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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On a 2 hour road trip I started noticing my fuel had dropped by half a tank, then engine light came on. P0174 code. Car is running fine but I can tell some weird on/off throttle stumbles at speed like it is loading up, and right side exhaust tip is black as coal with fresh soot. Some friends behind me have oily spots on the front of their car and said it was coming from my exhaust and under the car. I usually make this same trip only using 1/4 tank but at a half tank already and haven't even driven around town yet so it's definitely not adjusting A/F properly.

From my research I see it could be O2 sensor, intake leak, or a few other issues. I did find the rubber hose coming from under the intake plenum and connecting to the air snorkel has a split and is obviously able to leak air. Would that cause this problem?

The only mods I have are K&N dual filter CAI, high flow cats with O2 mil eliminator, Borla cat back, and h-pipe removed. Nothing else for power adding or mods to engine.

I am in Biloxi at the biggest casino for the weekend. I leave Sunday for home and it is supposed to be raining. If anyone has any idea as to what it could be, or especially if it would be okay to chance it back home please let me know. Don't want to chance major damage, but would like to get it home so I could put it in a local shop if needed. And I don't travel with my shop manuals....they're at home.

Thanks,
Cdover73
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Btw, it is a 2003. The cats are single high flow each side so only two O2 sensors, 1 per side. Mil eliminator to delete the other two.

My biggest concern is whether it would be safe to drive it home. Repairs can come after that. Just don't want to leave it down here, or do more damage by driving it.

Thanks,
Cdover73
 

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I'd go right to the spark plugs. Clean and check for weak spark.
 

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P0174 code means passenger side fuel readings are too lean. Too much air and too little fuel.

Common causes could be:
  • vacuum leak - could be related to the leaking hose you found
  • dirty fuel injectors - have you ever had your injectors cleaned and flow tested?
  • clogged fuel filter
  • fuel pump going out?
  • ECU tune
I have gotten the P0174 code (as well as misfire codes P0301 and P0310) on occasion during periods of steady speed and light throttle. This all got sorted out by Todd at A&C Performance when he swapped back in my stock injectors and retuned my ECU. I actually came in to address why my old DC Performance tune was not allowing my Cat Readiness Monitor to set. Todd addressed everything in one dyno tune session.

In your case, since you did find a cracked/leaking hose (and assuming you fixed it), I would reset the error codes and just drive her home and see if the code comes back. You should be fine to drive it. Just go easy on the throttle if the code trips again. Once you are home, check again for any vacuum leaks. If there are none and the code trips again then start looking at the fuel system.

Good luck and let us know if you were able to get back home with her....and by "her" I mean the Viper not the hot blonde Beau Rivage waitress :love: (of which you would need to provide pics)
 

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Exhaust tip black as coal isn't a lean condition. Stumble off of acceleration isn't either. That is spark or primary ignition system.
 

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Its a problem not the problem. P0174 could have resulted from what is going on with the excess fuel in the exhaust as determined by the sooty right side tip.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This same debate is what has me puzzled. Lean should be more chalky white/grey, not sooty black. And there should be more power and less fuel use as well. However, my code states lean condition, yet the black exhaust and poor fuel mileage points to rich. Why not a code for system too RICH? That would make more sense here. I will try to snap a pic of each side tip today and post later so you can see what I mean by black as coal. There is a thick build up of powdery black soot on the passenger side.

I have a contact that is a Viper tech trained by Dodge at a local dealership. He says from what I describe something has it running rich, not lean, but it should be okay to drive home tomorrow. He will come to my house and use his laptop to look for the problem causing it.

Can someone verify what the hose connecting to the intake tube is exactly? It's on the driver side in front of the throttle body attached to a 1/2"(I think, maybe larger) plastic nipple on the tube itself. In the meantime, I will wrap the hose with electrical tape in case that's the source of intake leak. I will include a pic of this later as well. I will also see if I can access the O2 sensor to make sure the wires are still attached. Only thing with that is it would be throwing a constant code for no O2 detected. I can clear the code and it only comes back if I get into the throttle hard. It has to detect a 15% change in A/F mix to throw this code.

I found this:

Lean Mixture Symptoms -
1 - It is difficult to apply the throttle quickly or the engine picks up speed when the throttle is rolled off.
2 - The engine knocks or Pings or overheats.
3 - The engine surges or hunts for a stable RPM while cruising at part throttle.
4 - Engine acceleration is flat or slow to pick up.
5 - When the pilot circuit is too lean, there will be popping or spitting in the carburetor as the throttle is opened. Sometimes there will be popping or after fire in the exhaust on deceleration after the throttle has been closed.
6 - Engine performance improves in warmer weather, or runs poorly in cold weather.
7- Engine performance worsens when intake is removed.
8 - Baked white and flaky spark plugs.
Rich Mixture Symptoms -
1 - Engine acceleration is flat, uneven, not crisp.
2 - The throttle needs to be opened continuously to maintain consistent acceleration.
3 - The engine performs poorly when the weather gets warmer, or the engine works better in cold conditions.
4 - Black smoke coming out of the exhaust.
5 - Poor fuel economy.
6 - Engine performance improves when the intake is removed.
7 - When the pilot circuit is rich, the engine will idle roughly, or not return to idle without blipping the throttle, the exhaust can smell of excessive fuel and burn the eyes.
8 - Black sooty or fouled spark plugs, black and sooty exhaust tail pipes.

And this:
"If you have a leak in your air intake hose, you may notice a loss of power, rough idling, or poor gas mileage. This can be similar to the symptoms of a fuel injection problem and should be checked as well."

Thanks,

Cdover73
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree. And sometimes the problem is bass ackwards from what logic seems. I miss the old days of putting a screwdriver from the carb to your ear and adjusting a/f and timing until it does what you want...damn sensors and computers nowadays!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
1st pic left; 2nd is right side. Not much in the pics but pay attention to the powder build up inside the right side rolled lip.
20210327_145451.jpg 20210327_145413.jpg

Split hose...could this be a source? I taped it up for now anyway.
20210327_144928.jpg

Just went for a cruise down Biloxi strip and the p0174 came back along with a 2nd DTC that I forgot but it was something about O2 sensor bank 2. I will make note if it comes back. Cleared them and so far so good. But fuel consumption is still horrible. 1/8th tank for about 5 or 6 miles of stop and go. Don't forget I have mil eliminators as well that could be an issue. I'm done at this point until I get home, but I'm starting to lean toward a bad O2 sensor or like HJ said, spark. I will follow up when the problem is found to close this thread. Hopefully it will help somebody with similar issues in the future. Strange how little info i can find online about this type of issue.
 

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Could easily be an O2 sensor. What was the DTC associated with that? Bank 2 is passenger side. Is the hose that you found split feeding the common intake to the single throttle body? If so, I don’t see it richening only one bank. Still good to fix it.


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The counterintuitive thing about OBD2 code p0174 is that it is only triggered after the PCM has been ADDING more and more FUEL to compensate for what it thinks is a “lean” condition. The O2 sensor is telling the PCM that it is detecting more oxygen than fuel. So the PCM adds MORE FUEL and continues to ADD MORE FUEL until the O2 sensor sends back data that the ratio is correct. The PCM will keep adding fuel up to a point. When the PCM reaches the limit on how much fuel it can add and the O2 sensor is still not sending back the right data then the p0174 code will trigger. So while it is a “lean” code know that the PCM has been dumping more and more fuel to try and compensate.

Let’s look at the whole picture…
  • P0174 code
  • Exhaust tip black and sooty
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Stumble off acceleration

I assume you have researched the error code online. You would come across stuff like this: OBD-II Trouble Code: P0174 System Too Lean (Bank 2)

Scrolling down to symptoms you will see they list:

Symptoms resulting from a P0174-
  • lack of power
  • increased fuel consumption
  • detonation (spark knock)
  • hesitation/surge on acceleration
The increased fuel consumption would be due to the PCM trying to add more fuel to compensate for what it thinks is a “lean” condition. This would also explain why a “lean” code leaves a black sooty exhaust tip. The PCM has been dumping more fuel to try and get the ratio right.

The PCM can only work with the info it is given. If it is getting bad/incorrect data from the O2 sensor then it will respond as such. Couple this with your O2 sensor error code (depending on what it is) and you might be on to something.

Since you have access to a Viper tech (that makes house calls) you’ve already got a leg up on getting to the bottom of this.

Good luck and let us know how it goes. Would be curious to know what it was.
 

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Don't forget I have mil eliminators as well that could be an issue.
I assume your mil eliminators are plugged into the downstream O2 Sensors (as they should be). I do not think those could be causing this issue as the downstream O2 sensors only job is to help the PCM confirm the health of the cats and thereby set the Cat Readiness Monitor. The PCM does not use data from the downstream O2 sensors for any AF ratio adjustments.
 

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Faulted 02 sensor delivering a voltage to the PCM indicating lean....so the PCM is dumping more fuel into that bank trying to adjust (as designed)...yet the 02 sensor's voltage is stuck on "X"....regardless of the fuel being delivered. Just my opinion....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hmmm...well get this. The O2 fault is p0141 O2 heater circuit (Bank 1, Sensor 2)!! Thats the DRIVER side, but my issues are on the passenger side along with the other code. Is it possible for one side to throw the alternate side off?! The p0174 has not come back since yesterday. Just this one now. Cleared it and will see what it does.

Good news is it appears to be running good enough to drive home today. When my buddy is available maybe he can plug in and find the source. Now I have to find out why the car seems to be squirrely in traffic and low speeds below 35. Like the rear end is trying to come out from under the car (diff snubbers, upper and lower arms, shock mounts, etc are all tight. And yes, tires are 29 psi all 4 and lugs are tight as well. Could just be paranoia setting in). Ugh....just let me get it home....
 

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Sensor 2 is usually the downstream O2 sensor located AFTER the cat. And because it is further away from the engine it typically has a heater element to allow it to get up to operating temps quicker. However, as I noted previously, these downstream O2 sensors are NOT used by the PCM for any AF calculations. They are only there to monitor the health of the cats. In many states, the p0141 code could prevent you from passing smog, but should not be a factor in the issues you were talking about earlier.

This p0141 may be caused by your Mil Eliminators or something going on with your downstream O2 sensors.

Good luck and safe travels home!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sensor 2 is usually the downstream O2 sensor located AFTER the cat. And because it is further away from the engine it typically has a heater element to allow it to get up to operating temps quicker. However, as I noted previously, these downstream O2 sensors are NOT used by the PCM for any AF calculations. They are only there to monitor the health of the cats. In many states, the p0141 code could prevent you from passing smog, but should not be a factor in the issues you were talking about earlier.

This p0141 may be caused by your Mil Eliminators or something going on with your downstream O2 sensors.

Good luck and safe travels home!
I think this says enough. I finally got it home and was able to refer to my service manuals that a wise member on here once stated would be "the best investment outside the car I could make".

20210329_185027.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Apparently BOTH are HEATED and give similar readings to the ECM, which in turn communicate to the PCM overall. The thing is....I only have the upstream installed. The other two are fooled by the mil's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update...

All the plugs were white and chalky and the Bank 2, sensor 1 pic is attached. Everything checks out so far, but I wasn't able to pull a voltage on the sensor to check for 4V. If the code is still there that will be my next step, along with replacing the Bank 1 sensor as well.
My buddy hasn't been able to stop by yet and I have a bay rented for Saturday at a local tire and muffler shop to get under it and really check things out. It still has the sway going on, and there is oil all along underneath but nothing above the oil pan seal. I checked the bolts and they're all tight. Time for some much needed TLC with a fine toothed comb I guess. 20210411_173117.jpg
 
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