How To Bypass Reduced Engine Power Mode [DIY Tips & Tricks]


Despite being provided as an important feature to save your car engine, the Reduced Engine Power Mode actually makes us suffer sometimes. Having a galling ride for the slightest vehicle problem? No way! So let’s learn how to bypass reduced engine power mode on any car.

What Is Reduced Engine Power?

The reduced engine power mode is basically a warning sign for some specific cars, usually on GM (General Motor) vehicles like a Chevy or a Buick. When your car has any potential problem that may damage the engine, the electronic control unit (ECU) switches the car to reduced engine power mode.

This sign indicates any sort of system failure in your car and displays a warning on the instrument cluster. It sometimes notifies the rider by a “Check Engine” light as well. This actually compels the rider to scrutinize the vehicle to find out any potential damage in the car.

This mode is also known as limp-in mode, some cars even have a reduced engine power sign on the dashboard. Now you must be wondering which problems actually trigger this mode.

Well, it depends on the model of your car. Different cars run on different electric control programs, so the set of problems are actually pretty different. Let’s see some common parts of a vehicle whose problems may trigger the limp-in mode—

  • Clutch
  • Accelerator pedal position sensor
  • Throttle position sensor
  • Throttle control system
  • Circuit wiring
  • Fuel pump
  • Catalytic converter
  • Transmission speed sensor
  • Oxygen sensor
  • Timing belt, etc.

Some of these problems are not a big deal for your car, yet it switches to the limp-in mode. The car will automatically detect the problem or even the slightest imbalance among the sensors will turn on the mode.

Those who have gone through a limp-in mode knows the pain of it. It limits your vehicle performance to such extent that you can’t even drive it properly! Let’s see how exactly a limp-in mode limit your car performance—

How Does The Limp-In Mode Affect My Car Performance?

The limp-in mode makes a few changes in the car which affects the performance & your driving experience. Depending on the model, the limp mode may exert different limitations in different cars. The backup system includes the actions below—

  • Reduced speed limit
  • No acceleration
  • Shut down accessory components like radio, air condition
  • Limited or no fuel pump
  • Car shut down, sometimes only enough power to park the car by the adjacent shop or house, etc.

There are a few more actions taken by the cars in some models, but these are the most common ones.

How To Fix Reduced Engine Power

The only way to turn down the limp-in mode is to visit your nearby automobile service and run the engine control unit for a full scrutinization to find out the problem and fix it.

You can scan the vehicle with an OBD II scan tool, or any other tool you usually rely on. Even if you don’t have it, your nearby automobile service will scan your vehicle for free (maybe).

After you get the results, you can pretty much address exactly where the problem lies. It could be a loose wire, it could be a loose clamp or a fault in a sensor anything.

If you happen to use a high quality scanning tool, you’ll definitely get to the right spot. Fix these problems if you can, or seek help from an auto service.

How To Bypass Reduced Engine Power

You don’t have to seek out the help of a mechanic if you can learn to bypass the limp-in mode yourself. If you can happen to diagnose the exact problem in your car, you can fix that yourself too. You can definitely solve all these causative stimuli except for a few complicated ones. Let’s see how you can do that—

  • Loose wire, harness or clamp is one of the most common reasons for limp mode. Disconnect your battery and check for loose wires or unhooked grounds. Reconnect them or change the wire if any of them is damaged.
  • For a dysfunctional oxygen sensor, clean that oxygen sensor really well. If the sensor still doesn’t become okay, replace the sensor, and get a new one.
  • If you detect a problem at the throttle, either the throttle position sensor or throttle body, replace the entire sensor or body. They aren’t costly, so you can easily afford that.
  • Another reason for your car switching to limp mode is a faulty mass airflow sensor. This sensor is usually located at the air filter or in between the intake manifold & air filter. Clean the sensor with a dry cleaning rag and check its function. Replace the sensor if still not fixed.
  • If the problem is in the electric control unit (ECU), you have to take help from the auto service. You’ll have to either get a new one or re-flash the unit to address the problem.
  • A clogged catalytic converter is another reason for reduced engine power, usually located underneath the vehicle. Replacing this device is kind of expensive since a new one costs almost two thousand dollars. Ask your nearby auto servicer to replace the unit for you.
  • To solve the battery problem, check for any probable corrosion or loose connection in the battery. Clean off the corrosion and reconnect the cables to solve this problem. If the battery unit is dead, replace the whole battery.
  • A slipping clutch or low transmission fluid also triggers reduced engine power mode. Check the transmission fluid and replace it if necessary.

These are mostly the common problems behind the reduced engine power. If your car problem doesn’t match with any of these, we strongly recommend to seek out help from your nearby auto service as soon as possible.

So there you go, how to bypass reduced engine power mode all by yourself. Now you won’t have to sweat out trying to figure out fixing your vehicle. Happy driving!

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