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Highway speeds, high RPM

I just bought a 2005 Scion XA for commuting but am considering driving it from Maine to Maryland and am concerned about driving long distance at highway speeds with 3200 RPM at 65 MPH. Is this ok?

Is your transmission a manual or an automatic? What is the size of your engine? The rpm sounds too high for 65mph. My Sonoma runs 3000rpm at 70mph in 5th gear. That’s normal for the engine/transmission combo in the the little truck.

Your engine is a 1.5 so 3200rpm at 65mph is about right. The engine was designed to operate at 65mph and even higher so you will be OK.

You’ll be fine. Since your Scion has a small engine it must turn higher RPMs to produce an acceptable amount of power, so the engineers gave it short gearing to keep the RPM’s the engine’s optimal operating range. 3200 RPM is perfectly normal for a small 1.5 liter engine at highway speeds.

This is the way that your car was designed, and the engine will not suffer from those high RPMs unless it has lubrication problems. Since many engines consume more oil when turning at high RPMs, I would suggest that you do the following:

If the car is due soon for an oil change, have that done before the trip.
Buy a qt of the proper specification oil, and bring it on your trip.
Check the oil every couple of fill-ups, to be sure that the level has not dropped.
If you see that the oil level has dropped by 1/2 qt (the distance between the “full” and “add” marks on the dipstick), add 1/2 qt at that point, rather than waiting until it has dropped a full qt.

As long as the crankcase is filled to the correct level, with the correct spec oil, your engine can run for days on end at high RPMs with no damage.

Wow that was fast, thanks so much for the info. And driving long distance is ok as well?

Ok, I feel much better now. Thanks.

That’s normal for these cars, especially the earlier models with lower ratios. The car and the engine were designed to operate at these speeds and is not problem what so ever. If it “redlined” at 4K rpm, yes it would be a concern. Your’s is about 6250 rpm. I doubt your running at much more than at or near 50% at or about 60 mph. OK

I suggest synthetic oil. As consumers we are in the dark to some degree on the benefits of many things in life. For me I just believed that synthetic was worth it based on
a) a hunch
b) it is required on some cars and trucks to avoid gum up
c) it has been tested to improve MPG
d) I put it in my lawn mower and it is actually noticably easier to pull the start rope

Synthetic oil has NEVER BEEN PROVEN TO IMPROVE MPG…Never ever…

While I do think synthetic oil is a superior…it’s really only needed for driving in extreme conditions…Many many people have put hundreds of thousands of miles on their engines using regular dyno oil.

I do use Synthetic oil because of the extreme cold weather here in NH and because I do a fair amount of towing in the spring and summer.

I’ve been using synthetic oil in my lawn-mowers and snow-blowers for years…Never noticed a difference…I’d be extremely surprised if there was any measurable resistance difference…especially one you can actually feel.

3400 rpm @ 70 in my MR2. You’re fine.

Don’t forget, this is almost a 2 month old post he dug up.

MikeinNH…you are right that in test results, synthetic oil does not improve mileage, but, in many cases it decreases operating costs for some types of vehicle use and does improve cold weather efficiency and mileage in practical use in some types of vehicles, especially diesel powered in the winter. Gas consumption is lower for our diesel powered plow vehicles and heavy equipment. Not enough to rationalize that use alone, but for long term maintenance cost, a definite plus.