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CEL code PO171


aja8888's Avatar
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12-15-04, 12:03 PM   #1  
CEL code PO171

I have a 96 Chrysler T & C van with the 3.8 liter V6 and 158K on it. A few weeks ago, the EGR valve went south and I had it replaced. The van has a lot of miles on it as you can see, but has been well maintained since I bought it at 50K. I put a lot of highway miles on it, primarily.

Today the CEL came on and I stopped at a parts shop for a scan. It showed PO171 which I believe is a lean condition (Bank 1) picked up by the O2 sensor. The van runs fine with no hesitation or driveability problems. One thing noted since the EGR valve repair is that the van is difficult to start after sitting all night.

A new fuel pump was installed about 6 months ago and a tune up shortly after that. Any ideas what may be causing this? What process should I use to troubleshoot the cause?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, TonyOne thing noted since the EGR valve repair is that the van is difficult to start after sitting all night.


Last edited by aja8888; 12-15-04 at 12:45 PM. Reason: More info added.
 
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Desi501's Avatar
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12-15-04, 02:40 PM   #2  
Well, the EGR valve has no bearing on the hard starting. You may still have a fuel problem. Check your fuel pressure at different operating conditions to be sure it is within specs and check it good for vacuum leaks. You likely didn't need the O/2 sensor. The code simply means the O/2 is reporting lean. That's probably the truth.

 
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12-15-04, 04:52 PM   #3  
That's what I thought. I'll check the fuel pressure, although the pump was changed recently. I looked for vacuum leaks and see no visable hose problems, etc. Strange how this would happen shortly after I picked it up from the repair shop. I remember it was hard to start when I picked it up, but thought it may have been from sitting for a few days. Abot the third day after picking it up, the CEL came on.

 
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12-16-04, 11:53 AM   #4  
Update!

I checked the other Chrysler forums and got some new suggestions. One was the gas cap. I checked it and it didn't seem like it was put on tight enough to feel and hear the ratchets kick in. I restarted and the CEL is out. I drove about 30 miles today without a repeat of it coming on. The car still starts hard when cold, however.

Tony

 
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12-18-04, 03:54 PM   #5  
Looks like it was the gas cap.

Still no CEL after a few days. Guess the cap not being on as tight as it could have been was it. Still starts had when cold, however.


Tony

 
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12-20-04, 04:46 AM   #6  
A loose gas cap is not going to set a lean code. It will set a evap leak code. The hard starting could be from several things as well as the P0171 code. THey can be related, and then they may not be. More than likely they are related. You didnt mention what engine you have so I have to kinda throw some things out here. If you have the 3.3 or 3.8 V6 then there is a PCV valve tube that runs under the intake that gets brittle and cracks quite regularly on these vehicles. This could be a contributor to your lean code. You should get the fuel pressure checked as suggested. You dont want to get stranded when it finally pukes out if thats the problem. Its possibly warning you now.
Hope this is helpful,
Billy

 
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12-21-04, 11:05 PM   #7  
Thanks!

Yes, the CEL light returned today (Rats!). Tomorrow, I get the fuel pressure tested. I have heard that if some injectors are leaking down at night and dropping the residual fuel pressure in the system, that a hard start will or could occur? Is this a possibility? These are the original injectors. In my old 93 Plymouth van (V6), I had leaking injectors but they leaked externally and I could smell and see wet gasoline. Once I changed them, life was good with that car.

The engine is a 3.8L with 159,000 on it. It had a new fuel pump and filter last summer. There is no smell of gas in the engine compartment. I will also have a look at the PVC tube also.

Thanks again for your help!~

Tony

 
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12-22-04, 04:11 AM   #8  
It's pretty easy to determine if fuel pressure leakdown is your hard start problem. Simply cycle the key on for 5 sec, then off. Do this 2 or 3 times, then try to start it. This will return pressure before starting.

 
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12-22-04, 08:32 PM   #9  
Thanks Desi501!

I'll give it a try in the morning. I got booged down today and the fuel pressure gauge was never picked up by me.

Tony

 
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