5 Signs Your Engine Is Losing Power

The Old Lead Foot, Dead Foot
If your foot is pressed to the pedal but you're always eating everyone's dust, you could be staring at a power loss issue courtesy of a fuel system malfunction. Hemera/Thinkstock

If your car loses power when you put the pedal to the metal, odds are good that a fuel system malfunction is preventing your engine from drawing the extra go-juice it needs to accelerate. You could be looking at a clogged injector, leaking fuel line, gummed-up filter or kaput fuel pump [source: Salem].

A fuel injector sprays fuel into the cylinder, where it mixes with air and ignites during compression, generating the explosion that drives the piston. The fuel line is simply a hose or pipe that carries fuel from the tank to the engine. The fuel pump does the pushing, and the filter keeps out impurities.

With the necessary knack and the proper tools, you can replace a fuel line yourself, but other problems might take a bit more effort and equipment. Before 2006, fuel filters were do-it-yourself jobs, but manufacturers are increasingly placing their filters inside of their vehicle's fuel tanks [source: AGCO].

Whatever you decide, remember that fuel punishes those who take it lightly. Make sure you have the right diagnosis, tools and know-how before diving in.