Do a Burnout

In a burnout, the wheels of your car will spin at a high frequency, causing a large amount of smoke. The car will stay static until you pop the clutch, letting it spring into motion. Burnouts began in drag racing, where tires must be heated to obtain the optimum traction on the racing surface. Plus it just looks cool. Unfortunately, you can't burnout in any old car, but if you want to remove layers of expensive rubber to accomplish nothing of dynamic significance besides enjoyment, it can be done. See Step 1 for more information.


Performing a Basic Burnout

  1. Make sure you have the right kind of car. To perform a burnout, you need a car with lots of horsepower, generally more than a 4-cylinder engine. Regarding transmissions, it is easiest to do in a manual but is possible in an automatic . For the best effect, street tires are also desirable, which have smoother surfaces that'll put out more smoke.
  2. Put the car in first gear. Depress the clutch fully and start revving the engine. You shouldn't start moving, as long as you've got the clutch all the way in. Get your RPMs up so the tires will be hot when you let 'em loose.
  3. Lock the handbrake. After you pop the clutch, your tires will be spinning very fast, so you can either pop it to speed off and perform a peel-out, or you can keep the hand brake or parking brake locked to spin your tires and create smoke, performing a burnout.
  4. Release the clutch. When you release the clutch fully, the tires should start spinning very quickly, resulting in the burnout smoke. To stop the burnout ease off the accelerator and free the brake.[1]
  5. If the car is an automatic, put the transmission into D, hold the footbrake down as firmly as possible, build up the revs of the car by pushing the throttle pedal. When ready, release the footbrake and the car should wheelspin.

Getting Nasty

  1. Try a peel-out. A peel-out is the nicer cousin of the burnout, and happens when the driver spins the wheels on the road before moving. Peel-Outs are far easier and less dangerous to your car than a burnout, and even happen accidentally at stop lights when you jump on the gas too hard. To perform the Peel-Out:
    • Depress the clutch with the car in gear. Rev the engine high and release the clutch abruptly to peel-out.
  2. Do a donut. A donut is a circular burnout. To do a donut, find a large open area with no other cars, lampposts or other things you can hit. It is easy to lose control of a car with a donut. Begin driving in slow circles and then hit the gas hard so that the rear tires begin to lose traction, holding the wheel in the same position to perform the spinning donut.
  3. Try a rollback burnout. A rollback is just like a burnout, but performed on a hill. They are a good way to get a burnout in an underpowered car as the backward movement helps with traction after the burn.
    • Find a hill and put the car in first gear. Depress the clutch. Let the car roll backwards down the hill slightly, then start giving the car plenty of gas. Finally, "pop" the clutch to jump into first and take off.
  4. Use a line locker. A line locker is a device that modifies a car so the brake pedal only engages the front brakes. A line lock is a solenoid (fancy name for a switch) that gives you some extra buttons in the drivers seat to control your brakes. To do a burn out with a line locker installed:
    • To use a line locker, step on the brakes and push the line lock button. When you release the brake pedal, you'll leave your front brakes on but disengaging your back brakes, leaving those wheels free to spin, burn and make smoke. Release the line lock button to release the front brakes and move forward.
    • Like burnouts, this device is almost always illegal and is quite dangerous.


  • Watch where you're going so you don't hit someone or something.
  • If the engine stalls you haven't revved the car high enough before popping the clutch, or your vehicle doesn't have the power to burnout.
  • Check how much tread is on your tires before hand, so you don't have a blowout as a burnout will literally burn off a decent amount of rubber from your tires.
  • An alternative to a line lock is a "Brake Clamp". Designed to clamp off a brake line when being worked on, these can also be used to shut off the rear brakes thus allowing only the front brakes to function when the pedal is depressed. Note: most cars have a steel brake line from the brake booster to the rear of the car, the area to put the brake clamp is a short length of rubber hose that attached to the Differential. (some cars have two separate brake lines, one for each side, in which case two brake clamps are required.
  • Try changing your tires. The worse your tires are the easier it is to make them spin, plus they smoke easier and you will not ruin your good tires.
  • You may cause one of your axles or drive shaft to become damaged if you try a burnout.
  • Increase the amount of smoke by lubing your drive tires with old motor oil.
  • It can help to give the tires a quick powerful spin before pulling the e-brake (front wheel drive only).
  • Holding the brakes while gassing the engine is not that bad for your brakes; it is terrible for your engine, however.
  • Whenever you pull off a burnout, you might spin out and turn another way sometimes. To not fall in a ditch, try to keep the car straight and brake to stop if you turn surprisingly.


  • Again, burnouts are illegal and will earn you a traffic violation or worse penalties almost everywhere.
  • Never try to pop the transmission in an automatic car by revving the engine in neutral and jamming it into gear. This can easily ruin your transmission box or drive shaft resulting in extremely costly repairs.

Things You'll Need

  • A car with enough power and appropriate gearing to overcome the traction from the driving wheels.
  • Driving skill.
  • Good tires you don't mind destroying.
  • A tarmac surface, not sand, gravel or grass.

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Sources and Citations