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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: When coming to a stop i get a jerk on the drivers side.

If the jerking reaction is something related to pressing the brake pedal, this may suggest a faulty brake caliper. If your vehicle pulls to one side when you apply the brakes it typically means that you have a braking imbalance...

Q: I think the guide rails were bad and it just quit. Loss power while traveling.

Hello. To confirm your previously given advice, yes, your engine does have long-term timing chain guide maintenance requirements. The early noise you heard was the timing chain having worn through the plastic guides, and possibly the chain "slapping" due to...

Q: If I disconnect my negative side of my battery and my car continues to run is my allternsttor ok

Do not do this test!! You may damage your computer systems and electronics in the car! This test is an old school wives tail that was used on cars before electronics were used. There are better alternatives for testing your...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...