In our role as Lexus dealers near Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, we answer many questions about vehicles every day. Motorists don’t just ask us about Lexus cars like the 2017 Lexus IS. Instead, they often ask us questions about cars in general.

One topic that comes up regularly is rpm and its meaning. “RPM” is short for “Revolutions Per Minute” and is used to express how quickly a given machine is operating. As it relates to automobiles, rpm measures the number of time your engine’s crankshaft rotates every minute. It also accounts for the number of times the pistons go up and down in the cylinder every 60 seconds.

In general, your engine’s rpm will increase when you press the accelerator, but it will only increase to a certain point. While it may seem counter-intuitive, an engine doesn’t typically generate its maximum power at the highest rpm.

When you’re looking over a vehicle’s specs, you should look for the engine’s highest horsepower followed by the revolutions per minute when that level of power is produced. You should also keep an eye out for the highest level of torque the engine can generate and the rpm at which it’s produced. Torque measures an engine’s twisting force and it’s often expressed as a range for automobiles that have engines that are either turbocharged or supercharged.

A lot of automobiles have a tachometer which usually shows drivers their car’s current rpm in thousands. If your car has a tachometer, it will have red line. Pushing your engine’s rpm beyond that red line can damage your automobile.

We hope this explanation helps you understand what rpm is and how it relates to your car. And we encourage you to contact Lexus of Jacksonville whenever you have a question about your Lexus vehicle or automobiles in general. We look forward to hearing from you soon.