How Do You Reset A Transmission Control Module?

Transmission Control Modules (TCMs) directly regulate the power and speed of a car’s transmission. This helps to now restrict the power and speed of the gearbox in a car. Transmission control modules increase efficiency while increasing the capacity of the wheels. 

They are incorporated into each car’s computer in more recent models. Additionally, this makes it easier to determine the precise location and timing of the gear lever to achieve the desired speed. Consequently, driving your car becomes more challenging when the TCM has issues.

However, when these transmission control modules malfunction, they can lead to severe check engine failure and irregular and erratic shifting. As a result, drivers will typically replace the TCM. However, replacement is exceedingly expensive and frequently unnecessary. This article is ideal for you if you’ve been looking for information on how to reset a transmission control module.

Table of Contents

What causes a TCM to fail?

How Do You Reset A Transmission Control Module

There are several reasons why your transmission control may fail. Lack of maintenance is the main reason for transmission failure. Inadequate car maintenance can result in malfunctioning systems and long-term damage to a person’s vehicle. 

Your transmission control could malfunction for several causes, ranging from a malfunctioning TCM circuit board to ordinary wear and tear on the module’s components. The gearbox control module may become damaged by engine heat as well. Let’s look at some of the reasons that cause a TCM to fail occurs.

Excessive vibration

The TCM’s components will be crushed by excessive vibration. The transmission control module malfunctions as a result.

Mechanical consequences

The TCM will not start, its functional components won’t receive the power required, and the TCM circuit board will malfunction if no voltage is supplied.


Some electronic parts on the TCM circuit board may melt due to the engine’s heat. In addition, it frequently leads to malfunctioning transmission control modules.

Faulty solenoid

Unpredictable gear shifts when starting the engine, flat spots, unexpected acceleration when driving, etc., are signs of defective solenoid coils inside the TCM circuit board. One of the leading causes of transmission control module failure is this. 

The transmission control module will be harmed and may fail if any faulty or loose connections are discovered in the solenoid or any component.

The improper voltage going to the TCM circuit board

The TCM circuit board receiving an improper voltage primarily contributes to transmission control module failure.

For instance, if you test with a soft start, your car’s transmission will shift up when it starts. This is caused by improper TCM wiring or electricity from a burned-out relay reaching the IC.

Circuit boards for TCM have faulty wiring

It frequently occurs in a lot of automobiles. The wiring in the established connections begins to get loose over time, gets worse, and eventually becomes seriously flexible.

How to test the transmission control module?

How Do You Reset A Transmission Control Module

Several signs can confirm the functionality of your transmission control module. So, if you watch for these symptoms, you can have the transmission module fixed or replaced before it harms other vehicle components.

Excessive fuel consumption

Due to the high fuel requirements of automatic gearboxes and automatic transmissions, this issue affects all vehicles with these systems. So, the most straightforward approach to determine if your automobile has terrible news is to look at fuel efficiency.

If you notice that fuel efficiency is dropping, your transmission is not operating correctly, so you should determine whether or not there is a problem.

Difficulty shifting to higher gears

Upshifting may be difficult if your transmission module is the issue. As you shift, the automated gearbox moves the load through four ratios. Therefore, the transmission module must malfunction if you experience difficulty turning into higher ratios. To accomplish this, you must modify or replace the transmission module and fix the issue.

Stuck in the same gear

This occurs when it refuses to shift into a particular gear or shifts into one gear rather than another. Again, if you regularly vary your speed when driving long distances, this will be a problem. The matter will worsen if you realize that the car can no longer shift into a specific gear. You’ll find it challenging since, even at modest speeds, it won’t move up or down.

When your automobile refuses to shift into any gear, there is likely a problem with the transmission module, and you should have it looked at.

Delay in changing gear

Delayed shifts or difficult shifting are the most frequent issues with automatic transmissions, and these issues can be fixed by switching the transmission module. So if you notice that your car does not shift smoothly, the information is the cause.

The first sign is that you downshift even when you are not accelerating. As a result, the people in the automobile, especially those in the front seats, constantly experience discomfort, just like they would from jitters and shaky beginnings.

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What does resetting the transmission control module do?

A transmission control module’s primary function is to precisely supply the appropriate engine modifications for the car’s engine to run at its best. The best engine performance for the vehicle can be obtained by resetting the transmission control module. 

For example, removing the power supply position and leaving it on for five minutes will reset it.

How do you reset a transmission control module?

Below are the steps on how to reset the transmission control module.

Step 1: Turn the critical position

Examine the critical position before resetting the transmission control module. You must first switch the crucial role to 2. Verify sure the lights on the instrument panel are on. It is optional to start the car in the first step by pressing the accelerator. Make sure you enter the correct number in the “KEY” position. The dashboard lights will also turn on at the exact moment. The engine should be started later.

Step 2: Put your foot on the gas pedal

You just need to press the accelerator pedal after finishing the initial step. To turn on the kick-down switch, depress the accelerator pedal. Almost all of your foot should be on the ground. For 10 to 15 seconds, keep your foot on the gas.

Step 3: Turn the key off and let off the gas pedal

Turn the ignition off once more while maintaining the gas pedal depressed.

Step 4: Hold on

You must now wait a little while. You must avoid disturbing the vehicle’s electrical systems by not opening the door. Wait for 2 to 5 minutes.

Step 5: Ready to run

The Engine Control Unit (ECU) and Transmission Control Unit (TCU) work together after you complete this operation to learn how to drive by observing your driving habits. Your car is now ready for the road. 

Driving regularly will help your transmission learn how to react to your throttle input the way you want it to. If following these instructions doesn’t solve the issue, your ECU’s other parts might malfunction.

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How do you reprogram a transmission control module?

You don’t need any mechanical tools to complete this at home. You can reset the adaptive memory in your transmission by reprogramming the transmission control module. But it would help if you did so while traveling at a moderate pace, and you cannot do this while driving. 

This procedure also entails disconnecting the battery of your automobile. This is not advised for some models and should be done with caution as there is a possibility of electric shock.

  • Before you begin, disconnect your battery’s negative cable. If you accidentally touch it while working close to the auto computer, this will prevent an electric shock.
  • Your starter solenoid and the battery should both have the positive cable disconnected.
  • Take off the transmission control module for your car.
  • On your TCM’s harness connector, locate a gray wire with a black or white striped end. When you put it in neutral or park, this wire determines whether your car enters fail-safe mode (P).
  • Put your transmission in the park if you have an automatic or uninterested if you have a manual after connecting your multimeter to this wire and grounding it.
  • As you did earlier, connect your battery cables in the reserve order, then start your engine and let it run for 20 seconds before shutting it off.
  • As you reconnect and replace the TCM, detach the battery cables and leave them that way.
  • Make that the signal wire connectors are placed back in their original places.
  • You can restart your car after replacing the battery and TCM.
  • Your TCM should now be reset and functioning normally.

The power and speed of a car’s gearbox are directly regulated by transmission control modules (TCMs). This assists in controlling the power and speed of a car’s transmission. Utilizing transmission control modules, power to the wheels is increased while efficiency is raised. In more current models, they are included in every car’s computer.

Turn the key in the position before resetting the transmission control module. Put your foot on the gas pedal next. After that, turn the key off and let off the gas pedal. Finally, your car is prepared to move after a 5- to 10-minute wait.

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Does a transmission control module need to be programmed?

When a new TCM is installed in one of these vehicles, it must be programmed using dealer-level equipment or an equivalent inside the car.

What happens when you reset your transmission?

When the transmission is reset, the transmission control unit also resets. It entails returning the time, and pressure values for the stored shifts gradually learned to default levels.

Will disconnecting the battery reset TCM?

When the battery is disconnected, the TCM is reset, and all your radio presets, clock settings, and door lock combinations are removed.

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