Engine oil becomes clogged with external dirt and debris over time. This can result in engine lubrication issues. You may want to change the oil and wonder if this will affect the engine’s acceleration and performance.

Can you feel a performance difference after an oil change?

Typically, an oil change does not affect the transmission or fuel injection of the vehicle. Due to dirt and debris, oil flow becomes restricted over time. If the dirt accumulates quickly in oil, that’s a separate issue that can also be one of the causes. The oil change will only improve the engine parts’ efficiency. This is because the engine’s moving parts will receive the proper lubrication.

However, many car owners have reported experiencing acceleration and power issues following an oil change. This could be because the engine oil was changed improperly.

Why is my car suddenly struggling to accelerate?

Unprofessionally changing the oil, whether by a mechanic or yourself, can result in numerous errors. Using the incorrect oil or adding the incorrect amount of oil can cause acceleration issues.

Causes of Loss of acceleration after oil change

1. Overfilled oil tank

The oil tank was likely overfilled during the oil change. Even a 1-quart increase in oil level can cause the crankshaft to be dipped in oil. This causes the oil to aerate, resulting in foams and bubbles in the oil.

This can result in improper lubrication and engine acceleration issues. Be sure to drain the excess oil above the dipstick’s MAX mark.

2. Incorrect viscosity oil

Using the correct viscosity oil is critical for proper engine lubrication. For high-performance engines and hot climates, high-viscosity oil is preferred. Using the wrong viscosity oil can cause engine acceleration problems.

It is best to consult the owner’s manual or your mechanic to determine the proper grade of oil for your vehicle.

3. Knocked off the vacuum hose

The vacuum hose is in charge of keeping the engine pressure stable. It connects the manifold vacuum to the engine components via a tube. The vacuum hose was most likely knocked off during an oil change, intentionally or unintentionally. This can result in engine power and starting issues.

4. Leaving the old gasket

An oil filter keeps external particles out of the fuel. During an oil change, the oil filter must be replaced. You might still need to remove the old gasket from the open end of the filter. This will cause the oil filter not to fit properly, resulting in an oil leak. This will result in improper lubrication and decreased engine acceleration.

5. Other concerns

  • It is a common mistake for people to drain the transmission fluid instead of the old engine oil. In this case, the engine oil will be overfilled. This will result in decreased transmission performance and engine acceleration. 
  • The mechanic who changed the oil changed something in the engine that affected the acceleration.


To summarize, changing the engine oil is critical for proper engine lubrication and performance. You may notice acceleration issues in the engine if you or your mechanic make a mistake during the oil change. It could be due to overfilled oil, incorrect oil grade, or an improperly installed oil filter. It is best to have a mechanic inspect your vehicle and fix it.

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