5 Signs Your Body Control Module Is Malfunctioning

Car Service in Reading
4 min readAug 31, 2022

Modern cars’ ability to function properly depends on a sophisticated communication network. A variety of terminals, wires, and sensors are present in this network, and they all provide feedback to various electronic computer modules. The majority of the time, each of a car’s critical systems has a computer module that controls it.

The BCM, or body control module, is one such module that is present on almost all modern automobiles. This module is responsible for a number of safety and comfort-related functions that are of great value to the driver and other occupants of a vehicle.

A vehicle’s body control module, while uncommon, might experience significant operating problems, including total failure. Several unsettling symptoms may appear when this happens, many of which can be very unsettling to deal with. It is advised that as soon as you notice any of the following symptoms, you schedule your vehicle with a car repairs near me garage as soon as you can to allow the mechanic to identify and resolve the problem.

Learn more about the symptoms of body control module failure in the upcoming sections, as well as what to do if you experience any of these problems in the future.

Failure of the body control module is accompanied by a range of symptoms. However, some of these signs are usually much more common than others, so it’s crucial to become familiar with them all in case you ever encounter a problem of this nature again.

Some of the most typical signs of a failing body control module include the ones listed below:

1. Excessive Battery Drainage — Sometimes referred to as a parasitic draw, is one of the signs of body control module failure that is most frequently experienced. Although a limited amount of parasitic draw is allowed, excessive draw made possible by a BCM malfunction can quickly drain a battery. When a BCM keeps providing power to a certain accessory at the wrong times, this draw happens. If the battery is drained during a MOT test, you run the danger of the MOT failing since the MOT tester might not be able to do all the tests required to pass the MOT test. Therefore, check MOT status of your vehicle and have this problem addressed.

2. Erratic Electrical Function — A damaged body control module can also lead to sporadic performance of a number of electrical features, including the horn, lights, and wipers of a car. You run the danger of a failing if these components don’t function properly because they are tested during a MOT. To properly investigate and address the issue, you need schedule an appointment with a competent mechanic at one of the car garages in Reading you find online. Unusual door lock and radio operation are additional warning signs of body control module failure, as are dials in the instrument cluster that sweep erratically. When more than one of these symptoms is present at any particular period, the likelihood that such problems are BCM-related rises.

3. Security System Issues — The body control module nearly always controls the security system in a vehicle. Therefore, it is simple to conclude that recurring yet mysterious security system problems with vehicles are a result of a broken or malfunctioning body control module. Problems with a vehicle’s keyless entry or passive entry systems can also fall under this category.

4. Dashboard Warning Lights — The instrument cluster of a car might suffer greatly from a malfunctioning body control module. Unremarkable dash displays might suddenly become incredibly lit, almost like a Christmas tree. This happens when one or more of a vehicle’s extra control modules, such as the airbag control module, powertrain control module, or transmission control module, are unable to interact with a BCM. If any warning lights are on your dashboard, you should look online for garages in Reading so that a technician may examine your vehicle, identify the issue, and make any necessary repairs.

5. Failure To Start — In some circumstances, a malfunctioning or damaged body control module may also prohibit a vehicle from starting at all. Even though it happens infrequently, a malfunctioning BCM can inhibit starter engagement by failing to recognise the transponder chip in the key or by simply failing to provide a “start” signal from the ignition switch. Inability of the BCM to communicate with other associated control modules can also cause problems starting the engine.

Is a Bad BCM Safe to Drive With?

It is generally not recommended to drive a car with a damaged body control module, even though it is hypothetically possible to do so. This is due to the unpredictability of a computer module that is about to break.

Simply said, it is impossible to foresee which of a malfunctioning computer’s features will work as intended at any given time. The issue with this is that it is impossible to predict whether a BCM failure will lead to a safety-sensitive issue or not.

There is no assurance that a malfunctioning BCM would turn on a vehicle’s lights, when necessary, even if nothing similar has ever happened in the past. The occupants of a vehicle are put at a reasonable risk by this.



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