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Old 08-08-2003, 07:47 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 48
Question Help. Error code P0170/171 + now gas gauge inop! Related?? (97 C280)

Need some input please. Have two recent problems with my '97 C280's (w/65K mi) and I am trying to determine their relevance to each other:

- Three days ago my check engine light came on (first time ever).

- Dealer tells me by phone itís normally the rear 02 sensor and/or the mass air sensor.

- My local Union 76 gas station read the code on a Snap-On OBD2 reader. It's error P0171. They reset the light, but it comes on again 50 miles later.

- From my research, code P0171 = "System too Lean (Bank 1)) faulty air mass flow sensor"

- I install a new set of Bosch plugs and a new Bosch MAS ($238).

- I drive it for 15 miles, then take it back to the gas station for a read and a reset.

- Now it reads P0171 and P0170. They decide not reset it. The mechanic viewing the OBD2 reader tells me the front 02 sensor is working, but seems "slow." He says the problem is likely a dirty injector, an intake manifold leak, or a vacuum line leak.

- I consult my error code chart, finding this (verbatim):
P0170 = Fuel Trim Malfunction (Bank 1)) check vacuum leaks first or...
P0171 = System too Lean (Bank 1)) faulty air mass flow sensor

- I add a can of LubroMoly fuel injector cleaner, fill the fuel tank, inspect the fuel cap and, later at home, disconnect the battery (for 15 minutes) to reset the CE light and inspect the engine bay for any obvious vacuum leaks.

- The car is driven for 30 miles. So far the CE light is OFF but there is now a new problem -- the fuel gauge reads empty and the low level light is ON. I turn the ignition off and back on and the gauge reads full (as it should). I am familiar with this issue and had it reparied once under warranty.

Please help me with these questions:
1. Is there a well-known place to check for vacuum leaks on a í97 C280?
2. Is there any relationship between the CE error codes and the fuel gauge? Hard to believe there is.
3. After the new MAS do I have to have the dealer reset the "fuel trim" whatever that means? Or does disconnecting the battery do the same thing?

FYI: I found this previous thread entitled "Trouble code P0170 : which was somewhat helpful, although it deals with a C230, not a C280.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Attached Thumbnails
Help tips on error code P0171 & P0170? ('97 C280)-c280-running-right.jpg  

Last edited by RProsser; 08-09-2003 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 08-09-2003, 12:16 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 48
PS: Epiloge -- since the battery was briefly disconnected, as a way to reset the computer, the CE light has stayed off -- at least for three days and a few hundred miles. I guess I fixed the problem.
- Bob

Last edited by RProsser; 08-11-2003 at 01:09 PM.
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