What is a reduced power light is on inspection?

At an inspection for a reduced power light, a mechanic will usually focus on your car’s air intake system, engine control unit, and wiring and sensors.
When the reduced power light comes on, it indicates an issue with your engine’s performance that is severe enough for your car to intentionally limit its functioning. In most cases, the fault lies in the throttle system leading to a dangerously incorrect mixture of air and fuel. There might also be an error in the engine control unit (ECU), which can affect your engine’s timing and sensors.
Your mechanic will likely use a code reader to access your car’s diagnostic trouble codes to see if your car’s onboard diagnostic system can highlight where the problem is occurring.

Common causes for a reduced power light

Though the problem usually has to do with a faulty throttle body or connector, there are several other reasons why your reduced power light might come on and require inspection.
In most of these scenarios, the check engine light may also appear alongside the reduced power warning.

Faulty oxygen sensors

Healthy oxygen sensors measure how lean or rich exhaust gases are in the combustion chamber and report to the ECU. When it’s not working properly, it will send wrong information to the ECU, causing the ECU to allow too much or too little fuel into the engine’s air/fuel mixture.

Faulty wiring

Circuit issues can prevent the throttle system from functioning properly. These are usually tricky to pinpoint, which is why it’s crucial to have a mechanic take a look.

Faulty ECU

The ECU plays a vital role in reading sensors and directing the engine’s functions. Any error in the ECU significantly impacts the rest of the engine’s components, so the reduced power light will immediately trigger.

Faulty throttle position sensor

This sensor reads the position of the accelerator pedal to inform the ECU how much air or fuel it needs to send to the engine. Any errors could cause an incorrect air/fuel mixture leading to engine misfiring and damage.

Faulty throttle body

The throttle body controls how much air goes into the intake system. When it’s not working, the air/fuel mixture is off and the engine’s performance suffers.

How important is an inspection for a reduced power light?

The reduced power light comes on to warn you that there is a serious issue with your engine’s functioning. It activates your car’s safe mode to intentionally disable acceleration or prevent your engine from continuing to run altogether.
For this reason, it’s crucial to tow your car to a mechanic as soon as this light appears.

Tips for a reduced power light is on inspection

Sometimes cleaning the throttle body can be a simple solution to a reduced power light warning. In most cases, however, sourcing the damage will require advanced diagnostic skills that the average car owner doesn’t have. Your best bet is to take your car to a professional for this inspection.

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