Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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 1000 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: Engine knocking noise, smoke, exhaust smoke

Hello. There are several possibilities for the engine knock. It could be caused by a busted piston, broken valve, or something internal in the engine. The smoke may be due to an internal damage on the engine block and/or oil...

Q: Transaxle light coming on

With the engine fully warmed up and running in PARK, open the hood and look for the transmission dipstick. Pull it out and give it a wipe. Dip it back into the tube and pull it out, this time noting...

Q: Check engine light came on AutoZone said thermostat or gasket

To maximally help you, we need to know the specific diagnostic trouble code that was downloaded. The code will be a "format" such as P0135, just as one example. If you request a check engine light diagnostic a certified mechanic...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.