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Old 02-14-2013, 04:03 PM   #1
torsaturnL100
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Default 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

Hello All.. I have a 2001 Saturn L100 .. 2.2 Ecotec, The code reader gives a P0171 (blank on Bay1) code and both the AC and rad fans switch on, the car is running very high on gas and a black smoke, all started after it was in the workshop and the mechanic welded the exhaust manifold (that had a small crack). Already changed the temperature gauge and the FCM and no change. Please advise where to start, your help is highly appreciated, its been a fantastic car for me for the last 4 years and it has only 140Km on it, the body is excellent, i just dont want to dump hundreds of dollars on something that is not needed to be changed.

Thanks

Steve

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Old 02-14-2013, 07:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

Welcome to Saturnfans!

Search this forum. There may be a similar issue related to either the ignition control module or ignition coil pack. Yes, its stranger than fiction but that's electronics..................GM may not understand it.

Although welding is well grounded, sometimes high current devices may not play well with sensitive electronics..............

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Last edited by fdryer; 02-14-2013 at 08:09 PM..

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Old 02-14-2013, 09:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

Did your mechanic remove manifold from the vehicle when welding or, if not, was the O2 sensor removed (upstream, in the manifold) and it's wiring protected prior to the repair? Since you're consuming more fuel than usual and you have black smoke from the tail pipe then the common issue would be that you're experiencing a very rich fuel/air mixture. (Hopefully the catalytic converter wasn't somehow harmed during the welding job [if the repair was made in place on your car]). You wrote that you'd changed the temperature gauge. Were you referring the coolant temperature sensor or something else?

As for the FCM here's my hunch: the fact that no change was encountered after replacing the FCM suggests that it was responding appropriately to the PCM, while another input source was telling the PCM that the engine was, and may indeed be, in danger of overheating.

I'm reading from my Haynes Repair Manual (of course, not as detailed as the FSM) and it says that a code P0171 is "Fuel trim system lean (four cylinder models)." Fuel trim makes sense to me. but in your case the system seems to be running rich and not lean. Assuming that the PCM is giving you an accurate code then what's going on is beyond my knowledge. It seems to me that the system is starving for air to mix with the fuel. I can't make any suggestions as to where to start finding the source of the trouble, but the condition of the O2 sensor and it's wiring should be checked.

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Old 02-15-2013, 01:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

Thanks pierrot ... You are absolutely right with the fuel trim levels, I got a inexpensive OBDII reader and here are some fuel trim level images, I have been researching the forums a bit and like u said it is most likely the O2 sensor in bank 1.
Attached Images
File Type: png 3.PNG (16.5 KB, 12 views)
File Type: png Fuel trim levels after a full engine cycle.PNG (16.5 KB, 10 views)
File Type: png O2 Voltage readings after engine cycle.PNG (17.6 KB, 9 views)

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Old 02-15-2013, 02:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

Have you tried looking for blown fuses?

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Old 02-15-2013, 02:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

@fdryer, yes i did that was the first thing that i actually checked and all are good. The battery though is really dead, can that be a factor?

Since the O2 sensor is giving readings is it possible to be giving false reading, i mean is'nt it a part that works or does not.

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Old 02-15-2013, 04:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

Did welding take place on the engine/exhaust system or on a bench?

Most welders know their work and the importance of grounding to allow welding to work safely. Electronics and welding do not mix if there's any common electrical connection like ground. Whether welding and this problem occurred as a result or just coincidence won't be known until you get to the bottom of this.

O2 sensors are not known to fail outright, based on the posts within Saturnfans but there's always a first time. Usually they wear out by deteriorating over the years with either erratic or lower outputs. Exhaust heat (600F+) turns them on. You can check, as mentioned previously, wiring to be sure they're intact and connected. If welding took place on the car then there may be heat damage where welding heat dissipates quickly through metal. Here's where it gets interesting to answer your question about outright failure of parts.

A well known electronic part that fails, intermittently, is the crank sensor. It sits inserted into the engine block near the crank shaft to detect machined teeth on the crank. Its failed on many engines, mine too, due to engine heat but it still works. This intermittent failure is very predictable; when it fails the engine simply dies and a driver coasts to the side of the road. Wait approximately 30 minutes when the engine cools down and the engine will fire up otherwise trying a restart soon after the engine dies results in nothing; the starter cranks the engine but the engine won't fire up. Engine cool down allows the engine to fire up but when the engine heats up again the crank sensor dies, again. This can be repeated many times. It fails from heat and works again once cooled off. Intermittent failure. Replacement is the only cure.

If you know how to read and interpret outputs from a reader/scanner then you can determine an O2 sensor failure. The alternate test is removing it for bench testing with a multimeter and propane torch; A cold O2 sensor won't output any voltage until heated above 600F when the smallest voltage output will be between 0.1 - 0.9 volt. O2 sensor outputs will vary depending on the oxygen content in the exhaust stream and good outputs are around 500 millivolts or 0.6 volts DC. Some develop tunnel vision and only look at displays while overlooking the simple things like......is it plugged in or did a fuse blow? Physically examining a part and/or its connections/wiring.

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Old 11-05-2013, 09:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Did welding take place on the engine/exhaust system or on a bench?


If you know how to read and interpret outputs from a reader/scanner then you can determine an O2 sensor failure. The alternate test is removing it for bench testing with a multimeter and propane torch; A cold O2 sensor won't output any voltage until heated above 600F when the smallest voltage output will be between 0.1 - 0.9 volt. O2 sensor outputs will vary depending on the oxygen content in the exhaust stream and good outputs are around 500 millivolts or 0.6 volts DC. Some develop tunnel vision and only look at displays while overlooking the simple things like......is it plugged in or did a fuse blow? Physically examining a part and/or its connections/wiring.
Hello fdryer,

Long time posting here---the old Saturn has been running well. But I am interested in bench checking my oxygen sensor but lack the details. I know where to put the probes and that the high reading may go to .9 volts and within a second or two after the torch is withdrawn, returns to below .1 volts or so but I'm not sure where to put the settings on my little meter. I know the main setting should be on 2 volts, DC, but could you please tell me where the negative and positive probes should be plugged into----on the meter?? Should the red probe be plugged into the COM plug on the meter and the black probe plugged into the 10 A plug??? I only have one other choice on the meter which is V RES MA.

I've watched the process on Youtube but still lack those details. Thanks for any help you can pass on.

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Old 11-05-2013, 09:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

Below are some multimeters with probes already plugged in. All red probes are inserted into the red V(oltage)/ohms socket, black probe inserted into the COM(mon) socket for voltage or resistance measurement. Select the lowest voltage mode. Since most digital multimeters are 'autoranging', they automatically indicate DC voltages regardless of polarity and simply display a (-) sign if probes are incorrectly placed without damaging the multimeter.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Digital multimeter.jpg (155.5 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg Digital_Multimeter_Aka.jpg (193.8 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg multimeter_off_large.jpg (110.7 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg fluke.jpg (9.7 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg amprobe-multimeter_img.jpg (41.0 KB, 2 views)

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Old 11-05-2013, 10:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

Thank you so much, fdryer! Anxious to test my O2 sensor tomorrow. And thanks for all the pics too. One pic worth a thousand words. :-)

Jerry

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Old 11-05-2013, 10:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

GOOGLE, IMAGES

I grew up fascinated with the occasional Look or Life magazine - the large images always impressed a young mind.

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Old 11-06-2013, 08:22 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

fdryer,

Went to check the O2 sensor today but cannot get a steady reading on the meter and don't know if my positive probe is making good contact when inserted into the O2 connector. Is there a way to tell if my meter is good?? (When I put the meter on Resistance 200 "noise" indicator, I get an audible squeal.) But my readings are all over the map and won't settle don't, even before I put the torch on the sensor. When I turn on the meter and put it on 2 DC volts, the LED looks like this "-.-.-" and again, it jumps around. Any info would be appreciated, especially if I'm making good enough contact with the positive probe inside the connector to the O2 sensor. Thanks!

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Old 11-06-2013, 09:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

Try these youtube videos;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stFhLSHsOGg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM2jO0_Cah0

A faulty sensor; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HQ2JQgVyQE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6iXNBPPhwc

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Old 11-06-2013, 11:28 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

Thanks for the links, fdryer. Think I need to start with a "working" multimeter.

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Old 11-07-2013, 12:39 AM   #15
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

Is the battery in the meter dead?

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Old 11-07-2013, 01:01 AM   #16
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Is the battery in the meter dead?
Well, since I have been getting visual action on the meter, I didn't think of that. I will buy the battery tomorrow!

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Old 11-07-2013, 01:01 AM   #17
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

also a key thing to remeber is an o2 sesor is stupid and itdoesn't know the difference between raw fuel and poor ignition.. it is only measureing o2 readings.. if the engine isn't missfireing i would suspect eather an air leak on the intake gasket or a leaking fuel injector....

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Old 11-07-2013, 01:06 AM   #18
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

Quote:
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also a key thing to remeber is an o2 sesor is stupid and itdoesn't know the difference between raw fuel and poor ignition.. it is only measureing o2 readings.. if the engine isn't missfireing i would suspect eather an air leak on the intake gasket or a leaking fuel injector....
Actually, before I took the sensor out to test it today, the car was running pretty good. Seems to be stumbling more now, after I put the same sensor back in. Go figure. Don't think I have an air leak on the intake gasket on my 97 and have replaced fuel injectors in the past years. Anxious to get the battery tomorrow and test the sensor! Thanks.

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Old 11-07-2013, 06:21 PM   #19
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

Changed the battery in the multimeter and when I turn it on to 2V, DC it still jumps around somewhat when I don't even have the terminals touching anything. Shouldn't the reading be steady? If so, I think I need a new multimeter.

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Old 11-07-2013, 07:45 PM   #20
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Default Re: 2001 Saturn L100 -- P0171 lean on Bank 1

Some (cheap) multimeters may not be reliable at all; I thought I bought a decent set of R134a gauges from one of those companies selling many a/c accessory items but found out about poor workmanship and stopped trying to patch it. I should have bought a known good set and did in the end. Multimeters are tools like anything we use; good ones last forever but cheap ones simply fall apart or are not reliable at all. I've blown more multimeter fuses than I care to admit but they're reliable and always held up despite my inadvertent "destructive testing" when not paying attention. With so many multimeters available, there is no reason to buy a cheap one as you get what pay for. Multimeters costing anywhere from $25-$$$$$ tend to be reliable. $50 buys one to last forever. Buy cheaper and don't expect anything from them. At last count I now have around 10 multimeters, collected over the years from work. I personally bought only one or two, the second one is a credit card type for complete portability anywhere. I only need one but all are reliable. Working in electronics demanded a reliable multimeter that isn't costly, meets OSHA safety and drop proof when they occasionally slip and fall.

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