Error Code P0916 is defined as Gear Shift Position Circuit Low. This is a generic trouble code, meaning it applies to all vehicles equipped with the OBD-II system, especially those made since 1996 up to the present. Specifications on the definition, troubleshooting, and repairs, of course, vary from one make and model to another.

This code refers to an electrical error in the transmission gear shift position circuit. The gear shift position circuit senses the forward or rearward (for automatic transmission) gear of the vehicle or even or odd-numbered gear (manual transmission). When the powertrain control module (PCM) determines an anomaly from the gear shift position circuit, it will register this error code.

Common Symptoms

There will be noticeable transmission problems, such as:

  • Harsh shifting
  • Inability to shift or change gears
  • Increased fuel consumption

Possible Causes

  • Damaged electrical components (broken, corroded, frayed wiring or connectors)
  • Blown fuses
  • Short circuit in the positive battery
  • Defective PCM (rare)

How to Check

Use an OBD-II trouble code scanner to view freeze frame data and search for additional codes. For problems with multiple codes, address the codes in the order in which they appear on the scanner.

Reset the codes, restart the vehicle and see if the code comes back. If it doesn’t come back, the problem may be erroneously triggered or an intermittent error.

If the code comes back, then check the electrical components in the gear shift position system. Damaged wires, connectors, or fuses must be repaired or replaced.

Then, check the short circuit in the positive battery.

If the problem persists, check the gear shift position system (especially the sensors) and the PCM.

After doing any repair or replacement, make sure to reset the trouble codes and see if the code comes back.

How to Fix

  • Repair or replacement of damaged electrical components in the system
  • Replacement of circuit
  • Replacement and reprogramming of PCM (rare)

The most common mistake in fixing this code is replacing the gear shift position system when the problem is only an electrical matter.