What Does Engine Code P2101 Mean?

A P2101 engine code showing in your car means there’s a discrepancy between your car’s throttle position and the desired throttle position.
Written by Rob Shapiro
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Jan 28, 2022
The diagnostic trouble code (DTC) P2101 means that your car’s powertrain control module (PCM) has detected a discrepancy between where the throttle is positioned and where it should be positioned. 
The role of DTCs is to identify issues within a car’s engine and to notify you via an engine code. It’s valuable for you to
understand car OBD codes
so you can make sure that your car is safe to drive and avoid costly
car repairs
.
Jerry
, a popular
car insurance
comparison and broker app, is here with a handy guide on DTCs and can also help you save on car insurance. Keep reading to learn about the P2101 engine code, including the best way to approach the situation and how to perform the repairs yourself.
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What does the engine code P2101 mean?

Definition: Throttle Actuator ‘A’ Control Motor Circuit Range/Performance
The PCM triggers this engine code after it has detected an
issue with the throttle
. More specifically, the PCM indicates that where and how the throttle should be positioned does not match its actual position.
Your PCM might spring into action by placing your engine in what is called “limp home mode” to safeguard it against acceleration that is unwanted and potentially dangerous.  

How much will it cost to fix?

If you go to a mechanic, it should take them about one hour of labor to figure out what is wrong with your car. You should budget between $75 and $150 per hour as this is the rate that most auto shops charge.

What can cause the P2101 engine code?

Engine codes can vary per car manufacturer. For most, though, engine code P2101 is usually caused by:
  • Dirty throttle bottle
  • Faulty throttle actuator control motor
  • Faulty throttle actuator control motor relay
  • Faulty engine control module (ECM)
  • The throttle actuator control motor harness is open
  • A poor electrical connection in the throttle actuator control motor circuit 

Common symptoms of the P2101 engine code

The engine code should
turn on the engine light
or
service engine soon warning light
once the problem is detected. Other symptoms include:
  • Vehicle stuck in reduced power or limp mode
  • Fixed idle speed
  • Decreased engine performance/inability to accelerate properly 

How serious is the P2101 engine code?

The P2101 engine code is a serious one, and you should have it immediately serviced. Your car will be difficult to drive if it’s stuck in a prolonged limp mode or is unable to accelerate. In fact, both of these issues could make it unsafe for the road.
Key Takeaway: The P2101 engine code is a serious matter and should be fixed as soon as possible.

Can I fix the P2101 engine code myself?

The P2101 engine code doesn’t have one fix, so it could be tough to fix it yourself unless you know exactly what you’re doing. 
Ways to repair this engine code vary based on your car’s
make and model
. That said, if you feel confident about getting under the hood of your car, you can review your vehicle’s owner’s manual and use trusted resources to diagnose the issue and perform the repair. 
When repairing a throttle, make sure to never do the following:
  • Don’t open the throttle body with your fingers. This can ruin the throttle body mechanism.
  • Never clean the throttle body with your fingers.
  • Never put your fingers into the throttle body.
If you aren’t 100% sure what to do, then don’t hesitate to contact a mechanic.

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