Check Engine Light Code P0171
System Too Lean - Bank 1

Description:

How does a P0171 code trigger the check engine light? This code will trigger the check engine light as follows:

The adaptive fuel strategy in the vehicle's computer constantly monitors the fuel delivery system to make sure the engine is running at an optimum air to fuel ratio, which is 14.7:1. The computer adjusts injector pulse width to regulate the amount of fuel going into the engine. The oxygen sensors relay information to the Powertrain Control Module (computer), informing it of the oxygen content in the exhaust. This information is translated by the computer, and used to determine if more or less fuel is needed.

The computer will then adjust fuel flow (and possibly other related engine operating characteristics), to keep the correct air fuel mixture. This loop continues as long as the engine is running. Please refer to our article Oxygen Sensor Code Diagnosis for more info on this system. A P0171 check engine light code is set when the computer has reached a rich calibration limit and can not add enough fuel to maintain the correct mixture.

Possible Causes:

Refer to our Oxygen Sensor Code Diagnosis article for a list of all possible causes. The following is an overview of P0171 check engine light code possible causes.

Fuel System:

Leaking or faulty fuel pressure regulator
Plugged or dirty fuel filter or lines
Fuel pump weak or defective check valve
Injectors leaking or faulty
Low fuel pressure or running out of fuel
Leaking EVAP system components
Faulty FRP (Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor)

Air Intake System

Vacuum leaks
Contaminated, damaged or faulty Mass Air Flow sensor
PCV valve leak or stuck open
Air induction turbulance caused by wrong filter
Oil dipstick not seated
Air leaks after the Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF)
Oil coated aftermarket air filter

Exhaust System

Any exhaust leak before or near the oxygen sensors

EGR System

Vacuum line disconnected from EGR System Module (ESM)
EGR valve, tube or gasket leak
EGR vacuum regulator valve leaking

Secondary Air Injection System

Mechanically stuck secondary air injection valve

Diagnostic Help:

A very thorough discussion of how to approach and repair a P0171 check engine light code can be found here. If you need further assistance let us know. Please be sure to stop back in and visit some of our other very useful site features to lear more about your car's emissions system!


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