Totally Integrated Power Module
Have you been facing constant electrical problems since you purchased your new car? If so, you may be among the many unsatisfied Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge owners who reported their car as "being possessed". In fact, it is most likely a faulty, onboard computer system caused by your car’s Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) giving you the extra trouble. If you purchased a vehicle from Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) model between 2007 and 2016, then you may be unknowingly putting yourself and others at serious risk.
The name, Totally Integrated Power Module, is itself both self-explanatory and incredibly vague. Think of it as a highly-developed fuse box, or as a mechanical, nerve center. In actuality, a TIPM is the point of convergence for the majority of a vehicle's electrical system. It first receives commands from all switches and modules, and then distributes power to the designated car component. This is in an ideal situation. However, if you have a TIPM, then you’ve found that the only 'ideal situation' is in a Chrysler lab.
Due to its expansive function, it can be hard to determine which symptoms indicate a failing TIPM. Some are minor, obscure and easily missed like an unwarranted warning light, while others can be major and life threatening like the sudden combustion of the car's engine. Further investigation into complaints from customers to federal regulators revealed a slew of technical issues, including:
- Non-responsive fuel pump relay
- Inoperative coolant fan
- Stalling engine
- Dysfunctional power windows and wipers
- Defective air bag lights
- Defective reverse lights
- Inoperative/unresponsive air-conditioning
- Inoperative/unresponsive AM/FM radio
- Inoperative/unresponsive horn
- Failing Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
Before your car breaks down (or worse), check to see if it emits a high-pitched hum once you’ve turned off the engine. A car's contactor emits this noise when voltage passes through a coil. Another (longer) way to diagnose your car is by tracking the number of cranks it requires to start your engine over a period of time. If the number of tries to start your car increases and then suddenly stops working altogether, then you most likely have a bad TIPM. Other indicators are intermittent stalls from the engine or a drained battery a day or two after replacing, or charging it.
Fortunately, a technician's diagnostic work is straight-forward. Your car's TIPM is checked for all its powers and grounds. Its connection as well as inputs and outputs are taken into account. By process of elimination, the TIPM will be determined as the underlying problem.
Unfortunately, if you are not under warranty, a new TIPM can sometimes cost upwards of $1000.00, excluding the costs of any former misdiagnoses. Complaints from several hundred owners led to a successful class-action lawsuit and an internal investigation at FCA in 2014. However, since then, FCA has refused to acknowledge TIPM's engineering failure and the backlog for a new replacement suggests an indeterminate wait time.
Though many are quick to give FCA the entire blame, issues may be caused by an owner’s tampering with the car's electrical system. A frequent circumstance is a newly installed snowplow and additional headlights are wired for power to the TIPM. Any post-purchase installments connected to the TIPM will overload the natural capacity of its circuits.
Ultimately, the TIPM's design is flawed and avoiding cars with this component in the future is a must. Well, that is, only if you’re the type who likes working cars, saved dollars and hassle-free time.
Here are some sample images representative of our extensive TIPM catalog:
All of our Totally Integrated Power Modules (TIPM) come with a lifetime warranty. Flagship One also provides TIPM repair and TIPM replacement services. We are currently in the process of listing all the Control Modules we have in-stock available for purchase. We plan to have them all on our website as soon as possible, in the meantime please give our office a call or simply fill out the request form below.