Repairing certain components of your car can take some time, effort, and money, but they are completely necessary to the longevity of your vehicle and the safety that is involved with driving on the roads. One of these important parts of your car is the body control module.
Let’s go over what the body control module is, signs that the body control module might be failing, and the body control module repair process and costs.
What is the body control module?
The body control module in your car is the “computer” that is the electronic system responsible for monitoring, analyzing, and controlling numerous electronic accessories within the car’s body. The body control module, also known as the BCM, controls the power windows, power mirrors, immobilizer system, air conditioning, central locking, and other electronically-assisted parts. The body control module works in tandem with other computers within the car, helping aid in the actions that require the electrical power like locking doors and turning on overhead lamps.
The body control module repair requires you to take your vehicle to a mechanic. In some cases, the fix could be relatively quick, and in some cases it could be more extensive. For some people, it might even take under an hour and cost you less than $300, while for others it will cost hundreds more.
In some cases, the module needs to be replaced and all of the other parts are working fine. However, in other cases, other parts have been negatively affected, and the process will be more expensive and time consuming.
Symptoms of a Bad Body Control Module
A faulty or damaged body control module that is in need of repair will show certain signs in your car that are easy to see if you are paying attention. This can cause your vehicle to act erratically and behave in ways that are unintentional, which is pretty easy to take notice of.
For example, turning on the turn signal while driving could cause the vehicle to do another electronic or power-assisted mechanism, like rolling up or down the window. Or, the speedometer could change instead of you pressing the brakes and slowing down the vehicle. These examples are dangerous, and can show how the body control module acting haphazardly can be dangerous to everyone in and outside of the car.
Failure of the body control module can also present itself in various ways, some of which might not be clear to the drivers. However, if your car starts behaving on its own and is not “listening” to you, then your body control module repair might need to happen sooner rather than later.
The main point is that erratic operations in your car is most likely the symptom of a faulty body control module. Noticing what is normal in your car and what is not normal can help save you a lot of money in maintenance, and prevent you from needing to get a complete body control module replacement, and instead be able to pay for just a body control module repair on your car.
Benefits of Body Control Module Repair
Once you get this issue figured out, your car will work a lot better and it will be safer to drive. It is still possible to drive your car with a damaged body control module, but that is not the best option and can lead to more issues in the future. It can make getting in and out of your car difficult and distract you while driving. Getting this issue taken care of by a professional can put you at ease and make your rides more comfortable and less distracting. It also lets you control everything accurately and make sure that nothing electronic or power-driven messes up while you are driving down the road.
What is done during Body Control Module Repair?
Firstly, your mechanic will need to diagnose the car and determine what the root issue is. He will be checking out your car to see what the problem is and if it is more than just the control module that is needing to be fixed or at fault for the problem. Your car’s computer system can be glitchy, and this is often not that serious of a fix.
Since this is an electrical problem, the mechanic will disconnect power to the module before just trying to remove it from the car to ensure no electrical wires or connections get crossed. In most cars, this requires the mechanic to just remove the glove box and get in behind to access the body control module. Once he has done this, it is a pretty simple process of taking out the body control module.
How To Save Money on Body Control Module Repair
Although many fixes you can try and do yourself if you have the basic information and tools, this one might not be a good idea to try yourself. Unless you are experienced or have plenty of hours working with cars, this body control module repair or replacement would be the best if you brought it to a mechanic’s office. A lot of people want to save money, but you can actually end up costing yourself more if you mess up.
The best way to save a few bucks on the body control module repair is to compare prices of local mechanics in your area and see which ones will offer you the best price for your services.
Sample Body Control Module Repair Costs
To give you an idea of how much you might have to pay to get this body control module repair done in a mechanic’s shop or an auto body shop, we have included some prices for common makes and models on the market today so you can get a feel for how much your specific car will cost.
One of the more inexpensive options for a body control module repair is the Honda Accord. The Honda Accord only costs about $648-$850 in total for the repair, running at around $80-$100 in terms of labor and $568-$747 for parts.
The second cheapest choice for body control module repair is the Honda Civic, with labor being around $44-$57 and the parts running at $684, for a total of $728-$741.
On the higher end of the price spectrum, we have the Toyota Camry, with the labor not being too expensive at between $60-$80, but the parts costing a whopping $883-$1021, coming in at between $945-$1101 in total.
The most expensive body control module repair on this list is for the Toyota Corolla. The labor for this car comes in at between $53-$68, while the parts cost $1021, making the total price $1074-$1089 for the body control module repair – a very expensive procedure to have done.
In addition to the price for a body control module repair or replacement, there are also other repairs that are directly related to body control module replacement, since they are connected. A cylinder head replacement may need to be done if you notice that there is very high oil consumption in your vehicle, overheating, poor fuel economy, white smoke occurring, and contamination of your engine oil. This replacement can run between an average of $3000-$3437.
In addition to the cylinder head replacement, a spark plug replacement may be necessary. Replacing your spark plugs is usually signified by the car being hard to start, the engine misfiring, car getting poor fuel economy, a rough engine idle, the engine being very loud, and the check engine light illuminating on your dashboard. This average price is between $192 and $256.
Lastly, you might find that along with the body control module repair, you may need to have a timing chain tensioner replacement. A timing chain runs inside of the engine and needs to be lubricated by the engine oil. The timing belt generally needs to be replaced between 40 and 100,000 miles, while the chain does not need to be replaced until there is a clear problem. The price for this replacement is around $902-$1,117. As you can see, the body control module repair can harm other parts if it is not taken care of in time.
Can a Bad Body Control Module Cause a Car Not To Start?
Each body control module is manufactured and made differently. Containing functions that are exclusive and unique to specific car makes and models. This means that each BCM can affect each car in a different way, so you need to be able to distinguish what is normal and what is not for your specific car make and model. Some BCMs only oversee the car’s electrical parts, while others combined with the electronic control units are in charge of other more complicated functions, like the exhaust system.
The body control module also is located in different places according to various cars. More often than not, you can find your BCM under the dashboard, or if you are unsure as to where it is located when you want to check it or when you want to tell your mechanic, you can refer to your vehicle’s manual to see.
So, long story short – can a bad body control module cause a car to not turn on and work properly? Yes. A malfunctioning or damaged body control module could occur for various reasons, like impact collisions due to accidents, loose wiring harnesses, wire shortages, and misfirings, excessive engine heat, and faulty sensors.
Common symptoms of a damaged or faulty car computer includes the engine not being able to turn on or crank, engine misfiring, the check engine light coming on, or the fuel efficiency and the power reduced while being used.
In addition, you should check for the fault code U0140, which is typically indicative of a broken or faulty car computer. Along with the other symptoms that we mentioned, the code, paired with general instability, like shaking or whining, are signs of a faulty body control module.
How to replace a Body Control Module
Once you have come to the conclusion that the body control module is at fault for the issues occuring with the power and electronics in your car, you will have to replace the body control module or undergo body control module repair.
First, make sure you disconnect the negative terminal on the battery with a tool, like a wrench or a ratchet. Next, you have to locate the body control module. As we said earlier, there is a high likelihood that the module is usually behind the glove box or underneath the center console.
Third, remove the glove box or the center console by removing the screws. This is generally pretty simple and although sounds like a big undertaking, is a relatively simple procedure.
Next, use a ratchet to pull out the bolts holding the body control module in the specific place either under the console or the glove box. After you have removed the bolts, push the connector clip within your fingers and pull out the connector with force.
Once you have pulled the connector, you can then install the new body control module and the new connector. After the new body control module is installed and replaced, you can reinstall the glove box or center console you removed earlier. Then, reconnect the negative terminal of the battery.
Some tips and key things to keep in mind when replacing the body control module is to ensure that the body control module is the key issue before you go replacing it. Although the procedure is pretty simple, it can still be time consuming and you can actually replace a perfectly fine body control module if you don’t do enough research. Make sure you go through all of the diagnostic charts that you have for your car, ensuring that you are following the right steps, since the body control module is expensive.
In addition, for connectors that are having trouble coming out when you pull on them, you might want to use adjustable pliers to grip the connector and pull it with enough force without snapping it or breaking it.