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Body Control Module Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

The average cost for a body control module replacement is between $403 and $485. Labor costs are estimated between $52 and $123 while parts are priced between $351 and $362. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
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What is a Body Control Module?

A little known portion of the computerized control systems in modern vehicles is the body control module. Like other control modules, this is a processing platform which receives and directs data to the appropriate device or controller, but the body control module has a much larger role than most. It has a role in the control and integration of nearly every system on a vehicle, and serves to eliminate complication in the wiring harness and provides an additional diagnostic check point in the electrical and computerized system of any vehicle.

How does a Body Control Module work?

As any other control module on a modern vehicle, the body control module is a computer dedicated to the task referred to in its name. Nearly every action taken by a driver, or an electronic system on the vehicle will be processed, monitored, or regulated by the body control module. It does this through direct communication with many control units and network hubs on the vehicle, and is programmed to take specific actions based on inputs. These actions may be disallowing the powertrain control module from starting if the incorrect key is inserted, or causing the power seats to move when requested by the user. Like any other control module, automotive or not, it is a programmable computer that directs outputs when given a range of inputs.

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What are the symptoms of a bad Body Control Module?

A faulty body control module can cause a vehicle to act erratically in the wildest of ways. For instance, activating the turn signal could roll down a random window, or the speedometer could change speeds due to pressing the brakes. These examples are only meant to provide an idea, and may never be noticed. In fact, failure of the body control module can present itself in such a variety of ways that listing them is nearly impossible. The bottom line is erratic or failed operations of one or multiple systems is the most likely symptom of a faulty body control module.

Can I drive with a bad Body Control Module?

It is not likely that a vehicle will be operable with a faulty body control module. At first, problems may be intermittent, but the problems will likely increase in variety and severity until the issue is diagnosed and repaired. However, as noted, the vehicle will likely not function well enough to operate.

How often do Body Control Modules need replacement?

Body control module do fail, and some makes and models are more well known for this failure than others. The number of replacements for body control modules is much less than the number of failures, however. This is due to the ability to reprogram the body control module, and software updates that are issued when known or potential problems exist. Many vehicles will have an update issued at some point, but the majority of vehicles will never need the update. Lastly, the likelihood of replacing a body control module increases with degradation from age.

How are Body Control Module issues diagnosed?

If the body control module is suspected of failure, most modern vehicles will be diagnosed through the use of a computerized scanner which will have the ability to test the functionality of the body control module. By applying different requests to the body control module and reviewing the outcome, the module can be diagnosed as working or faulty. In some cases, this may not provide all information needed, and testing of other components, the wiring harness, connectors, and separate control modules may be required to narrow the failure down to the body control module. This is because the body control modules is so integral to the function of such a broad array of systems and control modules.

How are Body Control Modules replaced?

Replacing any control module, including the body control module, requires removing obstruction components to gain access to the control module. The battery must be disconnected prior to removing electrical connections to the body control module, as this will prevent any power surging or unintentional grounding of battery current. Finally, the body control module fasteners and mounting brackets will be removed so the new module may be installed. Once reassembled, the body control module will receive the latest software updates from the manufacturer, and the system will be tested to prove the repair.

RepairPal Recommendations for Body Control Module issues

When replacing a control module, we recommend purchasing a new unit by providing your VIN to the manufacturer and requesting the module be bench programmed before shipping. This will add the VIN of the vehicle being repaired to the body control module, as well as program the module for all necessary functions. Even when this is done, the body control module and the powertrain control module must still be reintroduced, and this is done through a sequence native to the manufacturer of the vehicle. Instructions are normally provided with the new body control module, or the manufacturer may offer assistance.

What to look out for when dealing with Body Control Module issues

Body control modules are not interchangeable from one vehicle to the next in most cases. A used body control module may or may not permit reprogramming, and if not, the vehicle will never pass its own security protocol to enable the engine to start. This is why, as indicated previously, we recommend purchasing a new unit, pre-programmed to your VIN.

Can I replace the Body Control Module myself?

Technicians undergo extensive classroom and hands on training in able to understand the operation and diagnostics of computerized systems on today's modern vehicles. Not only is extensive knowledge required, but diagnostic equipment which is not economical to purchase for the DIYer is likely required to perform the diagnostics and repair of computerized automotive systems. It is not recommended to attempt diagnosis or repair of the body control module unless the proper tooling and skills are present.

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