Traveling in a Chevy Equinox can be great, but it’s not without hiccups. One of the most annoying issues drivers may face is when the ‘Reduced Engine Power’ light unexpectedly turns on on the highway. This causes huge discomfort as it’s impossible to know what has caused this issue until you take your vehicle to a mechanic or garage for further inspection and repairs.
The Reduced Engine Power warning indicates that there are problems with your system and, thus, reduces the maximum speed of the car to minimize any potential engine damage arising from prolonged exposure. The power level should only be enough to get back home or take it to a specialist shop. However, it is also important to note that driving at reduced power levels could affect how long your engine lasts, so it is advised against taking long trips with this warning active.
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What Does Engine Power Reduced Chevy Equinox Mean?
When the ‘Engine Power Reduced’ warning appears on a Chevy Equinox screen, it indicates that the engine’s total power output has been reduced to avoid potential damage. This warning is triggered by an integrated computer system called the Electronic Control Unit (ECU). It senses any anomalies in the design and activates this mode for safety.
The Limp Home Mode can be used while driving with this reduced engine power light turned on. During this mode, certain non-essential components of the car, such as air conditioning or radio, may be switched off and its speed limited, resulting in a slower journey than usual. Additionally, if left unchecked for too long, it could cause further damage to your engine due to running at minimal power. As such, it should be addressed immediately upon detection to ensure optimal performance from your vehicle.
Causes Of Reduced Engine Power On Chevy Equinox
When the reduced engine power light turns on, certain codes get stored in the OBD II system. Experts then use this information to pinpoint exactly where the issue lies according to ECU calculations. Investing in a good-quality code scanner is recommended to make this process easier.
A variety of factors may cause this Engine Power Reduced Chevy Equinox warning;
1. Car TAC System
The Throttle Actuator Control (TAC) system is the most common cause of a warning trigger in modern cars that use this technology instead of the traditional linkage and throttle body. The PCM monitors within the TAC system, and two Accelerator Pedal Position (APP) sensors work together to determine if acceleration is desired or not before sending exact throttle response information from Throttle Position (TP) sensors to an actuator motor, which controls airflow in the engine. Additionally, dirt particles on the throttle body can also be responsible for this mode being triggered.
If an issue with reduced engine performance is present, it could be due to a clutch failure. Symptoms of this can include strange noises and pulsations originating from the transmission. To combat this problem, getting the information serviced should eliminate further issues.
In some cases, a faulty harness or cable may cause an issue with a vehicle. To begin troubleshooting, looking at all clamps, ropes, and harnesses for any signs of damage or wear is important. If there is an observed fault in one of these components, it should be repaired or replaced promptly to avoid further issues.
4. Oxygen Sensors
The Chevy Equinox is equipped with an Oxygen Sensor that helps detect the exact quantity of oxygen in the exhaust gas. This sensor facilitates a balanced mix of air and fuel for smooth performance. However, if it gets rusty, its performance deteriorates drastically, resulting in code P0160 appearing on the scanner. It is important to investigate this issue as soon as possible.
5. Bad Mass Airflow Sensor
Regular maintenance and checks are essential to a mass air sensor’s ability to detect airflow accurately. If the sensor is not functioning properly, calculations of fuel injection quantity will be incorrect. This protective measure can trigger the “reduced engine power” system to prevent further damage.
How To Troubleshoot Engine Power Is Reduced On Chevy Equinox?
When engine power is diminished, an OBDII scan tool can read the error codes that appear on the ECM. This provides insight into where the problem occurred; for example, if it is related to fuel pressure, the code P0090 will appear on a scanner. After this information is determined, further investigation and an appropriate scanner that fits one’s budget can be obtained.
How To Fix Chevy Equinox Reduced Engine Power?
Diagnosis of this issue is necessary to determine an effective solution. As the message may stem from various causes, depending on the model of the vehicle, it is not a straightforward process. A careful professional assessment is required for a successful resolution.
Following these methods can help resolve reduced engine power issues:
Check For Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs)
Using a code reader or scan tool is an effective way to obtain diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) when attempting to diagnose issues in the TAC system. Acquiring these DTCs guides where to start the diagnosis, although this does not necessarily mean it is complete. The primary cause of any problem may be located within TAC, and identifying which area requires attention can be done by analyzing the code outputted from the reader or scan tool. Taking appropriate action based on this information should help to resolve any underlying issue with TAC.
Look Up Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs)
Manufacturers of motor vehicles often release Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) to assist with resolving technical issues. These documents provide detailed repair procedures for many commonly encountered problems and are usually successful in resolving them quickly and cost-effectively. In some cases, a TSB may already exist for the issue faced by the car owner, providing an up-to-date guideline on how best to proceed with repairs.
Consult The Factory Repair Information
Consulting factory repair information before attempting to repair a vehicle can be beneficial. The exact cause of the warning may vary depending on the model of the car, and an individual’s research into it could be invaluable. In addition, diagnosis instructions outlined in the latest repair manual will likely assist in finding a solution faster. Any repairs must be preceded by accurate problem diagnosis for optimal results. With adequate knowledge beforehand, any task or process related to repairing a car should run more smoothly.
How To Bypass Chevy Equinox Reduced Engine Power?
Taking on car repairs can be an empowering and cost-effective way to handle certain issues. However, if the complexity of the repair is beyond one’s ability, it may be beneficial to seek professional help.
Gain insight into the exact bypass process to understand it better.
Check The Cables
When the ‘Engine Power Reduce’ mode is triggered, it is typically due to loose cables or clamps. To address this issue, a thorough inspection should identify any loose wires or connections that may need repair and ensure they are properly reconnected.
Properly cleaning the oxygen sensor is essential to ensure it functions correctly. If the sensors are malfunctioning, it may be due to dirt that has impeded its performance and must be addressed quickly, either by cleaning or replacing it with a new one.
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Check The Throttle
When experiencing issues with the throttle or its sensor, an override of the device is always an option. When feasible, replacement would be beneficial and cost-effective. This should not present a major difficulty given their relatively low costs.
To avoid a vehicle going into ‘Limp Mode,’ it is important to check the airflow sensor, usually located near the air filter. It should be cleaned and checked regularly for proper functioning and, if necessary, replaced in case of any issues.
Electric Control Unit
Self-resolution is not viable when issues arise regarding an Electronic Control Unit (ECU). Professional assistance should be sought to repair the unit, or one may choose to purchase a new ECU.
When the reduced engine power warning light is illuminated, it may be caused by a clog in the catalytic converter. This component of an automobile is typically located under the car, and replacing it can come at a significant cost. For this reason, seeking professional repair services for this issue is likely more effective than attempting to replace it alone.
The battery may experience a drop in performance due to loose connections and corrosion. Reconnection of the cables and removal of any accumulated decay should be sufficient for maintaining optimal functionality. However, replacing the battery with a new one is advisable for best results.
It has been suggested that an inadequate level of transmission oil could cause a reduction in engine power. One should check the transmission oil level and add more to determine if this is true. If this does not resolve the issue, replacing the transmission oil completely may be recommended.
Is It Safe To Drive Chevy Equinox With Reduced Engine Power?
This mode is not recommended for lengthy operations, as it can be a safety issue. Additionally, reduced engine power alters engine functions, resulting in jerky shifts and poor gas mileage. Ultimately, driving with reduced engine power is an ill-advised decision that should only be used to get one’s vehicle back to the garage or workshop.
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Activation of the Engine Power Reduced mode in a vehicle can be triggered for several reasons. Determining an appropriate course of action requires evaluating available options and selecting a suitable solution to address the underlying issue. Many remedies are open to consideration, providing drivers greater flexibility when addressing potential problems. With this knowledge, motorists can confidently approach their Chevy Equinox journeys, equipped to handle any engine-related issues that may arise along the way.