RPMs Rise But No Power? Here Are The Reasons Why!

Do your RPMs rise but no power is in your car?

There are many reasons why you may not be able to accelerate even with the RPM rising. You may have a broken RPM gauge, to begin with, giving you wrong readings and not knowing if your RPM is rising or if it stays the same.

Have a look at the top reasons why this happens and what you can do about it. Let’s get right into it.

rpms rise but no power

RPMs Rise But No Power

First, let us define RPM. It means revolutions per minute, and it defines the number of times your engine crankshaft is turning per minute. Your vehicle’s RPM gauge lets you know just how fast your engine spins at a given moment.

This is why it is important to have your RPM functioning properly. By doing so, you can determine how much power your engine makes – the faster your crankshaft turns, you can also expect more power out of the engine. 

Furthermore, the RPM also impacts the gear ratios of your vehicle. There are gears in your vehicle and these come with a varied ratio between your wheel and engine speed. Lower gears typically have higher ratios, so your engine speed ends up being higher as it is relative to your wheel speed. Thus, you can accelerate quickly when in a lower gear.

On the other hand, a higher gear comes with a lower ratio, so you can go much faster when your vehicle is in a higher gear. 

RPM Gauge Not Working

Now, you may be wondering why your RPM gauge may not be working. But you need to identify if it is not really working or some vehicles simply have a much higher RPM compared to others.

A number of factors impact a vehicle’s RPM. For instance, it could be the engine size – when you have a larger engine, the RPM is also higher, compared to a smaller engine. 

The gear ratio also impacts the RPM, and this refers to how many teeth there are on your driven gear and on the drive gear. When your gear ratio is higher, the RPM is also higher – and the opposite is also true.

And lastly, your vehicle’s weight also impacts the RPM. Heavier vehicles have a lower RPM, compared to a much lighter vehicle. This is why it is important to keep these points in mind when thinking about the RPM of your vehicle.

So, why do your RPMs rise but no power is getting into your car? There are a number of reasons why this happens. Here they are:

1. Fuel system issues

If you have issues with your vehicle’s fuel system, your engine may not receive the right amount of fuel. Hence, the engine tends to stall or run in an erratic manner. There are also other problems that may arise including an issue with your fuel pump, fuel line leak, or a clog in your fuel filter.

2. Ignition system

When the ignition system is not functioning right, then you may notice your RPMs rise but no power. There may be damages to the spark plugs, and this can prevent sparks from igniting your fuel correctly. Sometimes, the engine may misfire or when it does run, it is only erratic.

3. Clutch

In the case of a manual transmission vehicle, you may be encountering some issues with the clutch not engaging correctly. As a result, your engine may rev but without causing the vehicle to accelerate. You may have a leak in your hydraulic system or an issue with the clutch.

4. Transmission

If you are not having an easy time with shifting your gears, then your vehicle may stall or hesitate to move. You need to check some gears that may be wearing out, or you probably have a malfunctioning shift solenoid or even something as simple as low transmission fluid level.

5. Dirty throttle body

It is often overlooked by some people, yet when you have a dirty throttle body, then the vehicle may stall or hesitate. Keep in mind that your throttle body is what regulates the amount of air entering your engine. So, when it is dirty, this restricts airflow and causes the engine to function in an erratic manner.

Furthermore, a dirty throttle body causes the vehicle to lose its power. Since it is found between your engine and air intake, it is responsible for controlling how much air gets into your engine. With dirt and debris in the throttle body, airflow is reduced and power to your engine is minimized, as well. 

6. Intake manifold leak

It is also worth noting that when your intake manifold has a leak, then you may notice a rise in your RPM but not see any power to it. This component supplies your engine with the air it needs. So, without getting air, the engine runs weakly and may stall.

7. Vacuum leak

Another leak to take note of is the one in the vacuum. Your engine needs this component for proper functioning. So, when there is a leakage, the engine stalls and fails to function well. You may have a cracked hose, intake manifold leak, or a faulty gasket that leads to a vacuum leak. 

8. Catalytic converter

And lastly, you need to check your catalytic converter if there appears to be a rise in RPMs but no power. If this component is not working well, your engine may run very hot and eventually stall. Check if your ignition system is working well, as well as your converter that should be free from clogs, or an oxygen sensor issue.

So, if you continue to notice a rise in RPMs but without power to the engine, be sure to keep these components in check. Then, you can have a more definitive answer to your concern when problems with your RPM exist.


Seeing the RPMs rise but no power getting into your engine can be concerning. But after knowing the possible reasons why this happens, you should be able to determine the possible cause and do the best you can do to have these addressed sooner than later.

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