If we dig deeper into the structure of our cars, we’re sure to come across the so-called body control module or BCM. Cars can’t go on without this.
The BCM is the one that controls the different security systems our cars may have. Thus, we can’t be sure with our safety on the road if the body control module is already in trouble without our knowledge.
So, how can you tell your car’s BCM is failing? In this post, I will let you know the subtle signs of bad body control module symptoms.
What does the Body Control Module Do?
The body control module helps you determine which system has stopped working properly. It can amazingly detect, diagnose, and report the discovered issue. It has a very crucial role in the car by maintaining and supporting control over the different functions.
If the body control module is the one in trouble, it can either mask or cause the issues in other car modules. The issues associated with BCM will start with different events that may lead to severe damages to your car. The key to preventing these possible problems from occurring in the first place will be to keep the body control module well-maintained.
What are the Symptoms of a Bad Body Control Module?
One way to detect the issue is to test a body control module. Alternatively, you’ll know your BCM is no longer working once you notice these symptomss in your car:
- Electronics, such as keyless entries and windshield wipers are no longer working properly. If the communication between the ignition switch or the keyless entries and the body control module got an issue, the bad BCM can cause a car not to start.
- Flashing dashboard lights and incorrect dashboard lights. For instance, you found that your engine light that should work is not working anymore. It can also be the opposite. The light is on though it should not be.
- Watch out for the high-speed shake. When your car suddenly becomes slightly unstable, or it misfires once your car runs faster than the usual, it means the body control module is not communicating or synchronizing various systems within.
- Poor acceleration is also a symptom. When your acceleration is not smooth, your car may also experience BCM failure.
- Fuse trouble can also take place. If the fuse is in trouble, it signifies the BCM is not working properly anymore.
What Causes Body Control Module Problems?
Several factors often trigger the BCM to fail. I suggest keeping an eye on the following events so that you will know how they can affect and harm your body control module. The symptoms of a failing BCM will appear as soon as these events take place:
1. Water Contamination
The body control module is usually waterproof. However, there can be one or any other way the water can get into it and cause harm. Once the water managed to penetrate your BCM, the sensors will experience a short circuit that makes them incapable of reading the data correctly and accurately.
2. Extreme Heat
Leaving the BCM exposed to intense heat can cause significant damages to the system, which is true, especially in summer. In this case, a system can be undermined, failing to give you the best results. Too much heat comes from the engine of the car and its surroundings.
3. Widespread Shock
The body control module may fail if your car deals with shock due to a collision or any other related accidents. The only way to prevent shock is to be responsible enough every time you drive. It ensures not just your safety but also the overall safety of your car.
4. Tear & Wear
Let’s face it. Our BCM will eventually fail. No matter what we do, whether we like it or not, it will happen in the long run. Everything in our car is subject to wear and tear. It is a normal thing that we cannot do anything to prevent it from occurring.
5. Extensive Vibration or Shaking
The unusual vibration that tends to occur several times throughout your trip can also make your body control module more vulnerable to malfunction. Rough and rocky roads and other similar locations can be too harmful to the BCM of your car, leading it to damage and failure.
Body Control Module Replacement and Cost
So, you might have discovered the windshield wipers are slightly finicky, or the keyless entry is not working properly. Do those things matter a lot? Yes, they do. The BCM regulates the warning lights that should show up right away when something wrong is happening within your car.
These lights may help you in getting your vehicle to the mechanic before anything worse happens. If one of those electrical systems of your car malfunctioned suddenly, it might be the right time for bringing your car to someone like me in your area to replace your car’s problematic BCM.
Replacing a bad BCM is not a big problem as it seems. It is not too expensive than you think. Once you visit the nearest auto parts shop, you must be able to get a new body control module for your car model for less than $100 and do the job on your own (only if you can).
DIY bad BCM replacement is a practical choice only if you have automotive experience and basic skills. If you don’t know anything about repairing cars, you better not try doing it. You may incur additional expenses if you do it incorrectly.
If you visit your trusted mechanic to avail of his professional service, then you may pay a few more for the new BCM and the service. Don’t hesitate to ask if the body control module reset is possible. Whatever the case, replacing a broken body control module as soon as you detected the issue would save you from any more complicated and expensive issues. Don’t waste your time.
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A malfunctioning body control module is a major culprit of different automotive problems. You should take care of it. Likewise, it needs to be replaced as soon as you learned, it is no longer working properly.
James is a certified auto technician specializing in commercial vehicles. With 30 years of experience under his belt, James has encountered almost every type of automotive issue there is! Besides his day job at the repair shop, he is also an amateur race car driver.