06 Methods | How to Fix Reduced Engine Power Chevy Silverado

Reduced engine power is a warning feature that helps the driver understand the state of the engine.

You should first check the vehicle’s battery, wires, and throttle body when the warning light appears in the instrument cluster.

Identifying the cause of the reduced engine power warning light is essential to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

To protect the Chevy Silverado engine from further damage, it is important to take care of the problem right away.

In this article, I have discussed the meaning of reduced engine power, its causes, and how to fix it completely.

What Does Reduced Engine Power Mean on Silverado?

When Silverado’s engine power is reduced, the Powertrain Control Unit or PCM triggers a reduced engine power light on the instrument cluster.

The reduced engine power on Silverado usually means your vehicle has an internal problem and needs to be repaired.

If fuel is contaminated or the fuel flow or air to the engine is decreased, the engine’s performance is reduced and triggers the warning light.

In this case, if you press the acceleration pedal, the speed of the Silverado remains constant.

When the speed limit warning sign pops up on the instrument panel, you may face the following problems:

  • Limited throttle response
  • Changes in transmission shift patterns
  • The speed limit is reduced to 30 to 40 MPH
  • The throttle fully stops working
  • The fuel pump malfunctions and the engine shuts down.

What Causes Reduced Engine Power Chevy Silverado?

Before fixing the reduced engine power reset warning on your Chevrolet Silverado, you must identify what is causing the issue.

Here is a list of the most common factors that trigger the Silverado’s reduced engine power warning light.

  • Faulty Throttle Body
  • Faulty MAF Sensor
  • Faulty Cooling System
  • Malfunctioning PCM
  • Faulty pedal position sensor
  • Engine internal issues
  • Damaged wires
  • Restricted fuel line

Here are some rare/uncommon factors that trigger the Silverado’s reduced engine power warning light.

  • Contaminated air filter
  • Vacuum leaks in hoses
  • Battery issues
  • Low transmission fluid etc.

How to Fix Reduced Engine Power Chevy Silverado?

06 most common factors trigger reduced engine power mode in Chevy Silverado, including faulty throttle body, MAF sensor, radiator issue, damaged wires, and faulty PCM system.

Replacing or fixing the faulty part will solve the reduced engine power issue.

01. By Repairing the Faulty Throttle Body

By Repairing the Faulty Throttle Body

The throttle body controls airflow into the engine.

A faulty throttle body fails to maintain airflow into the engine, and the ECU triggers the reduced engine power mode.

How to Fix

Follow these 06 steps to fix the throttle body of your pickup truck.

  1. Turn off your vehicle.
  2. Open your truck’s hood and find the throttle body.
  3. Pull out the air duct connective.
  4. Clean the throttle body by driving high-pressure airflow over the throttle body or using an appropriate throttle body cleaner.
  5. Now reassemble all parts and restart the truck after a few minutes.
  6. If the reduced engine power mode still exists, that indicates the throttle body is damaged enough, and it is time to replace it.

02. By Replacing the Faulty MAF Sensor

By Replacing the Faulty MAF Sensor

MAF, or mass air flow sensor, calculates the amount of airflow into the Silverado engine.

When the MAF sensor gets bad, it sends inaccurate data to the ECU, and the ECU triggers the reduced engine power mode.

How to Fix

To resolve the problem, follow these 05 steps:

  1. Locate the MAF sensor between the air filter and the intake manifold
  2. Using a screwdriver, remove the connector and pull out the MAF sensor
  3. Clean the mass airflow sensor by using a cleaning spray
  4. Wait for 30 to 35 minutes and then reconnect the sensor
  5. Your problem should be resolved

If the warning light is still on, you should consult a mechanic and replace the MAF sensor.

The estimated replacement cost of the Silverado MAF sensor is $230 to $330.

03. By Repairing the Faulty Radiator/Cooling System

By Repairing the Faulty Radiator/Cooling System

The cooling system is responsible for preventing the engine from overheating.

When the cooling system fails to perform correctly, the engine gets hotter, and overheating reduces engine power.

How to Fix

These are the 02 steps you should take if your cooling system isn’t working properly.

  1. Check coolant levels.
  2. Ensure that the radiator is appropriately clean.

If your vehicle’s radiator is over 8 years old, it is advisable to replace it.

Usually, repairing a radiator for a Chevy Silverado 1500 will cost you between $50 and $100, but replacing the whole cooling system will cost you around $1,250 to $1500.

04. By Fixing the Incorrect Wirings and Damaged Battery

By Fixing the Incorrect Wirings and Damaged Battery

Your vehicle must have a properly functioning battery.

When the battery is weak and incapable of providing power properly, it may cause the reduced engine power light to illuminate.

Sometimes, electric transformation can be hampered by damaged wires.

You need to check the battery voltage and its wires in this case.     

If they’re okay, check the cables connected to the ECU, engine sensors, throttle body, fuel injector, and ignition coil.

How to Fix

Replace the faulty cable as soon as you find it damaged.

You can do it yourself if you know a bit about the Silverado engine and its components.

Otherwise, you should hire a mechanic for this job.

05. By Repairing the Throttle Position Sensor

By Repairing the Throttle Position Sensor

A malfunctioning throttle position sensor sends incorrect data to ECU about the depressing of the gas pedal.

In that case, the ECU fails to adjust the proper engine speed and triggers the reduced engine power code.

How to Fix

You can fix it by rebooting the throttle position sensor (disconnecting and reconnecting the negative battery wire).

After doing this, if the warning light still illuminates, you should replace the pedal/throttle position sensor.

Replacing the throttle position sensor costs between $150 and $200.

06. By Repairing the PCM System

The powertrain control module is the central part of a truck’s engine.

It controls all types of actions related to the engine.

A faulty PCM system causes the reduced engine power light to illuminate.

How to Fix

In this case, it would be advisable for you to hire an experienced mechanic.

Using an OBD-II scanner, the mechanic will diagnose and repair the PCM.

Also, you need to check the oxygen sensor, fuel pump, timing belt, transmission speed sensor, EGR valve, fuel filter, etc.

Because all the parts mentioned above are related to the reduced engine power warning light problem.

I have a simple solution for you if you are confused about how to check so many parts.

Use an OBD-II scanner to determine which part is responsible for the reduced engine power warning light.

In the next section, I have discussed the uses of the OBD-II scanner and related codes.

Watch this video to fix Silverado’s reduced power mode:

How to Use OBD-II Scanner to Diagnose Silverado Reduced Engine Power Reset Issue?

Buy an OBD-II scanner and connect it to the port of your Silverado truck.

Follow the OBD-II scanner instructions and determine the faulty code.

In reduced engine power mode, an OBD-II scanner usually generates these codes:

  • P0120-P0124: Malfunction in the throttle position sensor or circuit.
  • P1125: There’s a problem with the throttle position sensor switch E.
  • P1116: Indicates engine coolant sensor voltage problems.
  • P1516: There’s a performance issue with the Throttle Actuator Control or TAC Module.
  • P1518: There’s a low battery voltage.
  • P2135: The PCM detects a mismatch between the accelerator pedal position and the throttle body position sensor.
  • P2111: There’s a problem with the throttle actuator control system that is stuck open.

Once you determine the faulty code, you can try to resolve it yourself or go to a repair shop.

A repair shop mechanic will troubleshoot the specific part associated with the code if you provide them with it, and it will reduce your costs.

You can also fix Silverado codes by following this video:

Can I Drive with Reduced Engine Power in My Silverado?

No, you shouldn’t drive continuously in reduced engine power mode for too long.

Often there are simple problems that cause the warning light, but sometimes it can become a serious issue if you drive continuously with the warning light.

So, you should fix the reduced engine power warning light as soon as you see it on your dashboard to avoid further problems.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Reduced Engine Power?

Several issues can trigger the reduced engine power warning light.

Therefore, different types of problems may have different fixing costs.

On average, it costs between $100 and $550 to repair Chevy Silverados with reduced engine power.

There’s a chance it’ll rise from $1,200 to $1500 if the problem is severe.


What causes reduced engine power in Chevy Silverado?

Chevy Silverado engine power is reduced for these reasons:

  • Faulty throttle body
  • Faulty throttle position sensor
  • Poor battery or damaged cables
  • Bad oxygen sensors
  • Faulty fuel pump
  • Radiator issues, etc.

How many miles can I drive with reduced engine power warning on my Chevy Silverado?

Driving with the reduced engine power warning isn’t recommended, so you should only drive a few miles.

Because Silverado’s warning light indicates an engine problem.

If you drive many miles with the light on, the problem will only worsen if you continue to drive that way.

However, you can drive your truck to a shop with the warning light on if needed to fix the issue.

Is it safe to drive my Silverado with engine power is reduced warning?

No, driving your Silverado for too long with a reduced engine power warning is risky.

You may get into an accident.

So, find out what is causing the warning light and fix the issue.

Final Thoughts

Most of the time, simple DIY methods can solve the issues.

If you have difficulty solving the warning light issue, take the vehicle to a mechanic for proper treatment.

There is no substitute for regular maintenance to prevent this reduced engine power warning light.

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