How to Rev a Car

by Skip Shelton
chrome engine image by Thomas Czeizinger from

An internal combustion engine uses the ignition of fuel to create compression. Push rods inside cylinders are used to rotate the engine or camshafts. The rpm value denotes the revolutions of the engine per minute. If the engine transmission is in neutral and the revolutions increase, two things occur. First, the engine combusts more fuel at a faster rate, creating heat. Second, the engine produces more combustion gases that increase the volume of the exhaust. You can rev your engine to create heat or increase your engine's noise level.

Step 1

Turn the ignition switch to start the engine.

Step 2

Allow the engine to idle for about a minute to allow the oil to circulate through the engine and lubricate all the parts.

Step 3

Press the accelerator to increase the fuel consumed by the engine. As you press the accelerator, the engine rpms will increase. This is called "revving" your engine.

Step 4

Continue depressing the accelerator until the engine speed you wish is desired. Revving the engine above the red line on the tachometer is not recommended, as engine damage may occur.

Release and depress the accelerator pedal rapidly to rev the engine to high rpm and allow it to return to idle. This will increase the exhaust noise and allow you to show off any engine sound performance parts.


  • If your engine is connected to a pulley system that turns the alternator, revving your engine to increase the output of the alternator will increase the charge rate of the vehicle's battery.
  • Rev the engine and maintain at a moderate rpm to speed the warming of the engine.


  • Immediately revving the engine after a cold start will increase wear on the engine's parts and may cause certain metal components to deteriorate more rapidly than designed. Be sure to allow the engine oil time to lubricate all the parts.
  • Do not depress and hold the accelerator all the way to the floor. Doing so may substantially increase the engine rpm to the point of engine failure.
  • An rpm limiter may be installed on your vehicle to keep you from revving the engine beyond certain rpms. Repeatedly achieving the rpm limit may damage your engine.

More Articles