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

asked by on July 22, 2016

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.

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