Inside Your Car 2 June 2022

Why is your car losing power?


Is your car not responding how it should? If you’re trying to put the pedal to the metal, but end up at a snail’s pace, we might be able to shed some light.

Whether your car is vintage, brand new or well maintained, it will experience mechanical issues sometime over its lifespan. When your car sends warning signals — including losing power — it is vital that those signs aren’t ignored. Early detection via regular maintenance is the smartest and safest approach so you can keep on travelling.

Problem 1: Your car feels sluggish while accelerating

If you know your car well, you’ll quickly realise if it is sluggish to accelerate. This can be due to various reasons, from dirty air cleaners and clogged fuel filters, to low tyre pressure and even choosing the wrong petrol! Your best bet? Have your car serviced promptly with the mycar experts so they can diagnose the exact problem before it escalates.

Problem 2: Your car loses power then comes back

Again, here are some details worth sharing with your mycar technician:

  • Hesitation - this is a lack of or responsiveness when you put your foot on the accelerator.
  • Misfires - may feel like jerking bucking or stumbling from the engine, you will notice slow or rough acceleration. Cutting out or stalling either while running, or when starting.
  • Running rough –feels like your car isn’t running smoothly, including your revs per minute jumping up and down or falling below 600RPM (the dial next to the speed dial that can be seen on the dashboard),  accompanied by strange sounds.
  • Sporadic shutdown of the electrical system – in the event there is something wrong with the electrical system causing it to lose power, you may have trouble starting your car. If the headlights and other lights aren’t working properly, their might be a problem with your battery.
  • Sporadic shutdown of the electrical system
  • A faulty ignition switch - your car may not start at all, or start and then stall or loss of interior lighting and dashboard lights ?
  • It could be as simple as a loose battery terminal - Your car needs power to start the ignition, which is provided by your car battery. If the terminals are loose it can cause your car to be slow to start or your internal lighting may dim.

All of this can be checked at one of our stores, all you have to do is ask, we will diagnose the problem, provide you a quote.

If you have technical skills, some of these can be handled easily at home. Other issues require more complex solutions. Don’t be left in the lurch — if your car is switching off, bring it to mycar for a service!

5 reasons you’re losing power while accelerating, starting or driving your vehicle

The importance of regular vehicle servicing can’t be underestimated. Here at mycar, we offer a lifetime guarantee on all the work we perform and guarantees on all new parts that are supplied and installed. We can also expertly diagnose a range of other issues that could pinpoint why your car is losing power.

Clogged fuel filter

Fuel tanks attract dirt, dust and debris over time. Eventually, this debris can clog the fuel filter, making it hard for fuel to pass through to the fuel pump. This can overwork the fuel pump and affect the performance of your car’s engine, resulting in lost power during acceleration.

Blocked Catalytic Convertors

Is your car sending you smoke signals? Blocked catalytic convertors can cause excessive black-smoke emissions, which can lead to your car losing power (or worse). In diesel vehicles, black smoke is due to poor fuel combustion and performance caused by a faulty catalytic convertor, injectors or an old exhaust system. In petrol powered cars, it’s a sign of too much fuel going into the engine — a result of poor tuning or a faulty electronic sensor.

Clogged car air filter

When your car’s internal combustion chamber mixes air and petrol to produce power, the air first goes through an air filter before it enters the chamber. The filter helps shield the chamber from outside debris. If you have a dirty or clogged air filter, not enough air is getting into the engine for optimal combustion, and there will be a lack of power when you are trying to accelerate, especially on Diesel vehicles.

Faulty spark plugs

The internal combustion engine relies on spark plugs to transmit the electrical signal from the ignition coils to the internal combustion chamber. Once that happens, an electric spark ignites the mixture of air and fuel. If you have faulty spark plugs that can’t transmit this electrical signal, the performance of your engine will weaken, and you won’t be able to reach acceleration as quickly.

Faulty ignition coil

The ignition system uses coils to convert your battery power to ignite your car’s engine. A faulty ignition coil will result in the mixture of air and fuel inside the engine, which means it will not ignite adequately. This will result in your car losing power as you put your foot on the accelerator pedal.

As we’ve covered above, loss of power in your car can be due to a range of factors. That’s why it’s vital that you have your car serviced regularly, particularly if you’re experiencing unexpected power or acceleration issues. Let us help you get your car back to its former, powerful glory!

Book your car in for a service or auto electrical checkup today.



2020, 7 signs of car trouble and how to spot them, RAC

2021, 9 Causes of a Car Losing Power When Accelerating, Oards

Mark Stevens, 2021, 5 Symptoms of a Bad or Clogged Fuel Filter (and Replacement Cost), Car Treatments

Sid Samuel, 2017, Signs you may need to replace your fuel filter, Diesel Dog

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