Body Control Module
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You can think of the body control module (BCM) of your vehicle like the central nervous system in your body. The nervous system controls coordination in the human body by transmitting signals. Meanwhile, the control module regulates the operation and coordination between the different parts of the car also by using signals of some sort. The various electronic parts of your vehicle are actually controlled by a module-from your car lights to the simple door locks; each part has a module that controls it. In today's automotive setups, these modules are already operating under a single assembly-they are now controlled by the body control module. It may seem like the module performs a very complex function, and in a way it does, what with all the numerous devices that it operates. However, it makes its function simple by working with a wide range of input and output devices. Input devices refer to components that feed data into the module (such as sensors and variable resistors) to help the module determine its response. Meanwhile, output devices are those that the module utilizes to produce its response to the input sent to it. These parts could include relays and solenoids that turn devices on and off or move them.The body control module makes everything simpler in the operation of your car's electronic devices. However, while this offers a wide range of benefits over the previous setup, it also poses a new set of problems. When the BCM malfunctions, this will have a negative effect on the operation of the various parts that the module controls. You might notice the intermittent operation of such components as the power windows, door locks, and your auto lights. In certain instances, these parts may even refuse to operate at all. If you notice any of these signs and you find no problem in the components that make them up, one possible culprit behind the problem is the body control module. Replace the module at once and restore the operation of the various electronic parts of your car. Here at Auto Parts Warehouse, you'll find top-quality modules for different vehicle makes and models, all of which sourced from leading auto parts manufacturers in the industry. Just browse our catalog to find the module that's compatible with your auto, or use our site's part finder feature to narrow down your search. And if you need help, just get in touch with our agents for assistance.
Dos and Don'ts in Choosing the Right Body Control Module
Just like the human body, your car is made up of numerous interconnected systems that work together to let it function effectively. In the center of all these systems is your body control module (BCM). Acting as the brain of your car, this part controls numerous automotive technologies, from your power windows down to your energy distributors. This is how important your BCM is to your car. So if you need to replace your car's central control system, be sure you know the dos and don'ts of shopping for a new body control module.
- Know your car's needs. Does your car have automatic central locking and power windows? Then you would need a Central control unit for lighting, access, radio remote control, comfort and power. But if you car has needs to electronically control its speed and power, it is best to purchase a more integrated BCM system.
- Research the brand of BCM you're planning to buy. Since the BCM is made out of separate modules under one component, you have to make sure that each part is properly measured and ensured to work properly with the rest of car. To do this, you have to make sure that the brand is known for its technical know-how on automotive electronics.
- Compare the prices and warranties of an OEM replacement part and a refurbished BCM. There is no real way to know which of the two are of better quality. So as a precaution know the replacement cost for each option. Although refurbished parts are relatively cheaper, costs could eventually add up. This usually happens when rebuilding the part is more expensive than a new OEM module.
- Don't rely too much on the quality of hardware of the BCM. Since it is a computer system fitted to your car, you must also check on the kind of software it has. Ask your dealer to test the functions of the product before hand to ensure that it is working according to specifications.
- Don't purchase second-hand or aftermarket products. Your body control module is a very sensitive network of modules and therefore you have to know what it's been through. In fact you have to ensure that it hasn't been through anything and that it is brand new to ensure it works perfectly with the rest of your car.
- Don't limit yourself to buying parts from your local dealer. Although it is recommended to buy OEM parts instead of aftermarket products, your dealers are not the only ones who have them. Shopping online is also a good option. You have wider variety of choices and you can easily quote prices from different brands. You can also read reviews from people who have purchased the product themselves.
Body Control Module Installation for DIYers
Do your interior lights keep flashing? Are your door locks malfunctioning? If you've gone through all the diagnostic flowcharts and you still don't know what's wrong with your car, then a trip to your body control module is a must. Since replacing this part is fairly easy, a lot of DIYers disregard proper procedures when handling their body control modules. Don't be one of them! Here's a step-by-step guide to ensure proper installation of your new body control module.
Difficulty level: Easy to moderate
Tools you'll need:
- Body control module replacement
- Ratchet and socket set
Step 1: Preparing your car
Before working on anything electrical in your car, be sure to disconnect the negative cable from the battery. Use a wrench or ratchet to remove the cable.
Step 2: Locating your body control module (BCM)
The body control module is usually located behind your car's glove box or under the center console. If you can't find it there, you can refer to your car's factory service manual. To get access to your body control module, take out your glove box or center console and remove the screws and bolts holding it in place.
Step 3: Removing your BCM
Disconnect your body control module from the base. Start with pulling out the bolts that holds in place. You will also see a connector clip somewhere around the module. Using a bit of force, pull the connector firmly to complete release the module.
Step 4: Installing your new body control module
Install the new body control module in place. Reattach the connector and tightly secure it with the bolts from step 4.
Step 5: Finishing touches
Reassemble your glove box or center console.
Step 6: Testing the body control module
Now that you've completely installed your new body control module, you can reconnect the negative cable to your body. Start your engine to check if everything is working perfectly.