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Jerry Newton
Jerry Newton, GMC Technician
Category: GM
Satisfied Customers: 4508
Experience:  ASE Master Technician, L1, Master GM Technician. Over 20 years of bumper to bumper GM experience.
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I am a disabled, very ill, single mom with a son in

Customer Question

I am a disabled, very ill, single mom with a son in college., and have a very low income ($733 a mo.) I own a '99 Oldsmobile Aurora (gifted to me fall '14 )that failed the emission test Codes P0701 P0704. The mechanic says $350 to start! I'm searching for direction and a low cost mechanic etc. HELP!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: GM
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 1 year ago.

Are you sure of those codes? Those are not valid trouble codes for a 99 Aurora.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Those are the exact code printed out on the emission report.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please forgive me! the codes are P0171 and P0174
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 1 year ago.

Ah, that makes much, much more sense. Thank you.

Those codes indicate that the fuel mixture in the engine is lean. There are various possible causes for this, but don't replace oxygen sensors or anything else. What this needs is some diagnosis.

Common causes: any vacuum leak needs to be repaired. You can have broken vacuum lines, or there could be a vacuum leak at the intake manifold gasket, but there are ways of determining where the leak is. If there are no vacuum leaks and the condition is verifiable (using a special handheld computer, the mechanic can see that the condition is present), the most common fix for this is a faulty mass air flow sensor, or MAF sensor.

MAF sensors are expensive, and I don't want you to just run out and get one. This really needs a quality diagnosis, and there's no way you should be forced to spend $350 just to find out. This will take a good, qualified mechanic no more than an hour to sort out, so my best advice here is to get a second opinion from a reputable repair shop. Avoid chain stores, like Midas or Sears, you need a good local shop that has a reputation for expertise and quality. I diagnose these issues on a regular basis, and I would never dream of telling a customer that I need $350 just to tell them what's wrong.