Ever notice that when your car says “Reduced Engine Power,” you can’t go above 50 miles per hour? There’s a reason for that. Reduced engine power is a common problem on GM trucks and SUVs, and it can be frustrating to diagnose. It happens when the computer in charge of regulating engine performance detects a problem with the system, so it purposefully limits how much power your vehicle can produce. The good news is that you don’t have to pay a mechanic over $100 an hour to look at this issue. With some time and effort, you can fix reduced engine power yourself.
Check for error codes
- Check for error codes. If you get a warning light on your dashboard, it may be due to an engine problem. You can check for error codes in your car’s computer or on the dashboard. Error messages will give you clues as to what might be wrong with your car and how serious it is.
Reset your throttle
- Turn off the engine.
- Turn the key to the on position (but don’t start it).
- Release the key.
- Turn it back to the off position and restart your car.
Check your engine air filter
Check your engine air filter. If it is dirty, replace it with a new one and clean the old one. This will help increase fuel efficiency in your vehicle by reducing the amount of unneeded resistance caused by a clogged air filter.
Get a new mass-air flow (MAF) sensor
The MAF sensor determines the amount of air entering the engine, and sends this information to your car’s computer. The computer then uses that data to adjust fuel delivery to ensure proper air-to-fuel ratio and ignition timing. When your MAF sensor is dirty or malfunctioning, it will cause your vehicle to run inefficiently.
To replace a mass airflow sensor:
- Remove the negative battery cable from its terminal on top of the battery (usually a 10mm bolt)
- Use a flathead screwdriver to pry up any clips that secure the intake manifold cover—the part where all your vacuum lines are connected—and remove it from its location beneath the throttle body
- If you have access through an inspection hole, disconnect one end of each vacuum line in turn; if not, use pliers or another tool to loosen them as much as possible before removing them completely (you can also cut off any corners that are preventing removal)
Clean your throttle body
If your throttle body is dirty, it can cause reduced engine power. A clean throttle body will ensure that air enters the engine smoothly and efficiently for a smoother driving experience.
To clean your throttle body:
- Remove the large round black plastic cap from the top of your vehicle’s air filter housing (this is located near the passenger side headlight).
- Use a shop vacuum to remove any debris from inside this housing (or use compressed air). Be careful not to get any dirt or grime on other parts of your engine or on yourself!
Replace your throttle position sensor (TPS)
If you’ve determined that your reduced engine power is due to a faulty TPS, you can try replacing it yourself. The replacement process itself is pretty straightforward: just remove the old part and install the new one.
Next, you should check to see if there are any other problems that might be causing reduced engine power. If cleaning or testing didn’t solve your issue, check for loose connections between accessories like air conditioning compressors, fans, alternators and starters (if equipped). These parts will cause reduced engine power if their connections aren’t tight enough to provide steady electrical current flowing through them when they’re turned on and working properly—which means they could have come loose from vibrations from driving over bumpy roads or vibrating too much as another component fails elsewhere in your car’s systems (like an ignition coil failing).
It’s also important to check for fuel system issues such as dirty fuel injectors clogging up with deposits from carbon buildup caused by bad gasolines
You can fix reduced engine power yourself
You can fix reduced engine power yourself. The best part is that you can save money, learn more about your car and save time by doing it yourself. There are also environmental benefits to doing the work yourself.
You may have noticed reduced engine power in your vehicle and wondered what could be wrong with it or why your car isn’t as powerful as it used to be. While there are many different reasons for this problem, one of them is a faulty spark plug. If you’re having trouble starting up your car or getting up to full speed on the freeway, this is most likely what’s causing the issue!
In this article, we’ve gone over why you might see the “reduced engine power” warning light on your dashboard, as well as some simple fixes you can do at home. If none of these work, or if your engine is having more serious issues that require additional troubleshooting, it may be time to take your car to a mechanic.