Now, don’t get mad. We aren’t trying to poke, honestly. But you know we’re kinda right: aside from hardcore enthusiasts, few in the American culture really “get” the value of gauges. And because of that, we wanted to devote an entire post “boring” you with why it’s the perfect Christmas gift for any rev head this yule-tide season. And with options ranging from $20 – $100 per piece, it’s the kind of stocking stuffer that will elicit a huge grin without spanking your back pocket.
Gauges tell us everything we need to know about the vehicle’s current operating conditions. Vehicles used to come with a plethora of gauges tapped into different mechanical systems in the vehicle because it was need-to-know information. Before warning lights, it was how you could tell if something was wrong. Nowadays, the little light flashes and it’s as simple as plugging in a diagnostics computer that can immediately pinpoint the problem.
This is where that disconnect comes from. See, vehicles generally never came with all the gauges we want. Some came without the tach, oil pressure gauge, water temperature, and so on. Aftermarket gauges have been at it for a long time and offer up a number of choices. Bosch, Equus, Sunpro, and – of course – Autometer are just a few of the names that you should keep on that wish list.
Who and Why?
No two rides are the same and, so, not all gauges will work for just any car. For instance, a boost gauge wouldn’t work on a naturally-aspirated application simply because it doesn’t have a forced induction system to tap into. The point is that you’re going to need to dig in and do a little homework. We’re not talking about your loved ones here, rather about their rides. So, you’re going to have to do your best to learn everything there is to know about it. And if it’s a complete ride, then this will hold especially true. However, if it’s a ground-up job that’s just started, then you’re in luck.
There are a few gauges that are absolute musts and super easy to get your paws on this holiday season. Those must-have gauges are the speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, water temp, oil pressure, and voltmeter. Just like no two vehicles are alike, neither are gauges. Some are mechanical and some electrical; they look different, come individually or even in clusters, and, of course, are available in different sizes. It’s wise, in any case, to seek professional help if you are unsure what exactly you will need to know, or what gauges you should be after. It may be as simple as knowing the year, make, and model or a little more complicated of a decision.
Keep it Simple
Getting the right look nailed down is one of the most important parts of picking gauges. Sizes don’t just vary. Sweep types, readouts, and even colors can be different, too. Sure, it’s cool to go all out and get the biggest and baddest race-style options with flashing shift lights and the whole nine yards. But consider the purchase with the mindset of an effective advertisement. Here me out…
In one smooth glance, advertisers know how to get everything you need to know about their product across to you. You should be after the same goal, only with car stuff. Don’t pick something that doesn’t suit the vehicle. Keep it clean, with the goal of nice flow. Make sure as the eyes move across the rest of the vehicle’s interior, they don’t get hung up on odd shapes or distracting colors. Imagine yourself in the driver’s seat – what works vs what’s just plain distracting.