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Why Is Your Nissan Juke Losing Power When Accelerating?

Nissan Juke Losing Power When Accelerating

Why Is Your Nissan Juke Losing Power When Accelerating?

Sometimes, there comes a moment when we see an open road in front of us and we want to test out the limits of our car. However, when we try and floor the gas pedal, the car barely responds like it once did. Sometimes, it even decelerates. Your Nissan Juke starts losing power when accelerating.

Before you get too worried about it, it is important to assess the situation. This is important because minor fluctuations of power and torque are common throughout the lifespan of a car. However, if this is something that you have been experiencing recently on a regular basis, then you might want to look into it.

If your Nissan Juke is losing power when accelerating the problem is most often linked to the airflow, fuel injection, or ignition systems. Alternatively, there might be problems with the exhaust system, sensors, or the timing chain as well. This article should help you narrow down the causes and hopefully fix the problem you are facing.

Airflow problems

airflow problems
Air Filters | Picture Credit: Pexels

When you press harder on the gas pedal, this gives the car a signal that you want more power to go to your wheels. Your car’s engine needs to burn more fuel (and consequently more air) to do this. Thus, if there is a problem with the flow of the air, your Nissan Juke may be losing power when accelerating.

The main problem in airflow can be caused due to the air filter. If the air filter is clogged due to the filtered particles, it will become harder for air to pass through the filter. Fortunately, this can be fixed by simply cleaning or replacing the air filter.

Another source of the problem can be the throttle body. This part is responsible for controlling the airflow. Thus, if the valve actuator is not working properly, then it may not open in time to let enough air through for acceleration.

This problem can occur if your throttle valve is dirty and thus can’t move.  If even after cleaning the throttle body this issue persists, then perhaps the throttle body or its position sensor needs to be changed.

Finally, another rare problem that can occur is the possibility of a vacuum leak. This is when the vacuum created inside the intake manifold is compromised. Therefore, not enough air enters the engine during the intake stroke of the cycle causing a loss of power. It could be possible that the manifold hasn’t been tightened properly onto the cylinder head or there is a leak in the gasket. An even rarer occurrence is if there is a hole in the manifold. In this case, you might have to change the part.  

Fuel Problems

fuel problems
Fuel Pump | Picture Credits: Youtube

With extra air to get more acceleration, you will also need extra fuel to meet the air-fuel ratio. Thus, if there is a problem with the fuel delivery system, you might get the same problem of lower acceleration.

As the pressure is built up already in the injectors, to increase the amount of fuel flow, the injectors need to be opened for a longer duration. Moreover, to support this, the injection timing also needs to change so it is completed in time. These factors are generally controlled by the ECU.

Thus, a problem with these might indicate a software issue. Usually, a reset should fix such problems. This can be done by switching your car on and off or just disconnecting the battery for a while. However, if this does not fix the problem, you might have to take it to the dealer to get proper troubleshooting done.

Other hardware problems might also cause this issue. One of them is that the injectors have been clogged – either due to carbon deposition or due to impurities in the fuel that the filter couldn’t get rid of.  In such a case, either the fuel injectors can be cleaned or replaced entirely.

A less common problem is the malfunctioning of the fuel pump. In such cases, if the load of the car increases, you should be able to hear a whirring sound and get the feeling that the car is about to stall when you try and accelerate. This might warrant further investigation and thus it is best to show the dealer.

Ignition Problems

Sparkplug tip | Photo credit: Youtube

With extra air filling up the combustion chambers, it is also the work of the ignition system to time itself properly. This will enable the fuel to get burnt at the right rate and release the energy properly. Again, the timing of the ignition is controlled by the ECU. And to rectify software problems such as this, you can follow the same steps mentioned above.

Damage to the sparkplugs can also cause misfiring as the spark may develop at a later time than intended by the ECU. A delay in timing will not only cause improper combustion (and thus a loss in power) but also cause knocking.

During knocking, some of the fuel that is burnt does not help push the piston down and thus there is lower power output. Hence, you have no option but to change the sparkplugs in such a case.

In the same way, a problem with the ignition coils (though rare) will also tend to create a delay in the spark formation leading to the same effects. The solution is also the same – replace the ignition coils.

Sensor Issues

car ecu
Part of ECU | Picture Credit: Unsplash

Modern cars are heavily reliant on a variety of sensors that give feedback on the performance of the car. This is compared to the driver’s demand. Based on this, it can correct several variables to give the desired output.

One such sensor is the O2 or Lambda sensor that is kept in the exhaust systems. Essentially it tells the engine ECU how rich or lean the air-fuel mixture is. This helps the ECU can adjust the quantities accordingly. Thus, if the sensor malfunctions, then the ECU might account for a higher/lower fuel ratio. This might lead to a drop in torque and thus acceleration.

Another important sensor is the cam and crank position sensor. These sensors tell the ECU how fast the car is going and where the piston is in its respective cycle. Thus, if these sensors malfunction, then the ECU gets incorrect values of the engine speed and piston location. Therefore, the timing of either spark or injection is messed up. Otherwise, the amount of airflow required may also be misunderstood. Since timing is extremely important in ICEs, you may experience a loss of power.

Finally, you might even be facing problems with your MAF or Mass Air Flow sensor. According to measurements from this, the fuel is injected into the cylinder. Thus, a dirty MAF sensor may give rise to wrong measurements and consequently wrong fuel measurements. Ultimately, the result is a loss of power.

Fortunately, these sensors are relatively inexpensive and very easy to replace. Doing so should resolve the problem.

Other problems

timing chain
Timing Chain and Tensioner | Picture Credits: Youtube – Kincardine District Secondary Tech Department

The causes listed above are the main reasons why your Nissan Juke is losing power when accelerating. However, there are some other less common answers possible too. One of them is that soot can clog the catalytic converter. Soot formation is quite common in engines that have a direct injection system like the Nissan Juke.

It is controlled by means of Diesel or Gasoline Particulate Filters (D/GPFs) to meet emission norms. Soot can clog these filters, and this increases the resistance that exhaust gasses face at the end of combustion.

Due to this, the engine has to exert more power just to push the gasses out. Fortunately, they usually have a system to burn off the soot particles stuck there. You can also try to do this at home by yourself by idling your car a bit.

Another rare problem that might be causing a loss of power to the wheels is that the timing that your valves are opening, and closing is wrong. They are probably off by just a few milliseconds. But this is quite a lot for an engine going at very high RPM. A lack of tension in the timing chain can trigger this problem.

While there are auto-tensioners that keep this chain fixed, there might be a problem with the spring inside these tensioners.  In such a case, you might have to replace the tensioner. But be careful as setting the timing chain back is not an easy task.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, all the possible reasons that you might be losing power during acceleration. As you can see, almost everything has to do with timing. It’s either the timing of airflow, fuel injection, ignition, or even valve opening/closing.  Usually, you will be able to find out if either of these problems is occurring as the check engine light will signal you to warn you. But you need not worry, if you take regular care and maintain your car properly as prescribed in the owner’s manual, chances are you will never face such problems.

As always, for most of these problems, we would suggest taking the car to the closest dealership. However, if you are confident in your skills, you can try the DIY solution mentioned in the owner’s manual. If you own an OBD2 scanner, this will help you narrow down the problem faster by reviewing error codes generated by the car. Good luck with the fix and may you get back to drag racing alongside Teslas soon enough!

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