The body control module, or “BCM”, is the heart of a modern vehicle’s electrical system for all components that are not directly linked to the powertrain. The BCM receives signals from most every switch and sensor in the body, frame, and interior of the vehicle, along with data from select other systems related to the engine and transmission.
The BCM uses this data to operate components from the anti-lock brakes, cruise control, air conditioning, supplemental restraint system, anti-theft system, and many others. It also controls the lighting system, door locks, power seats, and proximity sensors. In short, there really is no electrical component on the body or frame that functions without a relationship with the BCM.
The body control module controls a wide range of components and systems in your vehicle. Unless it is a part of the engine or transmission, the BCM probably controls it or communicates with it in some fashion. Because of this, signs of a faulty BCM can number in the hundreds, and can be extremely difficult for technicians to troubleshoot and diagnose. Some of the more common signs of a faulty BCM are:
The body control module is often located inside a vehicle, beneath the dashboard or behind a kick panel. To replace the module, a technician will likely take the following general steps:
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