Itâ€™s common for cars to lose some horsepower as they age. What was originally a 200-horsepower engine may now only put out 190 or 180 horses. Acceleration becomes slower, towing capacity becomes smaller, and the get-up-and-go just gets-up-and-leaves. Where did all the horses go? Is it possible to bring them back? We have answers.
What Causes Cars to Lose Horsepower as They Age?
If your car seems to have less engine power than it used to have, there are a couple of likely culprits.
Carbon deposits, or a buildup of soot and gunk on the internal surfaces of the engine, is an extremely common problem. Engine deposits can reduce horsepower by making combustion less efficient. Dirty spark plugs create less spark; dirty fuel injectors donâ€™t do a good job of injecting fuel; and dirty sensors confuse the carâ€™s computer, causing it to use a less efficient fuel/air mixture.
The other main reason engines lose power over time is because they lose compression. As piston rings (or the cylinder walls) become worn, they no longer form a complete seal. This allows combustion gases within the cylinder to â€œblow byâ€ the edge of the piston, essentially letting some of the power leak out. The same problem can happen at the top of the cylinder if carbon deposits prevent the valves from sealing properly.
How to Restore Lost Engine Power
It is possible to get back the horsepower your car once had. And it can either be a very easy fix, or a very hard one.
If engine deposits are the problem â€“ and theyâ€™re usually at least part of the problem, since theyâ€™re so common â€“ then the easy solution is to clean them up using a fuel system cleaner such as Motor Honey. Motor Honeyâ€™s Complete Fuel System Cleaner can simply be added to your gas tank, and it will dissolve engine deposits as your car burns through the tank of fuel. You donâ€™t need to add it at every fill-up, like some cheaper fuel cleaners; just once every few thousand miles (or once per oil change) should do the trick.
If the problem is engine blow-by caused by worn piston rings or valve seals, then the easy fix is to use Motor Honey Oil Stabilizer as part of your oil change routine. The oil stabilizer is designed to prevent blow-by, while also reducing friction within the engine.
The hard fix? A complete engine overhaul. A quality overhaul should get your engine running as good as new. Unfortunately, itâ€™s also expensive, generally ranging from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. It also takes time, and during that time you wonâ€™t be able to drive your car. Needless to say, most people prefer the easy, inexpensive option.
You can find the easy way by shopping at these stores.