2001 Grand Am Engine Light Code P0171 Lean

2001 Pontiac Grand Am 2.2L Ecotec.

Question : My Pontiac has the check engine light on. I had the a scan of the codes from Autozone and the mechanic said it was P0171 lean exhaust system. The traction control light is also on the dash. He said the code could have also set the traction lights. Car seems to run and idle good.

Starts up just fine all the time. What is a common cause for this problem? Can it be something i can fix my car myself. My boyfriend has tools and can do some work and maintenance. Thanks for any help.

Answer: Actually, a P0171 code is a Fuel Trim Lean code. The engine is getting more air than fuel which causes a lean condition and will set the code. A vacuum line that has come loose can cause this, or not having an air filter installed, or possibly the duct work to the throttle body has come detached.

Those are some quick fixes and can be checked easily. Other things that are a bit more involved to check would be a fuel injector that is clogged, fuel filter that is clogged, or even a fuel pump that isn't putting out as much fuel as it should. Those would need checked by someone experienced and preferably someone that has a scanner that can watch the data stream and fuel trim levels. Another possibility is a faulty oxygen sensor. I would check for vacuum leaks first, as that's usually the cause.


I OWN A 2001 PONTIAC GRAND AM 2.4 LITER 4CYL. AUTOMATIC. IT HAS 177,000 MILES RIGHT NOW I HAVE NO SERVICE LIGHTS ON BUT WHEN I START THE CAR STILL NO SERVICE LIGHTS UNTIL I PUT THE CAR IN REVERSE OR DRIVE THEN THE SERVICE VEHICLE SOON LIGHT "SVS" LIGHT COMES ON. IF I TURN THE CAR OFF AND START IT BACK UP THE "SVS" LIGHT IS GONE UNTIL I SHIFT INTO GEAR AGAIN THEN IT WILL COME BACK ON. THIS IS A INTERMITTENT PROBLEM DOES NOT HAPPEN ALL THE TIME.

THIS LIGHT WILL STAY ON UNTIL I TURN THE CAR OFF DOES ANY ONE KNOW WHAT WILL CAUSE THIS? COULD MY TRANSMISSION LEVEL BE LOW, A SENSOR BE BAD ANY IDEAS??? HELP PLEASE. THANK YOU.

 Answer: This warning light on your Pontiac is not related to the transmission fluid level. The service vehicle light is usually related to an ABS brake or Traction Control system problem. You would need to have the computer scanned for trouble codes.

 When you put the car in gear, the computer starts to look at wheel speed sensor data. If it does not see that from one of the sensor, it will turn on this warning. Each wheel has a speed sensor. Another possibility is that a wiring may be rubbing. When you shift into gear, the engine and trans move. This can pull on a wiring harness and cause a problem. Either way, a code stored in the computer will give an indication as to what part of the system is having a problem.


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