Reduced Engine Power Warning: What Does It Mean?

by | Sep 26, 2021 | News | 0 comments

If you are driving your vehicle and suddenly come across the reduced engine power warning, it may be time to check your car. A reduced engine power warning will appear on your dashboard if there is some trouble with the engine. If you see this warning, do not ignore it until your car can be looked at by a professional. If you don’t, it could lead to permanent damage.

How Does Reduced Engine Power Work?

Reduced engine power means there is a problem with the car’s performance, and it needs immediate attention. The reduced engine power warning can occur for three main reasons: fuel supply, ignition, and boost pressure. Any of these problems may be easy or challenging to fix. If the car’s oil levels are low, there may not be enough lubrication in the engine to help it run smoothly. This problem could mean a trip to the mechanic if your vehicle is still under warranty and you have full coverage insurance.

“Reduced Engine Power” Message

If you notice an engine warning light on, it’s good not to drive further because doing so could cause more damage. The engine warning light will blink if there is a problem with the ignition system. This means the car’s electrical components may malfunction, and you need to get it checked as soon as possible.

If you happen to see a reduced power warning, make sure you pull your vehicle over and shut off the engine. You should do this carefully to avoid damaging the car further. The reduced power warning will blink for about 10 seconds before it completely shuts off, leaving you enough time to make your way over to the side of the road safely.

Related: See our article on the “Check Engine Light”

Reduced Engine Power Mode

When the reduced engine power mode is activated, it means your car’s computer has automatically detected a problem with the transmission system. This means you will need to stop driving immediately because this type of error can be hazardous. Once you notice this warning, make sure you’re able to find a safe place for your vehicle and turn off the engine.

With a reduced engine power or limp mode error, your car is not safe to drive. You mustn’t keep going if this warning pops up on the dashboard because it may do more damage to the vehicle. A good rule of thumb is that if an engine light comes on and stays on, you should have it looked at as soon as possible.

Reduced Power Mode Causes

There are a few reasons why the reduced engine power mode may appear on your vehicle’s dashboard. You need to be aware of these problems. Reduced power may happen because the car has a problem with one of its sensors or with its gearbox, which can cause significant damage to your vehicle if it’s not looked at immediately.

Reduced Power Mode Reminders

The reduced engine power warning appears when a car’s engine can’t function properly because there is a lack of power or fuel. The instrument panel in your dashboard will display the reduced power warning if the engine stops sending the signal that it is ready to go. This may happen because one of its sensors has been damaged, causing it not to work efficiently. A warning light will appear on your dashboard when there is a fault with any of these items:

Fuel pump

If the fuel pump malfunctions, your car may not be able to work because it may lack the power needed to do so. This is a common problem that many people have witnessed in their cars at some point or another.

Fuel pressure regulator

If the fuel pressure regulator malfunctions, it will affect your car’s ability to move, and you may also notice a lack of power when you try to accelerate.

Throttle position sensor

The throttle position sensor is responsible for ensuring the engine has enough fuel and the right amount of oxygen needed to operate correctly. If this sensor fails, you won’t be able to accelerate as quickly as you’d like, and your car will have a lower top speed.

Oxygen sensor

A lack of oxygen means there’s not enough air going to the engine, so it will struggle to pick up fuel. This is a sign that the oxygen sensor isn’t working correctly and needs to be looked at by a professional.

Camshaft position sensor

If the camshaft position sensor isn’t working effectively, your car may have a problem with its timing or how it’s operating. This can cause many issues that need to be fixed at once.

Idle air control valve

If the idle air control valve fails to work, you may notice a lack of power when you try to drive. The idle air control valve’s function is to help the engine idle when it’s not moving, so a faulty valve can cause immense damage.

Mass airflow meter

If this is broken, your car may have difficulty accelerating and going up hills because it will lack power. The mass airflow sensor measures how much air is going through the engine, determining if it has enough ability to function correctly.

Engine coolant temperature sensor

The engine coolant temperature sensor tells the car’s computer if the engine is too hot or too cold, so it knows what kind of air intake to use. If this fails, your vehicle will have a reduced amount of power, and you may feel as though it’s sputtering or stalling.

Intake air temperature sensor

The intake air temperature sensor measures the air temperature going into your car’s engine, and it needs to be working correctly to function. When this sensor fails, you may notice a lack of power when you try to accelerate.

Power steering switch

If this switch malfunctions, you may notice you can’t steer properly when driving. This switch works with the power steering system to help the driver control the vehicle’s movements.

VVT controller

A malfunctioning VVT controller will cause your car to have less power when in use. The VVT controller is crucial for your car’s performance because it regulates how fuel is used and improves your car’s ability to run better.

Vane air flow meter

This meter controls the airflow going into the engine, which means a faulty one can affect your car’s power capabilities. When this part breaks down, you may notice a lack of power when you drive or have trouble starting it up.

Knock sensor

If your car is making a strange rattling noise when you’re driving, this may be a sign that the knock sensor isn’t working correctly and needs to be looked at by a professional. This sensor controls how much fuel is being sent into the engine, so there won’t be enough power to keep the car running if it fails.

Circuit Issues

If your car repeatedly stalls, this may be an issue with the circuit, which regulates how much power it has. The course is responsible for making sure the vehicle can always keep it running smoothly. If there’s a problem with the circuit, you’ll need to take your car in to have it looked at immediately by a professional.

Data Network Problems (PCM)

If your car is having trouble starting up or running sluggishly, this may be a problem with the data network. The PCM communicates with the engine and tracks how everything in the system is operating.

A procedure for idle relearning is required.

Whenever you replace the throttle position sensor, the computer must relearn where idle is, at what RPM it should be running, so drive for about 10 minutes doing 50 to 60 mph with a steady foot on the gas pedal.

Cooling System Issues

If the coolant in your car isn’t cooling systems down enough, this needs to be addressed right away. The computer is most likely measuring how cold it is based on what it’s telling the sensors. If you have a problem with your cooling system, you’ll need to get it fixed immediately, so you don’t risk overheating your engine and causing further damage.

How to Fix Reduced Engine Power Mode

Check Engine Control Light on a Vehicle Dashboard

If you turn your car on and it seems like the power is reduced, this can result from something simple. If you’re low on fuel, the computer will reduce the power because there isn’t enough fuel to give you full access to all of your vehicle’s capabilities. You may also have an issue with the air intake system if this happens. It could mean there isn’t enough air being taken into the engine, so it’s reduced how much power you have access to.

There are many other reasons why your car may have reduced power. If you want to know more about your vehicle, consult your owner’s manual or take it in to a professional for repairs. But you can follow these steps to troubleshoot why your car doesn’t seem to be working as well as it should.

Check for Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs)

When you have reduced power, your car will typically store diagnostic trouble codes that tell the mechanic what’s wrong with it. When you check to see if there are any stored DTCs related to reduced engine performance, you may be able to determine the root cause of your issue.

OBD-II Codes

If your car has any of these OBD-II trouble codes, there may be a problem with the TAC system. Depending on what code you get, you’ll need to get it fixed right away so your car can perform how it should.

P0171 – System too Lean

This trouble code is triggered when there’s not enough fuel in the mix for your engine. The fuel mixture is too lean and needs to be adjusted, which will help make sure it’s operating as it should.

P0174 – System Too Rich

This code comes up when there’s too much fuel in the mix that the computer is looking at, resulting in reduced acceleration. You’ll need to have this checked by a professional right away so you can get back to driving your car the way it should be.

P0420 – Catalyst Efficiency Below Threshold

This code is triggered when the catalytic converter isn’t operating how it should be. The catalytic converter needs replaced or repaired immediately if this comes up on your vehicle. It’s also important to note that some states require emissions testing on older cars, and this code will make you fail that test if it comes up.

P1131 – Fuel Trim Malfunction

This code means that, somewhere in your car’s fuel system, there is a fault. This issue needs to be taken care of immediately because the computer isn’t operating how it should.

You may also notice reduced engine power if you’re low on oil or other fluids needed for proper operation. If this happens, making sure you have all the necessary liquids and getting them topped off right away can help quickly get your vehicle back to normal.

Look Up Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs)

Another way to get help with your issue is to look up the technical service bulletins related to your car. There are thousands of TSBs, so you’ll need to know your vehicle’s VIN. This information is on the registration for your car.

Once you have this, you can go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website and type in your VIN in their search bar. When it pulls up what they have on file for your car, they should list any relevant TSBs under Service Campaigns or Recalls. You can also find this listing on the manufacturer’s website if they’re listed there too.

Examples of TSBs For Reduced Engine Power Mode

The reduced power mode is a common issue that manufacturers have dealt with over the last few years. Here are some examples of TSBs to look up related to reduced vehicle performance:

Infiniti – When Power Mode Failed To Engage (TSB #PIT3024E)

Nissan and Infiniti – Reduced Engine Performance (TSB #PC422)

Ford – Engine Low Idle RPM After Cold Start With Fuel Economy Mode On (TSB #13-2-6)

Once you find the TSB for your car, read through it carefully and make sure you understand what’s causing the problem and how to fix it. If there are any steps that need to be followed or replaced, take care of

Consult the Factory Repair Information

If you still can’t figure out what’s wrong with your car, the best thing to do is call up the manufacturer. They’ll be able to tell you if there are any additional resources or TSBs that they have for your specific issue. You can also fill out a complaint form with the NHTSA if you want them to look into your problem too.

For example, General Motors offers an online search tool to type in your VIN and get information about what’s going on with the car. If a TSB will help resolve your issue, this tool shows it to you right away, so you know what steps need to be taken next. If there isn’t a TSB for your specific situation, they’ll tell you how long it may take for them to develop one once they’re aware of the issue.

Infiniti owners have reported getting temporary relief from their reduced engine power mode by filling up their gas tank completely when it gets down to a quarter of a tank. This provides extra fuel for the engine to operate correctly again.

In addition, if you’re having any other issues, especially things like reduced braking power or traction control not kicking in, you must get everything checked by a professional right away so you can get back to driving your car the way it should be.

If there are no specific TSBs related to your problem and you’ve tried all the other steps listed above, bringing your car in for service is still recommended because certain parts could need to be replaced or repaired immediately.


Can I still drive with engine power reduced?

Yes, you can drive with reduced engine power, but the car will operate differently than running at average performance. This could impact your comfortability while going and make you think something is wrong with the vehicle. Can I get rid of reduced engine power without servicing?

Technicians recommend taking care of any issues related to reduced engine power immediately, so there’s no risk of damage to other parts or components in the system. If you’re concerned about costs, find out what it would cost upfront before performing service to keep from overpaying.

Does traction control make the engine light come on?

No, traction control is a system built into the car and helps keep it under control even if there’s low engine power. If the dashboard warning light comes on, other problems are going on that need to be checked right away.

Why would a reduced engine power light come on?

Regulating engine power is part of the vehicle’s emissions control system, so if there’s an issue, the light will come on. Reduced engine power mode could also occur if the car has too little fuel or enough oil. If you’re not sure why your reduced engine power light is on, bring it to a dealership as soon as possible to be checked out.

How do you fix engine power reduced?

If you’re not sure what is causing the reduced engine power, bring your car to a dealership for servicing as soon as possible so they can diagnose what’s going on and get everything fixed as fast as possible so you can have your car back to normal.

Does low oil cause engine power to reduce?

Yes, low oil will cause reduced engine power mode because the car’s computer system automatically regulates this for you. If your dashboard warning light starts flashing, bring your vehicle in right away so they can check to see if it’s an issue of reduced engine power mode or something else.

Can extreme cold cause reduced engine power?

Yes, freezing weather can cause a reduced engine power mode, but it doesn’t usually happen all of a sudden. If your car is outside in subzero temperatures and you turn on the engine, it may take longer than usual to come on all the way. Once it does startup, it may run at reduced engine power because the oil hasn’t warmed up enough to reach its z

If you get a reduced engine power warning light on your dashboard, it usually means that there’s an issue with the oil pump in your car. One of the main signs you’ll see is the engine stalling if you’re stopped at a red light or coming to a stop sign. You might also notice low oil pressure on the dipstick when checking the engine oil levels.

What kind of noise does a lousy oil pump make?

If you notice a grinding noise when the car is turned on and idling, it may indicate that something is wrong with the oil pump. Other signs include replacing your engine oil more often than usual or if the car has trouble starting.

How much is a throttle sensor?

If you want to know how much a throttle sensor costs, it’s usually less than $100. An exam from a trustworthy mechanic will help determine what else is wrong with your car’s system before you repair or replace any parts. The average cost of having a throttle sensor replaced is $100 to $200.

Dmitry Petrov

Dmitry Petrov is an engineer who specializes in materials science, and has a deep passion for all things related to automotive technology. He is a true motorhead at heart, and spends much of his free time tinkering with engines and studying vehicular dynamics.


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