Code PO 171 /Check Engine Light
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Thread: Code PO 171 /Check Engine Light

  1. #1
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    Code PO 171 /Check Engine Light

    Recently my daughter's '96 Honda Odyssey (w/150,000 miles) Check Engine Light came on and the Code reads PO 171. The code stands for System Lean /Bank 1.

    I bought the car brand new and it has been running fine ever since. The only minor complaint is it takes some long cranking on the starter when first starting the car in the morning. It may take 5 seconds before it starts and this happens intermittently. I mention it only because it may have something to do with the Check Engine Light.

    I will be changing the spark plugs since I am overdue on that task anyway. Has anyone else had this Code and success in fixing the problem???

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  3. #2
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    Well I went outside and sat in my Odyssey for a while and read my shop manual and couldn't find the code then realized your Odyssey is OBD2 and no wonder I couldn't find the code.

    Hopefully someone else here can help. It shouldn't be running lean nor take that long to start.

    I wonder about the injectors. Can you hear them all clicking, wonder if you can hear them over the engine noise if you put your ear right up to them.

    I'd throw a bottle of SeaFoam in the gas tank while you're changing plugs until someone else can give you more definitive answers.

    Sorry but my shop manual only has codes for my OBD1 1995 Odyssey.
    Polished Metal Metallic 2011 Insight EX,
    Heathermist Metallic 1995 EX w/ JDM F22B,
    Navajo Red Metallic 1989 LX-i w/ H&R's, Tokico's, Prelude UCA's, Pacesetter exhaust & hollow cat.

  4. #3
    Registered User yeungun's Avatar
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    crawl underneath your Ody and unplug the primary 02 sensor (precat). see if there is any oil in or around the plug and let me know.
    you may have an oil leak that affects the signal to the computer.

  5. #4
    Registered User tech126's Avatar
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    Long crank in the morning may be fuel related..Hook up a fuel gauge and see if the pressure "leaks"..As far as the check engine light, check the map sensor. And I think the o2 maybe covered under the extended emissions warranty..I forgot the mileage and years it covers. Try and give the dealer a call to see the specifics of the emissions warranty. Hope this helps..

  6. #5
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    Lightbulb

    FYI, the web site OBD-codes.com has some valuable info
    Here are some extract from the site for code 171...

    "System Too Lean (Bank 1)

    What does that mean?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.

    SymptomsYou 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.

    CausesA 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 (K&N, etc.) can cause the MAF to become dirty if the filter is over-oiled
    There could be a vacuum leak downstream of the MAF sensor.
    Possible SolutionsPossible 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"

  7. #6
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    You folks are great. I appreciate all of the responses and comments.

    I will have my mechanic change the front and rear motor mounts (not related) as planned. Then a new set of spark plugs which I am overdue for.

    Yeungun suggested checking the O2 sensor for oil contamination. I remembered changing the oil and filter just before the Code was thrown. I picked up a new O2 sensor and may have that changed while the other work is being done. I understand it has vent holes in it that sample the outside air. If oil got in there I assume it could cause this problem.

    Has anyone tried cleaning the O2 sensor rather than changing it??? My cost was $78 so I couild be tempted to clean it and see if that works.

    Ken Cemo

  8. #7
    Registered User yeungun's Avatar
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    Originally posted by kencemo

    Yeungun suggested checking the O2 sensor for oil contamination. I remembered changing the oil and filter just before the Code was thrown. I picked up a new O2 sensor and may have that changed while the other work is being done. I understand it has vent holes in it that sample the outside air. If oil got in there I assume it could cause this problem.
    Has anyone tried cleaning the O2 sensor rather than changing it??? My cost was $78 so I couild be tempted to clean it and see if that works.

    Ken Cemo
    I didn't mean to remove the sensor itself, just the harness and check for oil.

  9. #8
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    Originally posted by kencemo
    Has anyone tried cleaning the O2 sensor rather than changing it??? My cost was $78 so I couild be tempted to clean it and see if that works.

    Ken Cemo
    I doubt it always works but yes you can clean an o2 sensor.

    When installing my JDM F22B engine we poured some heavy weight hydraulic gear oil into the spark plug holes to sit on the pistons to hopefully increase compression.

    Anyway the burnt off oil put huge plumes of smoke out of the exhaust for a good 20 minutes.

    Fouled the o2 sensor right before the cat convertor, threw a CEL and all the next morning (probably after the grime became cold and hardened).

    Cleaned the sensor with a wire brush (you have to get at the core of the o2 sensor behind the shield feature) and brushed it as much as I could before I went out of my mind almost an hour later.

    Reinstalled, cleared the CEL, started up and it didn't come back.
    Polished Metal Metallic 2011 Insight EX,
    Heathermist Metallic 1995 EX w/ JDM F22B,
    Navajo Red Metallic 1989 LX-i w/ H&R's, Tokico's, Prelude UCA's, Pacesetter exhaust & hollow cat.

  10. #9
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    GOOD NEWS I replaced the O2 sensor and spark plugs (w/60,000 miles on them), reset the check engine light and it has not come back on!

    I think the O2 sensor was fouled externally by oil when I last changed the filter. Let that be a lesson for us all. I didn't know that oil could effect it. My daughter and I thank everyone for their responses. These forums can really make a difference when we share our knowledge and experiences!

  11. #10
    Registered User William Wiles's Avatar
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    O2 sensers use ambient air for a reference. Some have a small hole for the air to get in but a lot now get the air througj the hole the wires go in. It is possible if you saturated the wires with oil it would throw the reading off....
    2004 EX Odyssey.
    All posts made by me are in reference to the gen 2 Odyssey.

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