Why does my Civic rev so high on the freeway?


Asked by Sep 14, 2007 at 11:39 AM about the 2002 Honda Civic EX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 5-speed '02 Civic EX revs at about 3500rpm at 70mph in 5th gear. Isn't this excessive? What could have been done to the car to cause this, and what will fix it?

21 Answers


This does sound high. Have you had it checked by a mechanic? Is the clutch in good shape? How about the transmission itself? How about the throttle position sensors, etc.? I would suggest having it checked out by a dealership as it sounds like something is amiss.

Chandler Patterson

my new 2008 civic revs at about 3k rpm at 75 mph and at 140 its at 4500 rpms and the honda mechanics told me its fine being a 4 cyl. and we had it tested.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
Daniel Reed

Being a manual trans, the only thing that would cause the revs to go higher is if the clutch was worn out, but you would notice it at other speeds, too. Usually lower powered 4-bangers have shorter gears in the trans so they can accelerate quicker. My older Nissan ran almost 4k at 75mph, and nothing was wrong with it.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Adam Dentinger

im going to have to agree with kevin there. honda engines have a thing called vtec. basically what it does, is give you more power at higher speeds and rpms. so that would be why your car is revving so high. so ya, basically, Vtec just kicked in....yo.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

i am goin to have to disagree with kevin cause unless u have a tune the vtech shouldbe kickin in between 5000 and 6000 rpms. But to answer the question i think that is normal. And i own a honda and most of my friends own honda's. I have worked on them did a gsr swap. so i know honda's.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Adam Dentinger

buddy, i drove a older civic for a while, with a B16. i know what im talking about.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Terry M

cause its supose to

David Tang

lol you guys are funny. first of all. did you by this car new or used? second. did this just all of a SUDDEN happened or been like this since you got the car? I'm not some highschool kid whos night job is an online mechanic. been in the game for a min.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Detroit Rahman

Its perfectly normal...they are very free revving engines, the make there power with big revs.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Brandon Budd

ok the adam guy is wrong and a car is right. if its stock vtec depending on motor and car it doesnt hit till between 4500 and 5500 something around there. the only way it would hit at 3500 would be if you have a tune on it wich would be pointless cause thats to low. and vtec has nothing to do with rpms. all it does is give it a little extra kick and speed up faster. doesnt make the rpms go up faster then the speed. my brothers car runs about 4500 at 75 its a b16 trans. it all depends on what trans you have to

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Kevin Ingraham

3500 at 70mph is NOT high, atleast for a honda. I have an LS tranny in my hatch and I'm at about 4000 revs at 70. honda designed it's overdrive gears shorter than most makes. This is common for honda, your car is fine. If you want to see something obscene, get something that was attached to a b16 from factory, s80/s1/ect, and see what it does. you'll be at about 4300 at 70. maybe higher.. should be around 3600 at 60mph. And everyone... STFU about vtec*. It won't engage unless he's WOT so everything that has been talked about him hitting vtec is fucking null. *NOTICE THE SPELLING OF VTEC. THERE IS NO H AT THE END

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Uzzi Tufail

OMG! you rebuilt one motor and Adam drove a civic for a while. Yeah you guys know hondas based solely on those two facts! GTFO!

Xavier Osborne

relax man vtech doesnt come in till around 5000 or 5500 rpm

Sebastian Spoon

I agree, from the RPM at 70mph to the spelling of VTEC. lol

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Rafa Goyco

unless u have a vtec controller, like fields, which u choose the engage point. i had a d16-b7 setup and vtec kicking in @ 4400 rpm

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Honda engines will rev higher for a few reasons Higher compression ratio than most other 4-bangers vtec kicks in at about 4300RPM - to produce a slight increase in power to make up for the lower torque. is mainly for fuel efficency on the street if its going to be tracked, having higher revs for a pure N/A 4banger 1. will give you better responce &... 2. you can heal toe properly and not lose power when changing gears on a track..


my partners automatic civic revs to 6000rpm before changing up help??????????????


my 97 civic was with mechanic to replace broken suspension coil. He said that he noticed my car was slow to take off but he sorted it. Since then its been running between half to one rev higher than before. Its at 2 rpm when at rest which it didnt do previously. I'm asking because its now using more fuel than usual and the econo isn't kicking in as frequently.Does anyone know what's up? I'd be very grateful for any input to mariathan@outlook.com. Thanks.


i got a question my 97 honda civic 5 speed will instantly rev up while im going down the road at speed if i give it gas has this happened to anyone else because i was told it was the clutch but it was also told it was the slave cylinder

Mark Paul Evangelista

D17a2 Em2 does vtec at 3200rpm

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Jacob Thomas

'02 civic ex coupe owner here. Not sure what transmission I have but I can vouge my car has short gear ratio. 65 mph goes over 3000, 75 is about 3400, and 80-85 reaches 4000. Your car is fine, but it's not a good commuter for high speeds. The optimal speed is whatever gets you near 2000- 2400 rpms in gear 5, but if you have a hill coming up you'll have to speed up or else downshift, so I'd go with 60-65mph because 3000 is good enough for all worlds. A better question is, do you guys keep your clutch foot off the ground or pivot the heel? I'm trying both and with bumpy terrain the pivot is more controllable.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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