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2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition


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May 19, 2014, 4:22 AM

Post #1 of 19 (1324 views)
2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

I have a CEL on with code P0171. When it is reset at auto place, usually stays that way when I drive home, but next morning it will be on again.

It has been on and off for years. It used to stay off for months when reset.

So far mechanic tried to clean MAS. I got an aftermarket MAS and replaced it and the light still came on. (Though mechanic said he has seen genuine toyota fix the issue).

Mechanic mentioned it could be vacuum leak as well.

Car drives fine. Only issue I ever have is in winter if I drive without letting it warm up some then sometimes at stop lights it will sputter (car shakes some) or even stall. Raising idle a bit helped that... not sure if thats related...)

Anyway - I want to troubleshoot this as efficiently as possible. I am not really car saavy, but replacing the MAS was certainly quite easy. Anything I can do myself like that would be great to know. Also curious what people think is the best way to go about this trial and error process to avoid spending tons of money.

Thanks in advance!



2002 Toyota Celica
(Regular - non-GT)
130K miles


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 19, 2014, 4:26 AM

Post #2 of 19 (1319 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In


Quote
Also curious what people think is the best way to go about this trial and error process to avoid spending tons of money.


If you want to avoid wasting money, then have it professionally diagnosed.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



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May 19, 2014, 4:37 AM

Post #3 of 19 (1317 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

The shop basically told me it is trial and error.... I am trying to avoid some of the cost of that... for instance replacing a MAS myself.... takes 5 minutes, anyone can do it, but the show would have charged me like $60 for it.

And I am curious about others opinions. Do you agree that just because and aftermarket MAS did not fix the issue that it could still very well be the MAS and I need to try the genuine one to really rule that out?

What would people here check first? Replace the MAS? Vacuum leaks? etc

Thanks in advance!


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 19, 2014, 4:48 AM

Post #4 of 19 (1312 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

{quote]The shop basically told me it is trial and error....


Then you have the wrong shop. That is a ridiculous answer. Any competent driveabilty tech can positively diagnose this through testing.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



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May 19, 2014, 5:04 AM

Post #5 of 19 (1307 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

I will try another shop and see what they say... this shop (the first one I brought it to) is rated REALLY well on Yelp. Lots of reviews from seasoned reviewers all saying they are very honest.



Here was the last exchange... (After I replaced MAS myself with aftermarket and CEL came back on)
Me

Quote
engine light came back on... I need to figure out if the mass air flow sensor I got was toyota or aftermarket... and I guess try a toyota one if it was aftermarket.

The tech said the code (P0171) could be a number of things though... I think he said Mass air flow sensor would probably be the first thing to try... though he would make sure it was toyota.

To confirm - there is no cheaper way to figure out what is wrong that buying and replacing the parts... is that right?


Their response

Quote
Unfortunately trial & error is the best way to approach this
particular check engine light code (P0171 lean condition). The flow chart
for checking things is 20 pages long and gives many false positives.
Vacuum leaks are the most likely cause with the air flow meter a close
second.


So - to confirm - after seeing all the context you still believe I should try another shop?

Thanks!


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 19, 2014, 7:17 AM

Post #6 of 19 (1295 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

Being honest and being proficient in engine performance diagnosis are 2 entirely different things.

A`good tech should have no trouble at all finding the source of the problem and confirming it.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



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May 19, 2014, 7:41 AM

Post #7 of 19 (1290 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

Thanks! So to confirm basically I want to find a shop that will diagnose the problem and tell me for sure what I need to do...

Another shop offered to do an engine diagnostic for like $70 or so. This was earlier... so I have not confirmed yet if they are saying they will definitely find the issue or not... Does that all sound about right though?

Thanks again!


Hammer Time
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May 19, 2014, 8:13 AM

Post #8 of 19 (1289 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

Yes, that's about right as long as they know what they are doing.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



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May 20, 2014, 8:29 AM

Post #9 of 19 (1269 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

Sorry to seam so doubtful but I just want to double check. Are you personally very familiar with the P0171 code in Toyota Celica's or are you just speaking generally when you say a shop should be able to determine the cause of any particular code?

I mentioned there were reviews calling the shop honest... you said honesty and competence are two different things, but the reviews also call them competent. I have actually never seen any car shop rated so highly on yelp. 30 vetted reviews, and a solid 5 star rating.

The other shop I might take it to, that says they can definitely find the issue, has 4 reviews and 4.5 stars... And what happens if they say they are sure it is one part, and that ends up not fixing it... I plan to ask if they would give my money back but I doubt it.

The guy from the original shop seems like he has been around for a while and had lots of experience with this specific code. And when I showed him what you said, his response was....


Quote
My feelings won't be hurt if you want to take your car to "any
competent driveability tech" and pay for the diagnosis. It is indeed
possible that it will be something simple revealed by following the flow
chart, but I doubt it. Feel free to stop by and I will print out a copy of
the flow chart for that P0171 code.


So before I decide what to do I just want to know if you are speaking very specifically about the P0171 code in celica's or if you are speaking generally that a tech should be able to diagnose any problem code without trial and error.

Thanks in advance!


Hammer Time
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May 20, 2014, 8:37 AM

Post #10 of 19 (1268 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

I am a driveabilty tech certified in both engine performance and advanced engine performance. I have resolved a PO171 on many different vehicles and there are any number of things that can make an engine run lean. Any good diagnostic tech will know the things to look for and have the equipment to do it with. They will also know how to recognize when they have resolved it through reading the computer's adaptive strategies.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on May 20, 2014, 8:38 AM)


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May 20, 2014, 9:13 AM

Post #11 of 19 (1263 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

So what is the bottom line? You still feel the original shop is not the one I should go with?

It does not seem like the guy does not know the "things to look for". He just seems to think it tends not to be black and white..


Hammer Time
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May 20, 2014, 9:42 AM

Post #12 of 19 (1262 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

OK, I've run out of ways to explain it..........



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



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May 21, 2014, 3:32 AM

Post #13 of 19 (1248 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

So I took it to the other shop. This is what they are recommending...

replace intake manifold gasket
replace valve gasket
fuel injection cleaning
replace serpentine belt (cracked)
replace air filters
replace spark plugs (says he can't tell for sure if they are worn... but might as well replace while in there.... I am at 140k and not sure if they were replaced at any point (120k recommended)

quoting something in the $800's.

Does the price seem reasonable for the work? And does the work seem reasonable? i.e., Do you think the fuel injection cleaning, and air filters really need replacing. (I have been told that shops often try to oversell fluid cleaning and replacements to make extra $)

It might be worth noting that I am likely to sell/trade this car in, in the next 6 months. Not sure if its better to put the work into it (i.e. could get more for it) or if its better not to.

Thanks in advance!


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 21, 2014, 4:12 AM

Post #14 of 19 (1247 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

What kind of shop is this? Chain store type?



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



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May 21, 2014, 4:18 AM

Post #15 of 19 (1241 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

Precision tune


Hammer Time
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May 21, 2014, 4:57 AM

Post #16 of 19 (1240 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

OH, God no...........

You need to find a competent independent shop.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



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May 21, 2014, 5:13 AM

Post #17 of 19 (1237 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

Just so I am clear... what all do you feel is the issue?

do you feel they might not be honest (or competent) about even the main issue (which seems to be the intake manifold gasket and the valve gasket)...

and/or

that they are just overcharging for the work

and/or

the extranious stuff probably is not needed (serpentine belt, fuel injection cleaning, air filter changing, spark plugs)

I guess what I am getting at here is if I just have them do the bare minimum am I still likely to be bad off? (i.e. if they just replace the gaskets do you think I could get that done for !100's less somewhere else?

If I can just get them to do the essential stuff, even if it costs $50-$100 more at this point, I might rather just have them do it, (so I can get my inspection and reg.) then I can worry about finding another good shop to see if the other stuff really needs to be done.

But if you think I shouldn't even trust them to do that I will go elsewhere...

Thanks in advance!

p.s. (BTW I realized the 800 or so price probably includes the $80 diagnostic - so the repairs are probably actually in the $700's)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 21, 2014, 7:37 AM

Post #18 of 19 (1227 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

No, what I mean is they barely pay more than minimum wage and the people they hire I wouldn't let change my oil. You will never find what you need (competence) in any multi-location chain store.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



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May 21, 2014, 1:52 PM

Post #19 of 19 (1220 views)
Re: 2002 Celica - CEL - P0171 LEAN Condition Sign In

Thanks - I will try to find another shop.

In the meantime I have looked around online, and it seems like some places say the air induction cleaning, and the fuel injection service is probably only needed if you actually experience problems with the car - would you agree?

I looked through records and found I had spark plugs replaced at 100k (about 20k early) about 5 years ago. So I am thinking I can go without the plugs - would you agree?

the serpentine belt (that does have some cracking on the inside (outside looks normal though - should that be replaced as soon as there is cracking on the inner side?

Then the manifold and valve gaskets I assume need to be replaced to resolve the Lean condition.

Thanks in advance for your advice!






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