How to Fix Reduced Engine Power? Causes & Solutions

How to fix reduced engine power? My car needed to be replaced a few weeks ago. On the first day I drove my new car, I followed the navigation system’s instructions to stop the engine.

My car was slowing down. It felt like someone was pressing the brakes. As a result, I started increasing the acceleration over time to get rid of this problem. My car almost stopped altogether a bit later, so I had to apply the brakes to keep it moving.

There was no power in the brakes, but they worked. I realized that my car’s engine control unit (ECU) may have been infected with severe malware at this point.

But was it malware or something else? Let us find out how to bypass reduced engine power in this article. 

How to Fix Reduced Engine Power

What is the Meaning of Reduced Engine Power?

If you come across the “reduced engine power” message on your car’s dashboard, it means that your car can no longer operate at full capacity.

There are several reasons why engine power is reduced. A faulty turbocharger or supercharger, a clogged exhaust system, faulty fuel injectors, a faulty oxygen sensor, a faulty spark plug, or a defective ignition wiring can all cause a failure.

The error may also come up if you drive for too long with an overheating engine. While the error message is displayed, your car should still run at reduced power.

Acceleration will decrease slightly. You risk overheating your engine if you ignore this warning and continue driving without looking into the problem. Drive your car to a mechanic or dealership as soon as possible if you are unable to fix the problem yourself.

What are the Main Causes of Reduced Engine Power?

If you’re wondering why your car’s engine power light comes on while driving, don’t worry. There is no doubt that you are not alone. According to automotive engineers, there are several reasons why the reduced engine power light may illuminate in your vehicle.

  1. Engine Oil Level is Low
  2. Worn or Faulty Spark Plug
  3. Faulty Distributor
  4. Connectors
  5. Faulty MAF Sensor
  6. Loose Fuel Cap
  7. Car TAC System
  8. Oxygen Sensors

Here are some facts you may not know about this indicator.

Engine Oil Level is Low

If the oil level is low, your engine power light will come on, showing that your car needs more oil. 

This can be very dangerous for many reasons, so you should take the car to a mechanic and have them check your oil level. If it is below the safe limit, they can top off the oil for you.

Worn or Faulty Spark Plugs

According to most automotive engineers, if the spark plugs are worn out or faulty, they may cause engine power light illumination on your car. 

You should have the spark plugs replaced as soon as possible to prevent this from happening.

Faulty Distributor

If your distributor is faulty, it can cause engine power light illumination on your dashboard. 

You would need a new distributor and possibly other parts like spark plugs if they were affected by your faulty distributor to fix this issue.


If the coil wire is loose, it can cause engine power light illumination on your dashboard. To fix this issue, you need to tighten up the connector at both ends of the wire and make sure there are no kinks in it that can cause short wiring. 

Loose wires are very dangerous for many reasons, so it is in your best interest to get them fixed ASAP.

Bad Mass Airflow Sensor

A faulty mass airflow sensor can cause engine power reduction light illumination on your dashboard. The MAF sensor measures the amount of airflow into the car’s engine and signals the electronic control unit (ECU) of the input.

The electric control unit ECU then uses this information to adjust the air-to-fuel ratio so that your car runs smoothly and at peak performance. This is why it is very important to replace a faulty MAF sensor as soon as possible after you notice the engine power light on your dashboard.

Loose Fuel Cap

A loose fuel cap is a common cause of engine power light illumination on your car. To fix this issue, tighten the gas tank’s fuel cap, and you should be good to go.

A faulty gas cap can allow contaminants into your fuel lines, so it is in your best interest to replace it if there is a problem.

Car TAC System

A throttle actuator control system is present in many modern cars. Its main function is to control fuel injection and timing. A faulty electronic fan clutch may cause it to malfunction. 

If it malfunctions, the car power light will come on, which can damage your engine. To fix this problem, you need to replace the faulty TAC system.

Oxygen Sensors

Car oxygen sensors are very important, they measure the amount of oxygen in the exhaust, which determines how much fuel to inject into your engine.

If an oxygen sensor malfunctions, the reduced engine power light will come on. It is recommended that you have new oxygen sensors installed as soon as you notice this problem.

How To Bypass Reduced Engine Power?

If you are wondering how to bypass reduced engine power, there are a few ways you can do this, which are explained below in detail.

Check Catalytic Converter

Your catalytic converter is the first place to check when you are experiencing reduced power. When the OBD monitors detect an issue with the converter, it will reduce the engine power to compensate for what it interprets as a potential problem.

You can bypass reduced engine power by simply replacing your catalytic converter. While this might seem like an expensive and unnecessary step, it is definitely worth it to rule out potential issues.

Clean Air Filter

Your car’s intake is responsible for drawing in more oxygen, which the engine can use to burn fuel. 

If there is oil build-up on the valves or the seals are compromised, this will prevent oxygen from entering and reduce power. You can clean up the intake manifold by simply opening it up and brushing off the grime.

Check ECU

The ECU or the computer running your car has many different sensors and monitors that it uses to calculate the best way to distribute power. 

However, when there is a problem with one of these sensors, this will cause reduced power. You can bypass reduced engine power with the ECU by simply updating its firmware or replacing it altogether.

Check Sensors

Checking sensors is possibly one of the most important steps to take when you are experiencing reduced power. 

Sensors such as oxygen, mass airflow, and manifold absolute pressure send information about the car’s systems to the ECU, which then adjusts power accordingly.

If a sensor is failing during this process, it will send incorrect data and cause problems with how your engine runs. 

You’ll want to replace any damaged sensors when you are experiencing reduced engine power to rule out potential issues.

Repair Exhaust Leaks

If you are noticing a lack of power, it is likely that you have some exhaust leaks. A car’s engine creates high amounts of pressure while running. The exhaust system is designed to control and release this excess pressure so that your vehicle can function properly.

If there are any holes in the system due to rust or damage, it will release pressure and lead to reduced power. You can easily inspect your system for any leaks by using a solution of soap and water.

Bubbles will show you where potential problems exist- be sure to identify and repair them as soon as possible to avoid further issues with your car’s performance.

Check electrical wiring and Cables

If your car’s engine isn’t producing normal amounts of power, it is likely that you have an electrical problem. The ECU relies on signals from the battery and other parts to tell it what to do. 

If there are any faulty wiring or cables, this could cause problems with how the car runs. You’ll want to inspect all the wire connections and replace any damaged cables.


What is the cost to fix reduced engine power?

Reduced engine power can cost between $5 and $2,000 depending on the problem. The cost of replacing a dirty air filter that causes reduced engine power is only $5. Nevertheless, you will have to spend about $2,000 to replace a faulty catalytic converter.

How do I reset my reduced engine power light?

Resolving the underlying issue is the only way to reset the reduced engine power light. After a certain amount of driving time, the reduced engine power light usually goes off.


On your dashboard, there is a warning light that indicates reduced engine power. You should not ignore it. Imagine that you drive your car with the reduced engine power warning light illuminated without taking action to correct this problem. In that case, it could result in further damage and a runaway engine that generates significant heat.

A reduced engine power warning light indicates a problem with the engine’s computer control system. By driving less aggressively, you must immediately reduce the engine’s power output.

Overheating could result in a fire if you continue to drive with your engine in reduced power mode. You will not have power assist for your brakes, steering, or door locks if your engine stops running. People who drive manual transmission vehicles should pay special attention to this.

Pull off the road to a safe location if the reduced engine power light illuminates at highway speeds. If your vehicle is in a position that restricts your view of traffic, turn off your engine and don’t restart it.

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