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I have a 2003 Toyota Camry LE - 4 cyl. Car threw CEL code

Customer Question
I have a 2003 Toyota...
I have a 2003 Toyota Camry LE - 4 cyl.
Car threw CEL code P0171 last Thursday.
I cleaned MAF sensor, then replaced sensor over the weekend. disconnected (+) battery terminal for 5 mins. drove car this morning and now the engine is surging/hesitating on throttle past 1/2 way. anything below 1/2 throttle, car runs fine and normal. not sure what else could be the issue.
Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Toyota
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Forgot to add that car has been running a little louder and almost knocking over past week before the CEL. I am assuming this is due to the engine running lean...?
Answered in 5 minutes by:
4/17/2017
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago
Amedee
Amedee, Toyota Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 26,802
Experience: ASE certified tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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Hello and welcome!

My name isCustomerand I can assist you with your question.

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Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

I am very sorry your having this issue with your vehicle.

I will try my best to answer all of your questions.

However, before we get started, please let me mention a few things.

1. If at any point you would like to speak on the phone, please feel free to request a phone call on your end and I can call you right away.

2. If you dont understand any technical terms or anything that I mention (component tests or theory or operation), please let me know and I will provide you with a more in debt explanation or answer.

3. Please understand that I am here to help you anyway I can.

When does the engine surge? At idle or when accelerating?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you. please let me know when you have had a chance to review
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

When does the engine surge? At idle or when accelerating?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
it does this when accelerating and only when the gas pedal is pressed more than 1/2 way.
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

Thank you for that information.

If the mass air flow sensor has been replaced, then I would suspect an air/vacuum leak. I would inspect the air intake snorkel for cracks/rips.. anywhere that air can enter the engine not accounted for by the mass air flow sensor.

If your sure there are no air or vacuum leaks and the mass air flow sensor is reading correctly, I would suspect a faulty oxygen sensor/air fuel ratio sensor before the converter.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
is there a way to check this besides the naked eye? in the event there is a small tear somewhere that cannot be seen?
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

Yes sir there is. The correct test would be to smoke test the intake system using a smoke machine to locate/pinpoint any small hard to locate leaks.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
ok, is there a kit or something that could be picked up at local auto parts store to perform this test?
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

Not that I am aware of. The only smoke machine I know of is the smoke pro which is very expensive. Your best bet would be to have a shop smoke test the intake system for you so you don't have to purchase one.

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Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
ok, I will see what I can find out and get back in touch after checking for air leak tests
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

Sounds good!

I am glad I can help!

It has been a pleasure working with you. Please don't forget to honor your good faith deposit by rating my answer as "5 STAR SERVICE" for assisting you today.

Keep in mind, we can still continue this conversation at no further cost to you even after you rate my answer. Just reply back to me using this page and I will get it and get back to you ASAP!

Also, if you are a member or if you have a subscription to the site, you still need to rate my answer in order for me to get credit for assisting you with your question.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Hi, yes. it still is running rough and almost sounds like a diesel engine when idling and/or running in general. I just changed the oil this weekend, so it has enough oil.
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

Hello!

Was the intake smoke tested for vacuum leaks?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
We could not find any leaks last night. hesitation has stopped on acceleration. but it is still running rough/loud.
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

Was the mass air flow sensor replaced?

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Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

Was the oxygen sensor replaced?

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Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

It will still run rough if you don't replace the faulty part. :)

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Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

Are you sure the engine is not making noise?

What about the exhaust system?

I dont know because I cannot hear your vehicle.

Can you send me a video?

One thing is for sure, if you did not replace anything, it will still be loud and run rough.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
the MAF sensor was replaced over the weekend. it was not hesitating today when driving around, but it still is running rough.
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

Is the engine misfiring?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
it does not sound like that. it is just running louder than it has previously in the past. almost sounded like a diesel engine.
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

Your exhaust may be leaking or there may be internal engine damage causing this noise.

I dont know.. I CANT HEAR IT.

Can you please send me a video so I can hear it??

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
ok, i will get one tonight. thanks!
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

Your welcome.

I will send over my phone number now so you have it.

You can send it directly to my phone

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
here is the recording of the engine with the noise described above.
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

Hello!

I cannot open the file for some reason.

Can you send it to my phone?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
you may need to use a computer to access. it would not let me upload an m4a file.
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

I am very sorry, I just have the one computer and my phone. :/

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
here is the sound
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
see if that one opens.
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

Nope.

Can you post it on youtube and then send me the link?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I dont have a youtube account. do you have an email that I could send it to?
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

I just sent it over.. but still, I wont be able to open it on my computer unless you change the file

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
ok, I resent the file. did you receive it? I recorded that while it was idling.
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

YES, I got it and I replied back to you. Check your email.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
ok, how would I see where its coming from? just popping hood and seeing when it gets louder?
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 7 months ago

That's correct. That's exactly what a mechanic would do to pinpoint the problem.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Sent over new files.
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 6 months ago

I responded already. :)

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Appointment at shop on Wednesday to look at the engine. Will see what they say.
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 6 months ago

Sounds good!

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
they are not sure but said it could be the intake manifold and would need to replace it to see?? Does that even sound right?
Toyota Mechanic: Amedee, Toyota Technician replied 6 months ago

Hello!

Was it the intake manifold assembly or just the intake manifold gasket?

YES, it does sound right. Anything that is leaking vacuum van cause a lean condition and flag this lean diagnostic trouble code P0171.

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Amedee
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