As one of the world’s largest automakers, Volkswagen is known for producing vehicles that are high-performance and stylish. For these cars to be enjoyable to drive, they require a regular maintenance schedule to prevent breakdown. TCM failure is one of the most common issues in Volkswagens.
It is common for Transmission Control Modules (TCM) to fail to shift gears smoothly and to cause decreased gas mileage. There are a few other warning signs worth noting to indicate that this component needs service. Let’s take a closer look.
The Importance of the Transmission Control Module (TCM)
The TCM processor interprets numerous signals sent by the engine control module of the drivetrain and produces signals to regulate the vehicle’s speed, handling, and temperature. In order for the torque converter to determine its actual rotation speed, the input speed sensor of the module sends rotational speed data to the TCM.
Also linked to the TCM is the speed sensor. Rather than manually engaging the clutch with your foot in a manual car, the speed sensor informs the TCM when to disconnect the gearbox (aka engage clutch). Additionally, the speed sensors inform the module whether the vehicle is moving downhill or uphill thereby helping the gears and tire rotation to be modified accordingly. If these sensors fail, the consequences can be disastrous for your car’s performance.
Identifying A Failing Transmission Control Module
Transmission modules resemble small computers in your car and their function is to interpret the output of the electrical sensor of the components that make up the engine of an automatic transmission. Any indications of a faulty TCM need a visit to your trusted VW repair shop:
- Difficulty Changing Gears: It is very likely that your TCM is faulty if your car is stuck in gear or if you cannot shift gears when driving. Your car’s transmission control module is one of the most important components that help to ensure that gear shifts are smooth and easy. If this component fails, your driving experience would be affected. Therefore, it is better to bring your VW to our shop right away.
- Low Gas Mileage: Another way you would know that your TCM is bad is when your vehicle begins to burn more fuel. Transmission problems often result in poor fuel economy. An automated gearbox is designed to deliver the highest potential fuel efficiency through appropriate gear selection and timing, this efficiency is hindered by a bad TCM. If you have a faulty TCM that impacts this timing, your engine will have to work harder than usual. This means it will use more petrol than normal, costing you extra money at the pump.
- Trouble Downshifting: The TCM is most likely to blame if you have trouble shifting into a lower gear. If you’re driving down the highway, your transmission should gradually shift into lower gears as you decrease your speed. When coming to a complete stop, an automatic gearbox should be in first gear so that it is ready to move when you need to get going again. If your transmission control module fails, you may still be in high gear while you slow down. When it’s time to move again, you’re in too high a gear for adequate acceleration, and you may not be unable to move at all.
- Delayed Shifting: Your vehicle’s speed is determined by cycling through various gears at the proper times. If your transmission control module is faulty, it will cycle to the next gear too slowly. This will have an effect on your acceleration, leading you to lose speed rather than gain speed. When approaching a slope, shifting performance will deteriorate even worse.
- Loud Noise: Whenever you attempt to accelerate and the engine of your vehicle gives a loud noise, it could be a sign of a faulty TCM.
- Check Engine Light: If your dashboard’s check engine light illuminates, it might signal one of several problems. However, if you notice significant shifting issues in addition to the check engine light, this is most likely to be an issue with your TCM or another component of your transmission system. In any case, have your car checked out by a professional right away, or use your own scan equipment to look for any diagnostic trouble codes. If code P0700 appears, your transmission control module may be faulty.
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