How Does a Failed Powertrain Control Module Affect Your Audi?
By Bavarian Performance Specialists September 9, 2018
Every modern car contains what are called “control modules.” There are a number of various control modules in every vehicle, including the transmission control module and the body control module. These are the two other most important control modules besides the powertrain control module (PCM), also called the engine control unit or engine control module.
In an Audi, which is designed with technology at the forefront, engine function and overall vehicle performance rely heavily on the health and optimal performance of the PCM. Therefore, when the PCM fails, it takes a serious toll on your Audi’s ability to perform, or even function normally at all. In this article, we’ll go over why the powertrain control module is so important, what you can expect if it fails, and how you can address or prevent the issue all together.
What is the powertrain control module?
In your Audi, the powertrain control module is responsible for regulating the function of most of the essential systems and components of your car. As the main control module, it compiles and organizes data taken from numerous sensors throughout your vehicle in order to optimize your engine’s performance. This includes maximizing fuel efficiency, which has become increasingly important to drivers in recent years.
The powertrain control module does a lot more than maximize gas mileage; it makes sure that multiple systems in your vehicle are running properly, it houses diagnostic codes that help automotive technicians accurately asses the source of a performance-related problem, and it can help warn drivers that something isn’t quite right with their vehicle via the dashboard warning system.
Symptoms of PCM failure to look out for
The signs of powertrain control module failure are often sinister, and should be taken seriously; the longer the problem persists, the more likely your vehicle is to eventually encounter substantial damage, or become unreliable to drive. Here are some warning signs of PCM failure that you should be aware of in your Audi:
- Engine stalling
- Engine misfiring
- Engine timing problems
- Lowered fuel economy
- Diminished power delivery while accelerating
- Check-engine light
It is most important that your Audi specialist does not mistake the symptoms of PCM failure for another common performance issue. For instance, if your engine begins stalling or misfiring, a technician might automatically relate the problem to an airflow issue or oxygen sensor failure based upon their own experience. The first step in fixing the problem is bringing it to an Audi specialist for a thorough diagnostic inspection.
How to address PCM failure effectively
If you drive an Audi vehicle, it’s important to know that certain models may be prone to PCM failure, or to issues that often lead to PCM failure, like faulty wiring harnesses or frequently blown fuses. It’s essential that you follow through with finding an automotive shop that has specialized knowledge in Audi vehicles so that you can receive the highest quality of care. Here are a few tips to abide by to ensure that PCM failure is addressed effectively and prevented if possible:
- Hire an Audi specialist (we’ll say it again)
- Follow your Audi’s recommended service plan (found in your owner’s manual)
- Don’t let troublesome performance symptoms persist without diagnosis or servicing
- Learn about your specific model Audi’s predispositions to certain part failures, including failure of the PCM or parts that help the PCM function, such as wiring and fuses
Staying on top of auto maintenance isn’t always easy, but you’ll benefit greatly from it. Performing routine maintenance can…
- Keep your car performing reliably and efficiently
- Maintain the value of your vehicle
- Help you enjoy your car on a daily basis
- Give you peace of mind and safety
- Save you money in unnecessary and expensive repairs
The Bavarian Performance Specialists have been providing specialized automotive services for Audi vehicles since 1983. The residents of Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Westlake, Malibu, and Newbury Park, CA, have come to rely on our honesty and integrity, as well as our affordable pricing and efficient services. If you’ve recently encountered any of the aforementioned symptoms of PCM failure in your own Audi vehicle, please contact one of our specialists today to schedule a diagnostic inspection right away.
* Audi TTS on Road image credit goes to: DarthArt.