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.