How To Reset The Ford Transmission Control Module (2024)

  • Emma Davies

Updated on July 28, 2023

A car’s transmission is made from several different parts, all of which are essential when it comes to changing gears. Whether you drive an automatic car or shift gears manually, your vehicle needs a functioning transmission system.

One of the key components of a car’s transmission is the transmission control module. The TCM is an electronic part of the overall transmission and is responsible for interpreting electrical signals from the sensors in other vehicle parts, including the throttle position sensor, gas pedal input, and turbine speed sensor.

If your car shifts beautifully between gears and you haven’t noticed any issues linked to the gearbox, then there’s no need to reset the transmission control module. However, like any part of your car, the transmission control module can malfunction or become damaged over time.

If you’d like to get help and chat with a live mechanic now, click here.

Why Would You Reset Your Transmission?

The transmission control module is a key component in your car’s transmission system. If you haven’t noticed any issues while driving your car, it’s not necessary to reset the TCM. However, you may want to consider resetting the transmission control module if you experience any of the following problems:

  • The gearbox slips into a different gear when you are not attempting to shift gears.
  • When you have your foot on the gas your car is taking longer to accelerate than usual.
  • You can’t shift into gear from neutral.
  • Shifting up through the gears can feel ‘sticky’ (or you may not be able to shift up when parking your car or accelerating).
  • The fuel in your car is not lasting as long as it usually does

If you’re experiencing any of the above problems, you might want to consider resetting your transmission control module. Don’t panic. This doesn’t have to mean an expensive trip to the mechanic, you can easily reset the TCM yourself.

How To Reset The Ford Transmission Control Module (1)

How To Reset The Ford Transmission Control Module

Resetting the transmission control module is a simple process and can be completed in just a few minutes.Here is our step-by-step guide, providing you with all the information you need on how to reset the Ford transmission control module.

Step 1

Put the key into the ignition or use the starter button to turn the car on.

Step 2

Make sure you put the gearbox into the neutral position (often displayed as an N)

Step 3

Turn the car off and wait for approximately 20 seconds.

Step 4

Now shift the car into the park mode (P on the gearbox).

Step 5

Turn the car on again but do not fully start the engine.

Step 6

Wait another 20 seconds

Step 7

Turn the car off and quickly turn it back on again.

Step 8

Shift the gear to the Sport setting (S) or Drive setting (D)

Step 9

An alarm should sound to indicate the TCM reset process has been completed.

Step 10

You can now drive your car as normal or you may wish to relearn the TCM.

As you can see, resetting the TCM in your Ford is a quick and easy process. You don’t need any expensive tools or need to be a programming expert, just follow the step-by-step guide above and you will hopefully see an improvement in your gearbox’s performance.

How To Reset The Ford Transmission Control Module (2)

FAQs

How Do I Know If My Transmission Control Module Is Bad?

If you’re experiencing issues with your gearbox then there may be a problem with your transmission control module. Signs your vehicle’s transmission control module may be an issue include poor fuel economy, slow acceleration, gear slippage, and difficulty shifting smoothly between gears.

Can You Drive Without a Transmission Control Module?

The transmission control module is an essential part of the transmission system. If your TCM is malfunctioning, you may end up causing serious damage to your car if you continue to drive it.

If your TCM is preventing you from shifting in and out of gear, driving your car is going to be all but impossible. If you are not in gear, you’re not going anywhere! If you think your TCM is not working correctly, try to reset it or see a mechanic as driving with a damaged transmission can result in expensive repairs further down the line.

How Do You Relearn a Ford Transmission?

Following a TCM reset, you may need to also relearn the Ford transmission. To relearn the transmission control module, you’ll need to drive at various speeds and allow the transmission to relearn the CVI numbers (clutch thickness values) and process when and how the gears need to shift.

The TCM can relearn the correct settings in a matter of minutes but you’ll need a long stretch of road to be able to perform the relearn to the best standard.

How to Reset The Ford Escape Transmission

Resetting the transmission on a Ford Escape is much the same as the process we detailed above. There will be many different ways depending on the model and year of the vehicle. A common method is to disconnect the negative battery cable for 15 minutes and then reconnect it. Another method is as follows:

  1. Start the car’s engine and move the gear to neutral.
  2. Turn the car off and wait for 15 to 20 seconds.
  3. Put the car in park and turn on the vehicle without starting the engine (accessories only).
  4. Leave the car on for 15 to 20 seconds again and then turn it off.
  5. Turn on the car again and put it into the Sport mode (S).
  6. The car should alert you that the transmission has been reset.

Remember this may not apply to all years and models. You may need to try other methods to successfully reset the Ford Escapes transmission.

How to Reset The Ford Fusion Transmission

To reset the Ford Fusion transmission, the steps are the same as the instructions above. The method may be different depending on the model and year, but the vast majority work with the same process. If disconnecting the negative battery cable method and the ignition key method doesn’t work, there are other methods.

You can use an OBD2 scanner and compatible software like FORScan to reset the TCM with your computer. You can also try resetting the transmission by turning the key to the “2” position or “run” position, and press the gas pedal to the floor. Wait a few seconds, turn the key to the “off” position, release the gas, and wait two more minutes before starting the car.

What Does Resetting a Transmission Do?

When you reset a transmission, what actually happens is the transmission control unit (TCM) has its stored shift pressure and timing values reset to default values. This process is usually performed to troubleshoot transmission performance, jerky movements, delayed shifts, or error codes.

While resetting a transmission can resolve many issues, it can’t solve all problems and may need repair by a mechanic. Resetting the transmission will also require relearning, which could take some time and may be hard to get used to at first.

How Do You Reset the Transmission Control Module on a 2013 Ford Focus?

To reset the transmission control module in a 2013 Ford Focus, all you need to do is follow the step-by-step guide in this article. However, the process can vary slightly between models, and for a 2013 Focus, you should see a message that says ‘transmission ready’ with a progress bar after you have put the car into neutral without the car running.

How Long Does It Take To Reset a Transmission Control Module?

It takes only a matter of minutes to reset a transmission control module. Following the steps in this article, the whole process of resetting the TCM should only take a few minutes. However, if you also need to relearn the transmission this can take a little longer as you’ll have to drive your car up and down all the gears.

What Causes TCM Failure?

If you’re having trouble with your gearbox, your TCM may be failing. TCM failure can be caused by water shorting a circuit, a voltage overload, or stress caused by vibrations and high temperatures. If your TCM is damaged you will need to get it repaired or replaced as driving with a broken TCM can be dangerous.

Conclusion

Whether your car is taking a long time to accelerate, burning through fuel, or changing gear just isn’t as smooth as it should be, your transmission control module could be to blame.

Fortunately, resetting a Ford transmission control module is a quick and easy process. Follow our simple step-by-step guide and your gearbox grumbles will be a thing of the past.

Find more Ford-related information with these posts:

How Much Does a Ford Ranger Weigh?

Where Is The Ford Escape Made?

Where Is The Ford Transit Battery Location?

The article provides an in-depth guide to understanding and resetting the Transmission Control Module (TCM) in Ford vehicles. As someone well-versed in automotive systems, particularly transmissions and their electronic components, let me break down the concepts mentioned:

  1. Transmission Control Module (TCM): This is a crucial component in a car’s transmission system. It interprets electrical signals from various sensors like the throttle position sensor, gas pedal input, and turbine speed sensor. The TCM helps manage gear shifting and overall transmission performance.

  2. Signs of TCM Issues: The article highlights symptoms that indicate potential TCM problems, such as gear slipping, slow acceleration, difficulty shifting gears, and decreased fuel efficiency.

  3. Resetting TCM: The provided steps detail how to reset the TCM in Ford vehicles. Resetting involves a series of actions like turning the car on and off in specific gear sequences, with the aim of restoring default settings.

  4. TCM Relearning: Resetting the TCM might require relearning the transmission's settings. This involves driving the vehicle at various speeds to allow the TCM to relearn clutch thickness values and gear shifting patterns.

  5. Ford Escape and Ford Fusion: Specific instructions for resetting the transmission in these Ford models are mentioned, emphasizing variations in the process depending on the vehicle.

  6. Purpose of TCM Reset: Resetting the TCM reverts the stored shift pressure and timing values to default. It's a troubleshooting step for issues like delayed shifts, jerky movements, or transmission error codes.

  7. TCM Failure Causes: The article discusses potential causes of TCM failure, including water damage, voltage overload, and stress from vibrations or high temperatures.

  8. Concluding Thoughts: Ultimately, the article stresses the importance of a properly functioning TCM for smooth transmission operation. It emphasizes the simplicity of the reset process and encourages users to follow the outlined steps.

While the article focuses on Ford vehicles and the TCM reset process, it also indirectly addresses broader concepts related to transmission systems, their management, and troubleshooting common issues.

How To Reset The Ford Transmission Control Module (2024)
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