Hi Cathy, I would like to assist you with your car problem; may I have more info please? Include year, make, and model of the car you are having problems with. Specify the driving circumstances when the dash light went on (e.g. check engine, MIL, etc)
Did you lose speed? Is your speed limited to 20 m.p.h.?
Were you able to pull any diagnostic trouble codes using an OBD-II scanner tool?
Depending on the circumstances and the pulled DTCs, it could be as simple as: a problem with the battery dying; or a poor connection due to corrosion or moisture damage; loose battery connections , or some other power system failure with a wiring harness, headlights, or wipers.
More serious problems may be the cause too; such as
- Defective throttle position (TP) sensor
- Defective oxygen sensor
- Defective accelerator pedal position (APP) sensor
- Loose or damaged wiring
- Defective throttle body
- Defective powertrain control module (PCM)
- Any fault/error that will affect drivability function
- Any fault/error that will affect vehicle performance
- A fault/error in the emissions system
- A fault/error in the throttle control system
- A fault/error in the transmission system
In these cases, the reduced engine power warning light is considered extremely serious because of the immediate and severe drive-ability problems that will be present until the engine or transmission fault/error is repaired. More damage could be incurred if you continue to drive the affected car without making the proper and necessary repairs...and in the long run, cost you more money.
If you don't have an OBD-II reader, does a neighbor have one you can borrow? If not, you can rent one out from your local auto parts store; I would not recommend driving the car to the auto parts store, however, if you are desperate and need to drive the car to the parts store, a counter- person will be more than happy to assist you and pull the codes free of charge. Let me know if I could be of further assistance.