RPM on my 1993 Miata is 4000 @ 70 mph, is this normal?Also keep increasing, as I accelerate more (80mph @ 5000 RPM)


Asked by Mar 15, 2013 at 04:45 PM about the 1993 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

i JUST GOT THIS CAR and....RPM on my 1993 Miata is 4000 @ 70 mph, is this normal?Also keep increasing, as I accelerate more (80mph @ 5000 RPM)

31 Answers

Is your O/D on?

1 people found this helpful.

No, is not

Then there you are, make sure it is on


Is O/D On, whe is showing the signal in the Dashboard?

1 people found this helpful.

Actually it will light if O/D is off. At least on my car it does. Now I am beginning to wonder if the transmission is slipping, have you checked the fluid level?

sorry, we are wondering about your transmission choices with regard to RPM, if an automatic might be one of these CVT trannies---yeah, that's it. She's got a CVT and isn't used to the way it behaves...give it time, you'll have to sense how fast you're going and trust that it's making the best decisions under the circumstances...best to run with your windows open at first so you can get a feel for the CVT.

1 people found this helpful.

No is not slipping and I just made a transmission service (change oil and filter)

That 'spain's it!

my CVT has a 'sport mode' where you can slip it into a different, lower "gear" though NO Gears, just a cone shaped goodie!

ooo, maybe you don't have one of these as it has a "thermoplastic oil" that 'engages' with the amount of compression...it's a wierd "oil" and very expensive...am wondering what you've got for transmission?

be a strange waste of consideration and keystrokes if the thing was a 5-speed!?


How long have you been driving it like that? Not saying it is slipping but if it is and you have been driving it for awhile like that, one would think it would have been fried by now. Sounds like a lot of rpm's to me. My vehicle would probably be going 140 mph with that many r's. Maybe your tachometer is inaccurate what does it say when idling? Check you fluid does it smell burnt?

2 people found this helpful.

4000 @ 70 mph, is this normal?---- No --- 80mph @ 5000 RPM --- is worse. Your transmission is slipping a lot. I'm turning 2500 at 65 mph. Your car is way high. It might not be in top gear.

1 people found this helpful.

No, I have not been driving it for a while. I just got it. Yeah, and seems like is not changing to top gear.

3-speed, four speed, or CVT?


I don't know.....I'll will check on that tomorrow Thanks,

Same here TS. I tach 2,500 at 70, and when I drive up the grade on the way home form "The City" there is stretch of road, fairly straight with a 6% grade. I kick it out of O/D because it has a tendency to lug just a little bit and I run at 3,100 at 70. (The speed limit is 65.... 70 is the traffic flow unless there is a truck passing another on this 2 lane divided highway or a older hybrid in the fast lane screaming along at 50. The newer hybrids of course are much improved and they keep up.


Hello Balta....As the owner of a 2011 Miata MX-5, I will say that at first, I thought the same thing "Damn, this car revs really high!"...But rest assured, this is normal for the Miata...It's a rev-happy engine that is designed to rev higher, even at lower speeds..one reason WHY the car seems fast, even when going slow...Enjoy the ride...I'll be VERY happy to STOP driving the Mitsubishi Outlander SUV and START driving the Miata once the weather gets warmer here in the Philly area! Check out this thread on the subject from MX-5 Miata .net Forum: http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=127443

4 people found this helpful.

@Bob ....The 1993 Miata came only as a 5 speed manual or optional 4 speed Automatic (no CVT's back then). She never mentioned what tranny she had though....Assuming an Auto Trans since you guys are talking O/D being on or off, etc.

1 people found this helpful.

Yeah, it is a Automatic tranny and seems to run pretty good with tath high RPM. Thanks.


why did you get an automatic miata? no offense

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I don't think Balta will take offense at that. It is a reasonable question, nothing derogatory


I will agree that buying an auto tranny Miata never crossed my mind when I bought mine last year. First of all, the 6 spd (or 5 spd) manual is soo easy to shift...extremely short, almost effortless shift throws and very light clutch (so easy, that I drive without focusing so much effort on shifting.. this WASN'T the case in my old '05 Nissan 350Z)...Hands down ..far easier than ANY other sportscar I've driven or owned...Second, you get a HP penalty for auto trans 158 HP vs 167 HP in the manual trans (HP #'s overall were lower in the 1993 model, but same rules apply). However, some people (women AND also men) have no desire (or simply don't want to learn) how to drive stick OR they live in areas like California where bumper to bumper traffic is an everyday nightmare....I'm sure Balta has her reasons.

1 people found this helpful.

20 years ago I actually enjoyed driving a manual. I have simply gotten lazy, not to mention the wife drives with her foot resting on the clutch when we had one years ago. I scolded her time and time again (nicely..I don't yell and scream) but never broke her of that habit. Made me nuts. Now she drives with left foot on the brake. If she does not quit that I am taking away her keys. But how do I know? Claims not to, but when I'm not in the car...the good thing is she seldom drives.


I just got the car transfer from someone else and it was automatic!!! I do like stick.........but had no choice.... Thanks.

1 people found this helpful.

My wife will not drive stick! She helped me get the MINI but had to have automatic...well the CVT is their automatic....guess that's OK, but have heard nothing but negative reports about the CVT, takes a little getting used to---is nothing like driving a manual transmission....at least it looks purdy- morn H25 :)


Sounds like your transmission is not shifting into fourth gear. Try this... From a stand still start out normally. Pay close attention to the tachometer (rpm guage) and as you accelerate count the number of times your rpm's drop, as your speed increases. If you count 3 your car is shifting into 4th gear. If you only count 2 your car is not shifting out of third.


i have a 4 cyl mazda 626 and for some reason when i hit 80mph i have about 4-4500 rpms its an auto with o/d and it feels like its hitting the gears a little hard


my mazda 626 1999 v6 2.5 liter with manual transmission, when i drive it on 70 MPH the RPM is on 4000, is it ok to drive it? Many Thanks

1 people found this helpful.

I have a 1993 Miata automatic and I was concerned about my RPMs also. I'm at 4000 RPMs going 60MPH. It sounds like it's about to rev right out of the car but it's just high powered. I have no burnt smell as far as the trans oil, and the engine is staying cool after a long trip. I expected it to be burning up after 200 miles going 70 mph. It runs great in O/D, but not enough power. I use O/D when I'm in steep areas with hills. So is there a problem if I'm running 4000 rpm while going 60 mph??????????????


Running 4k all the time will result in accelerated engine wear and poor fuel economy. OD is for flat ground not hill county.

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