Question about 2000 Saturn SL

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Got a Saturn L200 2003. PO171 keep coming back since 2 weeks. I put injector cleaner in gas and cleaned air filter but it does not seem to solve problem. Unusual thing is that the rad fans get ON continuous when code comes in but they stop as soon as I erase the PO171. I note that engine is also running faster at idle and some small bucking on highway at constant speed. Any clue of problem ?? Thanks Slalom64

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  • cheap repair Oct 03, 2010

  • japbegin Oct 13, 2010

    MAF seems OK ansd could not find any leak on vacuum side.

    What is the reason that the rad fans run continuously and idle is around 1200 rpm once engine show some bucking ?


  • japbegin Oct 14, 2010

    Run car this morning and first got a PO172 (rich) but could not feel anything wrong and idle still OK w/o cooling fans. Run a few more kilometers and got two PO171 after some bucking of engine on highway on cruise.

    Went to a garage & used a diagnostic anayzer. The upstream O2 sensor seem to work OK but the downstream start low (150) and then goes up to 800-900. It may be broken or it may be the catalytic convertor that is fouled.

    Would you consider this a an anti-pollution ssytem problem ?? If so, the car is under the 8y/130,000km warranty and I could bring it to a GM dealer.


    Pierre B.

  • japbegin Nov 07, 2010


    Changed the upstream O2 sensor and everything is back to normal.

    Before changing the sensor I checked the exhaust with a combustion analyzer (for setting burners) and found that O2 was dropping and CO was skyrocketing to 30,000 ppm (3%) quickly at idle and also tested at 3000 RPM. Will look for a refound with GM as pollution system is guaranteed for 8 year or 130 Kkm.



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Hi! Have you checked the TPS (throttle position sensor)? YOu may want to start on the TPS. Hope this helps and thank you for using FixYa!

Posted on Oct 13, 2010

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The code P0171 - System Too Lean (Bank 1), this 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

Test it and tell us news.

Posted on Oct 13, 2010


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