7 Reasons Your Car’s Engine Power Reduced

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Have you ever had the experience of driving your car and then suddenly realizing that the engine’s power has been reduced?

Don’t be alarmed, as this is not an uncommon issue among vehicle owners.

Yes, many people take for granted that all engines should perform up to their full, built-in potential.

Don’t worry—this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to throw out your car or truck and buy a new one.

When you know what to look for, and where to go for help, it’s possible to get your engine up and running at its best—so you can get back on the road again in no time.

Keep reading to learn more about this topic and how you can address it on your own!

Dirty Air Filter

Your engine is a finely tuned machine that needs lots of air to function.

If your air filter is dirty, then there’s not enough air getting into your engine to fuel it properly. This means that it’s working harder than it should be.

This can result in reduced power from your car or even make your car stall out when coming to a stop or just driving uphill.

The remedy for dirty filters is simple… replace them with new ones!

You can diagnose and replace dirty filters in 5 minutes or less. Just ask a mechanic if you need help putting one in or just do it yourself!

Fouled Spark Plugs

Your spark plugs may be responsible for your car’s engine power being reduced.

Read “What Are The Symptoms Of Bad Spark Plugs…”

Spark plugs have a way of fouling, either by too much carbon or oil in their chamber. Either way, when that happens, your engine get misfired decreasing your engine power.

Your best bet is to take your car in to a mechanic and have them replaced for you.

If all goes well, your car should run like new again.

Worn Piston Rings

Although piston rings are typically made of steel, they can break down and wear out over time.

When that happens, engine performance suffers and gas mileage drops. That’s the pressure in the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber will leak into the crankcase…

Because of the leak, the air-fuel mixture does not reach the proper pressure during combustion and therefore affects the power of your engine.

If you notice any signs of power loss, it’s probably time for a new set of ring pistons for your vehicle.

Carbon Deposits On Intake Valves

Carbon deposits on your intake valves can decrease engine power by restricting airflow into your combustion chamber. 

If carbon deposits accumulate on the valves or valve seats, they will prevent the valves from closing properly. If an intake valve is not able to close fully, it will allow air to escape during the compression stroke, reducing the compression ratio. 

A mechanic may use a run a valve cleaner to unclog your intake valves, restoring performance to normal!

Fuel Pumps

If your car’s engine power has reduced suddenly, it could be a problem with your fuel pump.

When you start your car, the battery activates the electric motor of the fuel pump. The fuel pump is connected to the gas tank, and it pumps gas through pipes under pressure to deliver it to an engine.

If there is no pressure in these pipes or if they are leaking, then there may not be enough pressure for your engine to run normally.

This can happen during hard acceleration, so pay attention in these moments.

Fuel Injectors

If your car is running a little sluggish, check to see if your fuel injectors are clogged.

Fuel injectors are like tiny spray nozzles that squirt gas into each cylinder.

If an injector becomes clogged, it can’t put out all of its gas, and it won’t burn as efficiently as it should.

You will notice a drop in your engine power right away—especially when you press on the gas pedal—and fuel economy will suffer, too.

If your vehicle is more than 10 years old and hasn’t been maintained regularly, injector issues could be common.

Exhaust Restrictions

While you may think that your engine power is being limited by your air filter, that’s not likely to be true.

If you’re driving a car with reduced engine power, it probably means that your vehicle has an exhaust restriction.

The most common reason for such restrictions is a clogged catalytic converter. However, there are other reasons why your engine power could be limited as well.

For example, if you’ve recently installed new mufflers or had them repaired, they might have caused an exhaust restriction.

Make sure to check them out before taking any further steps toward fixing your problem!

Carbon Deposits On The Piston

One of the most common causes of reduced engine power is carbon deposits on your car’s piston.

When fuel is burned in an engine, it leaves behind ash and residue that collects in your engine’s chamber.

If your piston isn’t cleaned regularly, then those deposits will build up and will begin to impede on its effectiveness.

If deposits accumulate on the piston or cylinder walls, this leads to engine knock when there is enough time for it to develop.

The engine compensates for this power loss by retarding the ignition timing which impacts its performance.

If you notice that your engine power has been affected dramatically, check under your hood for any black residue or other signs of carbon buildup and schedule an appointment with a mechanic for control.


If your car is experiencing power reduction, it’s important to address it right away.

Neglecting a vehicle in such a condition can cause further damage to expensive components like catalytic converters and exhaust manifolds.

Make sure you get all of these issues addressed immediately by a professional (or yourself if you feel confident!)

Once you know what is causing your engine’s reduced power, you’ll be able to fix it right away and avoid costly replacements down the road…

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