To know what the heck a TIPM IS, we must first explore what the heck a TIPM IS NOT. A TIPM is not:

  1. Two Intelligent Penguins Marrying
  2. The Intergalactic Portability Machine
  3. Triply Important Personal Mantra
  4. The thing you do for your waiter as you leave a restaurant

Officially officiated by a moose, of course


So…what the heck is it then?

TIPM is an acronym for Totally Integrated Power Module. The TIPM controls the distribution of power throughout the entire vehicle via fuses and a computer.

This one’s for a 2008 Dodge Nitro

How Does It Work?

Complicated-computery-circuity-electronicy-wiry-type methods.

What Happens When It Doesn’t Work?

Since it sends power to every electrical component in a vehicle, a non-functional TIPM can yield:

  • The vehicle not starting
  • Headlights not working
  • Brake lights not working
  • Built-in cookie vending machine* not working
  • Fuel pump failure or burnout
  • Windshield wipers not working

No description necessary

Symptoms of a Bad TIPM

Here are some things that can happen with a failing TIPM:

  • Headlights, windshield wipers, built-in cookie vending machine*, and other electrical components seem possessed because they are turning on and off randomly
  • It takes a few tries to start the engine, and over time, it takes more tries until it doesn’t start at all
  • The battery drains out within a day or two of replacing or charging it
  • The vehicle stalls while driving, and takes some time to start back up


So, there you have it. Now you know what the heck a TIPM is NOT, what it IS, and symptoms to note that might point to a probably-going-to-fail TIPM, or PGTFTIPM (I just made that one up). Don’t forget to buy Mr. and Mrs. Penguin a wedding gift! They’re registered at Seattle Fish Company, Burlington Coat Factory, Tuxedo Junction, and Macys.


*If you have a built-in cookie vending machine in your vehicle, I will personally give you multiple high-fives.


Tell me what other automotive parts baffle you. I’ll tell you what the heck they are!

Written by Ben Scharff


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