One of the most common issues with the Chevrolet Equinox is the dreaded “Engine Power Reduced” warning message coming on while driving. Followed by the vehicle losing power and/or Stalling.
In this article, I am going to cover what this warning message means, what are the potential causes and how to go about fixing the issue on your chevy equinox. Let’s get to it.
What Does Engine Power Reduced Mean on a Chevy Equinox?
In simple terms, this error message means that your Equinox ECU ( Car Computer) has detected that there is something wrong with the engine, and has reduced its power to protect itself.
This is also known as “Limp Mode” When you get the “engine power reduced” on your Equinox, the engine will automatically reduce its power to a safe level.
This is done to prevent catastrophic engine damage while driving or when you come to a stop and try starting again.
What Causes Chevy Equinox’s “Engine Power Reduced” Warning?
Unfortunately, this is a general engine error message, so it can be caused by a number of things and needs a diagnostics scan to pinpoint the cause
However, after working on a few Chevy Equinox with this problem I have seen a few common causes, here are some of them.
1. Faulty Throttle Body
This is probably the most common cause of the “engine power reduced” warning on a Chevrolet Equinox.
The throttle body regulates the amount of air going into the engine, which in turn affects how your car runs.
If the throttle body is broken or malfunctioning, it can cause your vehicle to lose power and perform poorly.
Based on my experience as a mechanic, I have seen enough Chevy equinoxes with a bad throttle body to suggest that this is a common failure on these vehicles.
In some cases cleaning the throttle body can help solve the issue but in other cases, you will need to have it replaced
2. Bad VVT Solenoid
Another possible cause of the power loss warning on your Equinox is a bad VVT solenoid.
The VVT known as the variable valve timing Solenoid is an electric solenoid that controls the camshafts and their phasing with respect to the crankshaft by managing how the oil flows through the actual cams.
It’s a part that can fail, especially if the oil gets really dirty and clogs up the passages, preventing the solenoid from operating properly.
3. Bad Fuel Pump
Another common cause of this problem on an Equinox is a bad fuel pump.
The fuel pump is what pushes the gas from your tank to the engine, so if it stops working properly, you’ll have trouble getting any kind of power, and the ECU will detect the problem and throw an engine power is reduced warning on your dashboard.
Other signs the warning is caused by a faulty fuel pump include:
- Rough/Shaky idling
- Engine Misfire
- Sluggish acceleration
- The car takes longer to start
- Whining noise from the tank
- Power loss
4. Low/Bad Engine Oil
From what I’ve seen a low or bad engine oil level can also cause power is reduced warning on your Equinox.
As the name implies, oil lubricates and cools the moving parts of your engine so they don’t grind together and overheat while they are running.
Chevy recommends that you change your Engine oil every 3000-5000 miles and it is good to check your engine oil level at least every once a week.
5. Clogged Catalytic Converter
The Catalytic Converter on your Equinox is responsible for filtering out harmful emissions and converting them into less harmful gases.
Over time the Catalytic converter can get clogged due to a bad fuel mixture caused by inefficient spark plugs and bad O2 sensors.
When this happens, it will cause your Chevy to run poorly and sends the signal to the Engine control unit that there is an issue, as a result, the “engine power reduced” message will appear on the dashboard.
6. Failing Spark Plugs or Ignition Coils
The Spark plugs and/or ignition coils are responsible for igniting fuel in your engine.
When these components fail, it can cause a lack of power, poor performance, and overall poor driving experience.
7. Clogged Fuel Filter
The final common cause of the “engine power reduced” message on your Equinox is a clogged fuel filter.
This can happen for a variety of reasons, including not using high-quality fuel or using the wrong type of gas for your Equinox (for example, using premium gas in a vehicle designed to run on a regular).
In addition, if you have not changed your fuel filter in a while (or ever), it will clog up and cause the same issue.
What to Do When You Get an “Engine Power Reduced” Message on Your Equinox?
As an auto technician, I recommend is to drive to the nearest Chevy dealership or auto shop and have them diagnose the issue.
This can save you a lot of time and money by knowing what’s wrong with your car before trying to fix it yourself.
Since this is a more general fault message, A proper diagnostic scan will help you pinpoint what is the main issue by displaying codes such as misfires, fuel pump failure, etc.
Once you have this information, then you can search for the part number and order it yourself.