Question about Ford Taurus

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Im trying to pass smog and the codes that they gave me are p0171 p0174 p 0420 p0430..please help cant get a straight answer from anyone and my reg sticker is old .im dyin please help

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P0171 - System Too Lean (Bank 1)
Basically this means that an oxygen sensor in bank 1 detected a lean condition (too much oxygen in the exhaust). On V6/V8/V10 engines, Bank 1 is the side of the engine that has cylinder #1.

Note: This DTC is very similar to P0174, and in fact your vehicle may show both codes at the same time.

Symptoms: You will more than likely not notice any drivability problems, although there may be symptoms such as a lack of power, detonation (spark knock), and/or a hesitation/surge on acceleration.

Causes: A code P0171 may mean that one or more of the following has happened:
* The MAF (Mass Air Flow) Sensor is dirty or faulty. Note: The use of "oiled" air filters may cause the MAF to become dirty if the filter is over-oiled. There is also an issue with some vehicles where the MAF sensors leak the silicone potting material used to protect the circuitry.
* There could be a vacuum leak downstream of the MAF sensor.

Possible solutions include:
* In the vast majority of cases, simply cleaning the MAF sensor does the trick. Consult your service manual for it's location if you need help. I find it's best to take it off and spray it with electronics cleaner or brake cleaner. Make sure you are careful not to damage the MAF sensor, and make sure it's dry before reinstalling
* Inspect all vacuum and PCV hoses, replace if necessary
* Check for a dirty fuel filter and proper fuel pressure


P0174 - System Too Lean (Bank 2)
Basically this means that an oxygen sensor in bank 2 detected a lean condition (too much oxygen in the exhaust). On V6/V8/V10 engines, Bank 2 is generally the side of the engine that doesn't have cylinder #1.

Note: This DTC is very similar to P0171, and in fact your vehicle may show both codes at the same time.

Symptoms: You will more than likely not notice any drivability problems, although there may be symptoms such as a lack of power, detonation (spark knock), and/or a hesitation/surge on acceleration.

Causes: A code P0174 may mean that one or more of the following has happened:
* The MAF (Mass Air Flow) Sensor is dirty or faulty. Note: The use of "oiled" air filters can cause the MAF to become dirty if the filter is over-oiled. There is also an issue with some vehicles where the MAF sensors leak the silicone potting material used to protect the circuitry.
* There could be a vacuum leak downstream of the MAF sensor.

Possible solutions include:
* In the vast majority of cases, simply cleaning the MAF sensor does the trick. Consult your service manual for it's location if you need help. I find it's best to take it off and spray it with electronics cleaner or brake cleaner. Make sure you are careful not to damage the MAF sensor, and make sure it's dry before reinstalling
* Inspect all vacuum and PCV hoses, replace if necessary
* Check for a dirty fuel filter and proper fuel pressure


P0420 - Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)
The catalytic converter has an oxygen sensor in front and behind it. When the vehicle is warm and running in closed loop mode, the upstream oxygen sensor waveform reading should fluctuate. The downstream O2 sensor reading should be fairly steady. Typically the P0420 code triggers the Check Engine Light if the readings of the two sensors are similar. This is indicative of (among other things) a converter that is not working as efficiently as it should be (according to specs). It is part of the vehicle emissions system.

Symptoms: You will likely not notice any drivability problems, although there may be symptoms.

Causes: A code P0420 may mean that one or more of the following has happened:
* Leaded fuel was used where unleaded was called for
* An oxygen sensor is not reading (functioning) properly
* The engine coolant temperature sensor is not working properly
* Damaged or leaking exhaust manifold / catalytic converter / exhaust pipe
* Retarded spark timing
* The oxygen sensors in front and behind the converter are reporting too similar of readings

Possible Solutions: Some suggested steps for troubleshooting a P0420 error code include:
* Check for exhaust leaks at the manifold, pipes, catalytic converter. Repair as required.
* Use a scope to diagnose the oxygen sensor operation (Tip: The oxygen sensor in front of the catalytic converter normally has a fluctuating waveform. The waveform of the sensor behind the converter should be more steady).
* Inspect the downstream heated oxygen sensor (HO2), replace if necessary
* Replace the catalytic converter

One thing to note is that many vehicle manufacturers offer a longer warranty on emissions-related parts. So if you have a newer car but it's out of it's bumper-to-bumper warranty, there still may be warranty on this type of problem. Many manufacturers give a five year, unlimited mileage warranty on these items. It's worth checking into.


P0430 - Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 2)
Basically this means that the oxygen sensor downstream of the catalytic converter on bank 2 is detecting that the converter is not working as efficiently as it should be (according to specs). It is part of the vehicle emissions system.

Symptoms: You will likely not notice any drivability problems, although there may be symptoms such as a rough/hard idle when cold.

Causes: A code P0430 may mean that one or more of the following has happened:
* The catalytic converter is no longer functioning properly
* An oxygen sensor is not reading (functioning) properly
* There is an exhaust leak

Possible Solutions:
* First, inspect for exhaust leaks.
* Next step is to measure the voltage at the oxygen sensor on Bank 2. In fact, it would be a good idea to test each oxygen O2 sensor while you're at it.

One thing to note is that many vehicle manufacturers offer a longer warranty on emissions-related parts. So if you have a newer car but it's out of it's bumper-to-bumper warranty, there still may be warranty on this type of problem. Many manufacturers give a five year, unlimited mileage warranty on these items. It's worth checking into.


Hope helps.

Posted on Aug 02, 2010

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P0171 indicates a lean condition. The most common cause of this is a defective mass air flow sensor. Also check if any vacuum leaks.
P0174 OBD-II Trouble Code Technical Description

System Too Lean (Bank 2)
What does that mean?

Basically this means that an oxygen sensor in bank 2 detected a lean condition (too much oxygen in the exhaust.

Note: This DTC is very similar to P0171, and in fact your vehicle may show both codes at the same time.

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