A car gauge measures a specific aspect of a car's performance such as speed, pressure, direction, and gas level. The typical car gauge is round with a dial indicating the measurements, although digital gauges are also available. The car gauge is usually located on the dashboard along with other gauges. Cars generally have a minimum of two gauges, and most Australians have four. The most common types of car gauge are the following:
- Speedometer: This was and still is the most common type of car gauge. Speedometers measure the speed of your car using a spinning cable or an electronic sensor (the latter is more common in new cars).
- Fuel Gauge: This car gauge indicates the level of fuel in your car. These are rarely accurate; most fuel gauges just indicate general proportions such as "Full", "1/2," "1/4," and "Empty." The general rule is never to let the needle go past ¼.
- Temperature Gauge: This car gauge indicates the temperature of your engine by measuring the coolant levels being emitted. While some dials indicate it in actual degrees, most of them simply have zones for cold, normal, and hot.
- Tachometer: This car gauge measures the number of rotations made by your engine in revolutions per minute (RPM), allowing you to find the best speed for acceleration or fuel economy. It's most useful for stick-shift cars, and is the least used car gauge on cars with automatic transmission.
Choosing a car gauge
The first rule in choosing a car gauge is to make sure you need it. The four types mentioned above are all you need in most situations. Avoid overcrowding your dashboard and make sure all the key indicators are easily visible on the car gauge. Visit Autogauge for more information and tips on buying a car gauge.