How to do a smokey burnout

hero image Hero Image

It’s a car enthusiast’s dream. Sitting behind the wheel of a high-powered muscle car, revving the engine in a way that you can feel the horsepower rumbling around you. You shift into gear and launch yourself into the most gnarly, smoke-filled burnout. White smoke billowing, enveloping the car like bees to honey while your friends cheer and video from the sideline. This is what us tire enthusiasts live for. Now, you may be wondering HOW do you make that white smoke billow out from under the tires and what does burnouts, donuts, and bleach have in common?


The basics to a burnout


Make sure you have the right kind of car. To perform a burnout, you need a car with lots of horsepower. It's easiest to do a burnout in a manual transmission car but you can also do burnouts in an automatic transmission car. For the best effect, street tires are also desirable, which have smoother surfaces that'll put out more smoke. 


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. Rev your RPMs up so the tires will be hot when you let them loose.


Lock the handbrake (if the car is Front Wheel Drive). 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.


Release the clutch. The tires should start spinning very quickly when you release the clutch. This results in the smokey burnout. To stop the burnout ease off the accelerator and free the brake.


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.


Explore Tires We Offer


Enter beast mode.

Try a peel-out. A peel-out is the nicer version 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 stoplights when you jump on the gas too hard. Easiest way to try a peel-out is to depress the clutch with the car in gear. Rev the engine high and release the clutch abruptly to peel-out.


Try a donut. A donut is a circular burnout. To do a donut, find a large open area with no other cars, lampposts, or other objects you could accidently 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. Adding water can help to lose control of the rear end more. 




Add liquid to help.

It's a well known secret in the auto enthusiast industry that certain liquid on tires can manipulate them to perform better. For the purpose of burning rubber, choose bleach. Bleach helps the grip improve on the tire a little bit and makes the rubber very slippery at first, then as it burns off it heat's up to get that fresh rubber grip.


A lot of drag strips spray this in the burnout lane so when you roll up to do your burnout, the tires have already rolled through it and have been covered so you can do your burnout. The tires get really sticky if you do it right.



Now you can master the burnout but once you grab yourself new tires, do you need to break them in? Let us explain why you need to. Once you have tested your burnout and curious about where the tires go to die - read about our circular economy here. 


An unmatched selection

The best brands meet superior volume savings. Explore our brands to learn more.

Delivered in more ways

More than 1,400 fleet vehicles. On average we're tracking more than 8 million deliveries across more than 53 million miles per year.


More like this