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P1516 code: Meaning, Symptoms, Causes, and Fixes

  • Cars Explained
  • Silas Smith
  • 5 minutes

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Error codes are the way in which the car tells you something is wrong with it. Diagnostic codes like the P1516 have different meanings, and there are different codes for generic issues and errors which are specific to a particular manufacturer. So it would be better to have a basic idea about the code and how you can identify the problem from the symptoms.

You are driving to work every day as usual, and suddenly, you feel there is reduced power. Even when you are revving up, the car does not accelerate over a specific speed. The Check Engine light turns on, and the error code P1516 shows up. Here you can read more about the meaning of the P1516 engine code, the symptoms, causes, and fix.

What is code P1516?

OBD code P1516 is basically pointing out there is a problem with the Throttle Actuator Control (TAC) system. The car will not be traveling more than a particular speed because the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to prevent a failure by preventing you from driving for long.


Trouble code P1516 is a manufacturer-specific diagnostic error code. This code is used by General Motors models, Buick, GMC, Saturn, Hummer, etc. So GM engine code P1516 will have a different definition compared to that in an Audi or a Hyundai.

What does the P1516 code mean?

OBDII Code P1516- Throttle Actuator Control Module / Throttle Actuator Position Performance

The control of the Throttle Actuator Control (TAC) system is with the ECM. Both these components send data in the form of voltages. The role of the ECM is to determine the intent of the driver and calculate the estimated throttle response. This calculation needs the help of the throttle body, which sends a modulated pulse width voltage.

The EDM has two processors to monitor the TAC data. If the throttle position is not the same as the expected throttle position within more than 0.5 s, the P1516 engine code will be displayed.

Also, here are the different meanings of P1516 for other manufacturers:

  • Park/Neutral Position Switch Gear Change Neutral/Drive (Jaguar)
  • Intake Manifold Changeover Valve (VW/Audi)
  • Intake Manifold Runner Control Input Error Bank 1(Lincoln/Mercury/Ford)
  • Oil Temp Sensor Low (Hyundai)

Which symptoms can occur for this code?

Some of the common symptoms of this code include:

  • the ‘Check Engine Light’ turns on.
  • no throttle response
  • vehicle fails accelerate
  • bad fuel economy
  • a fixed speed is maintained during idling
  • vehicle bucking and surging at times

What are the causes of OBD code P1516?

Many factors could lead to this code, including:

  • A faulty TAC module
  • A faulty pedal position sensor
  • Water intrusion in TAC module connector
  • Damaged wiring in the TAC circuit
  • Bent or damaged throttle body
  • TAC module harness is open or shorted

How to diagnose this error code

As you have already read, the meaning and description of the code may vary depending on the model. So before starting to diagnose, make sure the manufacturer has released no new updates. Once these updates are completed, the code will vanish.


The next step is to make sure there are any other active fault codes. If so, diagnose and fix them first and then move on to the P1516 code. If a technician has to do a check for the issue, they will make sure what is causing the code and locate the exact problem by examining the ECM. For the GM engine code P1516, here are a few ways to diagnose the code.

Examine the TAC Module: Check for defects, including the Throttle Body Engine Control and Throttle Body Motor Control circuits.

Check Throttle Actuator Position Sensor(TAPS): A thorough visual inspection can help identify the health of connectors and wiring. If the wiring is damaged, bare wires or damaged insulation touching the frame, you might have to replace the sensor.

Throttle Plate: See if the plate moves easily and if there are no hindrances to its movement. If it is not, then this can also be the cause for the trouble code P1516.

TAPS voltages: You can scan the voltage signals of the TAPS while driving the vehicle. If the values are inconsistent, this can help you locate the problem more easily.

How to fix code P1516

Once a proper diagnosis is made, you can use one or more of the following fixes.

  • Replacing the TAC module
  • Fix or entirely replace the TAC module harness
  • Repair or replace the damaged throttle body
  • Clear any water in the TAC module connector
  • Repair or replace electrical connections in the TAC circuit

What are other codes related to P1516?

Here are three codes that are closely associated with the P1516 code.

  • P2101- Throttle Actuator Position Performance

This code shows up when the voltage values sent by the TAPS sensor do not match the stored value in the ECM memory for a specific amount of time.

  • P2119- Throttle Closed Position Performance

If the TAPS voltage value is not the same as the closed throttle position stored in the memory of the ECM, this code shows up.

  • P2176- Minimum Throttle Position Not Learned

This error code is displayed when the memory is cleared, and the throttle blade does not come back to the fully closed state.

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