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2017 SRi intermittently lacking power


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Hi all. Sometimes the car drives like a dream and I can maintain motorway speeds easily with odd taps on the accelerator (any more and can well exceed the speed limits) with the car registering an instant MPG of around 60-70. Other times, I will need to press the accelerator all of the time and the car just about reaches 70mph with the MPG dropping to around 30-40. When it does this, I cannot accelerate in that gear (around 30mph in 3rd, 40mph in 4th etc) without having to change down a gear first. On the motorway, this is dangerous if needing to drop to 5th at 60mph to go straight back again just to get some pick up. This is also dangerous at roundabouts when there is time to get out sharp but, with foot flat to the floor, the car does not accelerate away. When running normally, the car will pull away very capably at 60 in 6th and is very responsive in 2nd and 3rd gear. When sluggish, it will stutter and the computer will tell me to change down only to immediately tell me to change up. The car feels like it is on a fully stretched bungee, 70 feels like its top speed and it will decelerate noticeably downhill without needing to accelerate all the way.

It will run like this in waves for a couple of weeks then clear itself and drive beautifully, very responsive and powerful. Then it will come back and do this over and over. There are no lights and no logs made on the computer. It makes no difference if I use E5 or E10 unleaded. The car had an engine recall and a new one fitted in 2019 (or 2020) which solved the problem for a short while but it returned. During the last service, I paid for a fuel flush and the car ran lovely for a couple of months but the problem is starting to return again.

Is it a coincidence the fuel flush returned the car to effortless to drive? If this was the resolution, what is causing this and how can it be avoided as I can't put the car in for a fuel flush 6 times a year?!

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