Hello, today I will answer why is my car engine losing power over time? You would have noticed the change while driving a new car and an old car. As the car gets older you would feel the power lag because your engine wears over time. Let’s see in detail
There are Four major things gasoline engine require to generate power.
If the air inflow in your engine is not consistent, adequate power will not be generated.
If you have a clogged air filter the engine won’t receive enough air into the engine. The engine needs to work hard to pull air in and generate less power, because of low air low power. Though it is an easy fix you have to just check the air filter under the hood which is easily accessible. Either clean it or replace it.
The cable connected to your accelerator pedal is the throttle cable. It loosens or gets stretched over time. If you have a loose throttle cable you will not be able to pull enough air with little press of your pedal. the stretched cable will not allow you to open the throttle valve completely. Both will cause less intake of air which means less power.
Emitting exhaust gas is a must for the engine because whats goes in should come out. A blockage in the exhaust pipe in either end will reduce the airflow and reduce the performance. Catalytic converters can clog up the engine with improper air/fuel mixture. The muffler can also get rusted because of which airflow can be affected.
Over time the components of the valve wear, this can be reduced by proper changing of engine oil. But the in case of self-adjusting valves wear are less comparatively. The components used for valve opening and closing wear quickly, which affects the valve timing and valve lift. Less valve lift and duration means low air intake which will result in low power.
These can also be clogged up due to some heat soak or poor fuel deposits in the fuel injector over time. This can cause misfires of the fuel injector resulting in low power generation.
The fuel pump also wears out over time. Even after wear, the fuel pump will be able to pump fuel at low pressure, but it may struggle with high pressure pumping for longer durations. so under the high-pressure condition, it will not pump the required fuel. If you notice a power lag uphill it could be because of wearing a fuel pump.
Compression issues are more often seen in older cars. It is caused because of the worn off metal components. Fixing this is not easy.
Worn Piston Rings
The piston does the major work of compression, these piston rings will wear over time which increases blow-by and results in less compression. Some air will escape while the piston is travelling upwards. To avoid wearing piston rings, a regular oil change is advisable.
Carbon Deposits On Intake Valves/Valve Seats
Carbon deposits on the valve or valve seat will prevent the valve from closing completely, If the valve does not close completely the air would escape the compression stroke, lowering the compression ratio. This could also result in backfiring as the air/fuel mixture travels past the intake valve during combustion. This will also affect the airflow and air-fuel ratios.
Inconsistent Spark and misfiring can happen if your spark plug is filled with fuel, oil and carbon deposit. Maintaining clean plugs ensures that the spark part of the equation doesn’t result in a loss of power.
The deposits on the cylinder wall create hot spots. These hot sports will ignite on its own using the air-fuel mixture. So you have to ignition one from spark plug and another by hot spots. Both will collide and create a knocking sound that you hear.
Hope this answers your question Why is my car losing power? This is the reason our car needs servicing to avoid engine losing its power over time.
Courtesy: Engineering Explained
Also published on Medium.