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Discussion Starter #1
Doing a little spirited driving today in the 06 Elise (bone stock), and after a five minute rest stop, I fired it up and experienced a massive drop in power, a Check Engine Light, and a total inability to rev beyond 3500rpm.

Since I was in the middle of nowhere, with no phone (duh.) I had to drive about 15 miles to get home. The whole way, I was barely able to climb hills, couldn't rev past 3500, and CEL stayed on. No funny noises or smells, just a CEL and no power.

No, I didn't leave my gas cap off.

Any ideas?

Do certain CEL conditions limit the rpm to 3500 to avoid damage? It really felt like it was rev limited at 3500...

Is it mandatory that I flatbed her, or can I limp the 15 miles to get it over to the shop?
:shrug:
 

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I don't know anything but I'm sure I wouldn't drive that thing for 15 miles to get to the shop. That 15 miles can cost you when flatbed only cost you less then $200 or free if you purchase $50 AAA membership.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok. Searched for limp mode, and found some info... no code reader here, but I DID just wash the thing an hour before.... maybe something got wet that shouldn't have. I will search more.
 

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Basically there are two failure modes with the ECU - sensors deemed minor, like the secondary o2 sensor, which illuminate the check engine light but don't rev limit, then major sensors, like the MAF/cam position, which will rev limit as well. The point of the rev limit is to prevent engine damage as the ECU is usually running without full information from sensors, and it often guessing what values to use based on other sensors. eg if the MAF dies, the ECU will go into a failsafe mode using the TPS or MAP to guesstimate the air flow. You may notice that the car runs very rich - it depends on what sensor is not reading.

I'd pull the spark plug tubes and check them for water or cracks, as well as the connectors from the MAF, TPS, cam and crank sensors, and anything else which may have got water in it or have a poor connection. Then reset the ECU, see if the code reappears, and then consider your next move. BTW OBDII scan tools are $20 on ebay.
 

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Solid lit CEL = can limp it gently without damage

Blinking CEL = shut 'er down right now

I've driven a mile or two at a time while in limp mode. And I've done it several times. Never had the pleasure of trying 15 miles on public streets though. If there's any chance of heavy traffic I humbly suggest that it would be a nightmare.
 

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Mine happened after I washed the car as well. Freaked me out. I played with the throttle body a bit and it went away and ran fine. Can't speak on the CEL because my HYDRA EMS always throws the light.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys! I'm on it.
 

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I recently learned that the engine won't drain water off it properly when the car is on an incline toward the right. If you look at the engine it makes sense. If you washed it more than likely you got water into the rightmost coils and/or plugs.

Take off the plastic cover and look for water, soap suds too. Dry it out really well, you might be OK. Mine fouled so badly that the coils needed replacing. And two plugs as well.
 

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SEE? SEE? i told you not to wash the lotus!
a dirty car is a happy car!
(sam, who lives up a dirt road).,rotfl
i do hope it's ok.
 

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Mine happened after I washed the car as well. Freaked me out. I played with the throttle body a bit and it went away and ran fine. Can't speak on the CEL because my HYDRA EMS always throws the light.
Mine happend when the intake rocker for cylinder #3 broke -eek-.
 

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SEE? SEE? i told you not to wash the lotus!
a dirty car is a happy car!
(sam, who lives up a dirt road).,rotfl
i do hope it's ok.
:up::up::up:
 

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Might you have had any factory reflashes done on the ECU? Updates, that is? I had this exact situation happen about 7 months ago. I had recently been to the dealer for the car running erratically (split second cut outs, and poor idle) and they "reflashed" the ECU. After the limp mode incident, it turns out that there were a number of fault codes, but the long and short of it was they replaced the ECU and it did not happen again, and all the fault codes quit happening. I frankly don't know if the old ECU may have been bumped, or had a bad pin, etc. or it just got screwed up on its own from the reflash (I never touched or did anything with the ECU myself) but I've been running since last September with the new ECU and everything runs perfect.
 

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I had to drive home two hours on the highway once because of limp mode. Not fun. Turns out it was the throttle position sensor. Replaced free under warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I bet it's water. This is the first time in a year of ownership (pwnrshp?) that it's gotten wet, and although I tried not to get too much water in the vents, the car WAS tilted a little to the right when I washed it, on my slanty driveway. It's different when you're driving in the rain, when the engine's heat will help any intruding water evaporate quickly....

... ehh, it's time for another dealer service anyway, at 9k miles after a roundtrip LA-SF and another from LA-PHX, and one hard day each at Firebird and Laguna Seca.

No biggie. Thanks for the help guys!
 

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Mine happend when the intake rocker for cylinder #3 broke -eek-.
+1 First thing I thought. For the OP, did the car feel/sound like it was running on three cylinders or that it had a misfire?

And FWIW, my car got wet plenty of times (hard not to in FL summers), including hurricanes, and I never had this problem.
 

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SOUNDS exactly like what happened to me when my 7.5 amp fuse in the engine bay blew.

No power.

HAPPENED IN THE POURING RAIN.

Check it!
 
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