A Real-World Analogy to Understand Limp Mode | North Lake, WI | Silver Lake Auto & Tire Centers
Schedule Service

What Is Limp Mode?

A Real-World Analogy to Understand Limp Mode — Silver Lake Auto & Tire Centers

You’re driving along and your car begins behaving strangely. The check engine light comes on, and the vehicle slows to a very slow pace. You weren’t trying to decelerate, and you can’t make the auto go any faster. What’s happening, you wonder. Most likely your vehicle has entered limp mode (also known as limp home mode). We understand that this sudden change in auto operation can be confusing or even frightening. If it happens to you, rely on the ASE-certified technicians at Silver Lake Auto & Tire Centers in North Lake, Wisconsin, to properly diagnose and repair the problem. We’ve been family owned and operated since 1973. We take great pride in offering mechanical excellence along with phenomenal customer service.

What Is Limp Mode?

Perhaps you’re wondering exactly what is meant by limp mode. This occurs when your vehicle’s computerized monitoring system detects an engine or transmission issue that could potentially be harmful if the auto continues to operate at full capacity long term. The issue is not, however, so serious that the car can’t be moved at all without a catastrophic failure. Therefore, the computer allows for a compromise. It regulates the auto’s capacity such that you can use it to slowly reach your home or repair shop, but you can’t operate at full power and speed. In short, it’s your car’s way of protecting itself, so it’s better than the potential alternative. Remember, it’s limp mode, not panic mode.

Crutches or a Wheelchair?

Here’s another real-world way of thinking about limp mode. Think of it as being analogous to a leg injury. If you hurt your leg, you can still get from place to place, just slower and with assistance. Limp mode is similar to walking with crutches. Getting a tow is more like using a wheelchair. Maybe you’re wondering which you should do. As stated, limp mode is indeed designed to get you to a safe place. Therefore, it is okay to operate in limp mode for a reasonable distance. If you’re on a cross-country trip, however, you would want to seek nearby assistance rather than trying to make the 1,000 miles home. If you’re in an area where slow operation is unduly hazardous (such as on a freeway), perhaps it’s time to get a tow.

Assistance With Your Auto Repairs

Whether you’ve decided you need a tow or want diagnostic and repair services for your car, Silver Lake Auto & Tire Centers is your destination for help. We’ll use our OBD-II reader to find the trouble code for the problem that triggered limp mode and make the repairs needed to get you back on the road.

Written by Silver Lake Auto & Tire Centers