5 Signs Your Engine Is Losing Power

Disagreeably Inclined
San Francisco's Lombard Street at dusk is beautiful (and crooked and steep). It could also be rather problematic for cars with less than optimal power. iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Does your vehicle cut out or struggle up an incline? Such behavior often signifies a clogged fuel filter. As the filter eliminates gunk from your fuel, it grows gradually dirty, and the fuel pump must work harder to shove fuel through it. In high-demand circumstances, such as driving up a hill or putting the hammer down, it might not be able to deliver enough gas to get the job done. Get your car checked out with a fuel pressure test or digital scope [sources: AGCO; Big O].

Don't just replace the filter -- take a closer look at what's blocking it up, just in case the clog is a symptom of another issue, such as fuel contamination or a buildup of rust in the tank [source: AGCO].

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