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Steve
Steve, BMW Expert
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 24187
Experience:  BMW Expert
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engine management light appeared i did the diagnostic test

Customer Question

engine management light appeared i did the diagnostic test it revealed two fault codes
p0171 system too lean bank 1
p0174 ystem too lean bank 2
what could that mean and what could be the problem.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  Steve replied 3 years ago.

hello,

 

Please do not forget to click a positive rating as this is the only way I receive credit for my answer, thank you.

 

this means that the engine is running lean - too much air relative to fuel

 

This would most likely be caused by an unmetered intake air leak of some kind.

Unmetered air leaks allow excess air into the engine and cause the fuel/air mixture to go out of alignment.

The definitive test for intake leaks is a smoke test where a smoke machine (kind of similar to a fog machine you would see at a concert or on Halloween) pumps the intake full of smoke and then the smoke reveals the leaks as it seeps out through any cracks or holes.

 

However, you can still check for leaks at home. To check for intake leaks, visually inspect the intake area for any cracked hoses/pipes. If you can't see anything, you can try this trick: spray a can of carb cleaner around the intake with the engine idling. If the idle changes, this indicates that the cleaner is entering the engine and you have localized the area of the leak. You can then inspect further.


The most common source of air leaks is from the rubber intake tubes between the air box, and the throttle.

 

Another common issue that causes this problem is a failed crankcase vent valve (aka PCV). This valve regulates a vacuum on the crankcase, when they fail, a high vacuum is put on the crankcase - giving an air leak. You can check for this by removing the oil filler cap with the engine running, if there is a high vacuum holding the cap down, the engine stalls, or idle dips a lot, then this valve has failed and is your problem.

Aside from the above, a failed mass airflow sensor can also cause this, a fuel pump / pressure problem, and also possibly an o2 sensor or temp sensor. However, these would be much less likely than the above items.

 

Please let me know if you have further questions. Please do not forget to click a positive rating as this is the only way I receive credit for my answer, thank you. Best wishes with your vehicle.

Steve and other BMW Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Normally how much would the mechanic charge just to do the smoke test and identify the problem
Expert:  Steve replied 3 years ago.
1-2 hours of labor usually.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Engine management doesn't show up anymore does that mean there is no fault.
Expert:  Steve replied 3 years ago.

that means that there is no fault CURRENTLY present within a given set of parameters.

 

I would not be surprised if it came back shortly.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Sorry I didn't understand what you meant
There fault is still there
Expert:  Steve replied 3 years ago.

if the light goes off, the car's computer is not presently recognizing a fault

 

I expect that the computer will recognize it again soon, and the light will come back on.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
My is car dual fuel it runs on lpg gas, do I need to take to a specialist lpg mechanic or standard garage.
Expert:  Steve replied 3 years ago.

a bmw specialist familiar with lpg