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Automatic Transmission Mechatronics

The transmission runs a Mechatronics Control Unit which is also known as a Transmission Control Module Mounted to a Main Control Valve Body Unit.

Yes, you read it correctly the TCM is mounted inside the transmission submerged in ATF. This may sound crazy but it is very practical as it limits most of the common outside failures. With the TCM now directly connected to the valve body there is less chance of wiring, sensor, current and resistance issues as most of the needed Inputs and all of the outputs are located within millimetres of the TCM.

Inputs Located on the Valve Body

Outputs Located on the Valve Body

Fixing Problems

With these units being so compact and when removed everything is at your fingertips you would expect fixing problems would be easy? Well not really. The great thing is, there is always a part number or parts list available which makes ordering simple.

Replacing Mechatronic Units

These units are very simple to swap out with a new unit but at what cost? Once you install a new unit you would expect it's just a case of bolt in and drive away. Unfortunately, it's not that easy, when these units are purchased new they have a blank TCM with no programming. When the new unit is installed it needs to have the TCM Flash Uploaded with original software or updated software from the manufacture.

Flashing the TCM

Now in South Africa we don't have regular access to Flash Files like in some other countries. This means we are limited to how we go about preforming this task.

Second Hand Mechatronics

These are available from different suppliers either transmission wreckers or remanufactured from Transmission Specialists. The units will need to be model pacific to allow the programming of the TCM to match the vehicle as the last thing you need is communications issues between Modules.

Flashing Second Hand Units

This would be ideal however its unknown to us if it can be done. In theory if you had a Ford Mechatronics Unit and bolted it into a BMW Transmission and then re-flashed the unit with a BMW file. This would make the job and life a lot easier and cheaper.