Body Control Module Reset

Body Control Module Reset: Does Your Car’s BCM Need A Reset?

A body control module reset is the process of re-flashing the software in your car’s BCM, short for the ‘Body Control Module’. This is a central processing unit of the car that governs the functioning of many electrical systems. Hence, the high cost of either needing to reset, repair, or replace the BCM.

It is part of an elaborate system of ECUs (Electronic Control Units) in the car that includes an Engine Control Module (ECM), Brake Control Module (BCM), Suspension Control Module (SCM), and more. A modern car can have more than 80 ECUs, which is a lot of computing power.

A body control module reset is done when you experience problems with any of the systems that it controls. A malfunction in these systems can be a sign that calls for a body control module reset. In this guide, we’ll be looking at the symptoms of a faulty BCM. In addition, the processes of how to reset, repair, replace, and program a BCM.

What Is The Body Control Module?

As mentioned above, the BCM plays a vital role in the proper functioning of a car. Like every other ECU in a car, BCM takes input from several devices that include sensors. The information fed into the body control module is then processed to produce a favorable output.

The significance of a body control module continually rises, as newer cars use more electronics. These can include infotainment systems, driver information displays or dials, the sunroof, keyless entry systems, lights, wipers, and so on. Though these systems may not have a direct link between them, a failure in the body control module can affect all.

The functioning of the BCM is like that of the Engine Control Module (ECM). But unlike the ECM, the body control module controls most of the systems that are external to the engine. So, if you are experiencing some engine-related issues, BCM may not likely be the culprit. But if there is some problem with the vehicle’s electrical systems, the BCM is the one to nab.

Body Control Module Location

Just like many parts in an automobile, the body control module can be positioned in different locations in different models. But in most cars, you can find the BCM located under the dashboard. It is most likely located on the right side of your steering wheel, under the dashboard panel.

In some cars, you may have to take apart some bits of the dashboard to reach it. Once you reach the BCM, unplugging it is quite easy. There will be several wires plugging into the BCM. You will have to unplug them, which is an easy procedure, and the BCM can be slid out of its housing.

Cost Of Resetting The Body Control Module

The body control module reset is a process that needs professional help. If you are not familiar with replacing parts on a vehicle, the BCM is not a good place to start. This project can be expensive too, as the BCM is an integral part of the car’s electric system.

  • Combining the part and labor costs, a body control module reset can cost around $300. The price is almost always evenly split between parts and labor, with the module costing $150 and labor following suit. The body control module reset costs, like other maintenance procedures, can vary according to different factors.
  • The model of the vehicle is a primary influencing factor for this variation in cost. Some vehicles have the BCM positioned deep inside the dashboard. This will need your mechanic to remove more panels than usual, to scuba dive into the confusing matrix of wires.
  • Fitting them all back together after the task is complete is also going to be an uphill stride. Hence, more hours of labor. More money. The body control module replacement costs also depend on the state you are in, the mechanic you approach, and more.

But all this is worth it, as your vehicle’s peripheral systems are dead without a proper BCM. If you choose to replace the BCM completely, make sure you pick up the right unit. For this, information regarding the version and kind of software the old BCM uses is needed. This can ensure that all your systems will function normally once you fit the new one in.

CAUTION: Also, it is recommended to stay away from buying used BCMs. They are very sensitive units, and these can go wrong soon after you fit them in. Then you end up in the same loop again.

How To Reset Body Control Module?

Though it is technically possible to perform a body control module reset from your home yet, it is to be noted that the BCM is highly sensitive. The wrong procedure of resetting the module can end up doing more harm to the vehicle than good. The procedure itself can be cumbersome and intricate.

It is always recommended to employ the dealer to carry out the body control module reset. They are better versed in monitoring the security codes that enable the reset. Also, if something goes wrong with the programming and body control module reset procedure, they are equipped with the tools to counter it.

If all this horror-filled buildup did not scare you away from a body control module reset, worry not. We have the right guide for the adventurous journey that lies ahead of you. Here are the steps to perform a body control module rest by yourself. Remember, be warned that for most folks, it’s better to visit a dealer and let them do this, instead.

Step 1: Disconnect The Battery Terminals

Body Control Module Reset

It is always recommended to disconnect the car battery from the system before you lay your hands on anything electric in the vehicle. Safety is paramount and risking an electric shock is not worth it. So, keep yourself safe before you dive into the process.

Step 2: Find The BCM’s Location

The BCM in most vehicles is located inside the dashboard. But it differs from model to model. The deeper the location of the BCM is, the harder it will be to reach it. Your vehicle’s repair manual can help to trace the BCM easily. A simple Google search may also suffice, and there ought to be lots of information on forums specific to your car’s make and model.

If Google can’t help you, you can contact a mechanic and seek their advice to locate the body control module. Once the location is traced, it is mostly a matter of unscrewing some bolts and screws to expose the BCM and removing interior trim panels to access it. Remember, a repair manual will be indispensable in providing you with all the steps and information you need.

Step 3: Removing The BCM

Once you have located the body control module, the next thing to do is to remove it. A ratchet can help you unbolt the BCM from the housing. You will have to unplug the connector clips attached to the BCM to remove them completely from the housing. Be gentle, as some of these clips and connectors are very fragile, especially on older cars.

The wires must be unplugged. Keep track of the wires while unplugging. This can make your life easier when you fit in the new BCM. One easy trick I’ve learned is using my phone to take lots of photos of the cabling and wiring while I’m doing this. When taking those photos, focus on where the wires/cables go and where they plug into, and keep them in your back pocket.

Step 4: Reinstalling The BCM

If you are replacing the BCM, you must ensure that the part you buy is the same as what you have removed. If not, the systems in your vehicle may fail to work properly. Once you have the right part, it is just a matter of doing the steps that you did to remove the BCM, but in reverse. Plug the wires and plugs in, slot the BCM into its housing, and bolt it tight.

Step 5: Reconnect Battery

To complete the body control module reset, you will have to reconnect the battery. This reestablishes the electrical supply through the BCM as well as other electrical peripherals of the vehicle. Once the battery is reconnected, check if the problems that made you perform the body control reset have been rectified.

If yes, pat yourself on the back for a job well done! Alternatively, if it’s not working right off the bat, you can also try isolating the battery and draining the charge from all ECUs. In some vehicles, this may be able to do the trick. But note that once you do this, everything in the vehicle’s memory will be wiped out, including your saved radio stations (among other data).

More critically, the vehicle will have to relearn its optimal working conditions. But keep in mind that this is just a preliminary attempt to alleviate electrical issues that may be triggered by a faulty BCM.

If this does not solve your issue, your new BCM must be reprogrammed by a dealer. They use specialized diagnostic scan tools to perform the reprogramming procedure. This establishes proper links to the sensors and other systems of the individual vehicle.

How To Repair A Body Control Module?

The BCM is like the nerve center of your car, controlling various electronic systems such as the power windows, alarm system, and automatic headlights. As such, when it malfunctions, you may experience various issues with your car. Fortunately, with a few simple tools and a dash of patience, you can repair a bad BCM yourself.

Remember, working with vehicle electronics can be dangerous if not handled properly. If you’re uncertain about any part of this process, consult a professional. Safety should always come first when working on your vehicle.

1. Tools Required for a BCM Repair

To repair a bad BCM, you’ll need a set of specific tools. Gather a wrench, a screwdriver, an OBD2 scanner for diagnosing error codes, and a multimeter for checking electrical connections. Having your vehicle’s specific repair or service manual at hand is also useful for reference.

2. Accessing the BCM

Start by accessing the Body Control Module in your vehicle. Use your wrench and screwdriver to remove the cover and reveal the BCM. Remember to be gentle as the BCM is a critical component of your vehicle’s electronic system. In some cars, they’re also pretty fragile too, particularly the connectors and clips that connect to it.

3. Diagnosing the BCM

Now, it’s time to diagnose potential issues with the BCM. Connect your OBD2 scanner to the vehicle’s OBD2 port, turn on the ignition without starting the engine, and run a scan. Jot down any error codes that appear related to the BCM for further inspection.

4. Understanding OBD Error Codes

Error codes can be daunting, but they’re instrumental in pinpointing what’s wrong with your BCM. Consult your vehicle’s manual or look up trustworthy online resources to understand what these codes mean. This step will guide your repair process, as it identifies which aspects of the BCM are malfunctioning.

Here are some examples of BCM-related OBD diagnostics error codes, telling you that there’s something wrong with your car’s body control module:

  • U0140 – Lost Communication With Body Control Module
  • U0141 – Lost Communication With Body Control Module A
  • U0142 – Lost Communication With Body Control Module B
  • U0143 – Lost Communication With Body Control Module C
  • U0144 – Lost Communication With Body Control Module D
  • U0145 – Lost Communication With Body Control Module E
  • U0422 – Invalid Data Received from Body Control Module
  • U1064 – Lost Communication with Body Control Module
  • P1381 – Variable Cam Timing Overadvanced (Bank 1)/Misfire Detected – No Communication with BCM

Body Control Module Reset

5. Checking the BCM Connections

After diagnosing the issue, check the BCM’s electrical connections. Use your multimeter, set it to continuity mode, and verify there’s a continuous connection between the BCM’s input and output. Disruptions in continuity could suggest that your BCM’s wiring is the problem.

6. Repairing the Wiring

If the multimeter test reveals wiring issues, you’ll need to address these next. Carefully inspect the wiring connected to the BCM. If you find any frayed wires, loose connections, or damaged components, they’ll need to be repaired or replaced.

7. Testing the BCM Post-Repair

Once you’ve repaired the wiring, it’s crucial to test the BCM again. Reconnect everything, turn on your vehicle’s ignition, and use the OBD2 scanner to perform another scan. If no error codes pop up, the repair was successful.

8. Resetting the BCM

After all the repairs are done, resetting the BCM can often be beneficial. To do this, disconnect the car battery, wait for about 15 minutes, and then reconnect it. This reset may resolve any minor, lingering issues with the BCM.

9. Verifying the Repair

Finally, confirm that the repair is successful. Start your car and monitor all the electronic functions that the BCM controls. If everything operates as expected, you’ve successfully repaired your BCM. A simple test drive can be really telling, so pay close attention to those systems and electronics that previously failed (are they working right now?).


  • Ashneel chand Says

    Do 2008 Toyota axio have bcm

  • John Davis Says

    does a new body control module have to be reset after driving 50 miles

    • Zack Norman Says

      Thanks for the comment, John Davis!

      I don’t believe a brand-new BCM needs resetting that quickly, especially after just 50 miles. It should just be plug-and-play, but if your car has some issues, it’s certainly worth looking into.

  • jace winston Says

    Every vehicle has its own setting. Like some cars have in the middle of the dashboard while some have behind the dashboard in the bottom. Setting up a reset could be difficult in some manners but a person should have the proper knowledge of it.

    • Zack Norman Says

      Thanks for the comment, jace winston!

      Cheers for the added insight! Agreed, it can be tough to access and reset it in some cars, but with the right means, tools, and skills, it’s certainly DIY-able.

  • paula Says

    can body module problems blow a fuse box?

    • That is a good question. I think that it is highly unlikely and would also be difficult to prove. You may have a different problem or two problems at the same time.

  • If I purchase a new BCM for a 2005 XLR Cadillac from auto zone does it have to go to the dealership to be programmed to operate the vehicle or will it do the functions required from the parts store

    • I am not sure about the 2005 XLR Cadillac. I would suggest giving the dealer a call and asking what they think. They won’t bill you for a quick call.

  • Rich Bauer Says

    On a2009 GMC Savanah does a BCM change require a trip to the dealer or can it re set itself ?

  • Tammy Says

    This is a replacement not a reset. Reset makes it sound like it’s just a button to push.

    • Zack Norman Says

      Thanks for the comment, Tammy!

      Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to reset a BCM – this one is, based on our knowledge, the most optimal and efficient means of resetting the BCM, without having to replace it entirely with a brand-new unit.

  • Tommy Finley Says

    When replacing an ecm in a 2005 Honda Accord 2 door coupe does the bcm have to be replaced also

    • Zack Norman Says

      Thanks for the comment, Tommy Finley!

      I don’t believe so, no. Typically, replacing the ECM doesn’t require you to replace the BCM, as long as they’re both compatible with one another. If you’re swapping in an OEM Honda Accord ECM, then it should just be plug-and-play with the old (also OEM-spec) BCM.

  • Martha Cox Says

    I have a 2008 Chevy Impala super sport V8 seems like the body control module is bad I ordered a new one. Do I have to take it to the dealership to be switched out and transfer the information from the old BCM to the new one? Or can my local mechanic do that?

    • Hi there, Martha Cox!

      When it comes to body control modules, it could normally be done at either a dealership service center or a local mechanic. But, while local mechanics can typically perform repair jobs like this for cheaper than a dealership, given that you’re dealing with specific security codes when resetting or reprogramming the BCM, it’s safer to visit the dealership, I’d say.

  • Linda Osprey Says

    2003 nissan micra intermittent starts

    • Hi Linda, it seems like you’re experiencing intermittent starting issues with your 2003 Nissan Micra. This could potentially be related to the body control module (BCM) as mentioned in the previous conversation. The BCM is responsible for managing various electrical functions in your vehicle, including starting the engine.

      To address this issue, it might be worthwhile to have the BCM reset. Resetting the BCM can sometimes help resolve minor glitches and inconsistencies in its operation. However, it’s important to note that a reset may not always solve the problem, especially if there’s an underlying issue causing the intermittent starting.

      Before proceeding with a BCM reset, I would recommend checking other potential causes for the starting problem. This could include inspecting the battery, starter motor, ignition switch, and any associated wiring. If you’re unsure about diagnosing the issue yourself, it’s best to consult with a qualified mechanic who can accurately identify the root cause.

      Overall, a BCM reset is worth considering as a troubleshooting step, but it’s essential to also explore other possibilities to ensure a comprehensive solution to your starting issues.

  • i have a 2019 chevy colorado and am having problems with the BCM. I was told by someone that it is possible to perform a “hard reset”, and one way was to touch the battery cables to each other briefly and then leave it sit for a couple of hours before hooking battery cables back up to battery and that forces a reboot that can fix the problem(s). have you ever heard of this or know of any (tricks) that will cause a reset?

    • Mikhail Says

      Yeah, please don’t do that! You can mess up soooooo many things in your car that way. Just disco your battery for an hour or so, let your car idle 20 mins. and take it for a spin to check if all is good and to recalibrate.

    • Hi Robin, sorry to hear about the issues you’re experiencing with your 2019 Chevy Colorado’s BCM. While performing a “hard reset” by briefly touching the battery cables together and then waiting for a couple of hours before reconnecting them might be a common practice for some electrical systems, it’s important to note that it may not be the recommended method for the BCM.

      The BCM is a crucial component that controls various electrical systems in your vehicle, and it’s generally best to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for resetting it. In the case of your Chevy Colorado, it’s advisable to consult the owner’s manual or reach out to a certified Chevrolet technician for the most accurate and appropriate reset procedure.

      Attempting a hard reset without proper guidance may potentially cause further complications or even damage other components. It’s always better to rely on the expertise of professionals who have the knowledge and experience to address such issues effectively.

      I hope this information helps, and I wish you the best of luck in resolving the BCM problems with your Chevy Colorado.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *