Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: p0171, back fires at idle, lack of power and red hot catalytic conterter?

asked by on

Got a code p0171 At idle it back fires. The engine has a lost of power, almost stalling. The catalytic converter gets red hot.

My car has 196000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: The P0171 trouble code relates to a "l...

The P0171 trouble code relates to a "lean condition" and applies generally to many makes and models of cars. This simply means the air/fuel mixture is lean meaning that there is too much oxygen present in relation to the amount of fuel present in the system. This can cause a variety of problems, one of which you are describing which is a catalytic converter failure, turning red hot and stalling or loss of power. The catalytic converter converts otherwise toxic exhaust fumes into less harmful materials to expel into the environment. When this is clogged or not able to pass these fumes out into the atmosphere, it creates an enormous amount of heat in the car's exhaust system as it backs up (think of a sink being clogged). I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your home to diagnose and repair the loss of power.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Clicking sound when truck is turned on. It goes away after the engine warms up. Usually after about 3-5 minutes?

This is somewhat common in most engines with hydraulic lifters. When your vehicle sits for an extended period of time, due to gravity, the oil drains back down to the oil pan or to lower parts of the motor. When...

Q: Car randomly dies

If the Check Engine Light comes on, fault codes should be stored in the engine control unit, or powertrain control module. While not specific to your year and engine, Chrysler has had a number of vehicles in the last several...

Q: codes p0174, p0302, and p2A03 read on code reader.

Hi there. What is happening is the codes are reading for a misfire on cylinder number 2 and the system is too lean on bank 2. Check the spark plugs and the fuel injector on cylinder 2 to see if...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.