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Innova R&D Team
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Innova diagnostic scanners assist you in understanding your vehicle, finding problems, and providing guidance for repairs. You can access the same advanced technology used by professionals, without the high costs or subscription fees.Learn more about Innova Scanners
Explain what Limp Mode means.
Limp Mode, also known as Limp-Home Mode or Fail-Safe Mode, is a safety feature employed in modern vehicles with electronic engine controls. When certain faults or malfunctions are detected in the engine or transmission systems, the vehicle's computer system can initiate Limp Mode as a protective measure.
Limp Mode icon on vehicle dashboard
The purpose of Limp Mode is to limit the vehicle's performance and prevent further damage to the engine or transmission. It allows the vehicle to be driven to a safe location or a service center with reduced power and speed. Limp mode is typically activated when the computer system detects a fault that could potentially lead to severe damage or unsafe operating conditions.
When a vehicle enters limp mode, it usually exhibits the following characteristics:
One scenario that would cause a transmission to go into Limp Mode is if the cable harness going to the transmission is damaged or disconnected. In this case, the computer will know that it lost communication with the transmission, but since the harness is detached, the command to go into Limp Mode cannot make it to the transmission. However, with no power supplied to the solenoids, the line pressure is set too high, and the transmission is stuck in 2nd or 3rd gear. This is the same effect the Limp Mode command would have.
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If your transmission is in Limp Mode, your transmission has a problem and you should get it fixed as soon as possible. Here is what you should do:
- Do not panic! Limp mode is specifically designed to limit further damage and allow you to get your car to a service center.
- If possible, drive directly to a service center.
- Otherwise, drive home and call a service center to have your vehicle towed.
- If you do not feel comfortable driving at a limited speed, pull off the road where it is safe to do so and call for a tow.
- It's advised that you do not continue to drive a vehicle in Limp Mode as it is unsafe and can cause further damage to your vehicle.
- We sell wireless dongles, scan tools, and tablets that will read and clear Limp Mode-related codes. Click HERE to get to our OBD2 scanners. These tools can be purchased from Amazon, Summit Racing, Advanced Auto, O'Reilly Auto Parts, and AutoZone as well.
It's important to note that Limp Mode is a temporary measure intended to protect the vehicle from further damage. Once the underlying issue is resolved, the vehicle should return to normal operation. To diagnose and fix the problem, it is recommended to consult a qualified mechanic or use a diagnostic tool to retrieve error codes from the vehicle's computer system.
It's worth mentioning that different vehicle manufacturers may have variations in how they implement Limp Mode and the specific symptoms experienced by the vehicle. Therefore, consulting the vehicle's owner's manual or seeking professional assistance is always advised when encountering Limp Mode.
Sometimes, it helps to just push ahead and take a leap of faith! Learn more about our OBD2 scanners and how it can help diagnose the hidden issues with your vehicle.Get Started
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