The TIPM (Total Integrated Power Module) controls the power distribution in your vehicle. It acts as a relay, a circuit board, and a fuse for every circuit in your vehicle.
The TIPM is also known as an IPDM (Integrated Power Distribution Module) with some car manufacturers, but they function the same in your car.
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A faulty TIPM or IPDM can cause a range of issues with your car, and we’re going to show you how to check for these issues and fix them.
Some Common Issues You Find With A Faulty TIPM
- The doors lock and unlock at random times without touching the switch
- Your power windows don’t work correctly
- The car battery won’t charge correctly
- The starter cranks but the engine won’t fire
- There is no start signal going to the starter
- Your car stalls while driving down the road
- The windshield wipers start and stop randomly
- The horn doesn’t work or goes off randomly
- The radio starts and stops working randomly
- The blower motor inside your dash works at random times
- The airbag lights stays on without a service code
- No fuel pump signal or it turns on and off randomly
- The radiator cooling fans stop working
- Your air conditioning compressor won’t engage
- The headlights or taillights stop working
- The anti-lock braking system develops problems
- Your transmission enters fail-safe mode without a cause
- You hear a buzzing sound when the car is turned off
Diagnosing A Faulty TIPM
If you have any of the above issues with your vehicle, you may have a problem caused by a faulty TIPM. You will want to find out for sure and check the TIPM power going into the module and out of the module.
The TIPM on most vehicles will be in the engine bay close to the battery.
It will be a housing containing fuses and relays that control the high-current electrical systems in your vehicle.
The first items to check on your TIPM are the power and ground wiring. You should have a stable power connection to the TIPM and a good ground connection to the vehicle. You will then perform a voltage drop test with all connections in the TIPM with KOEO (Key On Engine Off) or KOER (Key On Engine Running).
By wiggling the wiring harnesses, you may identify intermittent connections that show a drop in voltage that will explain the issues listed above.
If you diagnose a faulty TIPM module by verifying the power and ground wiring and using voltage drop tests for specific circuits, then you can move on to the next steps for fixing a faulty TIPM module.
Reset, Reprogram, or Replace TIPM Issues
There are three main fixes for a TIPM issue:
- or Replace it.
f you don’t have the tools or skillset to complete this yourself, take your vehicle to a specialized mechanic to complete the work.
How To Reset A TIPM
There are two types of resets for a TIPM module. One is a soft reset and the second is a hard reset. Both will clear the trouble codes and make the TIPM functional again.
Each manufacturer will have a specific sequence to soft reset the TIPM. For instance, on a Dodge Ram, the soft reset sequence is holding the VR and Phone buttons on the steering wheel for 30 seconds with the vehicle’s ignition key in the ACC (accessory) position. You would then turn the truck off and keep the driver’s door open for at least 30 seconds. You will see some changes on the screen if it works.
If the soft reset on a Dodge Ram does not fix the TIPM issue, a hard reset may fix it.
This is the sequence for a hard reset:
- Remove the key from the ignition
- Remove the negative (ground) cable from the battery
- Remove the positive cable from the battery
- Hold the positive and negative cable terminals together for 10 minutes. They should be away from the battery. You may see sparking as power drains from the system.
- After 10 minutes, release the battery cable terminals from touching. Connect the positive cable to the battery’s positive terminal, then connect the negative (ground) cable to the negative terminal on the battery.
- You should then try to start the vehicle and verify that fixes the TIPM issue.
- If that doesn’t fix the TIPM issue, you may need to try the 2nd reset option. Disconnect the negative (ground) cable from the battery’s negative terminal and hold this cable end to the positive terminal on the battery. The positive battery cable should stay connected to its terminal on the battery. Hold the negative cable end to the positive battery terminal for 10 seconds, then connect it back to the negative terminal on the battery.
- If the hard reset sequence doesn’t fix the TIPM issue, your local dealer may need to reprogram your TIPM to fix the issue permanently.
How To Reprogram A TIPM Module
The reset procedure doesn’t always fix a TIPM issue, and it may require reprogramming to return to factory settings and configuration.
The process will require a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) to be entered into the TIPM. This will require the hood to be closed and the ignition key to be turned to the RUN position for a minimum of 12 seconds. The PCM (Power Control Module) will supply the TIPM with the vehicle configuration and VIN information while the key is in the RUN position. Then you can turn the key to the OFF position momentarily, turn it back, to the ON position, and verify if the vehicle systems have been restored.
How To Replace And Initialize A TIPM Module
If a reset or reprogramming sequence doesn’t fix your TIPM module issues, it may be damaged. It could have had water intrusion that shorted circuits inside the module or another physical issue that prevented it from working correctly. It may need to be repaired or completely replaced.
Certain models of TIPM modules can be repaired by qualified companies.
TIPM modules without the solid-state integrated circuit control can be repaired. You will need to remove the TIPM module from your vehicle and send it for repair. If that isn’t possible, it may be easier to replace the module with a used one or a new one.
You will need the part number of your TIPM module to ensure you purchase the correct one for replacement. The replacement procedure for a used or new module is the same, and then you will need to re-learn or reprogram the replacement module to initialize the factory configuration of your vehicle.
The initializing sequence is the same as the steps noted above for reprogramming a module.
You will close the hood, turn the ignition key to the RUN position for at least 12 seconds, turn it to the OFF position momentarily then back to the ON position. The PCM and CANBUS system should reprogram your new TIPM module to your factory settings.
You may need to re-enter the tire ratio parameters and reset the anti-theft system with the new module initialized. A scan tool or factory scanner may be required to “Restore Vehicle Configuration” correctly with the new TIPM module.
Is Your TIPM Issue Covered Under A Manufacturer Recall?
The TIPM module can be troublesome for some manufacturers. The Dodge Ram truck, for example, has had multiple recalls over the years for the TIPM module.
Your vehicle may be covered for repair under a factory recall with the manufacturer.
You will need to have your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) available and check it against recalls listed on the manufacturer’s website or on the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) website.
There have been 6 different TIPM module recalls for the Dodge Ram trucks issued by the NHTSA.
Chrysler (FCA US LLC) has these listed for recalls:
- Certain 2009 – 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 trucks
- Certain 2016 – 2017 Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis-Cab vehicles
- Certain 2011 to 2017 Dodge Ram 3500, 4500, and 5500 Chassis-Cab vehicles
- All 2012 to 2014 Ram 1500, 2500, 3500, 4500, 5500 trucks made on January 18, 2011, to October 7, 2014, with the Electronic Vehicle Information Center option
If you want to check for any recalls on your vehicle, the best place to gather that information is on the NHTSA website regardless of your vehicle manufacturer. You will need your VIN to enter into the website and it will return any recalls listed.
If you have a recall on your vehicle, contact a local dealership on the next steps to take due to the recall. They can coordinate the next steps in the process.