Can You Two Step An Automatic? What’s The Benefit?

2 Step sounds cool and gives you a lot of lag speed, but can you two step an automatic? Go through the article below!

The engine crankshaft rotates and produces the power required to run the car wheels. The crankshaft should rotate up to a certain rpm. Rotating above the specified limit can cause damage to the engine.

A two-step rev limit is usually fitted in almost all modern manual cars. The primary mission of this device is to prevent the engine from rotating above the set rpm(revolutions per minute). But can you two-step an automatic?

Yes, two-step can be used in automatic cars. For example, if the rev limit is set at 3,500 rpm, it will prevent the engine from rotating above 3500 rpm. All you need is a programmable rev limiter from the market, which you can buy and install in your trans bake and nitrous. It will help control the RPMs while you are in idle. 

Let’s talk a bit more about why you might want to do this.

Can You Two Step An Automatic

What Is a 2-Step Rev Limiter?

Our car’s engine is designed to spin up to a specific speed, usually expressed in revolutions per minute. If the car engine spins above a certain rpm, it puts more stress on the engine components and causes overheating. It can even blow off the engine, which is quite dangerous.

There comes the importance of the Rev limiter. It is a device fitted on all internal combustion engines, preventing the car from going above a certain rpm. The red line usually indicates it on the tachometer. The car manufacturers usually set the limit to which engine crankshaft can rotate per minute.

Nowadays, you will find two limiters on cars. The first limiter is the launch control and is set at low rpm. It will prevent your vehicle from reaching the red line. The second limiter is situated on the tachometer’s red line, preventing the car engine from overheating and reducing vibrations.

How Does It Work?

The rev limiter works in two ways i.efuel adjustment and ignition control. Most OEM manufacturers prefer to use fuel adjustment in which a lean air-fuel mixture will be supplied to the engine, or the fuel supply will be completely cut off to maintain the engine rpm below the red line.

This method prevents the unburnt fuel from entering the exhaust; thus, your vehicle will not have any pops and bangs.

Now let’s talk about ignition control. The rev limiter will work by two methods. The first one is the spark cut method. In this method, there will be no ignition of the air-fuel mixture, and hence no power will be produced by the engine. It helps in reducing the engine rpm and thus will be below the red line. But the unburnt fuel will reach the exhaust manifold and create bangs.

Another method to reduce the engine’s work output is ignition retarded timing. In this case, the ignition will occur in the middle of the power stroke. It will no doubt helps in reducing the engine rpm, but the unburnt fuel will enter the exhaust port and create pops, bangs, and flames.

Your vehicle can have either soft-cut limiters or hard-cut limiters. The hard-cut limiters simply cut off all the fuel or change the spark timing at the set rpm, while the soft-cut limiters slowly cut off the fuel or change the spark ignition timing before the set rpm.

Can You Two Step An Automatic

How is It Different From Anti-Lag?

Both Antilag and two-step seem like they stop the car from going above a certain RPM. Let’s discuss the difference between them.

#1. Engine

The two-step rev limit is used in natural aspirated and turbocharged engines, whereas the anti-lag technology is only meant for turbo cars.

#2. Turbo lag

The anti-lag technology helps eliminate turbo lag. Now, what is turbo lag?

The exhaust gases from the engine should always leave a very high force so that the turbo spins continuously in the vehicle. But whenever the driver removes the feet from the accelerator, then the rpm of the engine drops, which slows down the turbo.

The turbo will take a few seconds to energize when the driver again puts off his feet on the accelerator. The time taken to energize the turbo is called turbo lag. This turbo lag can be a problem during racing as it causes time loss. So anti-lag technology was invented in the 1990s, significantly reducing turbo lag.

But if we talk about the two-step rev limit, it enhances turbo boost pressure at standstill conditions. However, it does not reduce turbo lag.

#3. Working Principle

The anti-lag mechanism, ignition, and fuel injection are done on the exhaust store of every cylinder. Hence a very rich air-fuel mixture goes out of the engine and enters the exhaust manifold, which helps in spinning the turbocharger at high rpm.

The anti-lag principle will help maintain turbo pressure when the throttle is off.

Now let’s talk about the two-step rev limiter. This mechanism also depends on the delay ignition mechanism. The spark plug delays the burning of the fuel, and thus unburnt fuel is released from the exhaust pipe . If the car had a turbo engine, then two-step rev would have created turbo pressure but not like an anti-lag mechanism.

Can You Two Step An Automatic

Is it Good For Your Car?

A two-step rev limit is not bad for the car. However, it depends on the type of installation. If the vehicle has fuel-cutting rev limiters, then there will be no issue with the exhaust manifold. Again the fuel adjustment techniques are safe for the engine. It does not decrease the lifespan of various engine components as there is a backfire from the tailpipe.

But if you have used an ignition cut rev limit in the vehicle, it liberates unburnt fuel into the exhaust port, creating pops, bangs, and fire. The engine components cannot tolerate excessive heat and stress and hence decrease the lifespan of engine components.

The exhaust manifold may even blow at excess pressure, which is quite dangerous. Again ignition control rev limit consumes more fuel which may be problematic for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Can I use two legs to drive an automatic car?

No, you cannot use two legs to drive an automatic car. If you press both feet together, then your vehicle can crash. It can even put pressure on the torque converter, brake fluid, and transmission fluid of the car, which is dangerous.

#2. What makes a car two steps?

The second step is a rev limiter in almost all internal combustion engines. The primary purpose of this two-step limit is to prevent the car engine from spinning above the manufacturer’s set limit.

The name is called two-step because there are two limits. The first limit is usually set at lower rpm and prevents your car from reaching the red line and the second limit is the red line which prevents the car engine from overheating.

#3. What is a 2-step transmission?

Two-step is a rev-limiting device usually installed in almost all ic engines. There is one lower limit and another higher limit. The lower limit is set at a lower rpm and is usually used for launching control. The higher limit is set at high rpm and prevents the car engine from overheating.

Can You Two Step An Automatic


A two-step limiter is an essential device in the vehicle. It prevents the engine from rotating above the set rpm and thus protects it from overheating.

But simultaneously, if you use ignition to cut two steps in the car, it can be a problem. Delaying the ignition can cause unburnt fuel to liberate from the exhaust port, which can cause massive damage to the engine.

Thank you for reading this article.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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