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Can a Bad BCM Cause a Car Not to Start?

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What does BCM stand for? Body Control Module—a powerful control unit that is responsible for monitoring and controlling all other sub-computers in your car. It is in charge of managing all your automotive electronic systems such as security systems, electric locks, car lights, power mirrors, and air conditioning systems.

Each BCM is manufactured differently and has functions exclusive to specific car makes and models. Some BCMs focus only on overseeing the car’s electrical accessories while others, together with ECUs (Electronic Control Units), are capable of controlling more advanced components like the fuel injection system and exhaust system.

The body control module location can differ from one car to another but, in most cases, you can locate the BCM under the dashboard. Check your firewall and look into the right side of the steering wheel column to find it. In case you’re unsure where your BCM is, check your vehicle’s manual or you may ask a professional mechanic to point it out to you.

So, can a bad BCM cause a car not to start? Yes. Potential causes of a malfunctioning BCM include hard impact collisions, loose wiring harnesses, shorting of wires, excessive heat from the engine, and damaged sensors. These instances can generate multiple problems such as computer miscalculations, which could make your car impossible to drive.

Look out for these common symptoms of a bad car computer:

Now, if you’re experiencing the above-mentioned signs of a faulty BCM, you may want to check for the OBD-II fault code U0140, which usually indicates a bad car computer. Apart from the symptoms above, you may also notice general instability (i.e., your car shakes upon acceleration) when you have code U0140. The code typically appears when diagnosing cars with engine misfires, water-logged sensors, and shorting of wires due to breakage.

If you’re not sure how to deal with broken car computers, it’s best to bring your car to a professional for a thorough checkup. Also, it helps to revisit your technical service bulletins and see if your warranty can provide coverage. By doing so, you can save time on diagnostics.

You can also save on your expenses by purchasing a high-quality replacement BCM from CarParts.com. All your best options are here, so order one now.

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In the Garage with CarParts.com is an online blog dedicated to bringing DIYers and devoted car enthusiasts up to date with topical automotive news and lifestyle content. Our writers live and breathe automotive, taking the guess work out of car repairs with how-to content that helps owners get back on the road and keep driving.

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