Powertrain modules are
used in motor vehicles as automotive components.
modules are commonly abbreviated as PCM.
These are electronic
control units. The combined control unit consists of an engine control unit and transmission
These PCM units
commonly control about five units in an automobile.
The powertrain control
module can be called as the brain of an engine control system; therefore, the malfunctioning of
the PCM can result in the dysfunction of charging system, transmission and emission controls of
We can analyze the
vehicle using a card reader. While using the card reader, if we find some fault with the PCM, it
should be reflected as a code in the card reading mechanism.
Why do PCMs commonly
fail? PCMs fail mainly because of two reasons. They may fail due to voltage overloads or due to
The short in a
solenoid may cause a voltage overload and lead to the failure of a PCM.
corrosion, thermal stress or vibrations may cause the same failures in powertrain control
gets inside a PCM, it may short the circuits and set up irreversible corrosion which can completely destroy
electronic connections. The micro cracks formed in the circuit boards because of environmental factors also can
cause the PCMs to fail.
identification of the PCM and its correct replacement is very much necessary. It must be replaced in a right
manner, or else it can create issues in the entire vehicle operating system. A vehicle’s year, make, model,
engine number, size, OEM part number of the PCM etc are necessary for identifying the PCM in an accurate
PCMs – Powertrain Control Modules
Power train control modules are really expensive to be manufactured. So, the remanufactured PCMs are used widely. A
PCM’s rebuild process is different from that of a water pump rebuilding. Testing the PCM is the main function of
remanufacturing here as there are no mechanical parts to wear out.
A remanufactured PCM is
sold in two ways. Sometimes it is sold on an exchange basis from stock. It is also sold on a custom rebuild
PCM – Replacement Tips
Where is the
powertrain control module located? Replacing a PCM may become a problem on some vehicles
because it is often placed under other components in the instrument panel. Many PCMs are located under a seat
and require removing the seat. Before installing the replacement PCM, the battery should be
A scan tool is used
widely after installing the new PCM in the vehicle. It is used for reprogramming the entire
The power train
control module may take a bit of time to study the habit of a driver and act accordingly, if it
controls transmission too.
If the malfunction
indicator amp or check engine light comes back on after the replacement of the power train
control module, the problem with the vehicle is evident.
Then, more diagnosis
is required and it should be rectified immediately by a professional.