All the Ways Your Car's Engine Can Lose Power

Wear and tear can reduce your engine's horsepower and torque. Here's what's going on that's robbing you of power.

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Wear and tear can run your engine down. The normal things that happen to a car's engine over time can rob you of horsepower, torque, and fuel mileage. But what exactly is going on inside your engine that's making fewer ponies show up for work? is here to give you the inside look.

Admittedly, serious shadetree mechanics and dedicated students of internal combustion already know the signs and symptoms of what Fenske is talking about here. But the way he explains it all—separating the most common power-robbing engine problems into the categories Air, Fuel, Compression, and Spark—remind us of the minute details that make an engine choke or sing.

Maybe this simple rundown will help you figure out why your once-powerful car is chugging and wheezing along. Or maybe you never learned how valve deposits or clogged fuel injectors can degrade your car's output. Either way, it's always good to have a refresher course in what's going on inside your engine. Think of it as blowing the carbon out of your brain circuits.

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