Can a loose oil dipstick cause a check engine light

Tiny
AMANDA CHURCH
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 VOLVO S40
  • 2.4L
  • 5 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 163,000 MILES
I have the car listed above (second gen). I have no idea what's going on so I'll give you a backstory.

Back in April my car had several problems at once - battery, coolant leak, and supposed dying fuel pump (ECM-261A). I had these all replaced and everything worked fine. Six weeks later my car hesitated, died (exactly the way it did with the fuel pump - in video) and wouldn't start whatsoever - but no code. After an hour of sitting, it started fine and has been working ever since. This problem seems to be random and comes without warning, which is not good for out of town driving.

Today, it threw a p0171 - lean condition in bank 1. I apparently didn't push the oil dipstick in all the way after checking it. Could this code be caused of a loose dipstick or possibly related to a fuel pump issue?

I plan on taking it to a garage asap, but would like to have more insight on this code.

Thanks!
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Saturday, July 13th, 2019 AT 1:25 PM

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Tiny
BRANDON SIMON
  • EXPERT
The P0171 code is an engine breathing DTC, so it would not have any bearing on anything with the oil dipstick. That is a separate system. The DTC shows for numerous air related issues. It could be a clogged PCV valve or a bad O2 sensor, or any number of a lot of breathing problems on the intake side of functionality of the motor. There may be an air leak somewhere in your engine or a clog somewhere. It could be a cracked vacuum line or a Mass Air Sensor problem. There are a lot of things that need to be inspected with this code. Please keep us posted!
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Saturday, July 13th, 2019 AT 3:56 PM
Tiny
JIS001
  • EXPERT
Hello and welcome to 2CarPros. As an ex Volvo mechanic I can tell you that yes it can. Most European cars will. BMW, Mercedes, and Volvo. Even a missing oil cap will give you a P0171 for too lean.

Try this test, remove the oil cap and place your hand over the oil fill with engine running. You will feel a slight vacuum. So if oil dipstick is not secured properly or missing oil cap then you will get lean fault codes.

Now if there is a whistling sound like a belt noise then the oil separator has an internal vacuum leak and will also give you a P0171. Let us know if that is the case and I hope the information was helpful.
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Friday, August 2nd, 2019 AT 10:49 PM

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