Reduced engine power II Everything you want to know

In this modern age, almost all the cars contain around 100 sensors, and the number is increasing day by day to the latest models to make them smarter than before. These sensors are very essential to perform a range of functions, monitoring the car's system, and to provide data about the current status of the car. They work to highlight problems before you get any other symptoms.

You may have an experience that your car mechanic is plugging the car onto a laptop when you take it to him for a problem. And most of the time, he can understand what the actual problem is! But sometimes, the warning lights can't diagnose the problem, and reduced engine power should be a perfect example of it.

When it happens to you without showing any dashboard warning light, you can be confused about what to look for. But you should not be confused because you can understand it by analyzing potential issues. And the good news is that you do not need to go to the mechanic for that. Below, I am going to tell you everything about the potential issues of reduced engine power and the possible solution of them.

Check the Air flow sensor

The air flow sensor plays an essential role to maintain the power of the engine. It is responsible for monitoring the air that is drawn into the engine. As the air is a vital element of the combustion process, monitoring the air intake is also essential. The sensor allows the air to pass over a heated wire and by increasing or decreasing, it affects the temperature of the heated wire. Depending on this measurement, the engine increases and decreases the amount of gasoline that is used in the combustion process.

But it can hamper all the process when it gets dirty. Then, it gives false readings that cause the engine to inject less gasoline than it should into the process. As a result, a reduction in engine power happens.

How can you fix it

You can understand whether it is working or not in the following ways. At first, you need to start the engine and pop the hood. Now, locate the sensor and give it a couple of sharp taps. If the engine falters slightly, it is possible a dirty sensor.

Alternatively, disconnect the sensor then start the engine. The engine will recognize it has been removed and will go into a back-up running mode. If the engine runs better than before, undoubtedly you had a damaged or dirty sensor.

Now, its time to fix the problem. You will be happy to know that you don't need to go to the mechanic for this. You just need an air flow sensor cleaner. Remove the sensor and clean it with the cleaner. Then use it as you did earlier.

Check the air filter

The air filter works to filter the air that enters the engine. It plays a vital role to make the engine running efficiently because it traps dust, dirt, and other harmful contaminants from entering there. Then after a period, it experiences build-up of all kind of stuff and when they are too much, the filter starts to restrict air flow. Now the problem is that it is not connected to any sensors that monitor this accumulation of dirt. That's why you do not get any signal from the warning lights.

Fix it quickly

At first, you need to know where it is located. In modern cars, it is in a rectangular plastic box usually tucked to one side of the engine block near the inside of a fender. In the user manual, it is called "Cold Air Collector Box". In the older cars, it is at the right atop the engine block, large in size, and a round item with an opening for all air intake set to one side.

Now, to fix it, open the container of the filter, remove the filter, and hold it up to the light. If there is no or very little light comes through, then it is clogged for sure. Tap it gently against a hard surface to make it dirt-free. Check it with the light again. If it is still clogged, you should replace it.

Check the fuel pump

In modern cars, the fuel pump is an integral part of the fuel system. They are mostly located in the fuel tank and electrically driven but sometimes powered by the engine itself. It naturally ages over time and loses effectiveness. The fuel in the tank is also used as a coolant to moderate the temperature of the pump. If you drive it when the fuel is low, the pump will not be cooled effectively. It has a bad impact on lifespan. As there is no sensor attached to it, you will have to understand the problem with its performance.

How to fix

It is not an easy task to fix this problem by yourself without having a good knowledge of it. In this respect, my recommendation for you to go to an expert mechanic for this.

Worn out the catalytic converter

The cars that come after 1975 are fitted with a catalytic converter which is a very essential part of the exhaust system. The engine produces exhaust gases that exit by the tailpipe. But before that, they pass through the catalytic converter. Here, it turns the dangerous carbon monoxide gases into carbon dioxide gases. That's why it is a must-have thing in every car. Many of us think that it has a harmful effect on performance because they restrict the flow of exhaust gases. The truth is that when it works properly, it causes a reduction in power between 1-3%.


It is also difficult to fix it at your home. Actually, it loses effectiveness after a long period. Then, you should replace it as early as possible. So, you should take help from an expert.

Finally, I have come to the end of my article. I have tried to tell you everything about what does reduced engine power mean, how can you diagnose it, and the possible solution for this. I hope you will be benefited from this article.