Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car loses power occasionally

asked by on

Occasionally, when I drive my car, it seems as if it loses power and like there is a strain to keep running. After I turn it off very briefly and start it up again, it would run smoothly. What could cause this?

A: In most of these cases it is necessary to h...

In most of these cases it is necessary to hear the type of engine strain you are describing to make a more accurate assessment. But based on your symptom that once the vehicle runs fine after it sits, this indicates a component that is not working at full capacity once it heats up, and works fine again after it cools down.

The first thing that comes to mind for this type of issue is a fuel pump that is not producing enough fuel volume as the pump warms up. One way to verify this is to hook up a fuel pressure gauge and monitor fuel pressure as you drive. If fuel pressure steadily drops after the vehicle is driven over time, this would indicate a weak pump.

Other possibilities include: ignition coil, engine ECU, relays, etc. Fault codes may need to be extracted from the engine computer to see if there are any other possible issues. One last thing to consider would be engine peripherals driven by the engine, alternator, AC compressor, etc. This tightens up once the component heats up.

You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, such as from YourMechanic, who will be able to identify the type of engine strain you are experiencing and be able to diagnose and correct your vehicle’s loss of power.

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!

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: My car stalls out in the mid of driving

Hi there. From the description you provided concerning your vehicle stalling while driving, the cost of repair is difficult to answer without actually verifying the fault. It could be any number of reasons for the engine to stop running. It...

Q: 2010 Mercedes GLK 4matic 5 inch color display screen type?

Hello. I found a couple links that may be of help to you. There are also a few sellers on eBay that I have run across which have great reviews. Though before purchasing, I suggest you send the seller a...

Q: Tube from radiator to engine broke off

The radiator is connected to the engine via a rubber hose. The most common issue is the hose being old and rotted. If this happens it can burst or develop a slit that can look like a break. The repair...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
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...