How many RPM is too high? [Archive] - Forum


View Full Version : How many RPM is too high?

02-14-2014, 12:11 AM
Hi all,
My car is a 2001 Grand AM SE, 4-cyl. with a manual transmission.
The car has 273k miles, and is mostly original. The car has been unbelievably reliable.

I took it for tires and an alignment today. The technician took it for a drive after doing the alignment, so I rode with him. The part that made me mad was that he rev'd it to 4500rpm before shifting out of 1st gear. I told him to shift sooner (around 3k, which is where I usually shift). He then proceeded to rev it to 4k before shifting. :bleep: This pissed me off, and I asked him again to shift sooner.

Anyway, he drove it for about 6 minutes up and down the street. He shifted a total of 6 times, revving the engine to 4k before each shift (except for the first shift where he revved it to 4500). This really pissed me off.

When I got home I looked under to hood to see if I could see any obvious problems like oil leaks. The only thing I saw was that the cap of the power steering reservoir was covered in power steering fluid. The reservoir cap has been slightly seeping fluid for a long time, but I've never seen it with this much fresh fluid on it before. I wiped it clean and checked the level inside the reservoir. It was fine...not low.

Great. What the hell else could have happened?

One reason I think the car has lasted so long is because I've been gentle with it. Now this guy revs it like that, when it's got 273k miles. How will I know if any damage was done? I'm nervous because the car is so old, and I don't want some idiot killing it by mistreating it this way.


02-14-2014, 03:17 AM
You're fine. Relax. The power steering fluid was a coincidence.

02-14-2014, 08:09 AM
Seriously? The engine is made to rev up to 6000 rpm. The sweet spot in the power band is between 4000-6000 rpm. Shifting it at 4500 rpm is NOT mistreating it. It's not going to do any damage either. Even with 273k miles on it.

In fact, "wringing out" an engine every now and then can be good for it. It can clean out some of the carbon build up. It would matter more if it was a turbo or another performance variant, but even for a normal engine driving it around like a grandma all the time isn't doing it any favors. :rolleyes:

02-14-2014, 08:37 AM
Agree with aaron. I take my car to 6000 rpm when im in "race mode" lol

Driving around town... anywhere from 2500-6000 rpm shifts.

02-14-2014, 10:11 AM
If exceeding 4000 RPM causes the engine to grenade, failure was inevitable anyway. A mechanic can and should rev the engine across a wide range of RPM's - it would be hard to detect other problems using only half of the operating range. As mentioned, you should open it up once and a while too.

02-14-2014, 10:22 AM
I see 4500-5500 all the time, that might explain my bad mpg. Check your oil also some these engines can grenade when ran low.

also at 273k how log does your clutch last? I'm just trying to get a ballpark for my car

02-14-2014, 12:03 PM
I see 4500-5500 all the time, that might explain my bad mpg. Check your oil also some these engines can grenade when ran low.

also at 273k how log does your clutch last? I'm just trying to get a ballpark for my car

I know a guy who has a 98 civic. 226k miles... stock clutch.

02-14-2014, 01:06 PM
My car still has the original clutch and transmission. Everything with regard to the transaxle is original. I've drained and refilled the transmission twice. The cv boots are still good too. I've checked the clutch fluid over the years and had to top it off once. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the clutch will make it to 300k.

I bought the car new, and I've only used either Red Line or Mobile 1 oils for the whole life of the car.
It has recently started to leak slightly from the valve cover. But changing the valve cover gasket on that engine is a pain so I'm just living with it for now. It burns a little bit of oil on cylinder number 4 because the plug gets gooped up a bit (might be something other than oil, though). The other plugs are always clean.

It has been a crazy reliable car, and the older it's getting I'm just nervous about it being fragile, and I want to keep it going until at least 300k. That's why I was pissed off at the mechanic for reving it the way he did. But maybe I'm just paranoid (which is the most likely scenario).

Realistically though, even with 273k, are you guys saying it's ok to rev it up to 5 or 6k rpm occasionally without popping anything?

02-14-2014, 01:48 PM
Mileage is just a number. If you take good care of the car it will do you well.

02-14-2014, 01:55 PM
also at 273k how log does your clutch last? I'm just trying to get a ballpark for my car

249K+ on my daily 2001 Civic. Original clutch/pressure plate/etc.
Hoping to get 300K out of it.

02-14-2014, 06:53 PM
I miss my toyota avalon with 260k. So reliable:/

02-14-2014, 07:26 PM
Since you've owned the car since new, have you ever taken it to redline before? The carbon buildup inside your engine must be atrocious.