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Why does my car feel like it’s lost power

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Updated 15 Nov 2019


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If you notice a sudden loss of power or your vehicle feels ‘strange’ after you’ve just filled the tank, there may be a few reasons for this. The most common are:

  • Contamination in the fuel (Sediment, water or other fluids)
  • The wrong fuel has been used
  • The fuel cap has been left loose

The easiest of these to fix is to check the fuel cap. Most modern vehicles have a return-less fuel system, and an air leak from a loose fuel cap can cause fuel delivery issues, as well as the ‘Check Engine Light’ to come on.

However, if there is contamination in the fuel, or the wrong fuel has been used, these can turn into serious repairs.

Service Recommendation

What to do if you notice your vehicle has lost power after filling up.

If you notice that your vehicle has lost power, or the ‘Check Engine Light’ has come on shortly after filling up, we recommend pulling over as soon as possible, where it is safe to do so.

Driving your vehicle with contaminated or incorrect fuel can cause damage to sensitive fuel system components, as well as internal engine damage.

Having your vehicle inspected and diagnosed by a workshop will pinpoint the problem, and repairs can be carried out to get you back on the road.

If water or other contaminants have been introduced while filling up, taking a fuel sample and keeping your receipt will help with any claims for reimbursement from the service station for repairs or damage caused – always keep your receipts!

Something wrong with your vehicle, but not sure what it is? Visit AutoGuru.com.au.

We let you search and book from over 1600 qualified mechanics, who eat car troubles for breakfast.

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