Q: TCM causes engine light to come on, but no transmission problems - is it safe to drive it?

asked by on

Nearly a year ago my car engine light came on. It was diagnosed by the dealership to be a fault in the TCM. They recommended replacing it which I had them do. They replaced it with a used module as the part can no longer be obtained new. It had a two month warranty. At 3 months the engine light came on. I was still have no other sign of any transmission problem, just the light. I have been driving it since, for about five months, with no transmission issues experienced. Is it safe to drive the car? My car now needs about $1200 in other repairs (oil pan and gasket and front brakes). The only thing stopping me from making the repairs is the TCM issue. Can I just continue driving it like that or is it really not a good idea? I just forsee putting in module after module and having the same fault reoccur over and over.....

My car has 160000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The first thing I would do is scan the vehicle for codes to determine if the TCM is still the issue. If codes for the TCM appear, depending on the code and the problem, you may be fine to drive that away. There is no way of telling how long the transmission will last, so it is a gamble to have the other repairs done. I would certainly get the brakes done as this is a safety issue, and get roadside assistance in case your vehicle’s transmission decides to fail unexpectedly. If you would like to have this all checked, a professional from YourMechanic can come to your location to inspect the car for you and recommend the correct actions.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. TCM causes engine light to come on, but no transmission problems - is it safe to drive it?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car goes into reverse, but not drive

Hi. There are a few things to check before condemning the transmission. Check the fluid level. The shifter linkage, and for trouble codes. There are not any electronics involved in reverse. If all that is ok, most likely it will...

Q: Oil indicator light on

I think that one of two things could be happening with your 2007 BMW 750 Li. The first of which is that you may be burning oil. If you are burning oil, you would see bluish white smoke coming from...

Q: Clicking noise at lowspeed turns, vibration when stopping abruptly, mechanic said need axles & no grease left. how long do i have?

As for "how long you have", unfortunately you needed to replace them when they were mentioned. With no grease to protect and lubricate them, the clicking noise you hear is the joints basically grinding themselves apart. Is this potentially dangerous?...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.