Car dash gauge assortment for a gearhead?


#1

I got to thinking, what if I could have whatever gauges I wanted on my car’s dash? What would they be? I’m not saying it would have to be practical, not something a person would actually do. I’m saying what if I didn’t mind if the car looked like a 747 cockpit, full of all kinds of gauges, here, there, and everywhere.

Here’s what I was thinking:

  1. Speedometer/odometer/rpm
  2. Voltage at battery
  3. Current to/from battery
  4. Coolant temperature
  5. Fuel pressure at rail
  6. Transmission fluid/lube temperature, I’d want this both for automatics and manuals
  7. Transmission fluid pressure at selected points (for automatics)
  8. Starter max amps/minimum voltage (captured each time, during cranking, to be on the lookout for starter/connection problems)
  9. Altitude
  10. Direction the car is pointed (Degrees from North)
  11. Grade of road
  12. Left/right slope of car
  13. Important AC parameters? … not sure what those would be, no AC expert myself. But AC seems to be a common problem.
  14. Scrolling display of pending and current Diagnostic trouble codes

Edit: Forgot these three

  1. Oil Pressure
  2. Oil temperature
  3. Oil level

What do you think? Can you think of anything else?


#2

Barimetric pressure

Heat index

Radar Detector

Sonar DEtector (only needs one use)

Blood Pressure

Constipation Index

Ice Cream ahead Alarm

Wait, wait You’re from San Jose Earthquake Alert

Yosemite


#3

Night vision deer detection. Holy cow, talk about distracted driving.


#4

Those are indeed some good ones too … hmm … seems two of @Yosemite 's might be related … lol …

Ok, here’s another one I I’d like in my ideal dash display:

  1. Ignition Timing

#5

I don’t know if being a mechanic qualifies me as a gearhead, but my choices for gauges in the cluster are speedometer and fuel. That’s it. I prefer warning lights and chimes over gauges.

Gauges are ineffective because they require constant monitoring. A temp gauge creeping up isn’t noticeable unless you constantly watch it. However a light and a buzzer will grab your attention immediately. And on top of that they require decision making. How hot is too hot? How low is too low? How high is too high? Who knows? I prefer the car to tell me when the oil pressure is too low or the coolant temp is too high.

If we’re talking about a HD diesel truck or a strip car that’s always running pedal to the metal I’d have a different opinion, but for a daily driver street car, that’s all I need.


#6

I concur with you on a practical level @asemaster , who needs all that extra info when you are just trying to get where you are going safely … but if you really wanted your car driving experience to be like piloting the starship enterprise … ??


This is Merriam Webster’s def’n .

gearhead: a person who is very interested in mechanical or technical things (such as cars or computers).


#7

Speedo/odo
RPMs
fuel level
tranny fluid level w/idiot light
oil pressure, oil level, both w/idiot light
current flow/drain for battery w/idiot light
battery voltage w/idiot light
brake fluid level idiot light

And I’d like three rear facing cameras covering a panoramic 180 degrees from the A-pillars aft, displayed on a three part screen just below the upper edge of my dash top, with an infrared mode for night vision (displayed in green, since that’s the optimal range for the eye), and with a digital distance warning display for items within, say, 50 feet away.

I’d also like the OBDII system to display codes along with their associated meanings. That could be down with the radio LCD display, as a display option for when a CEL illuminates.

Oh, and I’d like all displays to be either LED digits (NOT LEDs lighting digits via reflected light or backlit LCDs) or lit by old-fashioned bulbs, and in contrasts that work under all lighting conditions. My current gage cluster is black on silver with very poor LCD lighting and it is terrible in shadows during the day. It also cuts the LED output when the headlights are on, making it even worse, and I drive with my headlights on all the time for safety. I tried different gage faces, but with the incidental LED lighting that didn’t help. The light is supposed to be distributed via a plastic face that operates in a fiber optic manner, the light coming out where the digits are, but it’s really terrible.

Infrared night vision for nighttime would be great too, not in lieu of the windshield but on a screen just below the dashboard upper surface.


#8

but if you really wanted your car driving experience to be like piloting the starship enterprise … ??

Well in that case forget the gauges. All you have to do is point somewhere and say “Engage.”


#9

I prefer speedometer and tachometer along with a voltmeter, fuel, oil pressure, and temperature gauges.
I have a habit of eyeballing gauges regularly so I like any kind of looming heads up warning I may get.

A vacuum gauge is a nice addition but seldom found.

George, it would be near impossible to follow an ignition timing display. With EEC timing it can vary by the cylinder and by the nano-second so the numbers would be a blur unless some electronic damping was built in to show a rough average or a figure that was just close enough.


#10

OP…you realize that there are several OBD-II scan gauges you can plug into the port and give you real-time data such as open/closed loop, ignition timing, throttle position, and more. Hypermilers love 'em, because (among other things) they give AVG and cumulative MPG on any OBD-II car.

For my “wish-list” car…well, I’ve always been partial to analog gauges that read out digitally, on a drum. Get mah DC-8 on, yeah. Having my mandated TPMS report that way would be (almost) cool.

As for GPS, how about ghetto avoidance, weather datalink, and DWI checkpoint/open weigh stations overlay on the “moving map.”


#11

I’d like exactly the gages in the new LeFerarri… attached to the actual LeFerarri, of course.
I guess I must like hybrids after all!


#12

How about a head up display (HUD) filling the entire windshield? Driving is not a video game! Like they say in aviation. Don’t forget your primary function is to fly the aircraft!


#13

My mom’s new X3 BMW actaually uses HUD for MPH and GPS turn info.


#14

You might like this:
http://www.ultra-gauge.com/ultragauge/


#15

On my Riviera, it had just the basic fuel, speedo, lights, but then the computer screen had all the rest. You would go to different pages for different controls. RPM, volts, temp, etc. on one page, then you could go to the engine diagnostics that had everything from spark timing, pulse width, coolant sensor temp, oxy sensor voltage, etc. It was really fun on a long drive. What’s the fuel trim, was the trans commanded to 4th gear, etc. etc. Kinda like a star ship.


#16

Cost per Mile.


#17

@ASEMaster; “Gauges are ineffective because they require constant monitoring. A temp gauge creeping up isn’t noticeable unless you constantly watch it. However a light and a buzzer will grab your attention immediately. And on top of that they require decision making. How hot is too hot? How low is too low? How high is too high? Who knows? I prefer the car to tell me when the oil pressure is too low or the coolant temp is too high.”

I always used to think that guages was the way to go, but with the guage should be a warning light or chime.
Even the best of us don’t monitor the guages constantly.
The last time that I overheated on the road, I heard the chime and that led me to see that the info center was displayed “check guages”. Lucky for me I had coolant in the back and it was just because I hadn’t tightened the cap right. It didn’t get that hot, but had I relied only on a guage…it could have done damage.

l I think that when a guage reads a critical situation…I think it should continue to chime, or maybe get louder.
Every person that brings a car to me always says that they noticed the light/guage and in 10 minutes car died. DUH pull over and check it.

Better yet a guage with a light, a buzzer and it reroutes the spark from cylinder #1 to the steering wheel!!!
That’ll catch their attention!!!

Yosemite


#18

Another system could be the use of what we called “voice boxes” which were used in some Nissans many years ago. There was a robotic female voice that would repeatedly recite the same phrase over and over in a mind-numbing monotone about seat belts not being fastened, low fuel level, door ajar, etc, etc. until the issue was resolved.

This could be carried over to the engine oil pressure, engine coolant temps, ATF temps, etc, etc.

That voice was so irritatingly maddening that a driver would pull over inside of a minute and cure the problem or abandon the car never to own another that verbally nags the driver.


#19

Even my 2005 Trailblazer will sound a warning chime if one of the monitored parameters goes out of the acceptable zone. For example, one time I was running with the plow on when the fan clutch bit the dust. A warning chime alerted me to look at the gauges and then I saw the water temp edging into the danger zone. Although I tend to scan the gauges fairly regularly, I may have allowed it to over heat had it not alerted me to the issue. Chimes are a great addition to the gauges…


#20

air/fuel mixture with an xhaust manifold temp gauge…oh wait, that’s on my Cessna.

( I wished I had that on my carburated 80 Bronco. It was exteremly sensetive to altitude )