Hesitation and code P0171

Discussion in 'General Repair, Maintenance, and Warranty' started by million, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. million

    million Member

    Lately, I have noticed that my engine has hesitated during acceleration and sometimes just cruising. It doesn't happen often, just about once every driving session now, and only when I am only about a mile into the drive.

    On top of that, my check engine light turned on Sunday. I ran the code and it was P0171 - Too lean. I did some checking online and found that there can be lots of things that can cause that code but most common was an issue with the MAF. I have a Corksport SRI on there but this is the first time I have had any issues that might be related to it. A guy in NAPA said that it might have just been the weather that caused the P0171 code, but that seemed strange to me. The check engine light did turn off today.

    Just to be clear, the hesitation started a couple weeks ago and the check engine light just turned on yesterday. Could they be related? Have any of you experienced anything like this?

    Thanks!
     
  2. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    Depending on how frequent/severe the issue is, it can take awhile for an intermittent problem to trigger a CEL.

    The easiest thing to check for would be a dirty MAFS. There is a spray cleaner specifically for MAF sensors (made by CRC). Grab a can, clean the thing off thoroughly, and see if that helps. Next, I'd try switching back to the stock airbox (don't need all the crazy resonator ducting, just the airbox and MAFS housing). If that still doesn't solve the problem, you might have a bad sensor, or else the problem lies elsewhere (dirty/clogged injector?)
     
  3. million

    million Member

    Thanks for the reply. I'll give all of that a try.

    I was actually thinking I'd take the SRI off anyways... in the case that I needed to take it in to the dealership due to the issue.
    Can the MAF Sensor cleaner be picked up at any automotive store?
     
  4. Big Nate

    Big Nate Chaos Engineer

    Yes most places have it.
     
  5. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    Yeah, I know for sure OReilly and Autozone have it.
     
  6. million

    million Member

    Picked up some cleaner last night. Drove it later in the night and everything seemed smoother. When I left for work this morning, I still experienced a very short instance of hesitation at one point. Will putting the stock airbox back on really do anything to remedy the issue? I have had the CS SRI on there for well over a year and have had no prior problems.

    One other thing is that I am at the point that Mazda recommends replacing the spark plugs... I'm at 64k miles now. Could that be playing in to all of this?

    Thanks!
     
  7. million

    million Member

    Car was continuing to hesitate from a cold start, usually within the first 10min of a drive. If the engine is warm, it won't do it.
    Just replaced the plugs today. We'll see if that helps.

    So far:
    Cleaned MAFS
    Replaced spark plugs

    Stay tuned!
     
  8. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    If it's from a cold start only, I wonder if it has anything to do with the VTCS system.
     
  9. million

    million Member

    Since installing the new spark plugs, the car hasn't thrown the code out again and I haven't experienced anymore hesitation. Hopefully I am done with the problem.
     
  10. million

    million Member

    Update: Up at the cabin this weekend and the check engine light came on again. I wasn't able to check the code but I am thinking it is the same one. Prior to the weekend, I had experienced some hesitation again, almost like the engine just wasn't getting gas.... and then it kicked in. If I am light on the gas when accelerating, it seems to happen more often. Any ideas?
     
  11. million

    million Member

    Removed my Corksport SRI and found that the plastic air director, fastened inside, had come unglued. It was bouncing around inside the cone filter. I'm pretty sure that is what was cause the code to pop. The stock intake is back on for the remainder of the winter but the SRI will go back on in the Spring. Hopefully I don't see the P0171 code thrown again.
     

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