P0116 OBD-II Trouble Code: ECT Sensor Circuit Range Performance Problem

Our certified mechanics come to you · 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

SCHEDULE P0116 DIAGNOSTIC Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront
Red-stars EXCELLENT RATING ON

Cost of diagnosing the P0116 code

P0116 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for "ECT Sensor Circuit Range Performance Problem". This can happen for multiple reasons and a mechanic needs to diagnose the specific cause for this code to be triggered in your situation. Our certified mobile mechanics can come to your home or office to perform the Check Engine Light diagnostic for $70.00. Once we are able to diagnose the problem, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $30.00 off as a credit towards the repair. All our repairs are backed by our 12-month / 12,000-mile warranty.

Cars Estimate Credit towards follow-up repair Earliest Availability
Ford$70.00$30.00
Toyota$70.00$30.00
BMW$70.00$30.00
SCHEDULE P0116 DIAGNOSTIC Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

check engine light logo

P0116 code definition

Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor circuit range performance problem

What the P0116 code means

P0116 is the OBD-II generic code that indicates the engine control module (ECM) ECT monitor has read that the ECT sensor range or the sensor performance is not as the ECM expected when starting from a cold start and warm shut down, to the next cold start.

What causes the P0116 code?

When a cold engine is started and warmed up the ECT sensor value does not change.

The warmed up engine ECT sensor value does not change when the engine is stopped and the next cold engine start performed.

What are the symptoms of the P0116 code?

  • The ECM turns on the Check Engine Light and goes into failsafe mode substituting input to 176 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Engine may have a hard start when engine is cold and start normal when warm

  • Engine may run rough and hesitate until the engine warms up

  • Engine should run close to normal once the engine warms up

Note: The symptoms are determined by the manufacturer failsafe ECM strategy for the vehicle during a failure, and may vary between manufacturers and vehicles.

How does a mechanic diagnose the P0116 code?

  • Visually inspects for any electrical connector, wiring, or sensor issues

  • Scans and documents the codes received and views the freeze frame data to see when the code was set

  • Retests the engine to verify any faults present or tries to duplicate the fault with a wiggle test

  • Simultaneously sets codes P0115, P0117, P0118, or P0125 with DTC P0116. The ECT sensor may have an open or short circuit. Diagnoses these codes first.

  • Removes and tests the thermostat to open at the specified temperature

Common mistakes when diagnosing the P0116 code

  • Not performing a visual inspection first

  • Not following the tests for codes P0115, P0117, P0118, or P0125 first if codes were received with P0116

  • Not replacing the thermostat with correct temperature rating

  • Not trying to connect it to view the ECM data and seeing if the temperature output from the sensor is as expected before installation.

How serious is the P0116 code?

  • The P0116 code will cause the engine ECM to go into a failsafe mode.

  • The failsafe mode may cause the engine to run erratic with hesitation or rough running, until the engine has been warmed up.

What repairs can fix the P0116 code?

  • Testing and replacing the thermostat
  • Testing and repairing any other ECT codes, such as P0115, P0117, P0118, P0119 or P0125

Additional comments for consideration regarding the P0116 code

  • The P0116 code is often associated with P0115, P0117, P0118, P0119 or P0125 codes.
  • Most failures for code P0116 is a thermostat not working properly.

Need help with a P0116 code?

YourMechanic offers certified mobile mechanics who will come to your home or office to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Get a quote and book an appointment online or speak to a service advisor at 1-800-701-6230.

Check Engine Light
trouble codes
P0116

Fast and easy Check Engine Light is on Inspection service at your home or office.

SCHEDULE P0116 DIAGNOSTIC
Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

Recent Check Engine Light is on Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Check Engine Light is on Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.5/5

Number of Reviews

3,901

Rating Summary
3,566
166
43
25
101
3,566
166
43
25
101

Fabrice

17 years of experience
108 reviews
Fabrice
17 years of experience
Fabrice was on time quick and accurate diagnosis and rapid repair!
2006 LEXUS ES330 - CHECK ENGINE LIGHT IS ON - ORLANDO, FLORIDA

Chris

20 years of experience
1352 reviews
Chris
20 years of experience
Communicated with us and was very thorough and helpful.
2016 FIAT 500X - CHECK ENGINE LIGHT IS ON - FULLERTON, CALIFORNIA

William

31 years of experience
144 reviews
William
31 years of experience
William did a great job in diagnosing my car and informing me on what the problem is. The was on time, professional and courteous.
2012 FORD FOCUS - CHECK ENGINE LIGHT IS ON - GLENDALE, ARIZONA

Jeffrey

24 years of experience
683 reviews
Jeffrey
24 years of experience
Very nice and helpful did a great job on my car.
2007 PONTIAC G5 - CHECK ENGINE LIGHT IS ON - CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

More related articles

P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP)...
P0608 OBD-II Trouble Code: Control Module VSS Output "A" Malfunction
P0608 means there is an malfunction in the vehicle speed sensor A control module often due too faulty speed sensor or shorted electrical wiring.

Related questions

Q: All lights are on; on the dashboard and the battery continues to die.

Hello. The first thing to consider is that amount of work that has already gone into the vehicle. With the lowering of the battery's power so quickly after starting, I have a strong prediction that the alternator/charging system is not...

Q: I recently had a new stereo installed in my mirage, and now the airbag light is on. How do i reset it or get it to go out.

The Air Bag Light would set a code in the computer and should be checked by the dealer since you are still under factory warranty unless the stereo installer damaged the wiring or something to do with the airbag. I...

Q: I accidentally drove through 2 feet of water, I have replaced several parts but the car still runs poorly

You did not mention replacing the air filter after it got wet. The engine and its sensors were not designed to go through water and will get damaged. You may have also damaged internal engine parts like bending engine piston...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1-800-701-6230 · hi@yourmechanic.com