limp mode vw e car workshops limp mode bmwWhat is Limp Mode?

Limp mode is a safety function when the car computer detects a serious malfunction of some sort. It feels like you driving with the brake on, or something is holding you back. Your car is generally stuck in one gear and a loss of power. Limp mode can occur with most modern vehicles with a computer controlling the components of your vehicle.

First sign your car is in limp mode

Your engine light comes on, on the dash. When this warning light comes on suddenly there is something wrong with your engine. If you are driving an automatic and your transmission suddenly shifts to 2nd or 3rd gear and stays in this position, you are most probably in limp mode.

What Causes Limp Mode?

Limp mode is triggered by the car’s computer, which receives signals from all the different components of the car. When one of the signals is abnormal, the car will revert to limp mode to prevent further damage.

What signals are sent to the computer?

Usually faulty engine sensors/components/wiring, transmission issues, dysfunctional brakes and clutch, a wire needs to be reconnected, or even low fluid levels.

Check engine light – problem with transmission wiring
Rev Limit 2500-4000rpm – Malfunction engine boost control
Under-boost – Defective ehgine components
Low performance – Engine sensors faulty
Restricted functions – Problem with brake system
Transmission Max 3rd gear – Faulty engine wiring

What to do if your car goes into limp mode?

  1. Don’t panic, remain cool and calm.
  2. Stop your car immediately
  3. Bring the automatic transmission into “PARK”.
  4. Turn off the ignition switch.
  5. Wait for 10-20 seconds.
  6. Then turn on the engine.
  7. Shift the gear to anything you want.

If you can shift your car into any gear then you are able to drive your car. Sometimes this is all it takes and your car will be fine. But if the problem persists and happens frequently then we suggest you take your car to your closest workshop and have them run diagnostics on the car to find  the fault.

Is limp mode dangerous?

Often the vehicle will not have any serious effects when going into limp mode, but we cannot stress to you that it can also be serious. (Depending on the age of the vehicle and how often the vehicle goes into limp mode). Therefore we suggest you take no chances and rather get a professional to give your car a once over for peace of mind motoring.

If your transmission is in limp mode, your transmission has a problem and you should get it fixed as soon as possible. … It is 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.