Have you ever been in a situation where you’re driving your vehicle and as you accelerate, you start to lose power instead of gain power? Sometimes this can be attributed to your car not having enough fuel. However, it can also be attributed to numerous other causes related to mechanical problems, malfunctioning sensors, and/or malfunctioning actuators. Sometimes the cause can be different if you have a diesel engine versus a petroleum engine, but there are also a lot of similar causes between the two engines. You just have to know what to look for.
Top 7 Causes
Below are the top 7 common causes for a vehicle losing its power when accelerating it.
- Worn Spark Plugs – The internal combustion engine of your vehicle relies on the spark plugs for transmitting the electrical signal from the ignition coils to the internal combustion chamber. Once that happens, an electric spark ignites the mixture of fuel and air. Therefore, if you have faulty spark plugs that cannot transmit this electrical signal, then the performance of your engine will weaken and you won’t be able to accelerate as fast. It will eventually get to the point where it won’t accelerate at all.
- Faulty Fuel Pump – The fuel pump is how fuel inside of the gas tank is brought to the engine for combustion. The fuel pump also regulates the pressure of the fuel as it is transferred in order to accommodate the engine’s needs. So, if the fuel pump were to get damaged or have problems, then it would affect how fuel is transferred. This will result in poor engine performance and acceleration.
- Faulty Fuel Injectors – A car engine depends on its fuel injector inside of the fuel system. This fuel injector is responsible for actually spraying the fuel, brought in by the fuel pump, inside of the engine. Obviously, if the fuel injector becomes damaged or worn out, then it won’t be able to adequately spray fuel into the engine. This would result in the engine being unable to produce enough power to accelerate.
- Low Level of Compression – The internal combustion process relies on strong cylinder compression for the vehicle to generate enough power to accelerate. If there is a low level of compression, there will be a low level of power being generated by the engine.
- Exhaust Pipe is Clogged – The exhaust pipe is comprised of two filters called the catalyst converter and the muffler. The catalyst converter reduces the pollution produced by the exhaust fumes. The muffler reduces the noise produced. If either of these filters or the exhaust pipe were to have something clogging them, then it would impair the engine and cause the power it generates to be reduced.
- Faulty Air Filter–When the internal combustion chamber mixes air and gasoline to produce power, the air first goes through an air filter before it enters the chamber. This filter helps keep out all the outside debris and bugs from the chamber. If you were to have a bad air filter, then this outside debris would get inside the engine and cause major damage to it.
- Faulty Ignition Coil–The ignition system has ignition coils which convert 12 volts of power from your battery into the 20,000 volts of power needed to ignite the engine. If you were to have a faulty ignition coil, then the mixture of fuel and air inside the engine would not be ignited adequately. This means you would lose power as you put your foot on the gas pedal.
There are over a dozen reasons why you would have trouble accelerating but these are just the top 7 most common causes. You could also have a faulty turbo charger, faulty EGR valve, or a faulty injection pump delivery valve. Regardless of what the undermining cause is, get your vehicle to an auto body shop as soon as you notice that it loses power when accelerating. You don’t want to let this problem go unrepaired for too long or else it could cause more damage to your car. More importantly, it could be putting your life and the lives of other drivers at risk when you’re on the road.