On my standard 2000 1.2 Opel Agila, I often have to get to about 5000RPM to join a fast road on a steep (1 in 10) hill, as it is gutless on hills. I have to do this almost every day, and I have occasionally gone to the redline (at 6300-6500RPM) just to get some speed up to join, as you start off from a standing start, as the junction is really badly designed

Note: I won't drive constantly at the redline, but I would get to it and then shift.

My oil is changed every 10k miles, and I service it regularly. Would doing it every 20k miles like it says increase the chance of damage?

The engine is chain driven. The milage is 85k.

Will this damage my car?

EDIT: I had a quick flick through the manual, and it says this:

Max. permissible engine speed,                    Z12XE
continuous operation (rpm)                        6250

However, the redline is at 6500...

1 Answer 1


Engines are designed to withstand a certain amount of stress. When you exceed that threshold, longevity will start to deteriorate. I stated something to that effect in this answer. The engine has a redline where you shouldn't take its speed past. This redline is not the maximum speed which the engine can run, but more correctly the threshold which you shouldn't go past.

In your case, if you are approaching the redline, but not exceeding it, you should not be doing your engine any damage. Theoretically it should be able to handle this. Prolonged use at redline will definitely reduce the longevity of the engine. If you consider, though, that if an engine only has so many revolutions it will go before it expires, running it at the higher RPM will wear it out faster. Does that mean it will fail tomorrow? Most definitely not. It may mean it will last a week less than what it should have otherwise, or some other arbitrary number. The biggest thing you can do for your engine is to ensure it is properly maintained (as it sounds you are) which includes things like oil/filter changes, air filter changes, and spark plugs (and wire if so equipped). As long as you are sticking to what the manufacturer says, you should be in good shape.

  • 2
    As a side note to @Paulster2 response, You do not want to take an engine near the redline that is not at normal operating temperature.
    – mikes
    Jun 28, 2015 at 21:33
  • @mikes - Very good and valid point. Jun 29, 2015 at 0:07
  • Running it that hot temporarily won't hurt anything in a small motor. In fact if you drop gears and drive it with higher rpms it can burn off oil that sticks to your valves. That's normally what the smell is from that you might have noticed. Even newer cars should do the same thing. Remember it does put more stress on your head so make sure its tight and a hotter engine means more pressure possibly building. I don't think I would call it oil pressure but that's usually how a car burns oil is in hotter conditions so do the math. It can also find a way out. Jul 13, 2015 at 8:02

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