We have all revved our engines at times. You might have started revving an engine in park believing it will warm the engine up in cold weather. Other times it might simply be revved because it’s fun. But is it true that revving a car in park is bad or revving in neutral causes harm to the engine?
Occasional revving whilst in park is not bad and should not damage your engine. However, if you persistently and heavily rev your car in park, you could end up damaging the engine. Another consideration is that revving a car in park is bad as you waste fuel and money!
But then, one might ask, how much is too much revving in park to get bad?
Coming straight to the point, revving the engine in park mode puts a lot of pressure on multiple components in the engine and this pressure keeps mounting as the needle climbs higher on the tachometer.
Rev your car in park a lot and the engine components get more susceptible to failure. Do it occasionally and they’ll last a bit longer. Never rev the engine and it will lead a long life.
If you’ve done it rarely by mistake, you don’t have to worry as car engines aren’t delicate that they break so easily.
But, if you go overboard and do it often, you could be staring at a list of problems and a long repair bill. I’ll now tell you some of the obvious problems why revving the engine in park can damage it.
This is an obvious repercussion of revving the engine. But, it is at greater stress in park mode because the engine is free moving, completely disconnected from the gear. You might have noticed that a light tap of the gas pedal raises the RPMs significantly.
The fact is that revving in park mode is going to build up the temperature of your engine by quite a margin. It puts greater stress on the piston, the piston rings, and the valves that have to work much harder to maintain the desired engine speed. Higher temperatures mean higher wear and tear.
Revving your car unnecessarily in park mode lots can be bad as it will increase temperatures and cause damage to the automatic gearbox. The heat will be transferred to the components in the transmission, also causing the transmission oil to get very hot.
A hot transmission could do heavy damage to its critical components and gears. If you’ve noticed, many cars get a warning sign to park the vehicle for a short while if the transmission has overheated. You could make things worse if you rev the car in park before continuing to drive in drive or sport mode.
Valve float is when the valve(s) in your engine could stop moving in such a position where it is neither open nor closed. A repeated revving of the engine could cause the valve to get stuck, thereby adding to the strain on the valve train.
When a valve float occurs, you might notice your engine misfiring, sometimes leading to a sudden power loss. The repairs to such a problem are slightly complicated and mostly involve the replacing of the valve springs but, only if there is no other underlying complication.
The more you rev your car in park mode, the more gas your car is going to inject into the engine to meet the demand in power. With a higher amount of air and fuel being injected into the engine, there is going to be an increase in pressure and with increased combustion, the car requires more fuel to be injected to keep the fire going.
Revving the engine in park consumes a lot more gas than what a normal drive around town would consume. With increasing gas prices, this sure is one expensive drawback of revving your engine as it could cause quite a hole in your pocket.
What’s worse? The other problems I mentioned above also increase fuel consumption. What a double whammy!
Connecting rod damage
This could be the maximum damage you could do to your engine as a result of revving it constantly. The connecting rod connects the engine’s crankshaft to the pistons. A high-revving engine puts a tremendous amount of stress on the connecting rod, sometimes even leading to breakage of the rod.
If that happens, it could set a chain reaction of damages being done to the other engine components. With a broken connecting rod, the engine would be useless until the damaged components are replaced. In many cases, only an engine replacement will be able to get your car going again.
As you read, you may realise that you have been opening the Pandora’s box if you have been frequently indulging in the act of revving your car in park mode.
I cannot state with a certain accuracy that you will face a problem. But there are high chances of it. If no damage has been done yet, you could mend your ways to enhance the life of your car’s engine.
That said, it is also important to note if have been revving your car’s cold engine to warm it up.
FAQs on revving a car in park
Also, if you have been revving the engine to launch the car in drive mode. These are some points that you need to be clear with to ascertain what more could go wrong with your car. I’ll answer these for you in the next section.
Does revving a cold engine damage it?
Yes! One of the worst things you could do to a car’s engine is to rev it when it is cold. When the engine oil and internal components of the engine are cold, they need some time to heat up and get moving smoothly. This is done automatically by the car’s ECU since it knows the temperature of the engine and its components.
If you notice carefully, after a cold start, the idle RPM of the engine is slightly higher (by about 600-1000 RPM). This is done and maintained by the car itself. Once the engine gains heat, the RPM drops automatically to its normal idling speed.
Revving a cold engine could cause great stress and premature wear to the internal components since the oil wouldn’t have circulated properly through the engine. If you rev the engine to heat it in the morning, I advise you to stop the practice and let the car do the warming up for 3-5 minutes.
Handy Hint: Did you know that you can save fuel when driving on hills by changing just a few minor habits?
Should you rev the car in park and shift to drive mode to launch it quickly?
If you’re trying to do a quick launch or wheelspin in an automatic car by revving the engine in park and shifting to drive mode all of a sudden, it could cause irreparable damage to the transmission.
The components in the transmission are not designed to withstand sudden changes in torque and acceleration of this magnitude. If the internal gears lose the ability to hold each other, they will begin to slip, thereby causing a great challenge for the car’s computer to choose the right gear. Such damage could cost you a new transmission for your car.
Are there any benefits to revving the engine?
From a mechanical perspective, there is only one benefit that I can think of – it might charge the car battery quicker, if it’s nearly dead.
But aside from that, if you get a sense of thrill of happiness from revving it, then you could call it a benefit of some sort.
Just like how everything that offers you some amount of fun or pleasure in any which way is harmful if you overdo it, similarly, revving the car repeatedly could damage the engine. It is a classic example of too much is too bad.
But, for most people, revving in engine a few times won’t damage it.
Just go careful.