GMC Envoy – P2101 Error!

So, we went on a road trip to Maine from NJ to go camping in Acadia National Park.  This was a beautiful trip and there will be a post on it coming up sometime in the future but I am going to post about the issues that we had on the way back with our GMC Envoy.

We were driving down the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut doing about 70 MPH and all of a sudden, the check engine light, the stabilitrack disabled warning, and the reduced power light all come on at the same time.  I’ve never seen this happen in this truck and when I stepped on the gas pedal to resume accelerating up the hill, there was no power.  I guess that’s what that reduced power light is all about.

So we pull over to the side of the road, there were 2 other family’s following us, and run the codes on the truck to see what the hell is going on.  Thank goodness that one of the families was carrying a code reader and we were able to get the code.

I quickly looked up the code and found that it was the P2101 error code that indicates that there is an issue with the throttle actuator in the throttle body.  Since I didn’t think that was too big a deal, I cleared the code and continued on my way.

A few miles down the road, it happened again and at the next rest area I cleared it once more.  So this was obviously going to be a problem and at this point I was just looking to make it home without leaving us stranded.

6 miles down the road it happened again and my wife stated that we should just stop and hop into the other vehicles.  After about a minute, I agreed since the power brakes were now starting to act up.

We got off the highway and found an office complex that was near the highway.  I was looking for a place where no one would notice the truck being parked there where I could buy a day or two to figure out what I was going to do.  I did find a place in a building that was not currently occupied and I parked it in the farthest corner I could.  We unloaded the other two vehicles into the Envoy and hitched a ride home with our friends.

So now my truck is 100+ miles away from my house and I need to figure out what I’m going to do.  Plan A was to rent a U-Haul with a trailer and tow it home.  I looked up the cost of this and found the price to be reasonable but right around the $300 mark.  For that price I decided to call around to some towing companies and see what that would cost me.  OMG!  It seems that to tow the truck home would be about double that!  So towing it is!

We stopped for dinner at the local Chili’s and I started doing some research on the code that we got as well as what the causes are.  Everything that occurred seemed to point to the Throttle body, well actually the electronics that control the throttle body.  Since there is a vacuum feed off the throttle body the brakes could have been affected too!

I decided to take a gamble and purchase a throttle body locally and fix it in the parking lot.

This is super simple to do, all you need are a flat head screw driver and a 10mm socket.  An extention is nice as well but unnecessary.

I removed the 2 bolts that hold down the Vortec plastic piece and unscrewed the clamps that held the hose on that and the throttle body.  I forgot to take pictures of this because i was in a parking lot!

I then removed the two electrical connectors that are nearby the part.

Remove the Vacuum tube that is attached to the nipple protruding out of the throttle body.

You can now remove the 4 10mm bolts that hold the throttle body on the intake manifold.

Now put it all back together and run the re-learn procedure, which is:

  1. Start and idle the engine in park for 3 minutes
  2. Turn off ignition for 60 seconds
  3. Start and idle the engine in park for 3 minutes

At this point the engine should be idling normally and in my case it was.  If you have maintained your throttle body by cleaning it, the ECM will already be almost perfect in the application of the throttle.  If there is a lot of carbon buildup, you may have other issues.  You may have to drive the vehicle above 45mph for a bit (couple of minutes) and then repeat the procedure above.

After we were done, I drove it home!  I love the internet!

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