What does the powertrain control module control?

Asked By: Lifeng Tabet | Last Updated: 21st March, 2020
Category: automotive auto parts
4.4/5 (304 Views . 37 Votes)
The PCM or Powertrain Control Module of your car is a critical automotive component or rather a combined control unit. The function of the Engine control Module or unit is to ensure the optimum Engine performance by controlling a set of actuators on the internal combustion engine of your cars.

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Consequently, what are the symptoms of a bad powertrain control module?

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Engine Control Module (ECM)

  • Check Engine Light Turns On.
  • Engine Stalling or Misfiring.
  • Engine Performance Issues.
  • Car Not Starting.
  • Poor Fuel Economy.

Furthermore, where is the powertrain control module? Common Locations for a PCM, ECM, or TCM To help you out, here are some examples of where the ECM is located on a few different makes and models: 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT – The engine control module or, in this case, the powertrain control module (PCM) is located in the engine compartment, on right side of firewall.

Also know, what does the powertrain control module do?

The PCM is an especially powerful computer that manages or monitors the engine's ignition system, fuel injection, emission systems, mechanical positioning of the rotating assembly, exhaust system, transmission, and any other functions related to the operation of the engine and transmission.

What causes powertrain control module failure?

PCMs typically fail for one of two reasons: voltage overloads (often due to a short in a solenoid or actuator circuit) or environmental factors (corrosion, thermal stress or vibration). If water gets inside a PCM, it can short circuits and set up irreversible corrosion that ruins electronic connections.

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Can I drive with a bad PCM?

A failing PCM disrupts the functions of many components along with the engine. As the module becomes unable to read the sensors correctly, the car won't be able to give its best performance. The state of affairs will cause the check engine and a few other error lights to come on.

Can a bad PCM cause transmission problems?

For example, poor performance or unexplained drops in fuel economy or efficiency are often related to onboard car computer problems, or faulty ECU issues. A damaged ECU can cause problems when shifting gears in an automatic transmission, or cause sudden jerking or stopping that's similar to transmission problems.

How much does it cost to reprogram powertrain control module?

Without this system working on top form, you can end up with a number of car problems. The cost of replacing your powertrain control module will be between $450 and $1,630. For labor, you can expect to pay between $45 and $125. Parts should cost you $400-$1,500.

What happens when PCM fails?

Erratic or Random Shifting
One of the most serious PCM failure symptoms is irregular shifting. This generally happens because of a faulty sensor, or because water has damaged some of the circuits in your car's PCM or TCM. A failed PCM or TCM can cause the car to get stuck in gear, which can be a serious safety issue.

How do you reset a PCM?


How Can I Reset the PCM on My Car?
  1. Open the hood of the vehicle.
  2. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery. Use a wrench to loosen the lock nut, and pull the cable off. This cuts the power to the PCM. Wait for five minutes. Reconnect the negative battery cable to the battery and close the hood of the vehicle. The PCM is now reset.

Will disconnecting battery reset PCM?

It may take a few days, but the problem will be back. Warning: Disconnecting the battery to reset the PCM on a growing number of late model (2003 and newer) vehicles can do more than erase the Keep Alive memory. But if there is a problem, the Check Engine light will come on again and the vehicle will fail the test.

Can a car run without a PCM?

Short answer is, yes - you can turn your car to the ON position without the PCM. Headlights, turn signals, four ways, all illumination will work as normal. The PCM has nothing to do with any of that.. Its only function is to interface between the car's gauges, driver input, engine and transmission.

Does a PCM need to be reprogrammed?

Reprogramming may be required for a variety of reasons. PCM Reprogramming is also necessary to change the engine idle speed, spark timing, fuel mixture or other emission control functions. PCM Reprogramming may be required to resolve a hot or cold starting issue, idle roughness, stalling, or an emissions failure.

Can a bad ABS module cause transmission problems?

Yes, ABS does affect the transmission. Namely, the vehicle speed sensor is part of the ABS system. This is where your truck reads road speed. The transmission tuning is also based on road speed, and controls when the truck upshifts, downshifts, and when to lock the torque converter.

How do you troubleshoot a PCM?


How to Troubleshoot the PCM
  1. Locate your vehicle's PCM.
  2. Look specifically at the wiring harness.
  3. Locate your vehicle's diagnostic data port.
  4. Connect your OBD-II scanner to the diagnostic data port.
  5. Push your key into the vehicle's ignition cylinder.
  6. Watch the OBD-II device's read-out screen for the codes.

Is there a fuse for the ECM?

The ECM 1 is one such computer; it has a fuse is installed to protect the computer from sudden power surges or other component damage -- the fuse will blow before any damage can reach the ECM. Many component defects can cause your ECM 1 fuse to blow.

Will a bad PCM drain battery?

A failed ECM power relay can also cause a battery drain or dead battery. If the relay shorts it can leave power on to the computer, even when the vehicle is turned off. This will place a parasitic drain on the battery, which will eventually cause it to go dead.

How do you program a PCM?

Turn your car's ignition on, connect your scan tool to the OBD II connector on the PCM and then turn the scan tool to its "On" position. Depending on the make of your car, you will have to select several specifications regarding your vehicle (engine and fuel system details).