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Old 02-20-2019, 01:03 PM
 
2 posts, read 541 times
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I have a 2006 Pontiac Vibe that has had a problem with the check engine light coming on for the past three months. The code reads that it is running lean although the engine runs fine. I wouldn't even worry about it except I want to know if the light comes on for something else that is more serious. So far the fuel systems has been cleaned, the gas cap has been replaced, the EVAP canister filter has been replaced, and the injector O-rings were replaced. Each time the light goes out and then comes back on within 2-7 days.
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:11 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,806 posts, read 54,470,896 times
Reputation: 31111
Your engine is getting too little fuel or too much air. There are many possible causes, some are:



  • A faulty fuel pressure regulator
  • A weak fuel pump
  • A clogged fuel filter
  • A faulty powertrain control module
  • A vacuum leak
  • Faulty injector(s)
  • Faulty oxygen sensor(s)
  • A faulty mass air flow sensor
You could spend a lot of money throwing parts at it that are not really needed. For about $100 a good mechanic with proper test equipment can pin it down, and give an estimate for replacing the actual faulty part.
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:18 PM
 
2 posts, read 541 times
Reputation: 10
I've had a reputable shop working on it. They've done three smoke tests. The first indicated it was the gas cap, the second was the smoke was coming up from the EVAP canister, and the third led them to the O-rings or intake manifold gasket.
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Holly Springs, NC
1,302 posts, read 728,047 times
Reputation: 1901
In my Nissan, I got the same error code. It ended up that the Mass Air Flow (sensor) needed cleaning. I bought some MAF cleaner from Advance Auto and cleaned it off...been fine since.
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Old 02-20-2019, 02:00 PM
 
9,426 posts, read 7,090,419 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane123 View Post
I've had a reputable shop working on it. They've done three smoke tests. The first indicated it was the gas cap, the second was the smoke was coming up from the EVAP canister, and the third led them to the O-rings or intake manifold gasket.

I'd suspect the intake manifold gasket before anything else. Little can of brake cleaner spritzed around it will answer the question right quick.



I'm confused.. and hopefully it's in your retelling of it and not the shop.

A gas cap isn't going to give you a lean code. Nor will the evap canister.



What COULD happen is that those items were bad, and they didn't throw codes because it didn't make it far enough to run those tests. It hit the lean code and just stopped running further tests.

BoSox is absolutely correct as well that a MAF will cause it. But, that's pretty easy to check. Hook a scanner up, start the vehicle. that engine is a 1.8L.. At idle, the MAF should be seeing about 1.8L of air passing through. Rough rule of thumb.
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:33 PM
 
32,468 posts, read 26,339,737 times
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if you are doing the repairs yourself, then invest in a good shop manual and run the indicated tests for each trouble code the pcm throws out.



also you nee to go back to basics as well, check for vacuum leaks, bad grounds, improper voltage getting to the sensors, etc.



remember that the trouble codes only indicate what system is being affected.
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Old 02-20-2019, 08:25 PM
 
1,725 posts, read 2,280,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane123 View Post
I've had a reputable shop working on it. They've done three smoke tests. The first indicated it was the gas cap, the second was the smoke was coming up from the EVAP canister, and the third led them to the O-rings or intake manifold gasket.
They are attempting to fix evaporative emissions problems. Those are not the same as "running lean." Why don't you tell us the code(s) number(s)?
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Old 02-21-2019, 01:21 AM
 
Location: Washington state
5,440 posts, read 2,764,764 times
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When my engine light would go on, my owner's manual said that it was because the gas cap wasn't on tight enough or there was something wrong with the exhaust. The tests said it was an oxygen sensor, which I replaced 3 times. Then it was because I wasn't using the high octane gas I should be using.

It ended up being the damn computer, all $2500 worth of it. And now the oil light is coming on intermittently, even though there is plenty of oil in the car and it's not leaking.

My next car is going to be something from the early 80s or a horse and buggy, one of the two.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:02 AM
 
1,209 posts, read 708,259 times
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There are some very good engine diagnostic training vidios on youtube. If I can remember the terminology it was about long term & short term fuel trim values and how they can be used to diagnose problems. I just watched a little of it. Seems like exactly where I'd go to troubleshoot the OPs problem. I'm not near the smart TV where I saved the link.
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Old 02-22-2019, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
9,611 posts, read 10,335,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don in Austin View Post
They are attempting to fix evaporative emissions problems. Those are not the same as "running lean." Why don't you tell us the code(s) number(s)?

I agree. I read "running lean", but it seems troubleshooting was geared towards looking for an EVAP leak?


What's the vehicle and actual code number?
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