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What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad Transmission Control Module?

What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad Transmission Control Module?

The transmission control module in your car is a key component of any car with an automatic transmission system. The automatic transmission is also known as self-shifting transmission, n-speed automatic, or AT. It is a type of vehicle that automatically changes the gear ratio as the vehicle moves forward, meaning that the driver does not have to shift gears manually. 


Transmission Control Module Importance

A car’s transmission control module, you should never need to replace your car if the parts are running correctly, and the control module is not damaged. However, if you have signs of a bad transmission control module, then you will need immediate repair or replacement if necessary. 

 

This transmission module is the car’s computer that is in charge of talking to other computer systems in your car. If the different electrical systems in your car are not working properly, this can provide the answer to “what are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module?”

  • Transmission Control Module Function

The purpose of the car's transmission control module is to help the transmission choose the best gear at the given time, determining what kind of performance of the vehicle depending on the terrain you are driving. This way, the driving performance, and the fuel economy will be working at the correct level and ensure you are driving at the proper miles per gallon and the performance. If your car is getting poor fuel efficiency and the gears are not working correctly, this can answer “what are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module?”

  • Transmission Control Module Location

Suppose you're wondering where the transmission control module is located. In that case, the control module can usually be found below the cover at the back of the transmission case, just below the engine control module’s position. The engine control module is the computer that interacts with the engine’s necessary ingredients to make enough energy, like fuel, air, and spark. 

 

The control unit monitors the engine bay sensors to make sure your vehicle is operating at the right level. If this is not working well, you will have the answer to your question of “what are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module?”

Faulty Transmission Control Module Symptoms 

If you have any issues with your transmission control module, you will need to bring your car to a mechanic right away to make sure the problems do not worsen. If you notice symptoms of a bad tiramisu control module, you will lack the ability to drive your car at optimal performance. Fortunately for the diver, there are a few noticeable signs and can provide the answer to “what are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module?”

  • Check Engine Light

Your check engine light can come on for various reasons, like a poor oxygen sensor, a poor transmission control module, or a damaged mass air flow sensor. In this case, the check engine light can indicate the driver to a bad transmission control module’s symptoms. If the check engine warning lights come on and you notice any problems with your shifting, this is generally an issue with the transmission system. 

 

In any case, get your vehicle checked immediately by a local auto body shop or a mechanic. If you have your scan tool, you can use the tool to check for any diagnostic trouble codes. Depending on the code that shows up, it can provide the answer to “what are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module?”

  • Unpredictable Shifting

Since an automatic transmission system mainly relies on the transmission control module to shift correctly, the bad transmission control module will cause incorrect or unintended shifting without meaning to harm the performance. The performance hindrances can prove to be anything from a less serious problem to a severe accident. 

 

If your car shifts to neutral or another gear that it wouldn’t normally do without warning or without intending to, then your transmission control module will need to be replaced. Unless you have a manual override option, you will need to get your car towed to a repair shop so they can give you the answer to “what are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module?”

  • Problems Downshifting into Lower Gears

This problem is similar to our next issue of the issues shifting into higher gears. Instead, it means that you can’t slow down in order to park, pass a moving vehicle, or make a turn, and your transmission control module might not be able to shift into a lower gear when you press the gas pedal to accelerate. 

 

If you notice symptoms of a bad transmission control module, you might still be in high gear while driving – even though you are trying to come to a stop. When it’s time to start accelerating and revving your engine to start again, you will be in a gear that is too high for proper acceleration, preventing the car from even moving. 

 

If your car has trouble moving and shifting gears, this is the answer to “what are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module?”

  • Problems Shifting into Higher Gears

As you gradually increase the speed while driving, your transmission should correctly and smoothly shift into higher gears at the right time during your performance. When this does not occur, you will notice signs of a bad transmission, like the engine’s RPMs, steadily increasing instead of dropping during an upshift. 

 

Since each gear has a maximum speed you can reach, you might not be able to reach the intended speed if the transmission control module can’t shit into a higher gear. If your car cannot shift into higher gears to accelerate at the correct time, this is the answer to “what are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module?”

  1. Car Stuck in the Same Gear

If your car is having trouble being stuck in the same gear without moving, then you have symptoms of a bad transmission control module. The symptoms usually manifest in your car, or your transmission is stuck in neutral or first gear. The transmission won't shift, and you will not be able to drive anywhere since your car is stuck in neutral, or you will be limited by the speed of the first gear, which can be too slow for many performance occasions. 

 

The vehicle’s speed usually relies on the gear shifting to get appropriate timing/ If you notice the symptoms of a bad transmission control module, this can answer the question of “what are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module?”.

  • Reduced Fuel Economy

Problems with your transmission system usually result in a bad fuel economy and poor miles per gallon. An automatic transmission is designed for the best gear selection and timing to make sure you can have the best fuel economy.

 

Suppose you have a transmission control module that is damaged and affects the gear timing. In that case, your engine will end up working harder than usual, possibly overheating and causing additional friction. The excessive friction and overheating can be the exact answer to “what are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module?”

Faulty Transmission Signs

Along with the symptoms of a bad transmission control module, there are also warning signs that you need to know about the transmission. As with any part of your car, early detection of these issues can prevent further and more severe damage to your car. Sometimes, the damage caused by the transmission control module can be so profound that it affects the transmission – finding this before it gets too serious can help prevent expensive repairs and replacements. 

  • Refusal to Switch Gears

A big reason why you might have a bad transmission is that your transmission might not be able to stay in gear. If you try to put your car into a specific gear and shift and it will not move smoothly or will not move at all, this could be a clear sign that there could be a low transmission fluid amount. 

 

The low transmission fluid could be due to a leak, the gear shifter, the gear shifter cable, or the problem with the automatic transmission system’s valve body in your car. 

 

Newer and more modern vehicles on the market depend on the car's internal computer, the electronic control unit, to direct the transmission when it should go into the proper gear based on the driver’s selection. The issues with the computer can mean that you may need to have the electronic control unit checked with a diagnostic tool to find the answer to “what are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module?”

  • Burning Smell

If you notice a burning smell coming from your car, this is a clear sign that you have a problem that needs to be addressed. A burning smell is usually caused by a fluid leak in the transmission, or even the low fluid causing a burning clutch smell and overheating in the engine. If you can catch and diagnose the fluid leak quickly, you might be able to save the transmission from any further damage and prevent the additional signs of a bad transmission. 

 

In addition, a buzzing sound can also be an indicator of a flawed internal sealing surface, a bad valve seal, or low transmission fluid due to the leak. Overheating internal parts and a burning smell is a key answer to “what are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module?”

  • Strange Noises

Furthermore, you might hear weird noises coming from your vehicle when your car is neutral, being a key symptom of a bad transmission control module and transmission, with the noises indicating that you might need new transmission oil or a costly part replacement. 

 

One of the strange noises you can hear is an internal grinding sound. When your transmission grinds and the shifting gears are not working, this can be a condition that is directly related to the clutch not releasing, and the shift synchronizer rings inside the transmission being broken or damaged, or the shifter having an adjustment problem. 

 

In addition, if your transmission fluid and oil is too low, contaminated, full of debris, or is the wrong fluid altogether, this can also cause the problem in manual cars and be the answer to “what are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module?”. 

  • Slipping Gears

Another key symptom of a bad transmission control module or transmission is your car slipping gears, which can be very dangerous on the road and requires you to bring your car to a local mechanic right away. Since slipping gears is very noticeable and causes extreme performance issues, this is a clear answer to the question of “what are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module?”

 

The slipping gears can be caused by pesky low transmission fluid, contamination of the transmission fluid, or the lack of routine maintenance in the transmission system. The transmission slipping can also be due to the internal wear and tear on transmission parts inside the transmission itself. If your engine is also revving highly along with the slipping transmission, this is a sign that you have worn out clutches or other parts inside the car might be causing the bad transmission. 

  1. Dragging Clutch

Along with the transmission slipping and the problem with shifting gears, another problem is the dragging clutch. A dragging clutch fails to disengage the clutch disk from the vehicle when you press down on the clutch pedal, a clear sign of the bad transmission control module and transmission system. 

  • Leaking Fluid

In addition, the leaking transmission fluid is one of the most straightforward transmission problems that you can identify and notice in your car. If you notice a red fluid underneath your car in the garage, then this is an answer to “what are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module?”

 

Check your dipstick in the vehicle for proper transmission fluid level and condition of the fluid, ensuring no contaminants in the liquid. Take note that not all transmission fluid is red, since this indication can lead to you diagnosing the signs of a bad transmission.

  • Humming Sounds

Lastly, if you hear humming sounds coming from your transmission or whining and clunking noises, these are key and crucial signs and symptoms of a bad transmission control module that you will need to get repaired right away. By noticing these symptoms of a bad transmission control module, you can keep your car working safely for a long-lasting time. 

Transmission Control Module Cost

Replacement Cost

Depending on the symptoms of a bad transmission control module, the replacement cost of a transmission control module usually ranges anywhere from $500 to $900. The parts cost alone will be around $450 to $700, while the total labor costs will be between $50 to $200. 

 

Suppose you order a new transmission control module online and ask a local mechanic what their hourly labor rates are. In that case, you can try to find the lowest price possible for replacing a bad transmission control module. However, the main cost of the replacement job goes towards the cost of the parts itself. 

Repair Cost

Another option is to repair the transmission control module, with the overall repair cost coming out to much less than the replacement of a new transmission control module. On average, you will pay around $300 to repair the module, which is much less than a full replacement. 

Conclusion

Finding out the answer to “what are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module” can help you prevent these issues from getting any worse in your vehicle. If you let these signs and symptoms go without addressing the root cause of the problem, it can lead to severe issues with your car’s transmission, engine, and electrical system!