How to Rev a Car

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tachometer close up

Many car owners do not know what it means to “Rev” a car. “Rev” is short for revolutions and to rev a car is to increase the engine’s revolutions per minute. This happens constantly when you are driving and picking up speed but you can also do it when the car is parked or the transmission is in neutral. 

Almost every car sold in the United States has a tachometer which displays the engine’s revolutions per minute. When not giving the car any gas the engine will idle at somewhere between 800 and 1700 revolutions per minute. This increases when you “rev” the engine. 

Instructions on How to Rev a Car

  1. Start the car by putting your foot on the brake and turning the ignition key or pushing the push to start button on the dashboard. 
  2. Make sure the car’s transmission is in either “Park” or “Neutral”. If the car is in neutral be certain that you are not on an incline so the car does not unintentionally roll. .
  3. Depress the gas pedal. When you give the car gas the engine revolutions per minute will rise. This is “revving the engine”

Be aware that revving an engine immediately after the car has started and the engine is still cold could potentially damage the engine. It is typically smart to let the engine idle for a few minutes to get the engine oil up to operating temperature. You can speed up this process by lightly pressing on the accelerator and increasing the engine RPMs. 

Something else to keep in mind when revving a car or truck is that every engine has a “redline” or a specific revolutions per minute that the engine’s mechanical components are not designed to exceed. This will vary from car to car. A diesel engine may redline at something low like 4500 RPM or a high revving sports car’s redline may be closer to 8000 or 9000 RPM in some extreme examples. A normal passenger car will typically have a redline between 6400 and 7000 RPM. 

The redline is usually visible on the car’s tachometer. Most modern cars will have a fuel cutoff that prevents the engine from being over reved. If you are close to exceeding the redline the fuel will automatically cut off untill the engine RPM has dropped to a safe level.

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