The Causes of Limp Mode

It’s called Limp Mode when, out of nowhere, your vehicle loses most of its power and function. The check engine light pops on letting you know that something under the hood has gone seriously wrong. Believe it or not, this is all happening for your own good. It may be difficult to believe that when you’re out in the middle of traffic when your car goes into limp mode. What is this limp mode, or limp home mode, and why does it happen? And more importantly, what do you do about it?

Exactly What is Limp Mode?

This is actually a safety feature that vehicle owners should appreciate. While it may be inconvenient in the moment, your vehicle’s internal computer is acting in response to a malfunctioning component. To protect the vehicle’s other systems from damage that might be caused by the malfunction, the vehicle will go into limp mode. Try to think of it like how the human body works: if it has a problem in a specific area, that may shut down a whole other area of function.

What Are You Supposed to Do in “Limp Mode”? Well, let’s start with what you’re NOT supposed to do. And that is to ignore it. Yes, some people come up with any rationale for why they would ignore “limp mode.” The point is for you to get to your next destination as safely as possible and without doing any further damage to your vehicle. Ideally, you’ll be heading straight for Auto Stop in Arlington, VA, but if that’s not possible, you should be heading straight home. When you get there, give us a call at 703-214-2695 to discuss your repair needs and schedule an appointment.

What Can Cause “Limp Mode”?

There’s a variety of engine, mechanical, and electrical malfunctions that can trigger the vehicle’s check engine light and limp mode. Your car’s computer is receiving signals from other system components. Every now and then, a signal will let the computer know that there is a malfunction. Some of the problems will be related to the engine sensors, wiring, transmission and clutch issues, a dysfunctional braking system, and more.

Written by Auto Stop