How do you reset the Transmission Control Module (TCM) on a Chevy Silverado?

Finding it difficult to reset the transmission control module in your Chevy Silverado? We have got you! Here we will discuss in-depth about transmission control module. What it is, how to reset it, why to reset it, assumptions about reset of the transmission control module, what causes its malfunction, and how to identify the malfunctioning of the transmission control module. Read on to know how do you reset the Transmission Control Module (TCM) on a Chevy Silverado?


What is a transmission control module (TCM)?

Let us first clarify what is the transmission control module (TCM). A transmission control module (TCM) is also known as a transmission control unit (TCU) or a gearbox control unit (GCU).

A transmission control module (TCM) is an electronic device used on vehicle automatic transmissions to control how they work.

However, a transmission control unit is a type of electronic control unit (ECU) that works with multiple other units to control the electronic automatic transmissions of a vehicle.

The electronic controlling of the automatic transmissions is possible by planting sensors inside the transmission and on the engine.

The sensors are used to collect the information from various parts of the Chevy Silverado and transfer it to the transmission control module.

These sensors work together with the control unit (CU) to change gear. It locks the torque converter and monitors the actual speed of the vehicle.

In most vehicles, the device works in conjunction with the vehicle’s onboard computer to regulate engine timing, fuel flow, and a variety of other critical vehicle functions.

MORE: Signs that your car might need a new Catalytic Converter

How is a transmission control unit (TCU) helpful for a vehicle?

The transmission control unit (TCU) monitors the transmission functions. By monitoring transmission functions, the Transmission Control Unit (TCU) can help the vehicle operator save fuel. Also, get the most out of the vehicle and even control it better in poor driving conditions.

It is helpful to provide a better and safe driving experience. The transmission control module ensures that the lever gear is in the expected position and at the correct time. It makes the shifting of gears a smooth process.

How do earlier transmission control units and current transmission control units (TCU) differ?

Early automatic transmissions depended completely on hydraulic power to provide shift points. Torque converters often slip and cost the operator money in the form of wasted fuel consumption and efficiency.

Starting in the mid-1980s, vehicle manufacturers began experimenting with electronically controlled transmissions.

The original goal of the transmission control unit was to increase fuel mileage in vehicles by eliminating waste. The result offered much more than initially anticipated.

How does a transmission control module operate? 

The sensors mounted on the wheels, the engine crankshaft, and the transmission output shaft send all information to the transmission control module TCM.

The transmission control module then monitors the coming data and generates some information. This information is then used by the device to choose the correct gear to provide optimal results for the operator.

Functions such as throttle position and engine temperature are all sent to the transmission control module by the Engine Control Module (ECM). And vehicle requirements are evaluated by the vehicle’s computer systems.

RELATED: How to Reset Computer on Chevy Silverado

Is the Transmission Control Module a safety device?

Although best known for controlling transmission functions while driving, the transmission control unit, you can use as a safety device on many vehicles.

It is wired into the brake light switch the device prevents the vehicle from being put into gear unless the brake pedal is pressed.

This feature is especially important for vehicles owned by families with small children. This is helpful even with the engine running. A child cannot accidentally shift the gearbox and put the vehicle in gear while seated or sitting in the front seat.

The Transmission Control Module (TCM), also has a program to disable cruise control if the transmission is accidentally placed in neutral, preventing the engine from over-revving and potential damage.

Is the Transmission Control Module (TCM) important for your vehicle?

The Transmission Control Module (TCM) is a part that connects both engine and transmission. It analyses various information coming from different units and sends signals that guide our Chevy Silverado.

It calculates when and where the gear lever should reach the desired speed. Moreover, it sends OCB to the car’s display in case of malfunction or disorder.

Where is the Transmission Control Module (TCM) located?

It is usually located at the rear end of the transmission case and kept precisely undercover. It is below the engine control module.

Though, in some models, it is under the hood near the battery.

Why do we need to reset the Transmission Control Module (TCM)?

The Transmission Control Module (TCM) and the electric control module deals with the performance of Chevy Silverado which enhances your overall driving experience.

It does it by collecting information from various units and reflecting signals so that your vehicle can make appropriate decisions.

At times you might not be satisfied with how your car performs. You might face a rough downshift in 2-1 transmission. Or you might have observed poor mileage and overheating issues. In this case, you should consider resetting your Transmission Control Module (TCM).

Now let us answer the prime question of our topic:

The process of resetting the Transmission Control Module (TCM) in Chevy Silverado is actually a pretty task. You can accomplish this simple task by following a few steps. Follow the following steps to reset your Chevy Silverado’s Transmission control module TCM.

It is primitive to gather some details about your vehicle before resetting the transmission control module TCM. It is necessary as some vehicles have a quite complex system. Also, it requires constant battery power.

If disconnecting the power source from the battery might lead to certain severe issues. So, please do research in advance before resetting your Chevy Silverado’s transmission control module.

Follow these steps to reset the Transmission Control Module (TCM) of your Chevy Silverado:

Step 1: Turn Key Position:

The first and foremost step is to place your key in the ignition and turn it twice. It is to start all the lights on your vehicle’s dashboard. Make sure all the dashboard lights illuminate.

“Only turn on the dashboard lights. Do not start your vehicle”

Step 2: Push Down the Gas Pedal:

The second step to perform is to place your foot on the gas pedal to step it down. Keep pressing the gas pedal down until the kick-down switch is activated. Continue this till you hear a click – continue pushing the gas pedal downwards post you hear the click.

“The push down of gas pedal should be continued until your feet touched the floor of your vehicle.”

After the gas pedal is pushed down and your feet touch the floor, keep the gas pedal pushed for 10-15 more.

Step 3: Release the gas pedal by turning the key off:

After pressing the gas pedal for 10-15 minutes, turn off your key first, the bright screen will also turn off. And then remove the foot from the gas pedal.

“Make sure to keep your foot on the gas pedal while turning the key off.”

Step 4: Have patience and wait:

It would be rushy to expect the process to be reflected immediately! So, after you turn off the key and release the gas pedal wait for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Test drives your Chevy Silverado:

Follow this final step to reset TCM. Test drive your car for 20-30 minutes approx. It is to ensure that reset is successful.

Yes, you have reset your Chevy Silverado’s Transmission Control Module!

By following above mentioned simple steps, you have reset your Transmission Control Module TCM and Electronic Control Module ECM.

After the successful reset, your Transmission Control Module will work for its exact mission. The gear lever will be in place at right time, and you will have an enhanced driving experience.

Important points to be kept in mind while resetting your Transmission Control Module TCM.

  • Do not start your Chevy Silverado, carefully move the key to the second position initially. All you need to do is start the dashboard lights i.e., turn on your vehicle.
  • Keep the gas pedal pressed for a maximum of 15 seconds. Keep pressing it till your feet touch the ground.
  • Make sure you continue to press the gas pedal even after the click is heard.
  • While turning OFF keep the gas pedal pressed.
  • Have patience and wait for a few minutes before the test drive.

 Why does the Transmission Control Module fail?

The transmission Control Module may fail to perform when it encounters certain unavoidable situations as a cause of other malfunctioning parts of the vehicle.

In some cases, the malfunction might also be due to the failure of internal circuit components. Some of the reasons are listed below:

  • Thermal overload in TCM: Excess of heat through the Transmission Control Module might cause its poor performance.
  • Current Overload in TCM: Sometimes, as a result of extra current that passes through the transmission control module it might not perform as it is intended to work.
  • Transmission errors: During transferring the information to the TCM some parameters may pass false or wrong values.
  • Short circuits: short circuits in the system might even cause the transmission control module to malfunction.
  • Voltage Overload
  • Short circuit in the actuator or the solenoid circuits
  • Short circuit due to water in circuitry

How to know if transmission control module TCM has failed?

If observed properly it is possible to know when the transmission control module fails. Few signs of a malfunctioning transmission control module are:

  • If you find that when you shift the gear the shifting isn’t smooth. It takes more time or gets stuck on one gear i.e., Hard, or rough shifting.
  • Higher fuel consumption. It can be observed when less mileage is obtained than the standard level.
  • Delay in shifting.
  • Problem with downshifting.
  • No shifting of gears in a stationary position by transmission.
  • No shifting of gears.
  • Car stuck in neutral or first gear.
  • Increasing engine roars while shifting gears.
  • Unpredictable shifting of the vehicle when the gears change unexpectedly while driving.
  • The transmission gets heated up very quickly.

Assumptions related to transmission control module reset

There are several assumptions related to resetting the transmission control module. Do not fall for these assumptions!

Some of the assumptions are:

Assumption: Disconnecting the battery would reset the transmission control module

Fact: No! Disconnecting the battery does not reset the transmission control module. It might not even complete the reset, and the factory defaults would not be set.

And as mentioned earlier, some models require constant power in this case it might cause severe issues.

Assumption: Waiting for 5 minutes after the gas pedal is pressed down is not necessary.

Fact: It is needed for the system to restore its factory defaults and respond to the force reset. In some cases, a reset might not even take place.

Assumption: It is not mandatory to reset the transmission control module (TCM) even if it malfunctions.

Fact: You can find if the transmission control module (TCM) malfunctions by observing the above-mentioned points. Once detected, it is advisable to reset the transmission control module (TCM). In case, it is malfunctioning as it deals with better performance of the vehicle. Malfunctioning of the transmission control module (TCM) causes the following:

  • Improper shifting of gears
  • Quick heating of the transmission
  • The poor performance of the vehicle.

To avoid reset would be risking our safety and driving experience. Hence, it is advisable to reset the transmission control vehicle. Do not get trapped in these assumptions. Follow facts not myths!


Now having learned how do you reset the transmission control module (TCM) on a Chevy Silverado, follow the steps in the exact way mentioned. Do not panic, the steps are easy, and remember the pro tip,

Have patience while you perform the reset. Do not rush, follow every step as instructed, perform the reset when you have approximately 30-40 minutes times.

Take a follow-up test drive to ensure the smooth functioning of your Silverado. If you face any issues with the malfunctioning Transmission Control Module (TCM), reset it. 

Enjoy your drives!

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