High RPMs: Worry or Not to Worry?

I have an '06 Scion xA that I love and pamper. It’s exceptionally peppy for it’s little 1.5 litre engine. This peppiness is achieved by gearing that provides lots of torque at low speeds, but high RPMs at highway speeds. At 65 mph, the tach reads about 3500 RPMs, and most of my driving is highway. Am I going to risk shortened engine life over time because of chronically high RPMs, or should I just stop worrying about this. It is, after all, a Toyota product.

As long as you keep the oil changed as appropriate, you have nothing to worry about. Toyota made its reputation on small-engined cars, they can handle the rpms. Have fun with it!

3,500 rpm @ only 65 mph?

That doesn’t sound right (too high), even for a Scion xA with a 1.5 litre engine.

Does your xA have a manual or automatic transmission?

Thanks…that’s my inclination too. So far, a great car with better-than-average fuel economy.

The question is sparked by something I heard Click and Clack say a while ago about high sustained RPMs. Thanks for your input.

5-speed manual.

And you’re in 5th gear at 65 mph?

It’s designed for that speed. Not a problem.

Here’s an engine designed for 150 RPM:


I’m going to start combing the salvage yards for a used one of those to throw into my Escort!


Thanks, circuitsmith.