How to Prevent Reduced Engine Power in Chevy Silverado

The message “Reduced Engine Power” or “Engine Power is Reduced⁠” can confuse and frustrate many Chevy Silverado owners.

The same warning can be seen on Ford Motor Company cars for similar reasons.

Is your Chevy or other GM car showing this warning on the dashboard?

Maybe the check engine light is also on?

Don’t worry and think about getting rid of your car just yet—there might be an easy and not-too-expensive fix for the problem.

You’ll quickly notice that your truck isn’t speeding up like it should. If you keep driving, the computer might stop sending fuel to the engine.

An image representing Engine Power Failure
Engine Power Failure

You might also see a warning light on your dashboard, like “check engine” or “reduced engine power.”

This is meant to prevent any further damage from happening.

In the Chevy Silverado and other vehicles, there are many reasons this could happen, but don’t worry.

As long as you don’t drive too much with reduced engine power, you can get it fixed.

We’ll guide you through what might be causing it and how to fix it.

For some people who like doing their vehicle maintenance, they might find and fix the problem at home. Others might prefer to have their trusted mechanic do it.

Let’s get started.

What Does “Reduced Engine Power” Mean?

“Reduced Engine Power” Message

Usually, when you see the Engine Power Reduced warning, it means your car’s performance has been purposely restricted. T

his warning comes up when the powertrain control module (PCM), which is your car’s main computer, detects a problem with the system or a drop in engine performance.

If you have the owner’s manual for your GM vehicle (like a Chevy or Buick), you can check the section about the driver information center or instrument cluster.

It will give you a general idea of what the Engine Power Reduced message means for your specific year and model.

Reduced Engine Power Mode

Reduced Power Mode can restrict your vehicle’s acceleration capability.

Even if power isn’t immediately reduced, you might notice limited performance the next time you drive the car.

Sometimes, the powertrain control module (PCM) might even stop fuel delivery to the engine, making the vehicle impossible to drive.

When this occurs, GM’s Engine Reduced Power Mode kicks in as a “fail-safe” mode, also referred to as a “limp” mode.

Common Causes and Fixes for Chevy Silverado Engine Power Warning

An infographic representing the common Solutions for Reduced Engine Power
Solutions for Reduced Engine Power in Chevy Trucks

Warning is usually accompanied by these error codes

A few common error codes for the pedal position sensors:

  • Code P0122 indicates the Switch A Circuit is Low in the throttle position sensor
  • Code P0223 indicates the Switch B Circuit is High in the throttle position sensor
  • Code P2138 indicates a defect within the D and/or E circuits of the throttle position sensor

Clogged Fuel Filters and Injectors
Symptom: Poor acceleration, check engine light
Solution: Regular maintenance to clean or replace fuel filters; use fuel injector cleaner additives periodically to prevent clogging.

Malfunctioning Fuel Pump
Symptom: Reduced engine power, check engine light
Solution: Replace the faulty fuel pump with a new one; ensure proper installation and connection.

Faulty Fuel Pressure Regulator
Symptom: Engine performance issues, fuel leaks, noisy fuel pump
Solution: Replace the faulty fuel pressure regulator; inspect fuel lines for leaks and repair as necessary.

Faulty Ignition Coil or Spark Plugs
Symptom: Power malfunctions, engine backfiring
Solution: Replace faulty ignition coil or spark plugs; ensure proper gap setting and connection.

Clogged Air Filter
Symptom: Reduced engine power, poor acceleration
Solution: Replace the clogged air filter with a new one; perform regular air filter replacements according to manufacturer recommendations.

Faulty Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF)
Symptom: Engine performance issues, check engine light
Solution: Clean or replace the faulty MAF sensor; ensure proper installation and connection.

Blocked Catalytic Converter
Symptom: Poor acceleration, difficulty starting the vehicle, check engine light
To solve this replace the blocked catalytic converter with a new one; inspect engine seals and valves for leaks and repair as necessary.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve Malfunction
Symptom: Engine misfires, increased engine knock, check engine light
To solve this, replace the faulty EGR valve; ensure proper installation and connection; and consider using high-quality diesel fuel additives to clean the EGR system.

The Cost of Repairing

Depending on the underlying issue, the repair costs can vary significantly, typically ranging from $100 to $500.

These problems are generally affordable to address, and even if you’re not adept at DIY repairs, you shouldn’t incur excessive expenses for parts and labor.

However, repairs or replacement of the catalytic converter stands out as an exception, as they can set you back around $2,000.

To extend its lifespan, make sure to adhere to routine maintenance schedules, consistently utilize the appropriate fuel and oil for your truck, and exercise caution to avoid using incorrect additives.

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