What Does RPM Mean?

It is a familiar acronym on every vehicle gauge--RPM. Yet, do we really understand what these three letters really mean when breaking it down?
Let's break it down word by word. RPM is the acronym for "revolutions per minute". It's the way we measure at what speed our vehicle's motor is turning. The more RPMs the motor has, translates into increased power.

How Do I Mnow My Motor's RPM is Running at the Average?

When driving a passenger car at cruising speed 62 mph on a highway, the RPMs should be 1500rpm to 2000rpm. If you have a diesel motor, it should be idling around 750 rpm. Yet, when in 6th gear at 68 miles per hour, the rpm's should be around 2000. Typical petrol using vehicles on the road today get to 6000 rpm when revving out.
A Formula One V6 motor revs to 15,000rpm, with high speeds getting up to 217 mph and 1000 horsepower!

How RPM Affects Fuel Cost

With gas prices at the highest ever, every driver wants to do their part to save fuel costs. However, when it comes to the motor in your car, this is primarily controlled by computers. A higher RPM translates to excessive power, which equals the consumption of more gasoline. If possible, try to drive at a lower RPM to reduce this excessive fuel consumption.

How a Tachometer Gauges RPMs

Most vehicles have a tachometer, which helps you to know how many RPMs the most is going. It looks much like a speedometer, only it has numbers (1,2,3) instead of the miles per hour markings. For instance, if the tachometer is on "2" your motor is spinning at 2,,000 rpm. The tachometer is used by manual transmission drivers as a que when to shift.

When to Call a Professional

If the RPM on your tachometer is displaying in the "redline" your engine could suffer damage. Shifting in the red zone areas causes the motor to wind out excessively creating a need to service the motor. If you need vehicle service, give Kamphaus Auto Care and Emissions a call today!


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