Key Takeaways

  • Revving your car engine is damaging to the engine.
  • Revving your car has the engine create torque without it being applied anywhere.
  • Revving your engine can cause engine failure.
  • Rev limiters are meant to stop engine damage before RPMs get too high.
  • Revving a car engine is bad.

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Revving your car is a fun pastime that most car owners partake in. But can you cause damage by revving your car?

In general, revving your engine is considered bad. It creates unnecessary strain on the pistons and bearings. When you rev your engine you are increasing the RPMs of the engine which can cause increased wear and tear on various parts of the engine. This can cause damage and lead to costly repairs.

I’m a mechanic with 5 years experience diagnosing and repairing vehicles. I received my degree in automotive repair and I am also ASE certified. I receive regular training on the most recently released automotive technology. And I regularly repair and diagnose vehicles with the most up to date tools and software.

Table of Contents

Start Your Engines!

Revving your car is the act of putting your car engine in park and stepping on the gas. You can also rev your car engine while you are moving very slowly.

By revving an engine you increase the engine’s RPMs (Revolutions Per Minute). RPMs mean the amount of times the crankshaft spins per minute.

When you rev  your engine, this increases the engine’s load as well as the engine’s power output. When you rev your engine, your engine creates torque but the torque isn’t applied to the wheels. The torque created by the engine when you rev it is dissipated by the engine itself.

This creation of torque by the engine is very loud and is what is considered “revving your engine”.  Most people rev their engines to show off the power of their vehicle’s engine.

Revving your car is done by pressing down on the engine gas pedal while the car is in park or moving slowly.

But revving a car excessively can be damaging to a vehicle’s engine while also being disruptive and pollutive.

Minor And Major Revving

There are different kinds of revving of the engine.

For example when you bring your car up to 3500 RPMs while the vehicle is in park, this is considered minor revving. This type of revving isn’t necessarily damaging to the vehicle.

A vehicle’s sweet spot is around 3500 RPMs so you aren’t doing much damage to the vehicle when you rev your engine up to this amount since the vehicle operates at this range frequently.

But if you rev your engine up to the redline which is around 6000 RPMs you risk doing damage to the engine.

That’s because the load you are putting on your engine is far too great compared to 3500 RPMs. 6000 RPMs is a redline amount of RPMs and is double the amount of standard vehicle operation.

Is Revving Your Car Bad?

Revving your engine excessively can easily blow out your engine. Revving your engine can cause excessive wear and tear since the pistons and crankshaft in the engine are forced to move at higher speeds.

Excessive engine revving causes the parts in the engine to move at higher speeds, and these higher speeds can cause an engine to fail.

For example, if you rev your cold engine excessively, your cylinder walls may become scratched from the extra load the pistons are putting on them. This can cause you to have to replace the cylinder walls in your engine block.

When you rev your engine you can also increase fuel consumption and waste gas which is bad for the environment.

Revving wastes gas. When you rev your engine you activate your vehicle’s fuel injectors to open for longer periods of time so they can dump more fuel into the engine.

This will cause you to burn more fuel than it needs to which can result in decreased fuel efficiency and cause higher fuel costs.

Revving your engine can also decrease the lifespan of your engine. The extra strain you put on the engine by revving it will cause the internal engine parts to wear out faster than if you put a normal load on the engine.

Once parts become worn out due to engine wear it can lead to costly repairs and may even cause you to have to replace the engine.

Revving your engine is also a safety concern since you are generating a lot of power while in park. Especially if you are in a residential area or near a lot of people, the chance for you to cause an accident increases.

The loud noise is disruptive to other people and can even be dangerous if it startles someone or causes them to lose focus while driving.

Unless you are a professional race car driver, revving your engine is all around a bad idea.

Race car drivers rev their engines because they have backup engines and because they are paid to put on a spectacle.

You may rev your engine for your own entertainment, but it's bad to do because you are putting unnecessary strain on an item that gets you back and forth to work.

Some cars even have a rev limiter because people cannot be trusted not to damage their own vehicles by revving the engine too high.

Rev limiters cut off power to the engine when the RPMs get too high while the vehicle is in park or while the vehicle isn’t moving.

Engine fluids also get very hot after you rev your engine so a minor explosion of coolant could happen, or oil could get too hot.

Revving creates a lot of power in your engine and with that power a lot of friction and heat is created. This heat causes everything, including engine fluids, to heat up and cause damage.

It’s dangerous to rev manual transmission vehicles as well since the risk of them slipping into gear and quickly accelerating is greater with the RPMs being as high as they are when you rev the engine.

Avoid revving on all cars if you can since they cause  engine damage and you can risk slipping into gear while the car is creating a lot of  power.

Lots of people will put an aftermarket exhaust system on their vehicle which makes the car very loud.  And then when they rev the car with the aftermarket exhaust the revving becomes extremely loud.

This is for show only and most people know this. It does not mean you have a powerful engine. It just means you have an aftermarket exhaust.

Your revved up engine also has the potential to whisk the oil up into the oil pan. This creates engine oil that’s very thin.

With this  engine oil comes the possibility of oil leaks through the gaskets such as the valve cover gaskets and oil pan gaskets all for the sake of trying to sound cool.

Is Revving Your Car Bad?

About The Author

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks has been servicing vehicles since 2012. After completing the automotive studies program at Camden County College, he was awarded an Associates's Degree in Applied Science. His first job was a lube-tech at Jiffy Lube, and is currently an independent B-Technician servicing vehicles for the United States Postal Service. Christopher is ASE certified and loves rebuilding engines.

Read more about Christopher Sparks