Understanding the basics of how a car performs can prove to be quite difficult for the average driver. The body control module is important for your car’s functioning, but it’s role is rather complex. In this article we’ll go over some basic information about the body control module that may prove to be helpful.
What is the Body Control Module and What Does it Do?
No matter what kind of car you drive, the body control module plays a central part in how your vehicle functions. Today’s cars are designed to be electronically controlled by several different modules or units throughout the vehicle, all of which must communicate with one another for optimal functioning. The body control module is the “central intelligence” for your car, where information and processes of the other control modules are streamlined and efficiently connected to one another. Many important vehicle functions rely on the body control module in order to work well, and when the central module isn’t functioning properly it can lead to noticeable problems in your car.
What to Look Out for When the BCM Isn’t Working Properly
Keeping an eye on how your car runs daily is an important part of noticing troubling symptoms to follow up on. Furthermore, since your mechanic will want to re-create the car’s difficulties in the shop, the symptoms you notice should be reported to your automotive specialist for more efficient and accurate diagnosis. When the body control module (BCM) isn’t working correctly, you might notice one or more of the following signs of trouble:
Problems Starting the Engine
Since the body control module plays a critical role in helping the various systems and other modules communicate, this includes ignition and combustion processes as well. If the BCM fails, it can often lead to difficulty starting the engine, as the necessary parts aren’t able to adequately communicate. This is highly inconvenient for drivers, and may result in replacing the BCM.
Frequently Dead Battery
Car batteries aren’t meant to hold their charge forever; they are re-charged as we drive and the alternator regenerates some of the battery’s power. However, one of the problems created by a failing body control module is full draining of the battery. This symptom is produced when the BCM doesn’t properly shut off the electronic components of your car once it has stopped operating. If you frequently get into your car only to find a drained battery, your reliable automotive specialist will want to conduct a battery test to rule-out battery issues as the source of the problem first.
Besides your car’s overall functioning, the BCM helps to operate most of the tertiary electrical components, such as the headlights, cabin lights, wiper blades, door locks, window controls, and other accessories such as the radio and navigation. Losing some of these components may be tolerable for drivers, but without such critical functions as working headlights and door locks can pose a safety and security threat. It is important to have the problem diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
Check-Engine Light or Dashboard Warnings
Usually when the body control module begins to malfunction it will alert the driver via the dashboard warning lights, such as the check-engine light; however, because the BCM has its hand in other important functions and systems, it is common for other warning lights to illuminate as well, such as the anti-lock brake light. These indications of BCM failure should be taken to an automotive specialist for accurate diagnosis.
Why It’s Important to Hire an Automotive Specialist
Although the BCM is integral to most cars on the road today, the component varies greatly across brands and models. Therefore, it is critical to hire an automotive shop that specializes in the particular type of car you drive. Making sure your car receives specialized care can save you money, time, and energy that otherwise could be devoted to a long, drawn-out, and inaccurate diagnostic process at another generic shop.
How We Can Help You
Here at Auto Europa in San Francisco, CA, we treat every client as if they were a part of our own family; that is, their safety and security on the road is our top priority. Specializing in European import vehicles such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar, we offer services as simple as oil changes or as complex as body control module replacement and repair. If you have experienced any of the above-mentioned symptoms of BCM failure in your own car, please call us today to schedule a diagnostic appointment.