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What Do “Engine Reduced Power” and “Check Engine” Lights Mean

Engine Reduced Power

When your engine has something to tell you, it will certainly reflect in your warning lights. Such signs are the illuminations of the “Reduced Engine Power Warning Light” and the “Check Engine Light”. What do “engine reduced power” and “check engine” lights mean when the light keeps on illuminating?

The main objective of the “Reduced Engine Power” and the “Check Engine” is to notify the driver of an impending or already happening problem with one or more of the engine’s systems, trouble with the transmission system, and other signs of immediate concerns. The reduced engine power signal light is usually a yellow gauge located on your dashboard, as well as the check engine light.

How does the “reduced power” system work?

The Reduced Power light is designed to gleam up when your car’s computer spots a flaw (a fault) in the engine that influences its capability to drive, perform well, transmit or emit the systems it is supposed to do. These conditions will trigger the Reduced Power light to brighten up to warn you that something is terribly wrong. This light also warns you of a problem with the engine’s electronic throttle, the throttle module, or the accelerator pedal.

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The “reduced power” system is typically comprised of the throttle body sensors, control module, and gas pedal sensors. There will definitely be a bad effect on your car’s engine when it goes into reduced power operation. Most cars will be limited to idle speed between 20 to 30 mph (32 to 48kph).

The warning light of the reduced engine power is deemed too dangerous to ignore as it will cause serious and immediate incapacity in drivability. This problem in drivability will remain in effect until the trouble is fixed. If the problem persists (if warning lights, including the “check engine” light, continue to gleam), contact a reliable mechanic immediately to have your car check and diagnose.

Specific reasons for a “reduced power” to happen?

These are some of the common reasons why the “reduced power” and “check engine” lights keep on lighting on your dashboard:

1.Defective engine control element

This unit is an integral part of your car’s computer system where it manipulates the drive train and other parts of the engine. If a trouble is detected on this element, it could light up the “reduced power” warning light and even the “check engine” light. Consult your mechanic about this immediately.

Here is one of Amazon’s best-selling engine control units (ECU) that you could use as a replacement. Check it out if it fits your car: A1 Cardone 78-4468 Engine Control Module/ECU/ECM/PCM

2. Malfunctioning oxygen sensors

The oxygen sensors determine the amount of air that the engine throttles and the oxygen level leaving the engine. This information is relayed to the computer to adjust the amount of fuel to feed the engine. When these sensors malfunctioned, the “check engine” light will trigger as well as the “reduced power” light.

Try the Denso 234-4233 Oxygen Sensor as a replacement for your defective unit. This popular brand is constructed from heavy-duty materials that have double protection layer, PTFE filter, stainless steel, and aluminum trap oxide layer.

3. Defective throttle body

When the throttle body fails, it will considerably mix an incorrect amount of air and fuel into the engine. The throttle body is a part of the air intake system that regulates the amount of air going to the engine. This inaccuracy will lead to poor performance of the engine that will certainly trigger the “reduced power” warning light activation as well as the “check engine light”.

4. Flawed wiring system

Your wiring system may be damaged due to wear and tear. Once the wiring system of the engine is damaged and exposed, this could activate the “reduced power” light. Better let your professional mechanic track down any loose or damaged wiring as this issue is too complicated for you when you have no knowledge about this.

5. Throttle position sensor is failing

Your car’s computer tracks the location of the gas pedal using the throttle position sensor. The computer then uses this data to calculate the correct amount of fuel and air to send into the engine to have a good combustion. On the other hand, the throttle position sensor also manipulates the shifting of gears. A defective throttle position sensor will certainly prohibit the car from changing gears, which also triggers the “reduced power” warning light to gleam.


There are certainly something fishy going on with your car when the “reduced power” and “check engine” lights illuminate suddenly on your dashboard. You now know what do “engine reduced power” and “check engine” lights mean when they illuminate.

The best thing to do is bring your car to a professional mechanic immediately to have your car check. And replace any accessory that needs to be replaced to avoid any serious accident that may result. You may consider the products that we have mentioned above for better results.

Please send us your comment if you have any question regarding this article.

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Carolina - Care My Cars

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