How to Make a Sluggish Car Run Better

by Contributor

Many thousands of dollars are wasted daily at auto repair shops, because someone didn't do this first ...

Step 1

A number one cause for a car not climbing a hill like it use to, or bogging down when you try to accelerate quickly, is a dirty air cleaner. If the air filter is not as white as writing paper, assuming it was originally white, take it out and give your car a test run, unless you may have to follow another vehicle down a dusty road. If improved performance of your car is obvious, drive to an auto parts store and get another air filter. Mission accomplished.

Step 2

Another possible cause for a sick vehicle is 87 octane gasoline. Many cars with 87 octane fuel in them will fowl plugs or have clattering valves, especially in hot weather. Try fueling up twice with 89 octane. If you're currently using 89 octane fuel up twice with 93 octane gas.

When your vehicle is missing, suggesting a fouled plug, turn the motor off and pour a cup of Marvel Mystery oil or carburetor cleaner into the carburetor. Let it set for 5 minutes or more so the mystery oil can seep down to each cylinder and hopefully clean any dirty plugs. Sometimes this must be done 2 or 3 times before a plug clears up.


  • Another possible cause of a car running poorly is a warn out oxygen sensor. They should be changed every 100,000 miles or sooner. Suggesting to a mechanic to check it or them out, might save dollars that otherwise might have been spent on a standard tune up, which wouldn't be the cure if oxygen sensors were the bad guys.
  • Even though the manual for your vehicle says, it will run with 87 octane gas, there are exceptions in reality. Gasoline labeled 87 octane is not always 87 octane or better. (2)Some vehicles, when they get older, need a higher octane gas than they formerly for best performance.
  • A partially clogged up fuel filter may cause your engine to bog down, especially when you're trying to drive at high speeds or climbing a hill.

More Articles