P1516 – Throttle Actuator Control Module / Throttle Actuator Position Performance (Buick, CHevrolet, GM, Hummer, Saturn)

Randy Worner

By Randy Worner (Contact Me)
Last Updated 2016-11-15
ASE Master Tech

Trouble CodeFault LocationProbable Cause
P1516 Throttle Actuator Control Module / Throttle Actuator Position Performance (Buick, CHevrolet, GM, Hummer, Saturn) IMRC Input Error Bank 1 (Ford / Lincoln / Mercury) Oil Temp Sensor Low (Hyundai). Idle Air Control Solenoid Valve Signal 4 Circuit Low Input (Subaru). Park/Neutral Position Switch Gear Change Neutral/Drive (Jaguar). Intake Manifold Changeover Valve (Audi/VW)

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What Does Code P1516 Mean?

The Throttle Actuator Position Sensor (TAPS) provides the powertrain control module or PCM with the information needed on throttle movement. It can be located on the throttle body or on the accelerator pedal inside the vehicle. In either case the sensor provides a 0-5V signal to the PCM, with .5 volts as the typical starting point. Once the voltage is above .5, the engine is said to be off idle; up to 4 – 4.5V it is usually around wide open throttle. If at .5 volts, the engine is said to be at idle speed. The voltage will vary based upon driver input.

Code P1516 is a manufacturer’s specific code, mostly utilized by General Motors products, namely Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer and Saturn. This lets you know that diagnosing this condition may be different between manufacturer’s vehicles. In these instances, P1516 will set when the voltage being returned by the sensor does not match what is being received by the actual throttle position sensor or in some cases, it may be a calculated throttle position. This particular code can set if the voltage changes from normal to 0 volts or 5 volts for a very short period of time.

 

drive-by-wire-throtle-body

What are the common causes of code P1516?

  • Intermittent open in the power supply circuit to the pedal position sensor.
  • Intermittent short to ground in the power supply circuit to the pedal position sensor
  • Intermittent open in the ground circuit to the pedal position sensor
  • Intermittent open in the signal circuit to the pedal position sensor
  • Intermittent short to 5 volts in the signal circuit to the pedal position sensor
  • Intermittent short to ground in the signal circuit to the pedal position sensor
  • Failed Pedal Position Sensor – possible
  • Failed PCM – unlikely

What are the symptoms of code P1516?

  • Malfunction Indicator Light “ON”
  • Vehicle may not accelerate
  • Intermittent Bucking or Surging
  • Possibly poor fuel economy

How do you troubleshoot code P1516?

First, take a look and see if there are any technical service bulletins (TSB) for your particular vehicle. There may be an update, or known fix put out by the manufacturer that can save you from wasting time and money.

Next, see if there are any other diagnostic fault codes. Diagnose current faults first, in the order in which they are stored. Misdiagnosis occurs when this code is diagnosed when it is a stored code, especially while other codes are active. If these codes are present, diagnose them before attempting to diagnose the P1516.

If the P1516 is the only active fault code present, and there are no updates/TSBs for your particular vehicle, then the next step is to locate the Throttle Actuator Position Sensor (TAPS) on your particular vehicle, which is usually on the side of the throttle body. Visually inspect the connectors and wiring. Look for the obvious damage to the connector. Note any chafing, rubbing, bare wires, burn spots or melted plastic. If there is damage to the wiring to the point of bare wires touching the frame or to a ground (bare metal spot on the vehicle), replace the sensor, which usually means replacing the throttle body. Also, make sure that the throttle plate is free and easy to move. If not, this could also be the reason why the throttle body code is setting.

If you replaced the sensor and have a scan tool, clear the diagnostic trouble codes from memory, and see if this code returns. If the P1516 does not return, then the connections/wiring issues were most likely your problem.

If the P1516 code does return, further testing will be required. We will need to test the Throttle Actuator Position Sensor (TAPS). The easiest way of doing this is to monitor the voltage signals from the Throttle Actuator Position Sensor (TAPS) as you drive the vehicle down the road as it is acting up. It is very important to note that as you should use a co-pilot in a situation like this. Have someone drive the vehicle while you watch the scan tool. Monitor the APPS “A” PID and note if it drops out as you hit bumps in the road. This would help to isolate it as an intermittent connection somewhere else, somewhere you haven’t looked yet.

If all tests have passed so far, and you continue to get a P1516 code, you may want to seek assistance from a trained automotive diagnostician. And remember, PCMs must be programmed, or calibrated to the vehicle in order to be installed correctly.

Codes Related to P1516

  • P2101 – Throttle Actuator Position Performance – this code will set anytime the voltage returned from the throttle actuator postion sensor does not match what is in PCM memory for a given amount of time.
  • P2119  – Throttle Closed Position Performance – this code sets when the voltage returned by the TAPS sensor does not match the closed throttle position stored in PCM memory.
  • P2176 – Minimum Throttle Position Not Learned – this code sets if the memory is cleared and the throttle blade is not allowed to return to the fully closed position.

Other manufacturers versions of P1516 are:

  • Oil Temp Sensor Low – this typically indicates an oil temperature sensor is constantly relaying a low temperature indication (Hyundai).
  • Intake Manifold Runner Control Input Error Bank 1 – the PCM has indicated a fault in the intake manifold runner control system for bank 1 (Ford / Lincoln / Mercury).
  • Idle Air Control Solenoid Valve Signal 4 Circuit Low Input – this indicates a fault in the idle air control valve circuit, pulling the voltage low (Subaru).
  • Park/Neutral Position Switch Gear Change Neutral/Drive – this fault indicates that the PCM has noticed the park/neutral position switch is not changing as it should (Jaguar).
  • Intake Manifold Changeover Valve – the PCM has indicated a fault in the intake manifold changeover valve circuit (Audi/VW)

Other Manufacturer Specific Definitions for P1516

TAC Module Throttle Actuator Position Performance (GM)
Intake Manifold Runner Control Input Error Bank 1 (Ford)
Intake manifold air control solenoid 1 - open circuit (Volkswagen)
Throttle Actuator Control Position Performance (Acura)
Intake manifold air control solenoid 1 - open circuit (Audi)
Throttle actuator control position -variation between requested and actual throttle position (Buick)
Throttle command/actual throttle position -signal variation (Cadillac)
Throttle command/actual throttle position signal variation (Chevrolet)
Throttle position motor - position performance (Honda)
Throttle command/actual throttle pOSition – signal variation (Hummer)
Idle air control {lAC) valve – coil 2 – signal malfunction (Hyundai)
Throttle position motor – position performance (Isuzu)
Park/neutral position (PNP) switch - gear chance neutral/drive (Jaguar)
Intake manifold air control system (Land Rover)
Intake manifold runner control (IMRC) module -input error (bank 1) (Lincoln)
Intake manifold air control solenoid (Tribute 2005-+) – input error (Mazda)
Intake manifold runner control (IMRC) module -input error (bank 1) (Mercury)
Throttle command/actual throttle position -signal variation (Oldsmobile)
Throttle command/actual throttle position – signal variation (Pontiac)
Throttle command/actual throttle position – signal variation (Saab)
Throttle command/actual throttle position -signal variation (Saturn)
Idle air (lAC) control valve, circuit 4 – voltage low (Subaru)
Throttle Actuator Control Module Throttle Actuator Position Performance (Suzuki)

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