• Understanding The Types of Car Gauges and How to Choose One

    Car gauges are those helpful display panels on your dashboard that allow you to monitor many of the different vital aspects of operating your car, from speed to temperature to oil pressure. There are many types of car gauges available for your vehicle depending on what you are trying to gauge, the style you are looking for and the level of quality you need.

    With so many gauges to choose from you must first check out the wiring harness and options under your dash to see what your current electrical system can handle. If you have a stock wiring harness, you may need to improve upon this for the auto gauges you want. Most aftermarket auto body or tech shops can help you with this.

    Before investing in auto gauges, it’s important to understand how auto gauges work to make sure you get the right gauge for your vehicle and your needs. Auto Meter offers the highest quality in performance aftermarket instruments, gauges and tachometers and is among the most respected companies in the industry.


    Tachometers measure the RPM. This is important because the longer you are running at higher RPM’s, the harder your engine is working and the worse the fuel mileage is.


    Speedometers are standard, and required, in every vehicle on the road and are used to measure your rate of speed. It’s important to make sure your speedometer is working correctly at all times so that you have a good estimate of exactly how fast you are traveling. A quick test of this is to travel at a rate of 60 MPH and track how many minutes it takes to pass a set amount of mile markers on the freeway.

    Coolant Temperature

    The coolant in your vehicle regulates the temperature of the various parts of the engine to keep it from overheating or freezing, depending on the environment. This gauge will help you assess whether the coolant is doing its job based on whether the temperature is too high or too low.

    Oil Pressure

    Oil pressure is essential to the proper lubrication of the engine, which helps your engine run more efficiently and last longer. The higher the oil-pressure is, the better. If pressure drops suddenly, you should shut the engine off immediately to avoid further damage to the engine.


    This measures the voltage being put out by your battery. If the voltage is low, there are many systems of your vehicle that could run improperly or stop running all together.


    There are also many specialty aftermarket auto gauges that can be purchased for measuring or calculating other engine systems. Some of these gauges include Pyrometers (used to measure exhaust gas temperatures; mainly used in diesel engines), Boost Gauges (used for measuring the boost put out by turbo or other high performance parts), Transmission Temperature Gauges (used for measuring the temperature of the transmission fluid), and Vacuum Gauges (used for measuring the suction power of your engine).

    Choosing from their full array of lighted, colored, patterned and designer styles can be difficult. Once you find an auto meter gauge you like, you’ll never go back to stock gauges again. If you have no experience with gauge installation, it’s best to leave it to the professionals, though each gauge cluster or gauge comes with full installation and warranty information, so you can install your gauges the moment they arrive.

    Knowing what each of the gauges on your car does and how they work is an important step in gaining a greater understanding of how your car works as a whole. By paying attention to those gauges, and replacing or repairing ones that aren’t functioning properly, you will be able to better keep track of how well your car is functioning.