Reduced engine power is an issue that can plague any car owner at some point. But, how much will it cost to fix reduced engine power issue? This is a question that many drivers ask when they experience this problem.
The cost to fix reduced engine power will depend on the severity of the problem. Usually, the reduced power problem is minor and costs about $100 to resolve at a workshop, but it could cost up to $500 to $700 in severe cases, including labor and parts.
This article will discuss the cost of fixing reduced engine power, what causes it, and how to fix the reduced engine power issue on your car.
What Does Reduced Engine Power Mean?
Reduced engine power means that the car is not running as efficiently as possible.
When the engine power is reduced, the car will lose speed and acceleration.
It’s a safety measure car manufacturers have installed to avoid engine damage.
The vehicle’s electronic control unit (ECU) is capable of detecting all sorts of issues that could cause engine damage.
When the ECU detects a problem, it will automatically reduce engine power to prevent engine damage.
This is why it’s essential to get the problem fixed as soon as possible.
The actual cause of the issue varies, and different makes and models have different algorithms that the ECU uses to detect engine damage.
However, there are a few common causes of reduced engine power that we will discuss.
Causes of Reduced Engine Power
Why your car has gone into reduced engine power mode could be due to various issues. Here are the most common causes of reduced engine power.
1. Loose Wire or Clamp
A loose connector or wire is a common trigger for the ECU to reduce engine power.
Related: Symptoms of Loose Battery Cables
The ECU needs a specific voltage to function correctly. If there is a loose wire or connection, the voltage can drop, and the ECU will assume there is a problem.
2. Damaged Harness
If the engine’s wiring harness is damaged, it can cause reduced engine power.
The harness carries all the electrical signals from the ECU to the engine. If it’s damaged, those signals can get mixed up or lost, and the ECU will reduce power to prevent engine damage.
3. Faulty Oxygen (O2) Sensors
Oxygen sensors could cause reduced engine power if they are faulty.
Oxygen sensors are located in the exhaust system and measure the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gas.
The ECU uses the information received from the O2 sensors to adjust the air/fuel mixture.
If the O2 sensors are faulty, they will send the wrong information to the ECU, causing it to reduce engine power.
4. Clogged Catalytic Converter
A clogged catalytic converter can also cause the car to enter limp-in mode.
Related: 10 Bad Catalytic Converter Symptoms
This is because the converter needs exhaust gases to function correctly, and when it’s clogged, those gases can’t get through.
In some cases, a clogged converter can cause the car to reduce the engine power.
Don’t Miss: CAT Delete: Pros, Cons and Cost
5. Issues with the Throttle Position Sensor
The throttle position sensor is another common cause of reduced engine power.
This sensor is responsible for telling the computer how far the throttle is open.
If it’s not working correctly, the computer may not provide enough fuel to the engine, which can cause the engine to lose power.
6. Clutch Failure
If the car has a manual transmission, a clutch failure can also cause reduced engine power.
The clutch is responsible for connecting the engine to the transmission.
If it fails, the vehicle’s computer will most likely reduce the engine power to prevent further damage.
7. Defective Mass Airflow Sensor
The mass airflow sensor (MAF) measures the amount of air entering the engine.
The ECU uses this information to adjust the fuel mixture.
If the MAF is defective, it can cause the engine to run too lean or too rich, which can trigger the reduced power mode.
8. Bad Electronic Control Unit
The electronic control unit (ECU) is the vehicle’s brain.
It controls things like fuel injection, ignition timing, and engine management.
If the ECU is defective, it can cause several issues to the vehicle, including reduced engine power.
9. Low or Bad Transmission Fluid
If the transmission fluid is low or bad, it can cause the clutch to slip.
This can lead to reduced engine power because the engine will rev up, but the car won’t move as fast.
10. Clogged Air Filter
A clogged air filter can also cause reduced engine power.
This is because the engine needs a certain amount of air to function correctly.
When the ECU detects the engine is not getting enough air, it will reduce the engine power to prevent damage.
These are some of the most common causes of reduced engine power.
How to Fix Reduced Engine Power
Depending on the cause, there are a few different ways to fix reduced engine power.
1. Visually Inspect Wires and Clamps
If there is an issue with the wiring or clamps, it will usually be apparent.
Check all the wiring and clamps to ensure they are secure and not damaged.
2. Check for a Damaged Harness
If the wiring harness is damaged, it will need to be repaired or replaced.
Visually inspect the entire harness of the vehicle to ensure there is no damage.
Be sure to check the ground wires as well; a weak ground connection could cause the ECU to reduce the engine power.
3. Clean and Troubleshoot the Oxygen (O2) Sensors
If the oxygen sensors are dirty or not working correctly, it can cause the engine to run lean.
This can lead to reduced engine power.
Clean the oxygen sensors, and if that does not fix the issue, they may need to be replaced.
4. Diagnose the Catalytic Converter (P0420 Code)
If the catalytic converter is clogged, it must be cleaned by a certified mechanic using the correct tools and methods.
Replacing the catalytic converter is something you definitely don’t want to do, as a new unit could cost over $2000.
5. Replace the Throttle Position Sensor
If the throttle position sensor is not working correctly, it will need to be replaced.
This is a relatively simple and inexpensive fix that can be done at home in your garage.
6. Service the Clutch
If the clutch is slipping, it will need to be serviced.
This may involve replacing the fluid, adjusting the tension, or even replacing the clutch itself.
7. Clean or Replace the Mass Airflow Sensor
If the mass airflow sensor is dirty or not working correctly, it will need to be cleaned or replaced.
Start by cleaning the sensor, and if that does not fix the issue, it will need to be replaced.
8. Reprogram or Replace the ECU
If the ECU is defective, it will need to be repaired or replaced.
Many times, a simple software update will fix the issue.
If a software update does not resolve the reduced engine power issue, the ECU will need to be replaced.
When the ECU is replaced, it’s also essential to have the vehicle’s computer system recalibrated.
9. Service Your Transmission
If the transmission fluid is low or bad, it will need to be serviced.
This may involve simply topping off the fluid or thoroughly flushing and replacing the fluid.
10. Replace the Air Filter
If the air filter is clogged, it will need to be replaced.
A new air filter costs no more than $15 and takes only a few minutes to replace on most cars.
Is It Safe to Drive with Reduced Engine Power?
It is not safe to drive with reduced engine power.
If you are experiencing this issue, it’s best to get the car towed to a certified mechanic so they can diagnose and fix the problem.
There’s a reason for the engine going into limp-in mode which is causing the reduced engine power, which is to prevent engine damage.
Reduced engine power can cause all sorts of problems, including decreased fuel economy, increased emissions, and even total engine failure.
If you are experiencing reduced engine power, the best thing to do is pull over and call for a tow.
Will a Bad O2 Sensor Cause Reduced Engine Power?
If the oxygen sensor is not working correctly, it can cause the ECU to reduce the engine power.
The engine will run lean if the oxygen sensor is not working properly.
A bad oxygen sensor can cause all sorts of problems, including increased emissions, decreased fuel economy, and even engine failure.
If you are experiencing reduced engine power, it’s best to have the car towed to a certified mechanic so they can diagnose and fix the problem.
There are many reasons why your car might have reduced engine power, from a clogged catalytic converter to a faulty ECU or bad connectors.
The best way to find out the cause is to take it to a certified mechanic and have them run some tests if none of the issues above seem to be the problem.
Most of the time, reduced engine power can be fixed relatively quickly and inexpensively.