Watch: Why Aging Engines Lose Power

The ravages of time don’t just affect humans. Engines, too, over time lose power as wear and tear take their toll. Fortunately, like people, engines can be fixed and some of the damage can be prevented.

Engineering Explained’s Jason Fenske goes over the major factors that lead to power loss. The reasons can be organized into four categories.

Unsurprisingly, the categories are air, fuel, compression, and spark.

Air issues might be the simplest and gives credence to that old nugget about engines being air pumps. The reasons for the loss here are air intake (get a new air filter), throttle cable (it gets loose. Tighten it), mufflers and catalytic converters. All are reasonably easy to fix, though the former are easier than the latter, and will get you back into ship shape.

Fuel issues could be as simple as a weak fuel pump, but can also come as a result of dirty fuel injectors.

That last reason also impacts compression, as fuel injected engines are particularly susceptible to valve deposits, that can keep the valves from closing properly and let air back through the intake. Piston rings, too, can lead to loss of compression, but regularly changing your oil can help delay that.

Spark, finally, can be as simple as old spark plugs, or as complicated as deposits on the cylinder wall causing knock.

So get out there and get your power back with regular maintenance and then eat veggies to feel as powerful as your car.

[via: Jalopnik]