You might be driving for a while now but you may not know how to read your dashboard gauges. Or are you even looking at them while driving? While it’s important to keep your eyes focused on the road so you might not hit other vehicles, pedestrians or objects, it’s also equally important to keep reading your gauges. Today’s most common gauges pre-installed to new model cars are the Speedometer, Fuel gauge, Temperature Guage and the Tachometer.
This gauge obviously measures how fast your car is moving. Many says that this is the most frequently used gauge on your dashboard. Because the most common traffic violation is over-speeding, it’s been our practice to have a glance on it from time to time when driving on the freeway. Makes sense?
Older type speedometers work by the help of spinning cable connected to the transmission. The cable spins in proportion to how fast the speedometer gear inside the transmission rotates. The rotation serves as input to the meter by providing electromagnetic signals that makes the needle pointer to move. Modern speedometers use electronic sensors that measures wheel speed and sends it as input to the meter.
Tachometer measures the revolution per minute (RPM) your engine makes. While over-revving is dangerous to your engine, the importance of this device comes in. Not all engines have the same maximum RPM. Ordinary cars can have a maximum of up to 4000 – 5000 RPM while racing cars can go up to 15000 or even higher. Racing cars have a special type of engine but this is a different story. Tachometer also helps you achieve the smoothest performance for your car. When you know the proper RPM you must have before each gear shift, I’m sure you’ll enjoy driving more. And another thing I noticed personally by considering proper RPM before each shift is that I maximize gas mileage.
Older type tachometer works exactly the same way as the speedometer. It has a cable with one end attached to the engine that rotates and send signal to the meter.
The Temperature Gauge
Car engines require certain amount of heat for best performance. When your engine is too cold, you may sometimes feel that your exhaust system is clogged and you’ll see lots of smoke coming out. You’ll also fell that your engine is a bit shaky. It also increases engine wears.
When it’s too hot, you won’t have the best performance either. Based from experience, it slows down my car and not only that, it seriously damaged the engine. So it’s better to monitor the temperature of your engine.
Common temperature gauges do not have the exact numbers in degrees on it. They only show Cold and Hot levels which means any degrees outside the hot or cold area is just good enough for your car. Too cold engine is not as problematic as too hot. If this happens oftentimes, consider checking these guidelines. Or might as well have your engine checked by a certified mechanic.
The Fuel Gauge
I would say, this gauge has the least importance. In fact, it’s the most inaccurate gauge of all. If you notice, after filling up your tank, you can see that the gauge is almost not moving but when it reaches below 3 quarts, it’s going down a bit faster. So it’s not accurate after all that you have consumed 1/4, is it?. Some gauges have the 3/4 mark a little closer to full to be ‘less inaccurate’. But I still don’t see its importance here. If you regularly fill up your fuel tank, it’s like you don’t need a fuel gauge anymore.
But I don’t say it’s not important at all. I saw its importance once when I drove quite long and when my gas run low, I can’t find a gasoline station nearby. So I keep on monitoring the gauge until I found one. I learned that the lowest mark doesn’t mean I’m out of gas. I still have some reserve. Though I don’t know how many liters I still got. And I felt so lucky that I was able to refill before the reserve run out.