If you own a Can-Am ATV, you may have come across “Limp Mode” or “Limp Home Mode”.
Limp home mode can be confusing, especially since the ATV still runs, but much slower. You may be wondering what you should do and how to fix this mode. Also, you may wonder if you can reset or remove the limp mode warning.
Let’s go over limp home mode, what to do about it, and how you can go about resetting this warning light.
What Is Limp Home Mode?
Limp home mode, also known as limp mode, is a protective feature built into Can-Am ATVs to protect the engine and transmission from potential damage.
When certain critical issues or malfunctions are detected by the vehicle’s ECM, it triggers limp home mode. In limp mode, the ATV’s performance is intentionally limited to prevent further harm and allow the rider to bring the vehicle back to a trailer and then the dealership.
How To Know You’re In Limp Home Mode?
If you’re in limp home mode, then it will be very obvious because the display will scroll those words or the “check engine” light will be one.
Another clue you’re in limp home mode is that the ATV won’t go over 15 MPH, but this often has the check engine light going with it.
For side by sides, don’t confuse the seat-belt speed limited mode you enter when you don’t have your seat belt on. Can-AM side by sides require the driver to have their seat belt plugged in if they want to go over 12 MPH.
What Causes Limp Home Mode?
There are several potential causes that can trigger limp home mode in a Can-Am ATV. Most often, it’s abnormal readings from some sensor that cause limp home mode.
Here are some common factors that may lead to limp home mode:
- Sensor Malfunction – If a critical sensor in the ATV’s engine or transmission system detects a fault or abnormal readings, it can trigger limp home mode as a precautionary measure. I’ve seen rodents eat wires and cause an ATV to trigger limp home mode.
- Bad battery – I’ve seen a battery that is dying start to throw a check engine light with a limp home mode on the screen before. ATVs and side by side these days are using more power, and with so many riders adding many electrical accessories, you start to see more warning lights. The ATV is looking for a range of voltage that it needs and when it goes under or beyond, it can throw it in limp home mode.
- Low engine oil – To protect the engine, if it detects low oil pressure, it will put in you in limp home mode or even shut the engine off.
- Bad spark plugs – A misfire due to a bad spark plug is common and a reason for the ATV to go in limp home mode.
- Over working it when cold – ATV engines tend to be high-performance engines, and if you hop right on it and drive the snot out of out it, you can go into limp home mode. Let the ATV warm up for a minute, especially on cold days.
- Bad grounds – Just like having a bad battery, having bad grounds can throw a check engine or limp home mode for your ATV. Make sure the grounds to the battery are nice and clean and on the frame too.
- Blown fuse – Sometimes a blown fuse can be the reason an ATV goes into limp home mode or throws a check engine light. Don’t forget to check the pins the fuse plugs into, I’ve seen many pins fall out and need to be pushed back in.
- Overheating – If the engine or transmission becomes excessively hot, the ATV may enter limp home mode to prevent further overheating and potential damage. Make sure to clean out your radiator (even if it looks clean), as a dirty one can lead to overheating and throw a check engine light with a limp home mode. Use a good ATV cleaner like this here*.
- Bad gas or fuel system problems – ATV engines tend to be high-performance engines, so they can be picky about gas, especially fuel injected models. Make sure you’re running fresh gas in your ATV, or it may go in limp home mode.
- Transmission Problems – I do get guys who belts are slipping, and the speed gauge is reading all over the place and the ATV goes into limp home mode.
- Throttle Sensor Issues – Faulty throttle sensors can cause irregular readings and prompt the ATV’s computer system to activate limp mode.
How To Remove Limp Home Mode
To remove limp home mode from your Can-Am ATV, all you need to do is shut the engine off and let it sit for a few minutes.
Depending on the problem, it can be 2 minutes to 30 minutes. The limp home mode goes away when the problem the ATV is seeing goes away.
If limp home mode does not go away after sitting, turn the ATV off and disconnect the negative battery cable for a few minutes, then reconnect it.
The fault codes that come up won’t go away, they may not display on the screen, but the computer has them stored for the dealership to fix when you bring it in.
If letting the ATV sit for a few minutes and disconnecting the battery for a few minutes does not remove the limp home mode, then you’ll need to bring the ATV in to your local dealership to be fixed. If the Can-AM is reporting the trouble codes or letting you know of the problem, you can try to fix it yourself, but only the B.U.D.S software that dealerships have will let you know the exact problem.
Is It Okay To Drive In Limp Home Mode?
Ideally, you should not drive your ATV too long while in limp home mode.
Limp home mode is to get you somewhere safe, so you can get your ATV fixed. It’s basically, so you don’t get stranded when something goes wrong with your ATV or side by side.
If limp home mode doesn’t go away or keeps coming back, you need to look into it and take it to the dealership to get it fixed. Limp home mode is only activated when something is VERY out of scope, and it’s not a common thing.
Can-AM Limp Home Mode
Encountering limp home mode on your Can-Am ATV can be a confusing thing, but understanding its causes and potential solutions can help you fix the problem.
Limp home mode is a protective feature designed to prevent further damage to your ATV’s engine and other parts by limiting its performance when something is “out of normal operations”. Common triggers include sensor malfunctions, overheating, electrical problems, fuel issues, and transmission problems, among others.
While some causes can be addressed by simple remedies like checking the battery, spark plugs, letting the ATV sit or fuses, it’s important to consult a dealership or qualified technician if the problem persists.