Q: Car doesn't have the acceleration "punch" it once had

asked by on

My car’s mileage is approx. 67,000. It just doesn't seem to have the same acceleration “punch” that it used to have. When I floor the gas pedal, it now takes up to about 5 seconds before the engine truly revs. This happens on level ground, but especially when going uphill. Years ago the engine air intake filter was replaced with a K&N. Thinking that the air intake might be a problem, it was recently cleaned using a K&N filter cleaning kit. But that wasn’t the solution. I don't claim to be a DIY’er with vehicles. I've done light jobs like changing the air filters or windshield wiper pumps, but I go to a dealership for the involved jobs. However, I don't want an open-ended type of tune-up on my car. I’d like to first find answers. Can you provide me with what would be a solution? Thanks.

The Insight has something called the Lean Burn mode, which is part of the cleaner emissions scheme. It has always been there, but over time, it seems to get more amplified as owners do not get the expected kick that they feel they once had.

It is similar to when a new computer is bought and seems fast until you have it for several months and then it doesn’t seem as quick. However, I am not suggesting this is the core issue, just a complaint that has been logged by many insight owners.

The first step to ensure you have no underlying issues causing a lack of performance is to have faults read out of the ECM. Unmetered air issues, mixture problems, electric motor to combustion motor interface, transmission, or sensor issues can generally be pointed to via a fault survey of the ECM.

Then, conventional methods of engine troubleshooting should be employed to correct the lack of engine response issue. Note that the high voltage system should be disconnected using the manufacturer’s procedure before attempting to do any electrical work on this vehicle, as serious injury or death can occur.

You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will have the equipment and expertise to diagnose your acceleration problem.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car doesn't have the acceleration "punch" it once had

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: I put the keys to turn the car on and it wont let me turn it on

This may be a result of a failing ignition switch lock. Inside your ignition switch there is an interlock device that locks the ignition switch in place for safety purposes. In some cases when these are beginning to wear out,...

Q: Car shaking when applying brakes and going slow. Check Engine Light is on and engine idles roughly.

It sounds like you may have a vacuum leak on your car. Check all vacuum lines and make sure they are in good condition and connected. If you don't see a leak you can spray some carburetor cleaner on the...

Q: What Things Can damage My Air Filter?

The purpose of an air filter is to filter out dirt and contaminants from the air before it gets inside the engine, where the air mixes with fuel and gets burned. As a normal consequence of its operation, the air...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...