How To Reset Transmission Control Module Chevy

180 Automotive is reader-supported. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Resetting the vehicle transmission control module (TCM) is a common practice among car owners and drivers who love comfort.

This is often an exciting experience considering that their vehicles always wear a new performance look.

The vehicle will feel responsive and powerful on the road. However, resetting Chevy transmission can be tricky and somewhat difficult if you don’t learn the ropes.

You can run into a more serious problem without a proper transmission reset guide.

To help you avoid unbudgeted auto spending on replacement, I’ve taken my time to take you through the step-by-step procedure on how to reset the transmission control module of your Chevrolet car.

In this article, you’ll also learn the transmission control module location, symptoms of a bad TCM, and a few frequently asked questions about Chevy transmission.

What Is Transmission Control Module And How Does It Work?

The transmission control module (TCM) is an electronic box that receives data signals and processes them to regulate how the gear lever shifts.

It’s essentially installed into the car transmission system to calculate and monitor how much fuel gets into the gear lever from the engine.

Working with many other parts of your Chevy vehicle, the TCM enables the transmission to downshift and upshift the gear.

Once it’s impossible or difficult to do this, a lot of other parts of the car will break down and won’t work.

Parts of your Chevy that rely on the TCM to function include the throttle position sensor, transmission fluid temperature sensor, brake pedal position sensor, and the engine.

What it means is that once the TCM goes bad, the gears won’t be able to shift as consistently and effectively as they should.

The TCMN contains some sensors around it that help to detect any issue before they become a disaster.

The TCM works slightly differently in automatic transmission Chevy from their manual counterparts.

In automatic transmissions, the TCM functions as an enabler of timing gear changes.

In manual, this is not possible as the driver will have to engage and switch the gear by hand from position 1 to 5, depending on the vehicle model.

You may not worry if you drive a manual transmission Chevy.

How To Reset Transmission Control Module Chevy

The TCM is the component of your car that links the engine to the transmission.

Replacing it can cause you to break the bank but with a simple reset, you can restore your TCM to a high-performance part. Let’s begin.

Supplies and tools needed:

  • A friend or any helper
  • Multimeter

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Reset Transmission Control Module

While a professional technician will be an option, you can simply do a TCM reset at home, using this easy DIY procedure.

Step 1: Adjust Ignition Key Position

Start by inserting the key into the car ignition and turning it to the ON position.

You have to turn the key twice to ensure that all the dash lights and interior lights come on. The car screen will also illuminate. Do not run the engine or start the car yet.

Step 2: Step On The Gas Pedal

Next is to hit your foot gently on the gas pedal. Allow your foot to remain on the pedal for about 10 to 13 seconds until you activate the kick-down switch.

Once activated, a clicking sound buzzes. When you hear the sound, let your foot be on the gas pedal and push it down for another 10 minutes until you get to the next step.

 Step 3: Turn Off The Key

As you push down the gas pedal, you can return the ignition key to position 0 (off position).

Once off, the bright screen and dash lights will go off. You must allow your feet to stay on the gas pedal. Don’t rush any process.

Step 4: Release The Gas Pedal

After returning the ignition key to position zero and the bright screen has turned off, you can now slowly take your foot off the gas pedal.   

Step 5: Relax For About 5 Minutes

After releasing the gas pedal, you’ll have to wait for about 5 to 7 minutes. As you wait, the TCM reset process is finalized. Allow the engine to rest and complete the reset process.

Step 6: Test The Car

Now the process is almost done.

But it’s only the technical aspect of resetting the Transmission Control Module (TCM), Engine Control Unit (ECU), and Transmission Control Unit (TCU) you have done; there’s the need to test drive to be 100% sure the rest is in order.

A 25-minute test drive will be the starting point to fully optimize the TCM, TCU, and ECU. Make sure you drive safely and normally.

Don’t go at high speeds yet. By the time you park the car, the TCM will have returned to its normal position in the system.

Symptoms Of Defective Transmission Control Module

Here are signs you should be on the lookout for to be sure that your Chevy TCM needs to either be reset or replaced.

Increased Fuel Consumption

TCM is installed in most automatic transmission vehicles like Chevy.

They are integrated into the system to control, calculate, and regulate the amount of fuel the engine needs to perform optimally.

What it means is that if the TCM calculates and regulates the fuel accurately, the vehicle will optimize and save energy consumption.

However, power gets wasted once the TCM is faulty, then fuel economy will reduce drastically.

Difficulty In Upshifting And Downshifting

When the TCM goes bad, there will be a problem changing the speed of the car through the gear.

Each time you want to move the gear up (upshifting) or down (downshifting), a problem occurs due to a failing TCM.

Both acceleration and deceleration become a problem because it’s difficult to move the gear up or down.

Wrong Shifting

One of the main functions of the TCM is to returns the gear lever to its normal position after shifting.

In addition, the TCM also calculates the time it takes for the car to reach a certain speed when the gear lever shifts and returns.

However, as the TCM fails, the lever will not go back to its rightful place.

In most cases, what you’ll experience is that the gear lever gets stuck in the neutral position.

Car Jerk When Shifting

Another sign that your car’s TCM may need a reset or replacement is that the car will jerk when you try to shift.

When you try to change the gear lever and the car jerks forward or backward, there’s a potential issue with your TCM.

The jerk is often sudden. It can quite frustrating when you experience such a shock when shifting gear.

Transmission Control Module Location

The question to ask is where is the transmission control module in a Chevy car?

Before you even start resetting or replacing the TCM, you must locate the system and the surrounding components.

This way, you can guide against tampering with areas and components you’re not supposed to touch or loosen.

You can find the Chevy TCM under the hood of your car, beneath the cover of the aluminum transmission case.

This box is located on the rear of the case. If you open the engine control module, you will see a box that regulates how fuel flows from the engine to the gear lever. This box is the 4L60E TCM.

To easily locate and identify, the box is housed by an aluminum case and surrounded by steel rotor assemblies. These assemblies are lightweight.

What Are The Tips When Resetting Transmission Control Module

Although the reset process looks pretty simple and easy, a little mistake can cost you the entire ECU and TCM units.

You know how much it costs to buy a Chevy transmission. Here are things to do and avoid when resetting your transmission control module Chevy.

  • You need a lot of patience and carefulness when resetting the TCM. It’s not something you can rush or be in a hurry for.
  • Make your engine cold and in stable condition before starting.
  • Do not start the engine when you’re supposed to turn the key to the ON position.
  • Don’t press the gas pedal beyond 15 seconds when pressing it for the first time.
  • Retain your foot on the gas pedal when you’re returning the ignition key to position zero.
  • Release your foot off the gas when the key has got to zero. The release must be gradual.

Final Thoughts

Your sluggish-feeling Chevy SUV or crossover needs a new or reset transmission to return it to its agile old self.

A good TCM is responsible for calculating and regulating the time and position of the gear level to reach a certain speed.

There are a few things that can cause your TCM to have issues. If there’s an electrical current overload on the entire transmission system, the TCM might go bad.

Heat overload and parameter errors also contribute to the problem the TCM might develop.

When your vehicle vibrates or shakes due to under-inflated tires, the TCMN may start to malfunction.

In the end, you need the TCM to keep your Chevy in good shape. Otherwise, you won’t feel the power that Chevy is popular.

Make sure you don’t forget other routine maintenance services of your Chevy crossover. Have a safe trip!