Accidentally rev the engine while its still cold

I bought a new Honda fit Auto couple days ago, while getting ready to go from first job site to 2nd one, I wasn’t paying attention (was adjusting the seat), I had my foot on the acceleator instead of brake. Of course, when I start the car, it cranks and follow by a high rev sound from the engine (I think I hold it half way for about 2 seconds) before realize my mistake and lift off the pad. The car was sitting in the parking lot for 4 hours about 5 degree outside (I drove the car for 40 minutes 4 hours ago). I heard cold starting your car while reving it is not a good idea. especially on a new car that needs break it. I am just wondering if this step cause any perm damange to the engine? After couple of days of driving, it sounded fine with no issue (though on the same day, when I arrived at my 2nd work place after that first debacle, the car took 2 cranks to get it start).

You can stop worrying. Doing this one time won’t hurt anything.

I was thinking about the same thing too, but I read couple stories on the net talks about issue cold revving the engine. My friend said new cars are build a lot more durable now so that one time event won’t even matter. Guess I am just in my new car worry mode now

A really cold start is the equivaent of 500 miles in engine wear. If you do this all the time, 200 starts like per year that will equate to 100,000 miles of engine wear.

Now you understand how some people can wear out an engine in 2-3 years while other can get 300,00 or more miles out of the same unit.

Yeah, I bought this vehicle hoping it would be 300k mile car at least, that why I want to make sure not to do that again. It was never my intenstion to start my car while holding the accelerator pad, at least I am more careful now when I start my car.

When you said really cold start, do you also mean star the car normally in a really cold weather? What temps are we talking about here?

You’re fine. Besides, I’ll bet lunch that it didn’t rev as high as you fear it did. It’ll rev pretty easy without any load attached, and it generally sounds like it’s going faster than it actually is.

I don’t think I redline it, I jumped when i heard the rev after cranking it and I was trying to get my foot off the darn pad when that happens, didn’t look at the dash. That being said, i am still trying to get used to this new car, because the one I had before is a Amercian sport model (Cougar mini V6). At least when I accidentaly rev it, it didn’t shake like my old cougar use to, and its so darn quite sometimes I don’t even know if I started the car yet. It’s also hard to get use to driving a smaller car with less responsive brakes and slower acceleration, had to brake earlier and step on it when I merge (not to mention blowing a bit side way when I drive over the bridge)

@cougar2k I used to live in an apartment long ago, and one of the tenants had a Chevy company car; he worked for a dealer. He would never plug the car in in winter and in the morning at 0 F, or colder, he would rev the engine high and goose it to “get more fuel into the engine”. I told my wife that would be the last car on earth I would want to buy.

A normal cold start still causes excessive wear, but easy on the throttle minimizes the effect. It’s all a matter how fast the cylinders and the valve gear get lubricated. Any 0W-- oil will provide fast lubrication, in about 15 seconds, at low temperatures. At -20F with 10W30 or heavier mineral oil, it can take a full minute to get proper lubrication to the valves.

EXXON Mobil used to have a video called “The Cold War”, which dramatically showed this engine destruction, and promoted their 0W30 synthetic oils…

300k in Honda fit? Wow, u r a glutton for punishment. 300k/30mpg=10k gal = $35k. And 4 new timing belts

Your ECU will not allow you to go past redline. You can sleep soundly. You’ve nothing to worry about.

Enjoy your new Honda.

You wrecked it. Take it back and trade it. Just kidding. No harm no foul. Read the owners manual about starting techniques though and keep your foot off the gas while starting. The computer does everything needed to start it.

This is off topic but what is a Cougar mini V6? Also why do you say the brakes are less responsive?

@Docnick I don’t think its that cold here, at BC Canada Fraser Valley area, the coldest we got was like -5 C, which I am sure its nothing compare to the numbers u have given (at that time of cranking, it was 5 C sunny). Use the best oil it seems to be everyone’s consensus here.
@Cavell If I can get that many km (we use km here in Canada, instead of miles, so 190k miles then), with so much less fuel used, and only 4 timing belts, then I am all up for it. I originally wanted to get a Tercel because they are well build and just won’t die, haha
@thesamemountainbike Thank you very much, I read somewhere that ECU won’t let me go redline, and I won’t personally do that again.
@Bing the thought actually came across my mind, but only briefly, and I don’t want to be too paranoid for everything, it just aint good for life. When I make mistake once, I won’t make the same one again (then again, I never did this for past 13 years with my old Cougar except for this Fit, that’s a first). I read the manual about 5 times after I did it, that’s probably the most I gone through a car manual that many times.

@VOLVO V70, it’s a Mercury Cougar 2000 model, automatic V6 edition (only 87.5k mile on it), with only 170hp even couple with V6 engine, then again, that’s already 13 year old tech, with old fuel efficiency. The good about the car is that it’s very responsive in acceleration (merging and following traffic), low profile (very steady on highway while changing lane), and very good stop response (it has 4 wheel disc brake instead of Fit’s 2 disc and 2 rear drums). It’s actually very slow compare to other same year car like Toyota Celica GTS, but it’s my first car, and I enjoyed driving it for 13 years.


I’ll go a little off topic

A Mercury Cougar is not a sports car

For what it’s worth, many family sedans have more power and have good brakes

My Camry V6 has good power and 4 wheel disc brakes. In fact, it’s got more power than that Cougar you mentioned and would eat that thing for lunch

Just stating a fact

I did that once on a 79 Ford 302, it was about 0 degrees outside and the throttle stuck when I started it up as it was a carbed engine… Must of hit 5000 rpm cold before I could shut it down…fixed the throttle and when it started up I had a lifter tapping noise for about 5 or 10 minutes. Once the oil heated up the noise went away and never returned. You did not do any damage.

@db4690, yes, Cougar was never a sport car by any means (it was pretty much a 2 door Taurus, adopting a New Edge look), but to a 18 yr old (first saw it when I was 16), it was pretty good graduation gift. The thing was fitted with Automatic which make it even slower (10 seconds plus from 0 to 60. I have friends that drive Subaru WRX or Matrix Xrs and Dodge Neon SRT4 years after Cougar ended production (all four doors) that could have eat me it for dinner and snacks. I know that later model Sienna and Odyssey would probably eat it for lunch too (they have slider doors, and seat seven). In any case, it’s certainly more “steady” (or heavy) drive compare to Honda fit.
@Howie32703 I actually read about old carbed engine does need to step on gas while starting, but glad that I didn’t hear any noise during the drive afterward. I have established a routine that will make sure gas pedal whoopsie never happen again.

No biggie. Enjoy your ride.


As a matter of fact, that Cougar you owned was based on the Contour platform

But it certainly looks sportier than a Honda Fit or any minivan