Over the time your car’s engine may have lost some engine power.
This reduction in performance is often difficult to notice, as it tends to take place progressively.
In some cases, the reduction in power has a bad remedy, since it is due to the wear of the main components of the propeller.
However, in other cases, it is due to mechanical or electronic failures, as well as the deterioration of parts that can be replaced with relative ease.
These causes can be grouped into 4 different areas:
- Excess friction of certain parts external to the engine.
- Problems with the ignition in the engine.
- Malfunction of cylinder valves.
- Poor lubrication of the system.
- Incorrect fuel mixture.
Let’s analyze each of them.
1. Power problems due to excess friction
In this case, the loss of performance is not due to a decrease in the operation of the engine but to the fact that certain mechanical elements suffer excessive friction.
# Seizing brakes
Sometimes a piston in the brake calipers may fail or not reverse. In these cases, the pad remains glued to the disc, so that the car circulates partially braked.
# Excessive tensioning of the parking brake
In these cases, the rear axle will be held back by the parking brake, even when the parking brake lever is lowered.
# Clutch wear
When the clutch loses its ability to grip, it transmits less force from the engine to the wheel axles. Deterioration occurs naturally but can increase as a result of misuse of the clutch, such as:
- In fast exits with the car stopped.
- A few gearshifts without smooth footwork.
- Parking frequently on slopes.
# Wheel bearing malfunction
When the wheel bearings are not in good condition, the wheels cannot rotate freely, so the vehicle’s performance is poorer.
What about problems that do affect the engine?
# Poor system lubrication
Poor lubrication of engine parts will increase friction, so the power generated will not be transmitted correctly to the wheels. In addition, premature wear of the parts will take place.
2. Power problems due to misfires
As a general rule, the malfunction of the spark plugs is usually the main reason why the spark does not jump on time and the fuel does not ignite at the right time.
This failure can be due to multiple reasons, such as a bad wiring connection or the accumulation of impurities in the head (carbon, oxide, traces of oil …)
However, some other type of problem can also occur in various mechanical elements, such as the distributor, the delco cover or the electronic control unit itself, which we will talk about shortly.
3. Cylinder valve malfunction
The main function of the valves is to close the engine cylinders to create a tight atmosphere in the combustion chamber, where the fuel-air mixture explodes, generating the necessary movement in the piston.
When the valves are not working properly, the explosion of the mixture does not take place efficiently. This malfunction may be due to:
# Valve stepped on
A depressed valve will not close the cylinder properly. This problem can be corrected with a simple adjustment of it.
# Valve spring break
When the spring of one of the valves breaks, it does not close the cylinder properly either.
# Deterioration of the valve guide
Wear on the valve guide rail will prevent the valves from closing the cylinder.
# Cam deterioration
The camshaft that pushes the valves can also affect the movement of the valves and consequent failure to open and close the cylinders.
4. Incorrect fuel mixture
The air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber must be properly balanced, whether it is a diesel or gasoline engine.
- If there is too much fuel (rich mixture), combustion will take place with greater difficulties due to the absence of enough air. In addition, consumption will skyrocket.
- In the event that the mixture has an excessive amount of air (lean mixture), there is a loss of power and an increase in engine temperature.
The error in the mix can be due to the following causes:
# Pressure loss
It is possible that the fuel supply circuit is leaking in some way, causing a lean mixture and the risk of the engine catching fire.
# Sleeves or gaskets break
Breaking these items can result in the intake system receiving the wrong amount of air.
# Throttle valve malfunction
If the throttle valve does not open fully, the fuel flow into the combustion chamber will be insufficient.
# Dirt in filters or injectors
Whether it is the air filter or the fuel filter, dirt will prevent the mixture from being correct. The same can be said for the fuel injectors.
# Lack of electrical voltage to the pump
The pump that delivers fuel to the cylinders can suffer a loss of tension, resulting in a lean mixture.
# Flowmeter malfunction
This mechanism is in charge of measuring the amount of air that enters the cylinders, so its malfunction can lead to an incorrect mixture.
# Turbo failure
If the turbo fails, it will not supply enough air to the cylinder with consequent loss of performance.
# Electronic control unit failure
Currently, vehicles incorporate more and more electronic components, among which the control unit stands out, which controls each of the vehicle’s parameters. Moisture produced by condensation or ingress of water can damage this critical element.