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Is It Bad to Rev Your Engine? The Interesting Answer!

car exhaust

Everyone’s either revved their engine or heard someone do it. By just pressing the gas while standing still, your car’s engine lets out an impressive, powerful roar. However, many people speculate that revving the engine can cause damage. It can cause damage, especially when it’s cold outside.

There are numerous reasons you should avoid revving your engine, and they’re fairly compelling. Let’s check out when revving is okay, how it can hurt your engine, and more below.

car and road divider

When to Rev Your Car

The main reason to rev a car’s engine is to keep the car in gear and ready to shift, which can be integral for performance cars. Many people rev their engines while stationary just to hear the sound, which isn’t necessarily harmful on its own. Revving may also be beneficial when jump starting—it forces the alternator to work and produce electricity for the battery to run.

Generally speaking, it’s okay to rev your car as long as the engine is warmed up. It’ll make a fun noise, but that’s about it. Some people think it helps with performance, but it’s not necessary. You rev the engine when it’s cold, either, because it can warm the car up too fast and cause damage to components.

car engine
Image Credit: Photoman, Pixabay

Disadvantages of Revving

Although generally not harmful, revving can damage your car and have other unintended consequences, particularly if you do it at the wrong time or place. Let’s check out some of these issues in more detail.

You Can Damage Your Car

Particularly, you can cause damage to your connection rod and potentially cause valve floats, where your valves will get stuck between open and closed, which shuts your car off. The connection rod is a far more serious issue, though. The connection rod literally connects your crankshaft to the pistons, and revving can knock the connection rod loose. As you might expect, this renders the car inoperable.

Revving Causes Premature Wear and Tear

Revving your engine regularly, especially when it’s not warmed up, will prematurely damage several components in the engine. Some of these include the cylinder walls, bearings, valves, rings, crankshaft, and more. As these wear down, your engine will require costly maintenance. This can make revving your engine a serious financial problem.

toyota hybrid engine
Image Credit: PhotoMIX-Company, Pixabay

Revving Your Engine Guzzles Gas

Another financial blow is how much gas revving your engine burns up. Revving is basically running the car without actually running it, which means you’re using a lot of gas to stay still. Combined with the damage to your car, revving just became a much riskier proposition. Considering how expensive gas is, this is another compelling argument against revving the engine.

It May Be Illegal

Revving can be very loud, especially at high RPMs. Many localities have passed ordinances that make revving or ‘anti-idling’ illegal. Typically, the offense will cost you a hefty fine, which is another financial incentive to avoid revving.

luxury classic oldtimer
Image Credit By: Markus Spiske, flickr

Is It Bad to Rev Your Engine to High RPM?

Redlining your engine or revving it up to high repetitions per minute (RPM) is possibly the worst form of revving for your engine. It produces a very loud noise that some people find appealing, but redlining wears down your engine and tires very quickly. People with manual cars should be especially cautious not to redline because of potential consequences.

car and road divider


Revving your engine can be a bit of harmless fun if done occasionally, but regular revving, especially without warming the engine up, can be detrimental to your vehicle’s engine. Try to avoid revving and especially redlining your engine, which can save you a lot of money on maintenance and gas over time.

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Featured Image Credit: Alexander Ishchenko, Shutterstock


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