Dodge Dakota Question

I did a code test on my 97 Dakota P/U that has a 3.9 and it says lean burn on the left bank . Im not sure exactly what that means . I was "told" it means the 1st Oxygen sensor , is that correct? The problem is
the fuel mileage has went from 19 hwy to 10 hwy . I replaced the plugs and wires but no cure . Raw gas in the form of black smoke is coming from the exhaust pipe . Thanks .
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Leon Taylor) wrote:

it means the PCM 'thinks' the left bank of the engine is running lean.

Not always.

Consistent with a shorted oxygen sensor.
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Does anyone have a clue as to what is causing the severe drop in fuel mileage on this truck ? I drive with a light foot on the pedal and have changed nothing to decrease fuel mileage as far as tires or adding extra weight. I did take a trip from Ar to Neb . with a loaded trailer in tow and got 13mpg loaded and 17mpg ( empty trailer) I thought I may have gased on it to hard and ruined the injectors somehow putting all that stress on them because the trailer loaded weighed around 1700 lbs . ( just guessing) . This 10 mpg is taking its toll on my pocketbook . Any help on ths matter would be most helpful ! Thanks !!
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Leon Taylor wrote:

Pay for gas with your Discover Card. You'll get 5% cash back in the end, a $.20 per gallon savings. Works on Dodge Rams too.
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Sure, I have a clue.... Something is causing it to use too much gas... Now you can open the hood and set your computer in there so we all can take a look or you can take it to a local mechanic to check out. Or you can look at aarcuda's last line in his post .....something about a shorted oxygen sensor..
Denny
drive with a light foot on the pedal and have

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