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How Do You Reset A Transmission Control Module?

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A transmission control module regulates the automated shifting of gears. It is responsible for choosing the best gear to shift to and at what time. So is it possible to reset a transmission control module? It is very possible. But how do you reset a transmission control module? Different vehicle models come with their own unique techniques for resetting this module. 

You can check the vehicle’s user’s manual for instructions on how to reset this module. You might get lucky to find detailed instructions from the vehicle’s manufacturer. If you don’t get these directions you might have to check different online forums. 

You can also disconnect the battery terminals for some time. Disconnecting the battery for a duration of time drains the car’s computer systems and should ideally reset the transmission control module. This method works for many regular vehicles in the market.

Does a Transmission Control Module Need to be Programmed?


A transmission control module needs to be programmed when first installed in the vehicle. This programming goes for most modern vehicles with a 6-speed automatic transmission. There are several online forums that suggest you can program the module yourself. While it is possible, you would need access to the manufacturer’s software and equipment in order to manage this.

You may struggle to manage the programming feat if you do not have the right expertise and equipment. It is advisable to go to a dealership or trusted transmission expert to have a new transmission control module installed and programmed. This helps you avoid the hassle of doing it wrong and probably damaging other components along the way.

Does a Used Transmission Control Module Need Reprogramming?

Many vehicle owners might sometimes find themselves replacing some car parts with used car spares. You might find yourself thinking about getting a used transmission control module to replace your existing one. If you choose to get this module from a similar car model then it will not need reprogramming. 

You will need to reprogram a used module if you do not like how it is shifting gears. Everyone has an individual way of driving. The previous module owner may have been an aggressive driver and you are a gentle driver. If you want your own kind of driving experience then it is wiser to reprogram the module.

How Do I Reset My Transmission?

How Do I Reset My Transmission

Resetting your transmission is an easy process for most modern vehicles. There’s a universal method used across these vehicles, though a few brands require a different approach. The first step is to turn the vehicle on with the key so that the dashboard powers on and you can see the dashboard lights turn on. Two turns of the key should get you to this point.

Ensure you do not ignite the engine. Once there, depress the gas pedal past the kick-down switch. You will know you have activated the kick-down switch once you hear a click. You should ideally have the gas pedal to the floor. Hold the gas pedal in this position for about 15 seconds.

Next, switch off the car and then release the gas pedal. Finally, wait for about 5 minutes without fiddling with anything in the car. Do not open the door or, turn any parts of the car on. Simply sit and wait till 5 minutes have elapsed. 

Once you have completed this procedure you will then need to help the vehicle relearn how you drive. If you desire to have smooth gear shifts then you should drive the car gently for a few hours. This resetting method should solve gear shift issues. Take it to a reputable mechanic if it does not help you eliminate your trouble.

How Do I Check A Transmission Control Module?

How Do I Check A Transmission Control Module

The first step to checking a transmission control module is locating it. Modules are located in different places depending on the car model. You can find the module on the rear of the transmission, underneath the engine control module, near the battery, or at the center console of a vehicle. You can check the user’s manual to narrow down the location.

A module gives an error code when it is not functioning properly. You can find the error code by using a diagnostics kit. You can then check the car’s manual to interpret the error code for you. You can fix several of these error codes using the transmission software made for your particular module. 

The problem with fixing a module yourself is accessing the software needed, getting the tools needed for diagnostics and repair, as well as the expertise needed. Taking the vehicle to a certified transmission professional will be your best bet for solving transmission problems.

What Happens When A Transmission Control Module Goes Bad?

What Happens When A Transmission Control Module Goes Bad

Problem-shifting gears are one of the signs you get to indicate a failing transmission control module. The “check engine” light accompanying the shifting problem will indicate a problem with your module. 

Uncontrollable shifting is yet another sign that your module is failing. It may make the car shift into gears that would never shift in those situations. Such irregular shifting can lead to accidents at worst and should be corrected swiftly.

Another indicator of a problematic module is the inability of your vehicle to shift to higher gears. This problem prevents you from getting to higher speeds and also from lowering the engine’s revolutions per minute. 

Another problem similar to the one above is when the transmission fails to downshift to lower gears. This prevents you from taking off if your car has gotten stuck in high gear while at a standstill. Related to this is when your transmission cannot shift from either neutral or the first gear, making it impossible to move. If you do move it will be at a snail’s pace in the first gear.

A problematic module will also have you spending more on gas as the engine labors more. When your module fails to shift to the appropriate gears for different scenarios the engine works harder to compensate, having the car burn more gas per mile. 

How Much Does It Cost To Reprogram A Transmission Control Module?

The cost of reprogramming a transmission control module is between $75 and $250. Most local mechanics can reprogram your module for you as long as they have the expertise. Your best bet is to have the module reprogrammed by the dealership if you do not have a trusted mechanic.

Will Disconnecting the Battery Reset TCM?

Will Disconnecting the Battery Reset TCM

Many people profess that disconnecting the battery resets the TCM. This solution works for most popular vehicles. Other vehicles like the Chevy and Mercedes have the specialized way of resetting the TCM explained above. Do your research on your specific vehicle before choosing a resetting method. 

Final Thoughts

A transmission control module is essential to the fluid shifting of your vehicle as you drive it. A faulty module can be a nuisance and a hazard. You can always reset it using the methods given here if it is shifting unevenly. But shifting errors need to be checked by a professional. 

Have you had a problem with your TCM before and how did you fix it?

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