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Transmission Control Module Replacement Cost

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

The average cost for a transmission control module replacement is between $667 and $699. Labor costs are estimated between $87 and $111 while parts are priced between $580 and $588. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
Note about price: The cost of this service or repair can vary by location, your vehicle's make and model, and even your engine type. Related repairs may also be needed. Talk with a RepairPal Certified shop to learn which repairs might be right for you.

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What is a transmission control module?

The transmission control module (TCM) is a computer-like device that controls the transmission. 

How does the transmission control module work?

The TCM communicates with several other vehicle systems to determine the best settings for the transmission at any given time. The TCM also analyzes the operation of the transmission to ensure it's working as intended, and to alert the driver when there’s an issue.

The TCM plays a big role in automatic transmissions, but manual transmissions also have a control module for things like vehicle speed, temperature or even electronic shifting in dual-clutch transmissions.

What are the symptoms of a bad transmission control module?

When the TCM fails, it may make erroneous calculations, fail to connect, fail to operate, or fail to interpret data correctly. This will lead to frequent malfunctions in transmission operations and other systems.

The check engine light will come on, for starters. The exact symptoms will depend on the affected systems, and the worst-case scenario is that the vehicle won't run.

Can I drive with a bad transmission control module?

If the TCM fails, it’s likely to leave the car disabled or only functioning in one or two gears. This “limp mode” means the vehicle will be all but useless until it’s repaired. 

How often do transmission control modules need replacement?

Most vehicles won’t have a problem with the TCM. For those that do run into TCM failure, the most common mileage range is 75,000 to 125,000 miles.

How are transmission control module issues diagnosed?

When the TCM is suspected of failure, the technician will test each of its pins by comparing the current readings to what they’re supposed to be. With so many possible failure symptoms, reference materials will guide the technician through the process of locating the pins and wires that correspond to the issue at hand.

How is the transmission control module replaced?

Replacing the TCM is normally easy since it has to first be accessed for diagnostics. The hardest part can be finding the TCM. In most vehicles, it’s in the engine bay, but some manufacturers place it inside the car. It can even be located in the trunk.

Once it’s found and confirmed as the problem, the module can be unplugged and removed, and the replacement can be connected to the vehicle.

RepairPal recommendations for transmission control module issues

When dealing with electronic systems, especially if the issue pertains to a control module, we recommend thorough diagnostics before replacing parts. It would be very easy to spend hundreds of dollars on new components before realizing the issue is caused by something else.

What to look out for when dealing with transmission control module issues

If the battery is installed or jump-started incorrectly, the TCM can be destroyed, along with other sensors and wiring.

Can I replace the transmission control module myself?

Replacing the TCM on most vehicles is fairly easy, but finding it can be difficult. Plus, the new part will need to be calibrated, so this repair is usually best left to a professional.

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