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Transmission Control Module: TCM-Onboard Computer

Did it ever occur to you that on cars built in the last 15 years develop engine repair problems or have a transmission failure because the TCM, transmission control module is the culprit? In essence the newer the car the more operations are computer controlled, making the entire system a team that needs to work together. One lazy team member hurts the performance of the other properly performing teammates.

To put it mildly, only a fool would ignore the TCM and related components anytime your automobile transmission acts up. I say this because gradually over the last 15 or so years cars operate all functions through a computerized system. The operations commanded by a computer are ever increasing. Very advance systems need computers that are more involved in your cars drive ability.

Computers develop isolated problem areas that only affect one part of the car, and in some cases a computer can have a total failure. Which may have a profoundly bad effect on your engine or transmission. Either way, the TCM will need replacing. Since all TCM modules are solid state circuitry and sealed in epoxy, mere mortals can not fix them.

FYI: The best choice in searching for  computer is not the dealer. It is your trusty transmission replacement supplier. Since the TCM, or onboard computer is an integral part of the direct performance of your car, it is logical to call the premier transmission suppliers for a used low-mileage TCM. Since they have access to the same cars that the used transmissions come from.  Meaning that the preponderance of  low mileage wrecked have good computers in them. Realistically speaking, some of the new cars or trucks have computers that control the engine and transmission and suspension, which can cost from about 500 dollars new to close to 1000 dollars from the dealer. Most engine supply companies have access to used TCMs for about 100 dollars. What is interesting is that in most cases you get the same guarantee a new one would get for much more money. One year…

As a starting point, if a transmission repair is needed, the first thing your mechanic should do is hook up a scan tool and test the ECM, TCM and every input, sensor, module, controller, etc. on the car. So many times it turns out that the problem does not require you to replace the engine or transmission, or if replacement is needed, the ECM or TCM transmission control module may be the culprit. So, in essence, you can put a replacement transmission in your car and still have a problem.

The company that stands out to me is GotTransmissions.com. Mostly because the owner Brian knows about the issues of dealing with computers and has made a point of having access to low mileage ECMs and related components for pennies on the dollar. In fact if you were to call them for any reason, in the course of the conversation, your representative would discuss the computer with you.

Be a wise consumer, ask the technician at the repair shop checking out your car if the electrical system has been scanned or is going to be. If the answer is anything less than “right now”, take your business to another shop.

BTW, if the only part your car needs is an TCM, call GotTransmissions.com, an insightful company thinking in advance to deliver the critical parts that get you on the road asap. Call us @ 866-320-1182, we will gladly sell you a computer only.

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