What Does RPM Means in Cars?

by Mykal May

A car's engine revolves at changing speeds depending on how hard the car is working. Gears on the car change when the engine begins to work too hard. RPM is a way of measuring how hard the engine is working.

Revolutions Per Minute

RPMs can normally be measured by a gauge on your dash.

RPM in cars in an acronym that stands for Revolutions Per Minute. This refers to the car's engine and measures how many times the engine is turning in a minute. RPM tells how hard an engine is working. The higher the RPM, the harder the engine is working.

RPM and Gears

Shifting will change the RPMs of your engine.

The RPM, or measurement of how hard the engine is working, helps the driver know when to shift gears. The higher the gear, the lower the RPM.

Gas Milage

Lower RPMs will mean better gas mileage.

Many people have said that driving your car in the highest gear, or at the lowest RPM, increases the gas mileage of your car. An experiment by Metro MPG confirmed that this old piece of advice is true.

About the Author

Mykal May has been writing professionally since 1992. She has published work in a number of print magazines including Brio and Pockets and for various Web sites. She has a Bachelor of Arts in writing and a Bachelor of Science in family relationships from Central Missouri State University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images