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How can I read those digital gauges on a bright day

My problem must certainly affect most everyone who drives. The issue is primarily about digital gauges but there is also difficulty with some of the analog gauges. The problem is this: on a bright day it is impossible to read any of the digital gauges in my vehicle. In the early ‘90’s I had a Lincoln with a digital speedometer and when the sun was shining I had no idea how fast I was going. Also, some of the analog gauges have a dark red needle on a black background and these too are difficult to read. What can we do to be able to see all the gauges we need to see when driving?

I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a setting for to put it in for very bright environments. Of course, no one knows what kind of car it is, so even if someone knew about things like this they couldn’t say. Have you checked the owner’s manual?

Do you drive with the headlights on during the day? Most cars dim the gauge lights when the headlights come on making it easier on the eyes at night. Not so good during the day. My Caravan has a “parade” setting on the interior light control that brightens the gauges to normal with the headlights on. Also you might have inadvertently dimmed the gauge lights. Something I’ve done. In my car the interior light control, gauge light control and the parade setting all work off the same control.

At first, they were a luxury car feature but most cars manufactured in the last decade have a sun load sensor located in the middle of the dash pad near the center of the windshield. This sensor is used (among other uses) to adjust the dash lamp intensity between daytime and nightime brightness. Often, people inadvertantly cover this up with hats, papers etc and the result is perpetually dim dash lamps. Make sure the dimmer setting is high enough to see during the day and then it should automatically dim to a proportional setting at night.

I never have any problem, but the displays on mine are blue fluorescent, and you can kick up the brightness even if your headlights are on in the daytime. If you have an LCD with little black letters on a yellowy background, that might be a problem.

The worst car I had for this was an '81 Firebird when I was younger. It had a shiny reflective panel around the gauges that looked kind of like a psychedelic version of the diamondplate steel used on some toolboxes and running boards on pickups. Terrible. No idea what the designers were thinking. If the sun came in bright through the back or side windows, it would actually blind you like the sun in a mirror.

I had that same problem with my 90 Pathfinder. But the only gauge that was digital was the OD. So it really didn’t matter most of the time.

Not much you can do. Test drive cars on a bright day is about all you can do.

If you are wearing polarized lenses, take them off and you can probably see the LED/LCD displays better on bright days.

If you are not wearing polarized lenses, try wearing them.