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Five Issues That Can Cause an Automobile to Lose Power

Five Issues That Can Cause an Automobile to Lose Power

When your automobile begins to feel sluggish, it’s time to take it in and have it inspected by a professional mechanic. While this problem could simply be a sign your engine is tired and worn out, it most likely indicates that some maintenance is needed. Here are five issues that can cause an automobile to lose power.

Carbon Buildup
Some of today’s late-model vehicles come equipped with a direct-injected engine, which is designed to boost power and efficiency. Unfortunately, these types of engines are more prone to developing carbon deposits. If the problem isn’t treated, it’s only a matter of time before the automobile begins to experience a loss of power. There’s also a good chance the check engine light will turn on.

Fortunately, there are some ways to help deter carbon buildup. Automakers suggest only using Top Tier gasoline, which is certified to have an extra amount of detergent additives. Periodically adding a fuel-system cleaner can help as well. If there’s an excessive amount of carbon on the engine’s intake valves, a repair shop will need to take it and professionally clean it.

Fouled Spark Plugs
In order for an engine to maintain the correct air-fuel ratio, the spark plugs must be in good condition. While some modern spark plugs are rated to last for up to 100,000 miles, they can fail sooner than expected. This is especially true when you’re dealing with other underlying issues, such as dirty fuel injectors or a bad head gasket. Even a single fouled spark plug can cause your engine to produce noticeably less horsepower and torque.

If your automobile has started to run rough or is beginning to hesitate when accelerating, there’s a good chance it’s time to take it in for a tune-up. Replacing the spark plugs and ignition wires will likely restore performance.

Dirty Air Filter
An air filter is by far one of the most important parts of a vehicle. Its sole purpose is to prevent damaging contaminants from getting inside the engine. Once the filter becomes excessively dirty, airflow to the engine will be restricted. This ultimately leads to your vehicle delivering a less responsive performance.

Mechanics can quickly determine if you need a new air filter by performing a quick visual inspection. The good news is that air filters are rather inexpensive to replace. Most tend to cost less than $20.

Overdue for an Oil Change
For good reason, mechanic shops constantly stress the importance of getting oil changes. Neglecting to have the oil changed in a timely manner often leads to accelerated engine wear.

When motor oil is allowed to gunk up, it’s far more difficult to pump this vital fluid throughout the engine. Because of the diminished oil flow, the engine must work a lot harder to overcome the added friction. Power loss then becomes a real concern.

Exhaust Restrictions
If your automobile has restrictions in the exhaust, it certainly won’t be able to develop peak power. Although the exhaust may look perfectly fine on the outside, it could have an internal blockage. It’s not uncommon for aluminized steel mufflers to rust away from the inside out, thus making it more difficult for the engine to push out exhausts gases.

The catalytic converter, which is engineered to capture harmful emissions, can also clog up. In the event that a mechanic determines the catalytic converter is bad, your automobile likely has another problem that first needs to be addressed. Oil leaks, bad spark plugs, and worn oxygen sensors can all cause a catalytic converter to fail prematurely.

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