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What is Limp Mode On a Sea-Doo and How do You Fix It? [Video]

What is Limp Mode On a Sea-Doo and How do You Fix It? [Video]

Limp Mode is a security feature on Sea-Doos that restricts engine rpm but allows you to still ride the ski in case of a malfunction. In most cases, Limp Mode is caused by the engine or exhaust overheating, low engine oil, low battery voltage, or other types of electrical or battery malfunctions.

If you want to find out more about Sea-Doo’s Limp Mode and its remedy, you’ve come to the right place.

We at JetDrift have compiled all you need to know under one roof!

What Does Limp Mode Mean on a Sea-Doo?

Many vehicles and vessels automatically go into Limp Mode when something becomes faulty, and Sea-Doos are no exception.

According to the manufacturer, the official description of Sea-Doo’s Limp Mode is: “Major fault detected, engine power limited.”

The main idea behind Limp Mode is to save the Sea-Doo from further damage.

Limp Mode is a slow-riding mode that becomes activated when the ski detects a malfunction. It allows you to ride back to the dock with reduced engine power.

(It’s a great help since towing a Sea-Doo behind another vessel is always a headache.)

Besides the limited engine power, you may see a “LIMP MODE” message on the dash, which is often accompanied by a fault code and a 2-seconds beep code.

However, in some cases the Sea-Doo just switches into Limp Mode without any additional message or code on the dash.

What Causes Limp Mode on a Sea-Doo?

According to the owner’s manual, Limp Mode on a Sea-Doo can be caused by overheating or low engine oil conditions. However, based on our research, Limp Mode can also be activated due to some other malfunctions. Here are the possible causes:

  1. Engine and exhaust overheating
  2. Low Engine Oil
  3. Low Battery Voltage
  4. Electrical Issues
  5. Sensor Malfunctions
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about these issues in detail!

1. Limp Mode Caused by Overheating

There’s no question that Limp Mode on Sea-Doos is most often caused by overheating issues.

Sea-Doos’ engine utilizes a Closed-Loop Cooling System, which keeps the temperature down by circulating a coolant around the engine. This coolant liquid is prone to overheating, especially if it doesn’t reach the minimum level required.

Although Sea-Doo engines are cooled within an enclosed system, their exhaust and intercooler (if featured) are still cooled by the external water.

This water is supplied by the jet pump, which is prone to sucking in small objects like gravel, sticks, sand, and seaweed. This debris can clog the hoses, causing overheating issues.

If your Sea-Doo has gone into Limp Mode, let the engine cool down as a first step. Check the level of coolant, flush the intercooler/exhaust system with running water and check the water inlet as well.

Besides these issues, a high engine and exhaust temperature may also be caused by other malfunctions like cavitation in the pump. Check the condition and tolerance of the wear ring and the impeller.

2. Limp Mode Caused by Low Engine Oil

Low engine oil conditions or low oil pressure also commonly activate Limp Mode on Sea-Doos, which are often accompanied by a flashing low oil engine light.

If this is the triggering cause, check the level, condition, and pressure of the engine oil.

3. Low Battery Voltage

It’s a lesser-known fact that low battery voltage can also cause a Sea-Doo to go into Limp Mode.

Sea-Doo owners are prone to draining their batteries by using a sound system, GPS, and/or a fishfinder without sufficiently running the engine to keep the battery charged.

Best practice is that you keep your eye on your battery voltage and give it a good charge if needed.

In certain cases, only a new battery can solve low voltage problems.

4. Electrical Issues

Despite its importance, the owner’s manual doesn’t mention electrical issues as potential causes of Limp Mode.

A loosened wire harness, corroded connector pins, or a bare wire connecting with a metal part can lead to a malfunction in the system.

If your Sea-Doo goes into Limp Mode, you may want to inspect the battery terminals as well as the entire wiring system.

5. Sensor Malfunctions

Modern Sea-Doos come with a lot of sensors, which are prone to breaking, fouling the entire monitoring system.

Only a defective temp or oil pressure sensor can cause Limp Mone on a Sea-Doo, without any “real” malfunction. Unfortunately, locating and fixing a faulty sensor is not an easy task.

In addition to all of the above, Limp Mode can be activated on a Sea-Doo by many other malfunctions. If you can’t find the source of the error, you may want to get your Sea-Doo inspected by a professional.

How do You Get a Sea-Doo out of Limp Mode?

Limp Mode on a Sea-Doo should automatically disappear once the malfunction is eliminated or the engine/exhaust has cooled down. If this doesn’t happen, it’s a sign that the Sea-Doo has some other malfunction or that Limp Mode is stuck in the memory.

How do you get a Sea-Doo out of Limp Mode?

As the first step, try to shut off and restart the engine. If that doesn’t help, disconnect the battery terminals for 5 minutes, then reconnect them and start the engine. This easy trick can often eliminate a Limp Mode message stuck on the dashboard.

If the Limp Mode is still present, you will probably need a scanner tool like B.U.D.S. or a CanDooPro. With these tools, you can conduct additional diagnoses and clear the stuck Limp Mode.

If you don’t want to invest in one of these tools, you should take your ski to a dealer or a service shop. Professionals can not only clear the Limp Mode, but they can also take a closer look at your ski if necessary.

Takeaways

Limp Mode is a slow riding mode that is automatically activated under certain conditions. It’s intended to limit engine power but still allows you to ride the Sea-Doo back to the dock.

Limp Mode is often activated by low engine oil conditions, the engine or exhaust overheating, low battery voltage, or other electrical issues. It is often accompanied by a fault code, which has to be checked in order to find out more about the nature of the malfunction.

Once the malfunction is fixed, the Sea-Doo should automatically get out of Limp Mode. If this doesn’t happen, the stuck Limp Mode can be cleared out of the memory with a diagnostic scanner tool.