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Thread: Minimum Engine Revs Query

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    Regular Member john_k_sri's Avatar
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    confused Minimum Engine Revs Query

    Please forgive my ignorance, but I am confused as to how low in the rev range it is advisable to drive at safely without putting too much strain on the engine or causing other problems.

    I was under the impression that around 1500rpm was ideal for 'steady' driving and economy.

    Some time ago I read somewhere that anything under 1400rpm was likely to put an engine under too much strain (a massive generalisation I know)

    But in threads lately and elsewhere I've heard about people going along at 1000rpm or even close to idle speed.

    I have an Edition100 with a 2.0T engine which seems to pull quite happily from about 1000rpm, and which idles at 700rpm.

    In simple terms how low should I go in revs with the 2.0T engine without causing the engine to (quoting the dealer when I asked) 'work too hard' ?

    Hope this makes sense. Any advice?

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    Regular Member ditchp's Avatar
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    ????????????????????? i am sure a car can tick over all day @ 7-800 rpm with out causing to much damage, although i do remember the mk3 escort used to overheat on tickover,
    have you got an old cvh engine under your bonett or a modern vx lump?

    you could always just ignore this post though m8 just rambeling now...
    Midlands Mod Shop - NFFC.

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    Regular Member rushy's Avatar
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    I take it you mean under strain like letting the car drive itself on tick over in traffic jams? I know what you mean, and am sure its less economical but I don't know where I heard this. I do it all the time, pop it in first and let it role uphill of its own accord if im in traffic or coming to a red light but am trying to time the lights if you know what I mean.

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    Regular Member john_k_sri's Avatar
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    What prompted my query was the supervisor at the dealers telling me that the engine would be working to hard, when I mentioned that it pulls from 1000 rpm (the engine's a 2.0T). Just felt that if it's perfectly alright to drive along at 1000rpm or less than my fuel economy would be improved, although I would be wary of going close to the idle speed of 700rpm.

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    Regular Member john_k_sri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushy View Post
    I take it you mean under strain like letting the car drive itself on tick over in traffic jams? I know what you mean, and am sure its less economical but I don't know where I heard this. I do it all the time, pop it in first and let it role uphill of its own accord if im in traffic or coming to a red light but am trying to time the lights if you know what I mean.
    I was talking more about 'tootling along' at 30 to 40 mph in 5th/6th where the car feels perfectly happy pulling only 1000rpm. Maybe it's just that my Vectra feels far happier at low revs than my old N-reg Astra. Maybe I'm not explaining myself very well, out of ignorance.

    Also 'tootling' along as low as possible helps counteract those occasions when I give the turbo a good workout.

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    Regular Member Hideous's Avatar
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    I think that is known as "labouring" the engine - too high a gear, causing the engine to struggle at a certain rpm. Yes, I believe it can put the bearings under strain if one is really silly in the way they drive the vehicle.
    If the engine feels comfortable to drive at a certain rpm, then it is fine; but you are in too high a gear when it makes a kind of "booming" sound.
    Cars with high torque, such as your turbo and diesels can comfortably run at much lower rpm than more peaky units. Running around in 6th at 1500rpm should be just fine in yours - on the flat. Change down for steep hills, of course.
    Basically, you'll know when you are labouring it.

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    Regular Member m8internet's Avatar
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    I can hold a steady speed at 1000 rpm with the 3.0 V6 CDTI
    However, going below this and a gear change is essential
    Acceleration is pretty good at low revs too, the turbo then kicks in at 2000 rpm and it is a different equation!

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    Regular Member yorkshireborn's Avatar
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    i find mine works well around the 6,000 6,500rpm in fifth gear without too much strain being put on the engine.

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    Ex Vec-C Admin ed taylor's Avatar
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    John, I know what you mean, my motor will pull away at 20mph in fourth, but I don,t think it would be a good idea to drive along in fourth at 20 mph for too long, but if the car feels ok with it and it is not labouring then it might be ok, the more torque the engine has the easier is is to pull away at low speed in ahigher gear. But they do say that it does more harm to an engine to let it labour for too long than to over rev it.

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