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Car Engine Revving While Driving (Reasons & Solutions)

While you are driving your car, you can face tons of unwanted problems. These issues can be minor or significant. It can be one of the scariest experiences if you notice any odd sound coming from your car and do not know the reason behind it.

If you wonder what is causing your car engine revving while driving, hold on tight because you have landed in the right place. These things can happen over time or all of a sudden. We will be discussing the reasons and solutions for car engine revving while driving.

What causes car engine revving while driving and what are the solutions?

Car engine revving while driving can be caused by clutch issues, transmission fluid, idle valve issues, and more. The solution to a revving car engine while driving is simple. As the issue can be anywhere, figuring out the issue and giving it enough attention may help.

Before we move on to the detailed discussion on car engine revving, you need to understand the term RPM as you slow down and speed up your RPM shifts. As the RPM rises, more work needs to be done by your engine.

All this includes many things, which is why it is essential to determine the actual issue or find the part that is causing the issue. It’s better to take action as soon as possible so that things don’t get out of your hands.

Here are a few reasons behind your car engine revving while driving:

Clutch issue:   

Along with automatic vehicles, manual vehicles can also face issues regarding car engine revving. The clutch interacts closely with the transmission system. This part is responsible for controlling speed and gears.

If the clutch gets worn out, it will not be able to perform efficiently. This means your car will require more power and pressure to perform any work properly. However, it may slow down the performance of your car.

Vacuum leaking:

When your engine is running, a vacuum is created inside of the manifold where air meets with fuel. In case there is a leak, it will slow down your car’s acceleration. So, in case there is a leak, you will hear a pretty high-pitched sound that will come from your engine. 

Dirty air filter or fuel injectors:

Your car’s fuel injectors spray fuel with precise timing, amount, and angles. This happens so that air can adequately mix with fuel and perform combustion in the engine.

If the injectors get dirty, there’s a high chance that they will overspray oil. As a result, the acceleration decreases significantly. Due to which the engine needs higher RPM to accelerate, this may end up causing your car engine to rev.

However, a dirty air filter will stop enough air from getting into the engine to complete the combustion process.  This will also affect the engine’s acceleration and may spike the RPM. 

Transmission issue:

The transmission issue can be considered a big issue. The car’s transmission transfers power to the driveshaft and wheel axles from the engine. If it’s the transmission you will see a lot of signs. When the transmission is unable to provide enough power, the RPM fluctuates.    

Worn spark plugs:

Spark plugs work for initiating combustion in your car engine. If they start to wear out, it causes air and fuel to burn unevenly. As a result, the combustion rate falls down and the acceleration slows down. Therefore, the fuel is not utilized accordingly.

Additionally, other symptoms include reduced fuel efficiency, engine misfiring, and many more. However, replacing the plugs can be costly, but it is necessary.

Damaged speed sensor:

The speed sensor communicates with the crankshaft’s rotational speed. If the speed sensor gets damaged, it may end up providing wrong information to the engine and create issues while shifting.

It can also give you wrong RPM readings. This can cause the engine to rev. In case this issue gets out of hand, it will never read high enough to shift the car gears. The results are not good for the engine.

This list of things can cause your car engine to rev. The first thing to do is to look for the problem. Finding the actual issue can be a bit tough when there is so much included.

However, most of the issues are caused by the small parts and pieces that are replaceable. The one that needs immediate attention is the transmission issue. It is something that can be time-consuming and costly. Otherwise, the other issues can be handled pretty easily.

What are the signs that your transmission is going out?

The transmission is a vital part, you will notice multiple signs that your transmission is going out.

Here are a few signs that your transmission is going out:

Burning smell:

While driving, if you notice any burning smell that is coming from your car, this is a bad sign. This can be caused if your transmission overheats or fluid is getting burnt and old. 

Dragging clutch:

The clutch may fail to disengage itself from the disk flywheel of your car when you are pressing the clutch pedal. This issue can end up causing the gear to clash. 

Fluid leaks:

Leaking fluid is one of the easiest ways to determine the issue with your transmission. If you are noticing red-colored and sweet-smelling fluid in your parking lot, then it’s high time to get your vehicle checked.

Idle valve issue:

There is a valve inside the car that helps to maintain a steady speed of the car. The valve can blow and when it happens, it will stop working along with other things. You will notice that your vehicle is not speeding up even if you’re accelerating when this happens.


In the case of automotive cars, any type of shaking or grinding while shifting gear is a great sign. This surely indicates that your transmission has an issue. If you face this, it’s time to get your vehicle checked by a professional.

Unusual sounds:    

If you notice any clucking, whining, or humming, it’s time to get your car checked. Although, there can be other reasons behind your car making such unusual noises.

How much does it cost to remove and replace the transmission?

The average cost to remove and replace the transmission can be around $1300-$3400. 

When we are talking about the transmission, there are two things that can be done—one; repairing it, and two; replacing it. The repair cost can vary. It can cost something like $300 to $1400. Whereas the replacement cost can be higher.

However, it is suggested to replace the transmission even though it can be costly. This will give your car a long-lasting lifespan.

Is it safe Driving While Car Revs Up and Down?

It is not safe to drive while the car revs up and down.

While accelerating your RPM may fluctuate. This issue is usually caused due to the idle air control valve or IAC. This can be one of the reasons behind your car revving while driving. However, it is never suggested to drive while the car revs up and down is never suggested.

So, it would not be recommended to drive while your car is revving, nor is it safe.

What is normal rpm when driving and accelerating?

The normal RPM when driving can be around 4,000-6,000 RPM. However, this can vary depending on the type of car and how efficient it is.

An average RPM of 1,500-2,000 is fine when you are driving at a consistent speed. Although the normal RPM can differ from car to car, the average RPM can be around 600-1000 RPM. In case your RPM increases or decreases, it shouldn’t be an issue. 

Does high revs damage the engine?

High revs can absolutely damage the engine. The higher you rev your engine, the more force is applied to the elements of the engine.

Although, most manufacturers do a high RPM test on the vehicles for hours just to see how the engine acts. Over-revving your engine can damage your valve train by keeping the valve open for a long time.

The valve float occurs when the valve is stuck between closed and open. It can cause immediate damage. 

Final thoughts

Car engine revving is concerning. There are multiple reasons behind a car revving while driving. The signs include transmission leaks, shaking, burning smell, etc. As soon as any of this comes to your notice, take necessary measures. Taking action immediately can save you from facing bigger issues.