Have you ever come across a situation where your vehicle starts to lose power as you accelerate while driving?

This kind of situation usually occurs when there isn’t sufficient fuel in the car.

However, there are can be other causes for this situation. Some of the common causes are

  1. Malfunctioning actuators
  2. Mechanical issues
  3. Malfunctioning sensors

The causes are quite similar in the case of both a petrol engine and a diesel engine. It’s important to have find out about the real issue so that it can be treated accordingly.

Read on to know about the attributes of a car losing power while accelerating

Reasons Why Your Car is Losing Power While Accelerating

1. Failing or Bad Fuel Filter

Before the fuel goes into the combustion and engine chamber it is filtered by the car’s fuel filters.

The right quantity of fuel doesn’t reach the chamber in case of clogging in the fuel filter. As the driver accelerates the car it starts to lose its power. Resultantly, the engine fails to deliver optimal performance and the car shuts off while driving.

If you encounter any such issues you should get your vehicle’s fuel filter checked by a professional mechanic. You may need to either get the clogging cleared or the fuel filter changed. It’s best to go by the advice of the expert.

2. Low Compression in Car Engine’s Cylinder

A four-wheeler’s engine needs sufficient power for the vehicle to move. A properly working cylinder compression is important for the even combustion process. Low compression generates low engine power in the vehicle.

Eventually, the car’s engine stops functioning properly. If the fuel filter of your case is in good condition diagnose the cylinder compression.

Make sure the engine’s cylinders are tightly sealed tight so that the compression rate remains high.

A higher compression rate means the power generated from the process of the explosion is driving the pistons properly. Any leakage in the car’s cylinder means a low compression rate.

In simple words, the cylinder fails to compress and the wheels don’t get enough power when the vehicle is moving. As a result, the case losses power when the accelerating is pressed by the driver.

3. Faulty Air Filter

It’s the responsibility of the engine’s combustion chamber to mix the air and gasoline so that the required amount of power can be generated for running the four-wheeler.

Air filtration is important before it enters the chamber. The air filters eliminate impurities like debris and bugs that may severely damage the engine of the car. However, persistent use of the vehicle leads to clogged filters.

Clogging reduces the air quantity that goes into the combustion chamber. It results in malfunctioning of the vehicle as the engine fails to generate the power needed to run the four-wheeler.

This is one of the popular causes of a car losing power when accelerating. Get the air filter of your car replaced by a new one. Alternatively, clogging can be removed from the air filter with the help of a professional.

4. Clogging in the Exhaust System

The exhaust system of the car has two filters – the catalytic converter and the muffler. The former is responsible for cutting down the pollution level produced due to the exhaust gasses, while the latter reduces the noise level generated while accelerating.

If any of the two filters or the exhaust pipe of the vehicle gets clogged the engine will weaken as it will not get the amount of power to accelerate the vehicle. Clogging in the car’s exhaust system affects the overall working of the vehicle.

5. Failing Ignition Coil

The ignition coils of the car’s ignition system convert approx. 10 volts of power into 20,000 volts from the battery that ignites the four-wheeler’s engine. With a faulty ignition coil takes away the power of the engine is reduced and the air-fuel mixture fails to ignite adequately. Resultantly, the car loses power when the gas pedal is pressed by the driver.

However, there could be other causes of a car losing power while driving but this happens to be one of the most common issues.

Get your vehicle repaired by an expert mechanic if your vehicle is consistently losing power whenever you put your foot on the accelerator.

Ignoring this problem could lead to severe damage to the car’s system.

6. Faulty Camshaft Position Sensor

The camshaft position sensor of a car gathers information about the vehicle’s camshaft speed. The info is then received by the Electronic Control Module. It’s a computerized system that is added to all the latest car models.

Once the ECM receives the info, the module manages the timing of the ignition and the fuel injection accordingly. In the case of a faulty camshaft position sensor, the ECM doesn’t receive any information.

Consequently, the engine’s performance is affected. Engine malfunction means hitches in the car while driving or accelerating.

7. Bad Spark Plugs

The spark plugs are one of the most important elements of a four-wheeler’s engine. The spark created by the results in the combustion chamber explosions. Your vehicle won’t move with bad spark plugs.

The parts of a car’s engine are interconnected. For this reason, it’s tough to find the faulty part even if one of them starts malfunctioning.

You may need to invest a sufficient amount of your energy and time for the diagnosis. If your four-wheeler is losing power constantly whenever you press the acceleration then it is likely that there could be a problem with the spark plugs.

However, to discover the actual reasons why your car losing power during acceleration you need to diagnose all the parts of your car’s engine.

8. Problems With MAF Sensor (Gas Engine)

The Mass Airflow Sensor of a car measures the air level of the vehicle’s engine and the information is then transferred to the Powertrain Control Module. The module uses this info and calculates the total amount of load that being put on the car’s engine.

In case of malfunctioning in the sensors, the performance of the engine is affected and the driver faces trouble when driving/accelerating the car.

9. Malfunctioning Oxygen Sensor

The oxygen sensor of a car is responsible for measuring the exhaust gas amount that has left the four-wheeler’s engine. This information is transferred to the electronic control module.  The info is then used by the system for figuring out the ratio of air and fuel present in the car’s engine.

The exhaust system of the vehicle has an oxygen sensor. It ensures that the fuel injection system and the engine timing work smoothly. The sensor also supports emission control.

If your car is losing power on acceleration on constant then there are high chances of basis oxygen sensor malfunction. The system would be failing to send the accurate info to the ECM about the fuel-air ratio.

Resultantly, the engine performs poorly. Not only does it affects the overall performance of the car but it also leads to high fuel emissions which is detrimental to the environment.

10. Faulty Fuel Injectors

Fuel injectors are one of the most important components of a car as they manage the four-wheeler’s engine. Fitted within the vehicle’s fuel system fuel injectors are responsible for injecting fuel inside the car’s engine.

The fuel injector is controlled by the computerized system of the vehicle. It sprays fuel in specific patterns and time intervals. This enhances the performance level of the engine when the vehicle is moving at different speeds/conditions.

Today, all modern car models have fuel injectors. In the case of a damaged fuel injector, the car starts to malfunction in one way or the other as the engine generates an insufficient amount of power when the vehicle is running.

However, there could be other performance issues in the engine, but it’s always best to diagnose the complete system in case you are facing trouble while accelerating.


The above-listed reasons for the car engine losing power can help you in discovering the cause of your four-wheeler’s malfunctioning. There could be more than one factor that could be responsible for the low performance of a car while driving/accelerating.

It’s always best to get the help of a certified and trained mechanic for proper diagnosis of the vehicle. This will save you both money and time while eliminating the possibilities of major repairs.

However, minor issues can be self-handled, but some of them require mechanical skills. It’s always best to be on the safer side when it comes to vehicle repair.