Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Got The P0171 Blues in your Toyota Corolla?

Do you drive a Toyota Corolla, and currently have a check engine light? You've had the car scanned for trouble codes (DTC's), and you pull up a P0171 - System Too Lean (Bank 1) . What does this mean? What to do?


"Too lean" means that the engine is not receiving enough fuel for the amount of air coming into the engine. In other words, the engine is receiving more than 14 parts of air for 1 part of fuel. (Internal combustion engines run best at this air/fuel ratio.) While there can be numerous causes for this code to be set, on 2005 - 2008 Toyota Corollas, the repair is usually quite simple. 99% of the time, I have found the cause of a P0171 for 2005-2008 Toyota Corollas with 1ZZ-FE engines to be the intake gaskets. The problem is so common, Toyota even put out a technical service bulletin for it. For a mechanically inclined person, doing this repair can save a couple hundred dollars because the cost of the part to fix this issue is usually not more than $10.

The problem with the Corollas is that the old intake gaskets on the Corollas with the 1ZZ-FE engines is that over time, they harden and lose their elasticity. This allows unmetered air to sneak past the gasket and into the intake manifold, thereby causing a lean condition. Here's how to fix the problem.

First let's take a look at what you seen when you first open the hood.


Remove the plastic engine cover, and remove the intake tube from the air cleaner housing to the throttle body, and you've got this:


Next, remove the two 10mm bolts and two 10mm nuts holding the throttle body onto the intake manifold. Seperate the throttle body from the intake manifold, but you do not need to take the throttle body completely off the car. Just set it to the side with the coolant hoses still attached to it.


Now remove all the bolts holding the manifold to the engine cylinder head. Once you have all the bolts removed, you shouldn't have to fight it out, the manifold should easily pull right out. If it doesn't pull up off the engine easily, you probably haven't removed all the bolts. Here's how the engine bay looks with the manifold removed.


The intake manifold gasket is a one piece rubber gasket. If it is still a factory installed gasket, the gasket will be black. Go ahead and pull the old gasket off.


The new & improved intake manifold replacement gasket is orange. Install it onto the intake.


Once you have installed the new intake manifold gasket, you are ready to install the intake back onto the car. Once you have installed the intake back onto the car, start the engine and spray some carbueretor cleaner around where the intake manifold is. If there is still a vacuum leak present, the engine will idle down. If there is no vacuum leak, the engine rpm will not change as you spray carb cleaner around the intake. Of all the Corollas I have put intake gaskets on, only one required further attention after replacing the gasket. Oh, and don't forget to clear the DTC with your scan tool so the check engine light will turn off.

Most customers at our shop pay $170 - $200 (primarily for diagnosis and labor) for this easy repair on Corollas. If you're mechanically inclined, try to replace the intake gasket yourself, and you just may save a couple hundred Dollars.

116 comments:

  1. This just happened to my 2005 Toyota Corolla S. I have also been experiencing horrible gas mileage lately. Is that consistent with this problem? Everyone else told me it was probably the Oxygen Sensor that had to be replaced.

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    1. It's really hard to say without looking at the vehicle Joe. The best thing to do would be to get your ECU scanned so that you check if there are any trouble codes present and then proceed accordingly. There are a couple things you can do without scanning the ECU just to eliminate the obvious: check to make sure your air filter isn't clogged with dirt, make sure your tires are inflated properly (underinflated tires have higher rolling resistance which causes higher fuel consumption).

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    2. The gasket fix will def solve horrible gas mileage issues, and the check engine light. My car ran great before I changed it, even with the light on. I noticed the gas mileage was getting worse, but just figured i was running it too hard. Once the light came on and started reading up on it, it all made sense. i did try to clean the MAF first, but unless your car is bucking, hesitating, and popping I doubt that is the problem.

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  2. I'm getting my intake gasket replaced at 70,000 miles on my 2008 corolla. If this is such a common problem, why didn't Toyota change after 2005? It's a bad call by Toyota to keep a cheap poor quality part in their cars. So much for quality.

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    1. Honestly, if I had to make an educated guess, the replacement gaskets that we are putting on the cars will have the same problem in 5-7 years. Any flexible rubber part or gasket which is subjected to high heat (like that of an engine bay) will probably harden and lose elasticity over time. Plastic intakes and small rubber gaskets are lightweight, which help contribute to an overall light weight of the vehicle, which in turn contributes to higher miles per gallon. Unfortunately, this design is also prone to the occasional P0171 problem. In the automotive engineering world, its difficult to let us consumers have our cake and eat it too.

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    2. We bought a 2006 Toyota and the TCB (technical service bulletin) was already out in 2004 according to Toyota.

      I get so sick of engineers using plastic parts!!!

      Kawasaki put in plastic oil pump gears on some v twin engines.
      Guess what... the plastic gear swelled up in the hot oil and broke off. Many engines were lost. I sure would like to see one of those engineers's faces.

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  3. This just happened to my 2007 Corolla with 66,900 miles. Check engine light was on. Vehicle had code in system of po171 ... to much air was getting through the intake manifold so replaced intake gasket. Too bad I did not catch your post. Gasket was $10.55. Computer/scan was $66.80 Labor was $177.55. Ouch.

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  4. My wife has an 08 Corolla with the same problem. Toyota wanted over $400 to do the repair. I just bought the Felpro intake gasket for $4.99 + tax. My labor cost $0. Wife's happiness, Priceless!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. I am going to attempt this. I saw that in the original instructions that you said to make sure you clear the DTC with the scan tool. if I do this at home, will I have to take this in to get it cleared?

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    2. You can just go to one of the auto parts places like Autozone or Advanced Autoparts or O'Reilly's or what ever and they should clear it for free!

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  5. Thanks for posting this! I replaced my gasket today and this was super helpful!

    A word of caution, that should go without saying... make sure you plug all the hoses back into their correct spots. I made a wrong connection and the car did some strange things, lucky nothing broke!

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    1. You're absolutely right Aldo, vacuum hoses in the wrong spot will cause strange driveability problems and possibly check engine lights as well. One great way to prevent this problem in the age of smart phones is to take a picture of what you are working on prior to disassembly. That way, you will have a picture so you will know exactly how to go back together with it! (I sure wish smart phones existed when I first started in this business, they have made my life so much easier!)

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    2. one bit of advice on replacing the gasket - it's easier to get the throttle body off if you disconnect the air intake duct first. You will be able get to the 2 nuts and 2 bolts easier. And yes, be sure the hoses all go back correctly. BTW, good write-up Mech254...very helpful

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  6. I think I am having this problem as well. I ordered the part from Auto Zone, but the gasket they gave me is not rubber; it is a light metal material. It is Felpro Part number 93867 (http://shopping.yahoo.com/886817127-felpro-intake-manifold-gasket-set-ms-93867-1/). Is this the wrong part? Should I have a rubber gasket like in the tutorial above?

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    1. Sounds like you were given either an exhaust manifold gasket. I would have them double check the part. The intake gasket should be rubber material.

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    2. Could someone give me the correct part#'s to order these gaskets from auto Zone.
      Thanks
      MD

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    3. Buy them at Advance Auto Parts, lower priced :)

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  7. First of all, thank you so much for sharing your solution.
    As a newbee to the DIY maintenance, it was quite easy to follow the directions.

    I had the same code read by Autozone person. Took my 07 corolla to the dealer and the receptionist said it may be the intake gasket though Autozone clerk was very skeptical on that.

    Cancelled my reservation to the dealer shop, bought MAF cleaning spray but it didn't work, so bought the gasket($4.99)

    1. Took the plastic engine cover out by unscrewing 2 metal bolts and 2 black plastic ones with flat head driver. Lost one of the plastic bolt, so newbees be careful. But fortunately could find it on the ground when I started the engine after installation.
    The rattling made it to drop down on the ground.

    2. detached big rubber hose between the filter box and throttle(?). Electric wires holder and about 1" hose are connected to this big air hose. didn't detach any of them.
    On the picture above, the 1" hose on the engine side is detached. Mine was a bit hard to pull it out and was afraid of damaging the hose.

    3. Took the throttle out. 2 nuts are on the front, 2 bolts on the back. put the throttle aside.

    4. Started unscrewing bolts by the throttle. There were 3 rubber hoses. 2 by the 2 bolts, 1 in the backward side. At first, started unscrewing leaving hoses still attatched and found one of them damaged slightly, so stopped and detached 2 hoses. Still no fluid came out. ;)
    There were 6 bolt and nuts on the top and side and one more on the right bottom.

    5. Slightly took the manifold out and pulled out the 1 rubber hose connected on the backward side around the throttle part by using plyer. Couldn't unlock the hose clamp so just pushed it back. It seemed all hose clamps were not holding the hoses that strong.

    6. Top of the manifold was stuck with the wires on the top side. So took the wire supporter out on the very top left side. Could see those cute little pistons(?).

    7. Was easy to replace the gasket. Reassembled and it worked. ;)

    !!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    My own labor gave me happiness in addition to saving the money. I'd like to change brake pads on my forester next time before it gets too cold.

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  8. It seems that Toyota is focusing in building the new concept for Toyota Corolla. And I think there are a lot that is complaining about the unreliable parts of this car.

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    1. Yes, there have been some problems with the newer Corollas (2011-2012 year models). Mostly what I have seen have been faulty alternators and faulty water pumps. They're easy fixes if they are caught in time.

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  9. Have this same code on a 2005 Corolla CE at 83,000 miles. Will be changing out the gasket myself. Thanks for the awesome write up!

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  10. I got the P0171 code but not sure if its the intake gasket or o2 sensor ( or something entirely different). How do I know what is causing the code?

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    1. You don't know unless you take it a shop and they can use a better scan tool which can eliminate a few possibilities. But most will just base their diagnosis on experience and your symptoms. How is your car running?

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    2. I'm not sure how to describe it. I gave it a tune-up thinking it would fix the problem but it's still having this weird feeling when it drives. Sometimes the car feels like it needs gas and has a weird start/stop feeling. It kind of shakes a bit then it's fine again.

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    3. Do it the easy way
      If the car has 70,000 miles then check the air filter to make SURE all for corners of the filter and filter box match exactly.
      clear the codes drive about 100 miles. if the check engine light comes on and you get the po171 code change the oxygen sensor, clear the codes..etc.,, then if the light still persists you will have to change the intake manifold gasket.

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  11. I've had this issue over the last 6 weeks and my mechanic says he can't figure out what it is because he can't detect any leaks around the intake manifold gasket - we've been through everything from changing out sensors to cleaning the air mass sensor to tightening the loose air inlet pipe - is it hard to detect a leak at the intake gasket site? otherwise the car runs pretty well, except for a few shudders when we're stopped at a red light. Should we just replace it anyways and see?

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Is the chk eng light on? It may not appear to be leaking when searching for it at idle. It may appear more at higher speeds when there is more air needed. I would replace it even if he can not tell if it's bad. It's an hour job, and a $5.00 part - totally worth it even if it doesn't cure it. At least that would be one more thing that's eliminated

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  13. I have the same code on my 2006 Corolla. A friend of mine replaced the intake manifold gasket but a few days later the light came back on. Do you have any other suggestions on what it could be? The mechanics want to charge me $50-$90 just to do the diagnostic test on it. That seems like a lot of money to spend for my car to still be broken. It's been a little slow to start and it's idling a little rough. Other than that it really seems fine.

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  14. Thank you so much mechanic254. I lucked out. Went to replace intake gasket on 2005 corolla Le because engine light came on and engine was rough at idle. Decided to replace air filter first because advanced auto had to order the gasket. Popped hood, immediately noticed one of the clamps on the housing was not secured properly. Replaced air filter closed lid on housing, secured the clamps and voila'. Problem solved. Engine light went off on its own and engine idle returned to normal. Just wondering if i should replace the gasket anyway or wait till there's a problem. Thanks Again.

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  15. First of all, thank you so much, mechanic254. I've got the same code and just replaced the intake manifold gasket today.
    Here I have one question now. I've just realized the revised original toyota gasket part number is 17171–22060 and its color is orange as your photo. What I've installed is Fel-Pro part #MS93942 from Autozone and its black. Should I replace it again to the orange one? Thanks again and happy new year!

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    1. One auto parts place also offered to sell me the old black O rings. I declined and ordered the new improved gasket from the Toyota dealer.

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  16. Great instructions. Swapped mine out in about an hour. $5 in parts sure beats $300 at the dealer! The intake manifold is held on with 2 nuts on locating studs and 4 bolts - all 12mm (2006 Corolla). Do yourself a favor and disconnect the electrical connector from the throttle body and a few of the vacuum hoses. This will allow you to get things out of the way a little easier.

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  17. Our Toyota had the check engine light come on after several days of below freezing weather. Mileage was 72,000 2006 Corolla LE.
    I have an OBDII and THe code was PO171 Lean condition.
    I called Two of the largest Toyota dealers in my area . They did not have the part!
    Napa and O'Riely's auto parts did not have the part either.
    I wondered why none of them did not have the part if it was a common problem and there was a TSB (technical service bulletin) .

    I sprayed carb cleaner around the intake manifold when it was warmed up and running. No change in the rpm at all.
    Then I cleaned the MAF sensor with special MAF cleaner although it looked clean.
    Put it all back together. Erased the code.
    The check engine light has not come on.

    The service manager at one of the dealerships told me they had never replaced that intake manifold gasket in question. He tried to get me to bring my car in and pay him $135 to scan the codes.

    The instruction sheet that I got with the new orange gasket I ordered from Toyota
    had a step by step instruction, It said to drain the cooling system etc.,.

    The last step said to remove the battery cable for 90 seconds to build a new profile.

    So now I am wondering what is the difference from cleaning the code with the OBDII button or disconnecting the battery for 90 seconds?

    So the dealers are getting $135 from who knows how many people for just clearing codes? I get so sick of dealers and they would not let me talk to a mechanic. Said they were at lunch etc.,. I drove by the garage area and the garage was bustling with cars and mechanics.




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  18. I have been getting a P0133 Bank 1 Sensor 1 code on my 2004 corolla every winter. It disappears when winter's over. The Toyota service bulletin says (like P0171) this could also be due to the intake manifold gasket. My mechanic had suggested o2 sensor replacement. How can I be sure if it not a leaky gasket? Thanks.

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    1. Check your ar filter and how it fits the air box.
      MAKE SURE that if the airbox has 4 equal radius corners that the air filter does too.
      I bought two air filters for this car and later discovered that 3 of the corners of the air filter had equal radiuses and one of the corners was a much smaller radius, and THAT is what caused the air leak.

      I informed the auto parts store (O'Reily's) but who knows if they will do anything about it.

      Fortunately you can trim that one corner to the correct radius and then the filter will sit down in the groove of the air box correctly.

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  19. I have a 2005 Corolla CE with 112000 miles. I had my check engine light come on and took it to AutoZone. I got P0171 Bank 1 System too lean code. The guy said I needed to replace a sensor. I went by PepBoys and the guy said I needed to replace both sensors. Since my Corolla is older and has higher milage they are probably both going. I then went to a new AutoZone and he said the same thing, replace both sensors. This will run about $230.

    I like the idea of having a $5 fix, if that will fix the issue. No one I talked to at the 3 places mentioned the intake manifold gasket. Since I am over 100000, should I replace the sensors or start with the gasket?

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    1. Hi Adrin, any luck with your issue?, mine is a Corolla 2006 CE with 100K, the error is same and I also got the same suggestion from AutoZone, just to replace the air sensors, but they didn't seem to know much about it, but my car runs just fine and the light just came up for the first time this winter.

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  20. Hi all, let me add my own thank you to the original poster and to all the people who have replied.

    I have a 2006 Corolla with 65k miles and I got the code. Well my experience did not go beyond engine/trans changes and brake jobs. This gasket change was easy enough for me to do. In fact I took my time and cleaned out the throttle body and the intake manifold while it was apart. Was really oily and gassy smelly. I had a bit of trouble getting the manifold in and out because it was bumping against the coolant overflow tank. But anyway a little patience and jiggering and it was easy enough.

    This was a very cathartic experience and I knew that if it did not work i could always spend way more bucks and start on replacing one by one the O2 and MAF sensors.... There is nothing more satisfying than seeing that check engine light go away with such an easy and cheap fix!

    Oh by the way, replacing the gasket has made idling a little smoother too.

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  21. Just over 100k miles on my Corolla and this is the first fault. Thanks for the tips on this page. Took less than an hour to repair and a part that cost less than $6!! Can't believe I would've paid as much as $400 for this! Test drive went well and it idles much smoother now. Just hope I got the problem solved.

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  22. I did this repair yesterday but for some reason the brakes have locked up. I can barely push them down hard enough to get it to brake even slightly. How is this related and what did I do wrong?

    Also, I must have done the repair wrong anyway because the rough idling is worse than before. I need more mechanic friends.

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    Replies
    1. LOL!!!! Dude, you swapped vacuume lines.

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  23. Thank you very much for this guide. My 2005 corolla s has 150,000 miles and had been running very poorly. It was also getting terrible gas mileage. I checked my engine codes and sure enough it was showing P0171. I did a quick internet search, found your guide and had the new gasket in within an hour. My car is running much better now. Thanks again!

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  24. I got the same code in my corolla 2006 34k miles. Just installed new manifold intake gasket the instructions are really good.if you are not too mechanical inclide but want to give it a try go to youtube and search for " corolla intakr manifold" there is a good video that shows step by step the process to change it. It is for a corolla matrix but engine and components are exactly the same as in the corolla. I'm going to borrow the scanner tomorrow fro autozone to clean up the code and turn the engine light off. Everything seems to be all right now. It just cost me $6 the original toyota part at the dealer and a couple of hours of my time well spent

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  25. Brilliant!

    2005 Corolla CE P0170 code 40K miles. Replaced the intake manifold gasket (p/n 17171-22060 $9.10) and throttle body gasket (p/n 22271-0D051 $6.84). The mass air flow rate at idle went from 0.33 g/s to 2.12 g/s. Problem solved!

    The throttle body gasket was compressed but could probably have been reused; however, for just a few bucks, I don't have to worry about it in the future.

    I also cleaned the MAF sensor for good luck. It took 5 minutes and I recommend cleaning it whenever replacing the air filter.

    Thanks!

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  26. Thank you so much for posting this; mechanical things can be so daunting and being able to do some of it myself has been a financial life saver. I have been very fortunate with my 2002 corolla, it has 104K miles. I have just replaced an ignition coil and have really had no other problems in the 9 years I have owned it. Thanks again!

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  27. Can someone post a video of the entire Gasket replacement?
    I am a newbie and I would like to save $200 if i can help it.
    I am mechanically inclined and can follow steps, but it would be nice to see it done on Youtube
    Thanks in advance
    Rahil

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  28. I posted my video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C57HESFxQfc

    BTW, this problem effects 2003-2008 corolla/matrix and not just 2005-2008. Mine is 2003.

    There is TSB available on the net to download with all details: EG045-07.

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  29. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away free. I love
    seeing website that understands the value of providing a quality resource for free.
    Regards
    Fuel hose

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  30. Great post, a very informative post along with pictures makes things much more clear and easier to understand...Diesel nozzle

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  31. great article. i just did the gasket for my mothers car. 1 thing that worried me tho is that there was no mention of torque for the manifold bolts. i tightened them in the cross pattern for both the manifold and the throttle body. i assume the TB gasket doesnt have to be replaced.
    but my main concern/question is. What torque should they be tightened to?
    i tightened them pretty tight, hopefully this does not cause future problems.
    thanks.

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  32. Comparing this older version of Toyota Corolla to the newer one I would say that this model have grown. Though the old car is kind of edgy I’m sure that its engine performs great!

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  33. Hi, I tried changing the gasket on my own, but was not able to remove the bolts on the intake manifold as they were too tight using a 6 inch load arm from my home tool kit. Do I need a power drill to open it? Or do you recommend any particular tool for this? Thanks

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    1. Dude, you need more tools. Go to Harbor Freight Tool or Sears and get a set with 1/2" drive deep and regular sockets, breaker bar, as well as some long handle ratchets. Or, you could just use a cheater bar. Go to the hardware store and get a 12" to 18" length of PVC pipe that will fit over the handle of your ratchet. But be careful, if the bolt is too tight, you could break your ratchet. Using 1/2" drive tools is better if you can fit them into the space.

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  34. I am a "girl" and was able to follow these instructions and fix my car and save a couple hundred dollars. The gasket cost me $4.99 plus tax. Thanks for the help. Also the guy at O'Reilly refused to clear my code so I just unhooked the negative battery terminal for 60 seconds and put it back on...code cleared...check engine light off...car running light a dream again.

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  35. Thanks for this walkthrough. My wife's Corolla has been plagued by this P0171 code for 2 years and it only comes back in the winter.

    For anyone else reading this, you dont actually have to reset the Check Engine Light, once the car adjusts that the car is no longer running lean, it will go away on its own. It might take a couple days and 50-100 miles worth of driving, but the OBDII system will clear codes on its own once the problem is resolved.

    Also, to add additional clarity to the original instructions, there are 4 bolts and 2 nuts that hold the intake on all of which are 12mm. 5 of them are near the top, and there is a 6th one down below.

    @Anand, there shouldnt be any special tool neeeded to remove the bolts/nuts. Just a simple set of sockets should work. I used a 12mm crescent wrench to get the lower bolt because it gave me additional leverage.

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    1. Yeah, the codes will eventually clear on their own, but what if the gasket wasn't the only problem? You need to clear the codes so you can drive it and see if the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Light) comes back and another code gets stored because you swapped vaccuumme(@#*$!!! How the hell do you spell vaccuume, vacuume,?)lines or something. You can clear the codes by disconnecting the negative battery terminal for 90 seconds or longer.

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  36. I replace the gasket and MAF sensor and still get the same code. I even clear it twice and it comes back. Don't know what to do.

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    Replies
    1. Check that the air filter fits the air box perfectly.
      Make sure if all 4 corners have the same radius or if the air box design has one corner that is a different radius.

      If the air filter does not fit tight there can be an air leak.

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  37. Need help! I tried this repair and I was not able to get the manifold to move enough for me to get the gasket out. So, I put everything back and now my car starts but it shuts off after it starts. My car is a 2002 Chevy Prizm, which is pretty much the same as the Corolla. Any ideas?

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    Replies
    1. You have created a much bigger vaccuume leak. You need to start over and REMOVE the intake manifold, not just move it. You need to take it out completely and put the new gasket on the manifold in the groove. You can't do it competently, leaving the intake manifold on the car. Get a helper.

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  38. you know I've seen my fair share of "advice web sites" but in my book you score the top gun of 'em all. simple , direct to the point & in layman terms. Thanks, next round of beers on me, M8.

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  39. Well, with the huge market of used cars for sure it will help increase the said percent of income from Japanese cars. When it comes to reliability and speed performance of Toyota, you’ll never get wrong with it.

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  40. I have 2008 Matrix Base with 1ZZFE, had the same code showing engine lean.
    I got mechanic replaced manifold gasket, MAF, O2 sensor before cat.
    After all this the engine light still showing the code engine lean.
    Please help

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  41. Have an 05 Matrix with 68k. It runs poor at idle and seems like it's going to stall. Anyone around the Cleveland, OH area that can help? Thanks!

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  42. I have a 2000 corolla. It starts up runs for a lil bit then shuts off. Any ideas?

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  43. Same problem with Corolla 2006. P0171. Replaced oxygen sensor, but next day DTC came back. Actual reason was rubber hose behind the intake manifold, going to purge tank valve. Small cracks in this hose let additional air into manifold. Plugged in diagnostic device and monitored oxygen sensor voltage, spraying Start Gas to the intake manifold at the same time. Suddenly engine rpm went up a little and Oxygen sensor voltage jumped. Voila!

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  44. My car was just idling bad. When stopped my car would vibrate and almost feel like my engine was loosing power and was about to stop. I bought the updated intake manifold gasket $6 and the throttle body gasket $4 at the dealership. I replaced these two parts as well as cleaned the throttle body. It took me about 1 hour from start to finish to do this. This made my car idle so much better. I feel the smooth idle when stopped and have more confidence in my car.

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  45. I have a Toyota Corolla 2010 model with the SRS AIRBAG light continuously on. I have tried with various diagnostic guys but all to no avail.

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  46. I also have the same code with system too lean bank 1 and after getting the solution from your site,my mechanic says it's rather the fuel pump and not the gasket on the manifold.I'm now confused,so my question is,can the fuel pump be the problem?

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  47. its an amazing paragraph for all web user thanks for sharing this informative info toyota genuine parts dubai

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  48. Thank you everyone for all your previous posts! I am having the same issues right now! Let’s see if this works!

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  49. My check engine light came on last winter but it was not idling high at all and I could not pass emissions. One day I magically passed emissions without doing any repairs on my car and the light went away. This was right when it started to warm up. Now about 7 weeks ago it started to get cold and my car started to idle high and soon after the light came back on. We changed the O2 sensor and my car runs beautifully -better than it did before it started to idle high. We disconnected the battery for 90 seconds and the light turned off and then it came right back on for the same code PS0171. I started Googling and came across this site. I had the intake manifold checked at a mechanic shop last night and he couldn’t find anything wrong with it. Does anyone have any ideas on what else it could be? Having the light on is driving me nuts and I just want it off. The mechanic said to come back on Friday and we can test the light again to see if anymore codes pop up. He also said that if my car starts to act funny to bring it right in as well. Thanks for any insight!

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    Replies
    1. Update in case this will help anyone.
      We were having a winter heat wave the last few weeks since my light came on. This past Thursday morning when starting my car for work it and let it warm up I took off and at each light I thought my car was going to stop. It didn’t idle high but my car literally chugged and rocked back and forth very rapidly and then the motor sounded like it was going to turn off. So I put it in neutral and gave it gas. Same thing after work and again Friday morning so I took it back to the mechanic shop and I left it with him overnight. Saturday morning he started it up and sure enough my intake manifold was leaking. He ended up replacing it and that night the temp dropped even more (single digits). Today is Monday and my car purrs like a new car! Although my check engine light is still on so he suggests I get my O2 sensor replaced/warranty from the auto store and he will put it in for me at no charge. We hope that will turn it off this time. Thanks for all the help and understanding everything. Hope someone else benefits! I have an 05’ Matrix.

      Delete
    2. You need the OBDII device to clear the codes after you have changed out the old part with the new part.
      Just because you put in the new part does not mean the check engine light will go out.

      Delete
  50. Thanks for sharing your experience. Would this work on a 99 Corolla?

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  51. I just spent $110.00 to find out about this problem in my 305 Corolla. What luck that I came upon this fix. I wish I could print it out. I would like to try this myself !!! Thanks, Laurel

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  52. My mechanic called and told me there was a service bulletin for this problem. He is charging me $660 to fix it. He didn't say anything other than what the posts are saying here except something about a large hole. Sounds like it should just take them an hour to fix this. I'm getting overcharged, agreed?

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  53. There is a TSB but if your car is new and in the TSB warranty then it is covered. I think he is overcharging you. The part cost $11 bucks and the labor shouldn’t be more than an hour. Find a new mechanic!! My car is still running like a champ and it’s been 5 days since I have the intake manifold replaced. I was charged $147 and I had my 10% off labor coupon. Find you what it is he wants to fix.
    My mechanic explained it to me like this: when my car is cold the metal is shrinking causing air to get inside and the shaking and the engine to sound like it’s going to cut out. After it warms up the metal expands and its fine. When he did the water test he did it while my car was warmer and driving. When I left it overnight he tested it first thing after starting it and found the leak via the water test. My dad agreed with what he was telling me but my dad lives in another state so he was unable to fix it for me.

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  54. Your diagnosis was spot on for me. Had the P0171 code on my 2007 Corolla. Replaced the gasket and presto! - Thanks a million!

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  55. Awesome. I got the P0171 code the other day and already fixed it, easily, thanks to your writeup. Well, had to go back in since I didn't get all the vacuum hoses reconnected the first try, but it wasn't hard. Thanks so much for posting these directions.

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  56. Thanks Mechanic254 - Same issue arose in my Toyota Corolla (2005). Not sure if you want to add specifics to your original post, but the manifold on my vehicle had 2 nuts and 5 bolts (12mm) holding it to the engine. I also had to unhook (unsure of their specific purpose) about 4-5 hoses in order to maneuver the manifold off of the engine.

    Thanks again - saved me a TON of money!

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  57. Toyota Carolla 2006 LE 80,000 miles.
    2nd winter check engine light comes on with PO171 code .
    No one had the "new" intake manifold gasket. I went to the dealer and asked the service manager if they had the gasket. He told me they had never changed that gasket (intake manifold).

    Since the car had 80,000 I installed a new front oxygen sensor.
    No change one week later the light came back on same code PO171.
    My wife bought a new air filter because I thought it could have an air leak.

    The new filter (WIX brand) did not fit. # corners were very rounded and the fourth corner was a lot less rounded. This kept the air filter from sitting down in the groove properly. I looked at the old filter SAME THING .
    I realized I had not noticed this when installing the old filter and when winter came that extra cold air leak may have been the cause.
    I also reported this to the auto parts house and they found out i was correct. Right car number/ wrong part.

    I will report back.


    I did not see how it could be the intake manifold gasket because it is in a groove and cannot escape. It is a plastic intake manifold piece of crap though.

    But the fact that the service manager of the dealer had not replaced any and the parts houses did not carry them led me to believe it was not the problem.

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  58. I made the air filter fit correctly in the air box groove and cleared the codes.
    I am waiting for the system to build a new profile and will let the readers know if it stopped that air leak.

    Amazing that two different brand air filters made to fit this car did not fit correctly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since replacing the air filter with one that has all four corners the correct radius our PO171 code has not come back. Also the engine idles at a lower speed and throttle response is smoother.

      Delete
  59. Thanks for this! We did this fix on a 2003 Corolla last month... so far, so good. That code came up in November 2012. We cleaned the MAF sensor then and that seemed to have take care of it. But the check engine light came on again about the same time last year registering the same trouble code. Symptoms included significant decrease in mpg (down to high 20s from mid to high 30s) and unusual idling. The original gasket actually didn't look too bad but we replaced it anyway. A recent road trip yielded 37+ mpg highway!

    Thanks also to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4qLqAniVYA

    ReplyDelete
  60. Hi my Corolla 2006 100K got the Engine Light today, I took it AutoZone and they were able to read the error code, P0171, the car is running just fine no problems when driving or in idle, I live in South Florida, and the only thing difference is the "chilly" weather we're currently getting, upper 30s, 40s, 50s, not sure if this could have any effect. Anyway I can tell which one is the problem?, suggestions?
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes this cold weather also caused or 2006 Toyota (80,000) miles to produce the check engine code light to come on and the PO171 code.

      As mentioned in my posts I discovered that the AIR FILTER did not fit the plastic air box groove correctly.

      If you remove your filter look at the radius of the corners of the filter and then check the radius of the groove that it fits into and make sure they match and that the filter sits all the way down into the groove properly.

      It solved the problem.

      It was NOT the intake manifold gasket.

      Delete
  61. I drive a 05 Corolla Matrix and replaced the gasket due to the P0171 code. After doing so, my engine sputtered and trembled at idle. Code scanner came up with P0171 again and P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, and P0304. I did some research and it turns out that P0171 causes the rest. I sprayed carb cleaner around the tubes on the throttle body and the idle ROMs went up so but I haven't found the leak. After driving it, my brake paddle became stiff as well, making it hard to apply the brakes. Please help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. I had the exact same problem while working on my sister's corolla. If you look at the 5th or 6th picture (showing the old & new gasket), you'll notice a little tube sticking out right next to where the throttle body attaches to the manifold - I didn't notice that when I replace the gasket so I didn't reconnect the little hose that goes over it.

      Thank God we check the engine and did a test run in their underground parking. Once I reconnected the little hose to the tube, everything was back to normal. We did another test run and cleared the code. Hope that helps!

      Delete
  62. corolla 06 acting funny with intermittent check engine codes. Had a recent tune up and the car has much better response but the CEL keeps coming on and off. tried spraying the WD40 around the manifold gasket area but no change in engine rpm (perhaps I dont know where exactly to spray it) But since the author was confident enough about these cars having this issue, I took the courage and went ahead and changed it myself! (Note: if you dont have the right tools, this is going to be a long project with a need for back massage at the end of the day!!) Anywho my corolla seems to have improved and not rough idling anymore.. if the problem continues, I l have the o2 sensor changed :( really hope this stupid issue gets resolved quickly before I go broke!

    ReplyDelete
  63. I'm having the same code P0171 show on my 2001 Toyota Corolla. My car sputters, and I've been told it's taking in too much air and not enough fuel. Would this method also apply to a 2001 Toyota Corolla?

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hello, Thank you for the post. I have changed the gasket and check engine light turned off automatically and the fuel consumption has improved. Thanks a ton for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I replaced the intake manifold gasket and the car still idles rough sometimes and the reverse gear doesn't always work (codes P0171 and
    P0741). After replacing the spark plugs, PCV, intake manifold gasket, serpentine belt and thermostat the car still idles rough and has problems shifting into reverse, but it is not generating any new codes. Before these repairs were made, the check engine light would only light occasionally and the symptoms would only appear intermittently. Any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  66. They just replaced my intake manifold gasket in my 2003 Toyota Matrix. They charged me $7.85 for the gasket, and $360 for labor... is that normal? I am a woman, and I always feel some mechanics take advantage of me because I don´t know anything about cars. What can I do if I think they charged me too much?. This was done at a Toyota Dealer, by the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look at your repair ticket (receipt).

      It should show the procedures that were performed, the number of flat-rate hours required, and the hourly rate. The flat rate is fixed for every procedure on every make and model of car. For example, water pump replacement on my '95 VW Golf is about 2 hours, while the same 2005 car requires 4 hours. Twice the labor charge.

      Really, you cannot expect to get any significant service from a new car dealer for less than a few hundred dollars. $360 for OOW repair labor does not seem excessive to me, regardless of how simple the procedure seems on the internet.

      Delete
  67. I finally decided to replace the intake manifold gasket with the upgraded orange version.
    You do not have to take ANY parts of the air mass meter apart.
    Nothing.

    Remove the battery negative cable.

    Just remove the two 10mm bolts from the fan shroud and the electrical connector and lift the entire white plastic assembly out of the car.
    Now all you need to do is remove the dipstick and gently swing the intake manifold outwards after removing the bolts.
    Remove and replace the gasket, making sure the two little locating nubs on the outside edge of the gasket are facing up.

    Then put it all back together.

    Like I said no need to touch the air mass meter or hoses.

    ReplyDelete
  68. By the way...
    That new style orange intake manifold gasket is .050 thousandths thicker than the original black version.
    Old one was, .210 thousandths and the new one was .260 thousandths.

    ReplyDelete
  69. i have a 2001 Toyota corolla which the Motor was changed, on test driving it, i noticed the check engine light was on with check engine code p0171, my mechanic check it and recommended we change the Map sensor, after changing it, the check engine still came back on, to cut the story short, l have changed the O2 sensor, coolant temperature sensor, spark plugs, intake gasket and the problem is still there. The car starts and drives good except the check engine light. What do i do next.

    ReplyDelete
  70. i have a 2001 Toyota corolla which the Motor was changed, on test driving it, i noticed the check engine light was on with check engine code p0171, my mechanic check it and recommended we change the Map sensor, after changing it, the check engine still came back on, to cut the story short, l have changed the O2 sensor, coolant temperature sensor, spark plugs, intake gasket and the problem is still there. The car starts and drives good except the check engine light. What do i do next.

    ReplyDelete
  71. I am in the same boat as you Henry Hen! I have changed all of those things and I still have my check engine lite on. I took it to another mechanic to see if he could help and he said the sensor is only reading at 0.3 and that their is a bad wire or its in the computer. I haven't done more work looking into it since then.

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  72. Thanks very much for this writeup! I was able to easily fix my P0171 issue this past weekend, and am already seeing better performance. When I took the intake manifold off I saw sludge in and around the gasket (which was perfectly flat against the manifold), telling me the thing had been leaking for a while now. Now I just need to fix my P0453 issue (a more expensive part, but I still plan to do it myself) to get my car back up to code.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  74. Thank you!
    I got the check engine light on my Corolla 07 and after getting the p0717 code from AutoZone (for free) I did some research online. I found your blog and it was a huge relief to learn that: 1) it's a common problem and 2) there is a way to fix it without spending a lot of money.
    I found the intake manifold gasket for $7.99 with free shipping from Amazon, and a friend and his dad helped me replace it. It took us about 45 minutes.
    Before taking a shot at doing it myself, I went to the Toyota dealership just to see how much it was going to cost. I took the part and told them what needed to be done, and to not spend time (and my money) in diagnosing the problem, because I already knew. They came back with the "special price" of $230, claiming it was going to take them 2.3 hours ($100/hr!). They said it was a low price because I took the part to replace. I told them to not touch the car and did the repair with my friends' help.
    Your post is very detailed, thank you for taking the time to explain the why and how, and including pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  75. It is nice to learn a little more about the fuel filters with Toyota's. It seems like there are a lot of places to get high quality replacement parts for it. I know that I could definitely stand to have a little better fuel economy.

    http://www.toyotsrus.com.au

    ReplyDelete
  76. My check engine light has been on for weeks now. I just don't know where to go to get the parts I need. My emission is going to be up soon so I need to get the before I have to get that renewed.

    Aaron | http://www.toyotsrus.com.au

    ReplyDelete
  77. 2005 Corolla. We've been having a low /rough idle. The mechanic changed the plugs, and cleaned some components. It's a bit better, but it still feels low and a little rough. And if I recall, we did the same thing last year, but it returned after a few months. Also, after driving up a long incline and getting out of the car, we smell a burning rubber (not the catalytic convertor smell), could this be the gasket?

    ReplyDelete
  78. Is the intake gasket a likely culprit for the too lean code on a 2000 corolla as well?

    ReplyDelete
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  80. Thanks for sharing the information

    For more info : Automotive Testing Solutions

    ReplyDelete
  81. After waiting for almost 2 years since my CEL starting flashing intermittently and reading up all I could on fixing it DIY, I finally did it! Bought the gasket through Amazon (original Toyota “orange” gasket -$5.63; my local Cleveland OH Toyota parts store quote me $30 for it, and the local auto-stores were selling only the black gaskets). I purchased a twin-pack of CRC MAF cleaner and intake/throttle body cleaner from Walmart ($8) to be equipped just in case I found those parts dirty. The job started with a few hiccups. I broke the two plastic screws/”bolts” on the back of the engine cover when I tried popping them out using a screw-driver. The best way to get these out would be by holding them using a nose-pliers and turning them out. I had only 10mm and 13mm sockets. Strangely, though the bolts on the intake manifold and throttle body say “10”, they were too large for the 10mm and too small for the 13mm sockets. I got my entire set and the 12mm socket worked perfectly. There were some other small differences in the bolts that I encountered but these were easy to handle. As others have mentioned before, I didn’t have to take out the electrical connections from the throttle body. Just those 4 hoses, and I also cleaned up the throttle valve and body. Resisted cleaning the part of the intake towards the engine fearing I may loosen those cruds and make them fall back into the engine. Closed everything. Went for a 160 mile drive the next day and a several short drives over the next few days. Check at Autozone for OBDII readiness and no-codes and then went straight to the Lube-Stop eCheck center to get my “Ohio eCheck” certificate!

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