What is Limp Mode, and What Does it Mean for Your Vehicle?

What is Limp Mode?

Not everyone is an auto expert, and it can be frightening when your vehicle begins to behave strangely for no apparent reason. While your car has many safety features to keep you safe, it also has mechanisms to keep itself safe. ‘Limp mode’ is one of those features.

When limp mode is activated, your car will suddenly begin to slow down, and the check engine light will illuminate, causing you to likely be concerned and possibly confused. Don't worry, and we’ve put together all of the necessary information you'll need to help you take the appropriate next steps in getting professional engine repair.

If your car, truck, or SUV has suddenly gone into limp mode, it could indicate that your vehicle will need professional engine repair. If this happens to you, contact Friendly Auto Centers at your earliest convenience or come see us in Mesa, AZ, to have one of our certified mechanics take a look and get you back on the road.

What Does Limp Mode Mean for Your Vehicle?

Limp mode is a safety feature in your car that activates when it detects abnormal readings or malfunctioning mechanical components. Essentially, when this happens, your vehicle is informing you that it is experiencing severe issues with the vehicle's basic mechanisms, which must be addressed immediately to ensure your safety.

When the limp mode is activated, it will turn off your car's amenity features (i.e., air conditioning, radio, etc.) to save energy for the essential features to ensure you can get to a safe location. If your car goes into limp mode, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so and contact a mechanic or roadside assistance for help.

What Causes Limp Mode?

There are several causes that could cause the limp mode to turn on. Knowing the causes of limp mode can assist you in identifying the problem and preventing it from recurring. Here is a brief look at some of the most common reasons for limp mode activating.

Low Fluid Levels

A vehicle can enter limp mode due to low fluids, particularly transmission fluid and oil. Transmission fluid is necessary for lubricating the surfaces and parts of the transmission system to reduce friction and prevent component wear.

Faulty Clutch or Transmission

If your vehicle's clutch is damaged, broken, or faulty, the limp mode may be activated. Additionally, if any of the components are misaligned or the transmission has bad solenoids, limp mode will be activated to prevent further damage.

Sensor Malfunction

There are a few sensors in the engine and transmission systems that help control the mechanisms. The limp mode can be activated if one of these sensors is sending incorrect signals to the computer. Sensors, such as the MAF, MAP, or TPS malfunctioning, could result in limp mode activating, but it can also be triggered by faulty fuel injectors or coil packs.

Common Signs of Limp Mode

There are a few critical signs that can help you determine if your vehicle is in limp mode and help you stay safe, and assess what type of engine repair may be needed.

Limited Speed and RPM

Limp mode controls the amount of power sent to your engine and transmission, as well as the RPMs. If your car is in limp mode, your speed will be reduced to a small range of miles per hour, usually between 30-45 miles per hour.

Poor Performance

When your car is in limp mode, it will accelerate slowly, and you may notice your engine shivering or shaking while trying to start it. You may also be unable to shift gears at all, leaving you stuck in the gear you are currently in.

Illuminated Check Engine Light

The check engine light may illuminate or flash repeatedly, depending on the type of failure you're experiencing. Allow your car to cool down before driving again to avoid further damage to the engine and transmission.

Visit Friendly Auto Centers for Professional Engine Repair in Mesa, AZ

If you don't want to take your car to a dealership or a mechanic to figure out why it's in limp mode or pay for a repair, taking it to a reputable service location could be your best bet. At Friendly Auto Centers, we pride ourselves on providing top-notch engine repair for all of our customers in Mesa, AZ and the nearby communities. Give us a call or come see us today to find out why customers trust us with their vehicles.

Written by Friendly Auto Centers