When driving your car, did you ever experienced slowing down and it seems the vehicle is reducing RPM (or power, for that matter) and accelerates really slow? If your “Check Engine’ light is illuminating during this time, don’t worry, this is most probably because your car is on a condition called a Limp Mode.
But there must be something done if you suspect that your car is in a limp mode.
In this article, we will tell you about the major causes and solutions of a limp mode so you may not be intimidated when you experienced it. Also, you will know what to do when it happens to you while you are in the middle of driving to work or going home.
What is a ‘limp mode’?
Also called ‘limp-home mode’, a limp mode is one of your car’s security features when there is something wrong with the vehicle’s computer system. These system issues may damage the engine or the transmission if the problem is not addressed on time.
The system allows your car to be in a limp mode so you have more time to drive your car into the nearest service center/workshop or to get you home safely.
The most common tool used by mechanics in troubleshooting cars in limp mode is a code reader, also called the OBD2 scanner.
Indications your car is in a limp mode
The Limp Mode feature lets you drive your car safely until you reach a repair shop or your home without damaging any engine part. This way, a thorough diagnosis of your car can be done the soonest possible time.
But how can you figure out if your vehicle is on a limp mode? Here are some of the most possible signs/symptoms that your car is in a limp mode:
- Check Engine light/Half Engine light flashes.
- You’re locked into one middle gear (usually the 2nd or 3rd gear).
- Lowered RPM (revolution per minute).
- Reduced engine power (the turbo boost might be shut-off).
3 major causes of a limp-home mode
It is possible that a limp mode may start during the most unexpected times. Depending on how and where you are driving when the condition starts, it could be dangerous and even scary.
The most common indication of a limp mode is the flashing of the Check Engine light. Sometimes the car may shake and misfires and most probably can cut the power.
The power cut may limit the amount of throttling in the engine, the RPM, and the ignition timing. The reduced power may also put your vehicle in one fixed gear (commonly the second or third) which will limit how fast you can drive.
Here are 3 of the most common causes of why your car goes into a limp mode:
- Problem on the transmission system
Your car’s computer will put the vehicle into a limp mode when the transmission control module detects issues. When this happens, your car’s transmission may be interrupted, damaged, or might detect unusual sensor readings, so the system will put the vehicle into limp mode.
- Leak in battery
Car batteries power the electrical systems of your car and the electronic control unit (ECU). If the battery leaks or drained, this will cause a problem in your car’s computer system.
The acid leak in the battery may damage and corrode electrical lines which may also result in memory loss in the ECU. The best solution is to replace your battery and check the electrical wiring for damage.
Moreover, a simple cleaning of contact points may solve your problem.
- Bad sensors/Fuel pump problem:
Once you suspect that you are getting an inaccurate reading from the code scanner, there might be a problem with the sensor or the fuel pump. Check out the code error and find the reason/s why the wrong code occurs.
How to solve problems brought about by a Limp Mode
Once your car’s Check Engine light flashes, you must understand some of the reasons why a limp mode is occurring. This may bring you a sigh of relief and makes you safer on the road.
Owning an OBD2 scanner is a practical thing to do. By this device, you can find out what codes are showing so you can decide what to do next.
Watch this video about Limp Mode:
When you suspect that there is something wrong in your car when it is in a limp mode, you can always do something to find out what the problem is. Knowing the major causes and solutions of a limp mode will keep you safer driving.
But it is still advisable that you seek help from your trusted mechanic to make sure everything will be alright.
How To Get Your Car Out Of Limp Mode, Caremycars.com