If you are driving a car with automatic transmission, it has a TCM or transmission control module. When your vehicle is in trouble, it is the one that sends OBD2 codes to your car’s computer. So, you must know where it is situated. In this article, I’ll discuss the transmission control module location for various models of vehicles.
The typical location of the transmission control module of a car is under the cover behind the transmission case. It is usually just beneath the position of the engine control unit. Some vehicles have it at the center console underneath or inside the hood close to the inner fender panel or the car battery.
You can find the locations of the transmission control modules of different car models in various places. You will find its exact location inside the transmission in many cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks.
Read on to learn more about the location of the transmission control module in different car models.
Transmission Control Module Location
In many car models, you can usually find the transmission control module under the cover at the back of the transmission case. Typically, it will be just under the position of the engine control unit.
In some cars, it can be found beneath the center console below or inside the hood close to the car battery or the inner fender panel.
You can uncover your TCM in several ways if you don’t know its location. It can be found around your car’s footwell, under the center console, inside your glove box, or on the transmission itself.
The TCM can be found in the transmission itself in most modern vehicles, such as SUVs, pickup trucks, and cars.
TCMs are not found in vehicles with manual transmissions. In TCM, the module shifts the gears, but in cars with a manual transmission, the drivers shift the gears.
What Is a Transmission Control Module?
TCM is the shortened word for the transmission control module. It is similar to the engine control unit or ECU in that it is also an electrical component used by modern cars.
It specifically oversees the correct operation of the transmission and the transaxle. That’s why its functions vary widely.
The TCM receives data or information from different sensors in the system. The TCM process this sensory data to create specific signals and commands.
To ensure that the vehicle’s operation is always correct, the commands given by the TCM are sent to specific components in the system.
The TCM is crucial in correctly operating a vehicle’s transmission, gear shifts, or transfers. Instead of relying on mechanical or hydraulic control over a transmission system, modern cars are now using TCMs.
So, a TCM is designed for vehicles with automatic transmissions. Its purpose is to control a vehicle’s transmission by assisting its automatic transmission to select the best gear it needs to be in at any given time.
This will help the vehicle operate at its optimum level and improve its fuel economy.
Where Is the Transmission Control Module Located?
As I have already mentioned, and as you will discover when you research TCMs, their location depends on the brand and model of the car. In other words, there is no single, standard location of TCMs in modern automobiles.
In most vehicles, the usual place you will find the TCM is below its center console. That’s why most TCMs are hard to access. You must remove or disassemble some of your car’s interior and exterior features to reach its TCM.
So, before starting your hunt, you must be sure where it is located, whether inside the gearbox or in the transmission itself. Its position depends on your car’s brand, model and make, and internal layout.
There is a sure way to know where it is located. If you refer to your car’s repair manual, there might be a page that details its location.
Another way is to ask the dealer where you bought your car or a well-experienced car mechanic working with the same car make and model you own.
Now, we are ready to discuss the specific locations of the TCMs of different vehicles:
The transmission module of the 4160e transmission is typically located under cover of the back of the transmission case. More often, you will find it just under the engine control module.
It is in this position because, as a little diagnostic computer that controls the operation of the 4l60e automatic transmission, it must be close to the transmission.
But this 4l60e TCM could also be positioned in the following locations:
- On the transmission side (especially for the latest models)
- In the trunk of the car (in some vehicle makes and models)
- Beneath the hood (in older car models)
The TMC of the 4160e is a critical component of your vehicle. Its work controls fuel flow efficiency from the engine to the transmission gears. It uses many sensors to detect issues arising from the process and control them before they cause a big problem.
The TMC of the 4180e (or 4L80e) is usually located close to the fuse the under the vehicle’s hood. Only a dealer of GM can program this transmission control module. This GM 4L80e or 4I80e can control this versatile transmission manufactured by General Motors.
The TCM is used by GM heavy-duty trucks like utility vans, SUVs, and big trucks. They include an SUV, the Chevrolet Suburban, a truck, the Chevrolet Silverado, the Chevrolet C/K, and the GM Sierra.
The 4180e or 4L80e has a robust design and can handle heavy loads. This is why it is the favorite choice of many custom-built vehicles.
The 4180e is even used in drag racing applications where the amount of horsepower produced sometimes exceeds 700 hp.
The TCMs of Mercedes vehicles are usually under the cover at the rear of the transmission case or the engine control module.
However, Mercedes cars have them below the center console inside, while others are below the hood, close to the inner fender panel or the car battery.
4. Ford F150
The transmission control module of the Ford F150 is typically located on the transmission housing. Some mechanics say that it is inside the transmission housing. You will find this transmission housing under the car’s hood.
Some also say it is also below the rear of the transmission itself. For a 2009 Ford F150, one person is sure it is located behind the LH Kick Panel or on the truck’s passenger side right up in the kick panel.
Again, where is the transmission control module located? The transmission control module is usually below the transmission case’s cover or below the engine control module. Or you can also find it under the interior’s center console or the hood close to the battery.
You will find the transmission control module of a Subaru below the cover at the back of the transmission housing. Typically, it is under the engine control module.
There are Subaru models where the TCM is located below the center console at the inner portion. You can find it under the hood close to the inner fender panel or the car battery.
This TCM is difficult to access because it is often below the dashboard after the vehicle’s steering column.
But you can get the best look if you stand outside the car and place your head below the steering column. There, you can easily spot Subaru’s TCM.
The transmission control module of a Duramax vehicle is usually located under the seat of the front passenger. It is easily accessible and is not difficult to reach. However, some mechanics say you can find it on the radiator/fan shroud.
They say it is located at the front of the engine, next to the car battery. The TCM has a couple of ribbed pins that are sticking out. Perhaps these pins are there for cooling the computer module.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Transmission Control Module?
If your vehicle’s TCM is already in disrepair, you need to replace it, for it serves a vital role in the efficient operation of your car. But how much does a TCM replacement cost? The current running price of a TCM ranges from $500 to $900.
This cost covers the labor and parts. The typical labor cost can run from $50 to $200, while parts can generally range from $450 to $700. As you can see, most of the cost goes to replacing parts. This cost will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
How about if you will do it yourself? If you want to travel this route, you can expect your cost to be just under $300 or a little more. That’s because you will only be paying for the parts. Since you’re the one doing the work, you don’t have to pay for labor.
What to Do When You Are Having Trouble Locating the Transmission Control Module?
Are you still finding it challenging to locate the TCM of your vehicle? If so, look at the wiring harness attached to a black box under the hood of your car. The size of this box is about 3 to 5 inches wide and around 1 inch thick. It is made of steel, usually.
You can find it through an access panel, or you will remove the fuse box cover. The majority of TCMs are in a black plastic box. This box has two connectors where the electrical connections happen. It also has a connector for a diagnostic tool.
All TCMs have an identification number. Car mechanics use this ID number to find information about the specification of the TCM recorded in the owner’s manual. They also use this ID number to confirm your vehicle’s make and model year.
Our topic for today is a bit technical. So, you probably have some questions that you want to be answered. Perhaps the answer you are looking for is included in the list below:
Do All Vehicles Have TCMs?
Cars with manual transmissions are not equipped with TCMs. Only vehicles with automatic transmissions have TCMs. A TCM is designed to make automatic transmission vehicles’ gear shifting more smoothly and refined.
An automatic car can run without a TCM, but its gear shifting will not be as efficient as when it uses a TCM. If an automatic car runs without a TCM, its fuel efficiency will decrease. Over time, the car engine will bear the wear and tear of not being equipped with a TCM.
Most modern cars you see running on the streets of the United States and other countries worldwide are using their own TCMs. Only old manual transmission cars and old automatic cars are the vehicles that are still running without using TCMs.
Typically, the transmission control module of a vehicle is located under the cover behind the transmission case. Most vehicles place it just beneath the location of the engine control unit.
Several vehicles install the ECU at the middle console beneath or inside the hood near the inner fender or the car battery.