2004 Chevy Malibu P0171 Lean and Stalling

2004 Malibu Classic
Engine size: 2.2 Ecotec
Computer codes = check engine light code P0171.
Repairs: Changed fuel filter. It doesn't give a code now.
Question = The other day while driving down the road my car just died. When I started it back up it ran a few feet and died again and I kept starting it and going a little way and dies again.

After we got it home and let it sit a few hours it was running perfect again. After driving about 30 to 45 mins. it started to die again and it has done the same way three days in a row. The car runs good and does not make any sound when it dies. All the mechanics that we have been to are stumped. The only code ever given was P0171 and now it doesn't do that. Can you help?

Answer: Code P0171 is a lean condition. That means the oxygen sensors are seeing an exhaust that shows there is not enough fuel going into the engine. A rich condition is just the opposite- too much fuel. A common cause for lean is a vacuum leak, but this does not sound like your problem since that would not cause the engine stall so many times. Another cause is low fuel pressure. The filter was replaced, but i wonder if who did the repair checked to see if it was plugged. If it was restricted badly, that with the fact it is stalling and the code you are getting may point to a failing fuel pump. Normally a fuel pump going bad will either make the car hard to - or not start at all, but it can also cause this stalling out. Most of the time the engine will begin to sputter before it dies, but not always. You would need to have a fuel pressure gauge on the engine and when it stalls, see it the pressure has dropped just before that. If the car is just shutting off like someone turned off the key, then I would suspect an ignition switch. This supplies power to most of the vehicles systems. Try tapping on the head of the ignition key with your knuckle or a small hammer when it is running to see if you can get it to stall. This would indicate a bad switch.

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