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?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  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: Problem with transmission.

Your suspicions for your brake pedal sensor would be a good start, but there are also solenoids inside the shifting mechanism that could also be the culprit. You could try to wiggle the shifter as you try to shift. If...

Q: I think I have every warning light on right now

Without my knowing what the dealer did or what they’ve explained to you, I can offer you this explanation, understand that every light requires positive (+) and negative (-) in order to light up. When the ignition is on, there...

Q: integra randomly doesn't start

Hi there - several possibilities come to mind for this scenario: a poor wiring connection to a sensor involved in cold startup (coolant temperature sensor), one of the relays related to the engine (fuel, engine management, ignition) - you mention...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...