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.
Body Control Module Function
The body control module in your car is the “computer,” which 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 electrical power like locking doors and turning on overhead lamps.
A 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, other parts have been negatively affected in other cases, and the process will be more expensive and time-consuming.
Average Repair Cost
The body control module repair means that you will visit the mechanic – hopefully sooner rather than later. In some cases, the fix could be relatively quick and painless. However, in some cases, it could be more extensive. It might even take under an hour and cost you less than $250 on average, while for others, it will cost hundreds more.
You will usually pay around $300 for most vehicles to replace the body control module, including the added prices for labor and the parts. The parts’ cost usually ranges between $100 and $150, while the labor will be lower, generally coming in at $100 or lower.
In some cases, the module needs replacing, and all of the other parts are working fine. However, other features in other cases have been negatively affected, and the process will be more expensive and time-consuming.
Let’s go over what symptoms and signs of a faulty body control module can alert you to a problem going on in your vehicle.
Symptoms of a Faulty Body Control Module
A faulty or damaged body control module that needs repair will show certain signs in your car that are easy to see if you pay attention. A faulty module can cause your vehicle to act erratically and behave in unintentional ways, which is pretty easy to take notice of.
For example, switching 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.
The main point is that your car’s erratic operations are 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.
Dashboard Warning Lights
Suppose the body control module is not working correctly and can’t properly connect with other car systems, such as the other modules like the airbag control module or the powertrain control module. In that case, the body control module cannot check that they are operating at the right level. If one, or all of these modules, is not working well, this can enhance the body control module repair cost.
The warning lights on the dashboard are a vital warning sign that you need to pay attention to. You might notice flashing warning lights on the dashboard, alerting you to various systems in your car. In this case, it can be somewhat difficult to diagnose the main problem with the body control module since the vehicle needs to pinpoint the issue.
With various dashboard warning lights turned on, it can be hard to find the main issue since warning lights turn on for various reasons. However, the dashboard lights indicate a problem with the body control module and a higher body control module repair cost.
Central Locking System Concerns
If you notice any issue with the body control module, this fault will cause other problems with various systems’ operations in the vehicle. The first sign of a vast problem might be when you try to unlock the car or open your door to drive it. You will immediately notice that the keyless entry might not work, and the locking might fail, preventing you from getting in and out of the vehicle.
Also, you might not be able to turn off the alarm or the immobilizer. Even if you can turn off the alarm, it will take longer than usual to shut off the sounds, highlighting the higher body control module repair cost.
Engine Will Not Start
For the engine to start correctly and smoothly, the key must fit in the ignition and send the signal to the starter motor. This starter motor is in charge of starting the vehicle and running at the right performance level. You might not know that the ignition is controlled by the body control unit and the body control module, so if you notice any problems with the ignition and the starter motor, this can cause the vehicle not to start.
When you turn the key in the ignition or press the start button, the body control unit ensures the correct key is in the ignition, and the key ID matches the ID in the body control module. If the ignition and the key IDs do not match, this can lead to a higher body control module repair cost.
Body Control Module Repair Steps
Diagnose the Issue
Firstly, your mechanic will need to diagnose the car and determine what the root issue is. He will check out your car to see what the problem is and if it is more than just the control module that needs 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.
Disconnect the Power
Since this is an electrical problem, the mechanic will disconnect power to the module before just removing it from the car to ensure no electrical wires or connections get crossed. In most cars, this requires the mechanic just to remove the glove box and get in behind to access the body control module.
Make sure you disconnect the negative terminal on the battery with a tool, like a wrench or a ratchet.
Locate the Body ContrModule
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.
Remove the Glove Box
Third, remove the glove box or the center console by removing the screws. Removing the glove box is generally pretty simple, and although sounds like a big undertaking, it 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.
Install the New Body Control Module
Once you have pulled the connector, you can 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 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 replace a perfectly fine body control module if you don’t do enough research.
Ensure you go through all of the diagnostic charts you have for your car, ensuring that you are following the right steps since the body control module is expensive.
Sample Body Control Module 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 so you can get a feel for how much your specific car will cost.
Average Replacement Costs
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. This car’s labor 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.
Body Control Module Related Repairs
Cylinder Head Replacement
Other repairs are directly related to body control module replacement since they are connected to a body control module repair or replacement price.
A cylinder head replacement may need to be done if you notice 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.
Spark Plug Replacement
In addition to the cylinder head replacement, a spark plug replacement may be necessary. Replacing your spark plugs is usually signified by the car is hard to start, the engine misfiring, the 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.
Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement
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.
Figuring out the body control module’s function, the steps to replace the body control module, and the replacement and repair price is crucial information to know as a car owner!