A Detailed Guide To Reduced Engine Power and How to Fix It

Brandon Trenton

How to fix Reduced Engine Power

Once upon a time, faulty engines meant cars and vehicles breaking down in the middle of nowhere. But with technology, our vehicles are becoming smarter and technologically advanced. Today, instead of having a fully manual set up, our automobiles are equipped with artificial intelligence and are operated by IT codes. This sophisticated update in technology allows our vehicles to inform us of any impending break downs or issues.

Thanks to the sensors, indicators, and diagnostic systems embedded in our cars, vans, and trucks, we are now much better aware of our vehicle’s health. One such feature of the AI-backed diagnostics is showing a“reduced engine power” sign.

What Is Reduced Engine Power?

The Reduced Engine Power is a general sign that signifies a problem with your vehicle’s system. This sign acts as a warning that one should stop driving and attend to the system’s fault. The issue can be anything from the jammed exhaust system to the tampered airflow vaults.

Not all cars or vehicles have the same kind of “reduced engine power” warning. Some vehicles have a “limp mode” or a “maintenance alert” sign. Many old cars just have a red indicator light that lights up when your car detects some problem. All new automobiles come with their own updated warning mechanisms.

What To Do When Your Car Indicates “Engine Power Reduced” Sign?

Has it ever happened to you that your car is running normally and suddenly an “engine power reduced” comes up? Instead of just ignoring this warning sign and keep on going, one should stop and analyze the situation.

Park Your Car In a Safe Stop and Run an OBD II scan

The first thing to do after you see this sign is to park your car in a safe stop and run an Onboard Diagnostic II scan, also known as an OBD scan. This scan informs the driver about what is the problem which has prompt the warning.  It checks all parameters of the vehicles and finds out the root area of the problem.

All vehicles made or sold in the United Staes of America after 1996 have an OBD II scanning feature installed. If your vehicle somehow does not have a functioning OBD II scanning, then you must visit the mechanic garage and get your vehicle scanned and eventually fixed. Some car garages and mechanic stores have free scanning and OBD facilities.

Call the Roadside Assistance

Once you run the scan, you should then call roadside assistance (if it is covered in your insurance policy) or a mechanic. You can inform the mechanic or the roadside assistance about the OBD II results, and they will then further instruct you to take action. If you are going on a long trip, then it is essential that you get all defects fixed to prevent it from breaking down on the way.

Can You Drive In Reduced Engine Mode?

Yes, you can still drive your car in a Reduced Engine Mode or Limp Mode. Technically, these modes are just indicators that show that your vehicles have some fault that needs fixing. The extent and intensity of these faults can’t be fathomed just by the indicator light. It can be decided only after scanning or through an analysis by the experts.

However, just because you can drive a vehicle in the “limp mode” or “reduced engine mode” doesn’t mean that you should do it. The first priority should be fixing the problem and then using the automobile. Often people ignore these warning signs and end up breaking down in the middle of nowhere which results in major inconvenience. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Hence one should not drive-in the “limp mode” or “reduced engine mode.

The Causes Of Reduced Engine Power And Its Possible Solutions

The cars and automobiles of 2020 have a complicated web of different circuits and systems. There are many intricate parts that form them. This means there can be many causes that can result in a faulty engine. The exact cause which prompts “reduced engine power” alert can only be determined after scanning.

Here are some most common reasons that prompt our waning systems to light up:

1. Failing Oxygen Sensors/Vents

The role of oxygen sensors is to adjust the fuel and air mixture in a car. This mixture allows proper combustion of the fuel, which is essential for the smooth running of the car. If there are problems with the oxygen sensors or the vents then eventually it will be flagged up the warning system.


The way to deal with this problem is by firstly cleaning the oxygen vent or replacing it. Different vehicles have different numbers and types of oxygen vents. The number varies from 2 to 8. An OBD II scan points out which particular sensor is having a problem. Depending on the extent of damage, one can then either clean this vent or get it replaced.

2. Damaged Mass Airflow Sensor

Like the oxygen filters, the mass airflow sensor deals with the overall transfer of gasses and fumes within the vehicle. When the airflow sensor has defects, the vehicle gets overheated, the fuel doesn’t burn easily, and the pollution caused by the vehicle also increases.


The solution to the damaged mass airflow sensor is either cleaning the system or replacing it. It is suggested that you employ a professional when it comes to cleaning the sensor or changing it.

3. Faulty Engine Control Unit (ECU)

The Engine Control Unit, or as ECU, is the most important part of all automated vehicles. It monitors and manages every aspect of the automobile, be it starting the vehicle, managing its temperature, or controlling the lighting or wipers. Any defect in the engine control unit means the automobile is compromised.


A defect in ECU is very costly to repair. Since ECU fixing is a highly technical job, it is not performed by non-professionals. One needs a trailed and skilled auto engineer to reprogramme the ECU of any transport.

4. Faulty Warning System

Often there is no actual problem in the car or the automobile. Rather, the system that reads the faults is defective. This causes the warning light to light up when everything is under control. One way to know if your waning system is at fault is by running the OBD II scan. If the scan does not indicate any defect, then it simply means that it is the warning system that needs fixing.


You will have to ask the car mechanic to fix the “limp mode” or “engine power reduced” feature so that there aren’t any inconveniences in the future. You can not fix this problem with any DIY method because it is very complicated and requires professional skills.

5. The Battery Problem

A defective battery is also a common problem that prompts the “reduced engine power” alert. One can have damaged and dead battery cells that cause system alerts. A corroded battery is the most common problem when it comes to vehicle batteries.


The solution to the battery problem is very easy and cost-effective. One doesn’t even need a professional to do it. If your battery is corroded then firstly, you must remove all cables and connections to the battery. Make sure you perform these acts with proper industrial rubber gloves and wear rubber slippers.

Steps To Perform

Step 1: Then take a mild soap or baking soda solution to clean the corroded part.

Step 2: Once your battery is clean, give it come time to thoroughly dry. Let it dry naturally.

Step 3: Add the cables and connect the battery to the vehicle, and it is good to go.

If your battery is heavily damaged then simply get it replaced with a new one. Batteries are not expensive and can be bought conveniently from any automobile shop. Replacing a battery is very easy, and you can refer to numerous DIY videos available online.

6. Blocked Catalytic Converter

The Catalytic Converter is a device that deals with the fumes emitted by a vehicle. It is placed under the exhaust manifold. The main task of a catalytic converter is to change carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide and water vapor.

A faulty catalytic converter means a polluting automobile. It is mandatory to have a catalytic converter in your vehicle unless the transport you are using was made before 1975.


Catalytic Converter is a technologically advanced and complicated machine. Hence, it is suggested that you take the help of a professional to deal with it. A trailed automobile mechanic should replace or clean the catalytic converter.

Keeping The Engine Running

In today’s fast-paced world, we all depend on our cars, bikes, vans, and trucks. Once our means of private transports are compromised, our lifestyle is also compromised. The safety and well being of our vehicles are directly linked with our safety. And this stands even more for girls, people with disabilities, and non-binary people who are especially vulnerable in society.

The presence of a warning system that informs us of vehicle defects has prevented many people from being in dangerous situations. Hence, it is important that we get cars that have a reliable warning mechanism and diagnostic systems. Additionally, if you have a warning and scanning system, then you must pay attention to it.