tick over

verb (intr, adverb)

Also: idle British (of an engine) to run at low speed with the throttle control closed and the transmission disengaged
to run smoothly without any major changeskeep the firm ticking over until I get back

noun tick-over

British
  1. the speed of an engine when it is ticking over
  2. (as modifier)tick-over speed
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012