over a transmission system, newer vehicles use a transmission control module instead. This module is basically a computer which communicates information to other computer systems within the vehicle. The purpose of the transmission control module is to help the automatic transmission choose the best gear settings at any given time. That way, the driving performance will be the best that it can be.

The Top 5 Symptoms

The transmission control module can usually be found below the cover at the back of the transmission’s case. It should be just below the engine control module’s position. If you ever have a problem with your transmission control module, you will need to have it inspected right away. A bad transmission control module will spell trouble for your vehicle and your ability to drive it. Fortunately, there are a few basic symptoms that you can easily notice before this happens.

Below are the top 5 symptoms of a bad transmission control module.

1. Difficulty Shifting

Since an automatic transmission system relies on the transmission control module to do the shifting, a bad module will mean bad shifting. For instance, if your car shifts to neutral gear or any other gear without a warning, then your control module will need to be replaced. Otherwise, it will be very dangerous to continue driving. Unless you have a manual override option in your vehicle, you will need to get your car towed to a mechanic and have the module replaced.

2. Bad Vehicle Performance

The speed of your vehicle relies on cycling to various gears at the appropriate timing. If you have a bad transmission control module, then it will cycle to these gears too fast or too slowly. This will impact the momentum of your acceleration, causing you to lose speed rather than picking up speed. When you approach a hill, the shifting performance will be even worse.

3. Bad Fuel Economy

Whenever there is a problem with your transmission system, it will result in a bad fuel economy. The miracle of good shifting and timing is what gives you a good fuel economy. So, if you have a bad transmission control module which messes up this timing, then your engine will end up working harder than usual. This means it will consume more fuel than usual, causing you to spend more money at the gas pump.

4. Check Engine Light

If the Check Engine warning light illuminates on your dashboard, it could mean several things. But if you notice any problems with your shifting in addition to the Check Engine light being on, then it is most likely a problem with your transmission control module or some other component of your transmission system. In any event, get your vehicle checked out immediately by a mechanic.

5. Scanner Connection Failure

If you try to connect a handheld scanning tool to your transmission control module and the connection fails to deliver any trouble codes, then it means your module is bad. A healthy control module would be able to deliver some sort of signal to the scanner, even if there is no trouble with the vehicle at all.

Read also: Pros and Cons of MacPherson VS Double Wishbone Suspension

Replacement Cost

The replacement cost of a transmission control module will be anywhere from $615 to $730. You can expect the parts costs to be around $570 to $610 while the labor costs will be around $40 to $120. Of course, you can always search around for the best mechanic which offers the cheapest hourly labor rates. However, most of the cost for this replacement job goes toward the parts cost itself. You can expect taxes and fees to be added to the total cost as well.

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