You might sometimes experience a situation where you’re not going as fast as you should, or you feel like you are applying the brakes while you aren’t.
This happens because your vehicle is not producing as much power as it should. Most drivers think this situation is caused by a malware that may have attacked the vehicle’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU).
However, this might not be the case as reduced engine power in your car can be caused by many other reasons.
Reduced engine power can also be vividly noticed when the reduced engine power message shows up on your dashboard.
This article explains what reduced engine power means, its major causes, How to bypass reduced engine power, and lots more.
Let’s get started
How to Bypass Reduced Engine Power
- Check and Fix Faulty Wiring
- Repair Exhaust Leaks
- Clean the Air Filter
- Check the Catalytic Converter
- Check the ECU
The “reduce engine power” message cannot be bypassed by simply pressing a button. Instead, finding and resolving the cause is the best and only way of bypassing the reduced engine power message.
Here are some easy ways to bypass reduced engine power.
1. Check and Fix Faulty Wiring
Your vehicle could go into reduced engine power mode when you have faulty wiring, loose clamps, or harnesses.
Therefore, you’d need to crosscheck all connections, such as; looseness of wires, battery connections, and even weak ground connections.
Once you’ve detected the origin of the wiring fault, you’d need to remake the connections and replace any damaged wires.
This fault would no doubt resolve the issue, and your car would go off reduced engine power mood.
2. Repair Exhaust Leaks
Exhaust leaks could also cause reduced engine power. This problem occurs because while your vehicle’s engine runs, there is a build-up of pressure inside it, and this excess pressure is reduced and controlled by the exhaust system.
There could be holes in the system due to mechanical damage or rust, and this would cause a decrease in the pressure of the engine below the threshold pressure.
This fault can be easily detected by using soapy water. Carefully pour some of the soapy water into the exhaust system, and if there are any holes, you’ll see air bubbles on the affected area, which would help you solve the issue of leaks. And you’d further resolve any problems with your vehicle’s performance.
3. Clean the Air Filter
A vehicle’s air intake takes in oxygen used in the engine for fuel combustion.
Therefore, when there is a build-up of dirt and debris on the seals or valves, the air intakes would be compromised, leading to low oxygen intake and reduced engine power.
The intake manifold can be cleaned by simply brushing off all debris and grime.
4. Check the Catalytic Converter
Now the first and foremost suspect to consider when you’re expecting reduced engine power is the catalytic converter.
Again, you can identify this problem with the OBD tool. Know that the ECU reduces the engine power when it detects a potential problem with the catalytic converter.
You can easily bypass reduced engine power by getting a replacement for your catalytic converter. While this might seem like an expensive step, it is worth it to rule out potential issues.
Also Read: Catalytic Converter Repair Without Replacing It
5. Check the ECU
The Electronic Control Unit is connected to virtually every sensor in the vehicle. It receives and sends signals to every part of the vehicle and performs the task of distributing power accurately throughout the entire vehicle.
A faulty ECU is not a problem that you’d be able to solve yourself, so the assistance of a highly skilled technician would be needed. Fixing this would involve replacing the controller with a new one.
Furthermore, troubleshooting an ECU would attract a significant sum and take some time.
6. Check if You Have a Loose Fuel Cap
This fault is one common cause of reduced engine power. Your engine power indicator will illuminate if you have a faulty or loose gas cap.
An open or loose gas cap can cause the fuel and fuel lines to get contaminated.
To solve this issue, you need to tighten the fuel gas cap, and purchasing a new one would do if the gas cap is faulty.
In addition, you should never let your fuel cap be open as it might lead to the explosion of your vehicle if it gets too close to open flame.
It is essential not to ignore the reduced engine power warning. If you continue driving your vehicle while the sign is on, the engine will be highly heated and further damage the car.
Check out this video for more tips on how to bypass reduced engine power
What Does Reduced Engine Power Mean?
When the Engine Power Reduced warning appears on your car’s display, it usually means that your car’s performance has been intentionally limited. This can be caused by a system failure, which your car’s primary computer detects and corrects by triggering Reduced Power Mode.
Most recent car models have a feature called the power saving mode. This feature is called into action whenever the ECU detects an irregularity in the engine when it is running.
The ECU then executes a program to prevent the engine from harming itself or overworking.
The ECU, also called the vehicle’s computer, warns the driver by displaying the reduced engine power message and activating the “check engine indicator.”
This signal tells the driver that there might be an issue with the engine or its components that needs immediate attention.
Symptoms of Reduced Engine Power
Whenever the ECU activates the reduced engine power mode, your driving performance is significantly reduced, and these are some of the symptoms you would experience:
- Your vehicle speed would be limited as well as your acceleration.
- Some of your vehicle accessories would be turned off to ease the engine’s strain.
- It may not allow the fuel pump to function, resulting in the engine turning off.
Another critical fact to remember is that; when the ‘check engine indicator’ illuminates, it is essential that you carefully diagnose the cause, as they are quite a few.
Also Read: How to Perform Neutral Safety Switch Bypass (Step by Step)
Causes of Reduced Engine Power
Here are a few reasons your vehicle would be experiencing ‘Reduced Engine Power.
1. Faulty Oxygen Sensors
The oxygen sensors are vital devices because they detect the amount of oxygen released from the exhaust.
The feedback given to the ECU will help adjust the air-to-fuel mix ratio.
In addition, when the oxygen sensor detects an anomaly in the exhaust system, the “reduced engine power” indicator will light up on the dashboard.
2. Failed Clutch
The Clutch is another cause to consider. When a clutch fails, the engine will vibrate more than it usually does, significantly reducing the engine power.
If you’re on the highway and you find yourself in a clutch failure situation, carefully steer to the shoulder of the road and put on your hazard lights to alert other vehicles.
3. Worn or Faulty Spark Plugs
As pointed out by several auto engineers, a worn or faulty sparkplug can cause the reduced engine power message to come on.
When this happens, you should have the faulty spark plugs replaced immediately.
4. Faulty Car Tac (Thread Actuator Control) System
The TAC, which is short for Throttle Actuator Control, can be found in modern high-end vehicles. The primary purpose of the TAC is to control fuel injection timing is to direct fuel injection and timing.
Also, the TAC may malfunction if you have a faulty electronic fan clutch. The “Reduced Engine Power” indicator will illuminate when the fuel injection system fails.
5. Faulty Connectors
When the connectors are faulty and broken, it could lead to reduced engine power.
If you doubt your vehicle’s wiring system, you can review all belts, clamps, cables, and connectors to ensure they are good. And if it is faulty wiring, you need to fix it immediately.
6. Faulty Distributor
A faulty distributor can also cause the reduced engine power indicator to come on.
If this is the case, you’d need to replace the defective distributor and other components that would likely be affected, such as a spark plug.
7. Bad Mass Airflow Sensor
The Mass Airflow sensor (MAF) is a device used to measure the amount of air that flows into the vehicle’s engine.
When the MAF sensor is damaged or faulty, it can cause the reduced engine power light on your dashboard to come on.
This signal comes because as the MAF sensor measures the amount of air that flows into the vehicle’s engine, it sends it to the ECU.
After the ECU receives this information, it adjusts the air to fuel ratio, making for perfect combustion and keeping your engine’s performance at its peak.
Hence it’s essential that if this is the cause of your engine’s power indicator coming on, you should quickly replace it, or else it could lead to a more significant issue.
Also Read: How to Reset Mass Airflow Sensor (Step by Step)
How to Fix Reduced Engine Power
The surest way to fix the “Reduced Engine Power” problem is to have a certified auto mechanic do it.
They have the tools and tech knowledge to properly diagnose the cause of the problem and correct the issue.
But, of course, they can do all these with the help of a commonly used diagnosing equipment called an OBD Scan Tool.
However, there are other options one can employ to fix the reduced engine power problem, which will be exposed in future articles.
Frequently Asked Questions – How to Bypass Reduced Engine Power
Is It Safe to Drive With Reduced Engine Power?
It is unsafe to drive with reduced engine power, especially if the issue that caused it is a major one. As a result, it could lead to a road accident or even a fire in the engine. If the problem is severe, it would be best to contact or take your vehicle to a trained auto technician. However, if the cause is a minor one, you could either do it yourself or you can also call a technician.
Can a Bad Battery Cause Reduced Engine Power?
Not really. A wrong or faulty battery cannot trigger the “reduced engine power” warning. But, it can still turn on the “check engine” warning light.
What Is the Cost to Fix Reduced Engine Power?
The cost of fixing this problem is greatly dependent on the cause of the problem. It would cost about $5 to $2,000 to fix reduced engine power. For example, if the reason for the reduced engine power is a dirty air filter, it would only cost about $5 to purchase and replace it. However, if the case were a faulty catalytic converter, you’ll spend around $2,000.
How Do I Reset My Reduced Engine Power Light?
The “reduce engine power” message cannot be reset by simply pressing a button. Instead, finding and resolving the cause is the best and only way of resetting it.
What Causes Reduced Engine Power?
Many situations can trigger the ‘reduced engine power’ warning. The cause could be the fuel pump failure, a faulty MAF sensor, throttle body damage, throttle location sensor failure, an oxygen sensor failure, a faulty fuel cap, or even the ECU.
Can Spark Plugs Cause Reduced Engine Power?
Yes, spark plugs lead to a reduction in engine power. However, if your vehicle’s spark plugs fail to perform adequately, it may result in the engine misfiring. In addition, this fault might result in other defects like reduced fuel efficiency, less engine power, etc. So, keeping your vehicle spark plugs in the top-performing condition is vital.
Conclusion – How to Bypass Reduced Engine Power
It is highly unwise to ignore warning messages on your car as they may, in the long run, pose a more significant threat to your car and your life someday.
Hence, it is recommended that you take your vehicle for routine maintenance. If you run into the issue of reduced engine power, you can try any of the fixes in this article, and if it doesn’t fix it, you can also seek help from a mechanic.
In essence, do not let your automobile faults linger for too long because detecting a fault early enough can protect you from accidents and unfortunate situations on the road while driving.
We hope that this article has been of great help to you in addressing the reduced engine power issue. Stay tuned to our blog for more exciting automobile hacks which will give you a better driving experience.