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Old 11-19-2008, 05:52 AM
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Safe to drive with P0171?

My CEL came on last night and I checked the code when I got home and it's a P0171: Fuel System too Lean.

Is it OK to drive with this on? The dealership can't get me in until Monday.

The reason I am concerned is (and I posted this when it happened sorry it's long) about 4 months ago my fiancee and I were driving to my family's annual Labor Day get together on Sunday when I started to slow for a red light, when I went to accelerate again nothing happened, I continued to coast, the car was running, I had electrical power, but nothing happened when I hit the gas. I pulled over, put it in park, shut it off, restarted it and it ran for about 4 seconds and stalled again. I started it again, gunned it and it revved up but when it dropped back to low RPM's it stalled again. I figured it was a fuel system issue because my battery and alternator were fine.

I ended up having to use her AAA Plus and get it and us towed back 50 miles to the dealership where I bought it only 2 months earlier (Honda Certified with 24,473 miles on it, now at 28,889).

Anyway, after 2 days with no car the dealership pulled it in, and it stalled on them twice, so they saw the issue. After having it all day they said that it was a computer issue and that it was leaning out the fuel in the air to fuel ratio too much and not letting enough fuel into the engine. They said there was a software update and that this was one of the things that it would adjust, they test drove it and all is well and I picked it back up last night.

Any thoughts? Should I be concerned?

Thanks,

GSchmelt
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2008, 06:14 AM
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If your car is running lean you could do damage to the engine. I would get that fixed asap.
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Old 11-19-2008, 07:41 AM
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Fyi...My one and only CEL was a "running too lean" code. But this was a 99 2.3 that I bought new. The code happened at around 80k I think it was. The Autozone guy said it could be the injectors, fuel pump etc. Brought it into the dealer who diagnosed it as a fuel pressure regulator($100).
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:02 AM
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Ok, so driving around last night after work the CEL went off. What could this be? I'm still going to have it checked Monday at the dealership.
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Old 11-20-2008, 07:11 AM
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If it's a communication issue, it may not actually be running lean just shutting down because it THINKS it is. Report after the update is done.
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:33 AM
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It could be from poor fuel quality. I've seen afew cars in te past month with this same code, every car has had good fuel pressure and shows no other problems while running. I've called Honda concerning these vehicles and they suggest draining the fuel tank, and refilling with new fuel, or topping the tank off with higher octane fuel. I usually suggest running a higher octane fuel for a tank full to help "wash out" the bad fuel less labor ad cheaper for the customer
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:46 AM
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Not to again open the high vs low octane thing...makes my head hurt just to think of it that again...wouldn't it be better to intro a higher detergent laden or top tier fuel?

(BTW, thanks to some discussions with SatinSilver way back when, I have found the top tier fuels (Chevron, Shell, etc) provide better mpg and better running of the engine. Not night and day kind of changes...just generally better running.)
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:35 PM
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Just to clear things up. I Wasn't really trying to have a high/low octane debate or bring up any bad memories for anyone (sorry I wasn't around for this one). I am just really trying to say to put a quality "top tier" fuel in it.

gschmelt: let us know what your dealership says
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:00 AM
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Here is an update

Just to clarify the CEL went off by itself after 4-5 days before filling up again. The tank of gas the light came on with was on Marathon 87. That I had to buy. I normally use exclusively Shell 87.

The software update was done after the car died the first time.

Took it to the dealership today and told them the CEL had come on and went off after 4-5 days and that I had pulled the code and it was a P0171.

Turns out there was a bug stuck on the MAF sensor that was causing the issue. Damn bugs! They cleaned it and it's good to go now.

I want to thank everyone for their help. I just didn't want the thing to die again 2 hours from home.

FG12351
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:48 AM
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Wow...a great end to the issue. Quick fix with no actual mechanical failure. Glad you're back on the road!
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:54 AM
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The P0171 Code can also be MAP sensor and Mass air flow sensor, And also the crankcase breather hose. I have that code So for I have proper fuel pressure, had my valves adjusted, fuel injectors are good and clean, changed o2 sensors, and changed the PVC valve. The only thing I haven't done is the crankcase breather hose I got a friend at a Honda dealer thats gonna smoke test the vacuum system for leaks. The Code scanner I'm using is INNOVA 3160B which does freeze frame data, live data with test's and ABS/SRS testing. Hope this helps anyone.

Jimmy
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