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View Poll Results: Is the temperature gauge a necessity?
Yes 446 92.92%
No 34 7.08%
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Old 17th June 2009, 21:27   #31
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I voted yes and this is something I want to see as needle moving and not just a LED glowing showing warning or something else.

If some wires get broken (or chewed by rats) then this temp. needle may also fail to work but then we easily notice that its not working while driving because it remain in its initial position forever.

However I find the digital temp. display of vista also fine as it replicate analaog meter.
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Old 17th June 2009, 22:40   #32
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The prominent temp gauge in the Civic is also the singular component on the dash not wired into the digital CAN bus. It works with the coolant temperature sensor or its own circuit, so the engine temp gauge will still work even if the whole dash computer is down. That is a pretty good engineering decision.
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Old 17th June 2009, 22:41   #33
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A definite Yes for this one. A digital/analog gauge, a beep device, a light indicator. At least one of these should be mandatory.
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Old 17th June 2009, 23:07   #34
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Seeing that the response is a clear yes, that brings up another question. Why have manufacturers (quite a few of them) started doing away with them? They're not stupid (or are they? ) and a temperature gauge is inexpensive no matter which car we're talking about. That just doesn't add up.
P.S. What does CEL mean?

Last edited by McLaren Rulez : 17th June 2009 at 23:16.
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Old 17th June 2009, 23:17   #35
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Definite yes. For all the reasons already mentioned. Another thing that I also practice is - after a cold start I do not revv beyond 2K rpm, till the temp needle is at it's normal position - once there, the throttle hits the carpet .. Ok that was symbolic, but you get the drift ...
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Old 17th June 2009, 23:33   #36
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Well I thought about this for a while and can see several possible reasons why a temperature gauge is being replaced by warning lights. The reasons are pure speculation from me so feel free to correct them.

1) Cheaper: I know I said gauges are inexpensive but then again, if a warning light is cheaper carmakers might be tempted to cut a corner there. Little drops of water making mighty profits? I'm certain a warning light is cheaper since it only needs to turn on if the engine is above a certain temp. and stay off if not whereas a gauge needs to show you the temperature all the time.

2) Noticeablity: Many have mentioned that they drive with an eye on the gauge but wouldn't a blinking light on your dash that turned on suddenly get your attention better than a needle which gradually climbed up? Perhaps most casual drivers didn't notice the gauge which forced carmakers to come up with a fix.

3) Reliability: We have an ancient Omni and the gauges have all given trouble at one time or the other but the warning lights for oil, battery, etc. never have. An interesting personal observation (not a conclusive one) but it does suggest that warning lights may be more reliable. (Conversely, a broken gauge is more likely to be noticed and fixed than a broken warning light cos you'll simply assume everything is fine for the latter)

4) Point of damage: Most of us have no idea which is the exact point on the temperature gauge where the engine is at real risk. There's a grey area (if the needle reaches the top half, I'd already be worried) but the light gives you more accuracy regarding imminent damage. Especially twin lights like the blue and red in the Getz 1.1

Someone mentioned cold start issues but I thought modern petrols run fine even if you rev them hard when cold? Plus I guess most of us know that engines warm up after we drive a few minutes

Just my two cents

Last edited by McLaren Rulez : 17th June 2009 at 23:46.
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Old 18th June 2009, 00:14   #37
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On the highway I do occasionally (every 15-20 min) check for warning lights and temp gauge needle movement on the cluster. In '98 I had an incident with a leaky radiator on a 20 yr old Premier and had to drive about 100 km constantly monitoring the temp and stopping when the needle started to climb. This was on a deserted stretch of Orissa-Bihar highway and made a bit of an impression on me. 11 years and countless drives later, I still have the habit of checking engine temp.
I know that my Swift is unlikely to overheat, but like the reassurance that the temp gauge provides. Would like a digital readout though.

Originally Posted by McLaren Rulez View Post
......I know I said gauges are inexpensive but then again, if a warning light is cheaper carmakers might be tempted to cut a corner there. Little drops of water making mighty profits? ......
I think thats it. Wasn't there an airline that saved a huge amount of money by reducing one olive in its salads? The same principle probably applies here.

Last edited by Roy.S : 18th June 2009 at 00:17.
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Old 18th June 2009, 00:21   #38
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A led that may go kaput can create havoc. My shogun (bike) had a led oil (2T) indicator. I used to religiously top up based on that light. It became a habit. And then one day that lovely engine seized. It turned out that the led had stopped working.

Yes revving from cold starts should be ok with modern engines, but I like to believe that it's a relatively better practice to high-revv a warm engine. And the needle lets me decide exactly when I can. Call it a simple pleasure of life
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Old 18th June 2009, 00:25   #39
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No brainer a definate YES
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Old 18th June 2009, 01:02   #40
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An undoubted YES from me. No point discussing why/what since it's all been clearly said by everyone else.

What good is a light that can not define a range?
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Old 18th June 2009, 01:34   #41
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Gauges better than lights

As several others have pointed out, gauges tell us much more than lights that light up once a threshold has been reached. The manner in which the temperature or pressure rises/falls is an invaluable monitoring and diagnostic tool and can help prevent expensive repairs by undertaking early preventive maintainance/repair.

I am all in favour of cars displaying the external temperature as it helps interpret the engine temp. gauge and the functioning of the A/c.

A gauge as a part of a multi-function display where one has to scroll down to see the temperature just does not fit the bill. I drive with one eye on the temperature gauge and our roads and traffic being what they are - we get no chance to take our hands and eyes off the road/wheel long enough to fiddle with some switches and stalks.

I miss the old ampmetres that measured the dynamo/alternator output and the battery charging - they have helped me resolve several issues with the electricals. The oil pressure gauges (in Diesel engines) sound like a good idea and can perhaps on right interpretation indicate when it is time for an oil change / filter change besides merely telling us that the oil pump is shot.

I guess these gauges disappeared courtesy the bean counters. Seems that "Get rid of gauges" is part of the "101 - Cost cutting" course.

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Old 18th June 2009, 02:54   #42
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YES, its a MUST
as this topic is becoming popular I'll try to give little bhasan on this.

1). A good company would leave no stones un-turned so having a meter is must.
then the would be good company can have alternate wiring which brings in another pair of sensor to some audible device(in case rat eats up the main wiring), or even a flasher light, which can be entire instrument panel GLOW RED. and at most once a threshold or 85-95% temp is reached, the Power and fuel to engine should be SUSPENDED.
After all this is a concern of passenger safety and comfort too.

this is not much expensive to do when most cars already have a on-board-comp.
but pity, many indian cars still have the "MOST BORING in-DASH INTERFACE"
I curse my SANTRO for it in the first place, the Area where AC controls are is something which i feel throwing out then crush it with my car itself. LOL

2). why can't car manufacturers have nice interface, which gives you selectable modes like Engine temp. cabin temp, outside temp, tacho, and fuel level where only 2 can be shown in one panel and one could switch to which one to display.
This would certainly let people have same interest as most people have when they need to see the time, Iam sure majority of people do look it on their cellphones, and with technology in this era, so cheap that you get a color cellphone under Rs.1000/- i don't think such a feature would require you to buy a luxury car of 20 lacs, thats simply our Indian car industry not considering users to take interest in technical aspects of car, i know most won't like it, but still there would be many hundred thousands of satisfied users for these features.

I simply Blame the car companies for neglecting these gauges digital or analog.
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Old 18th June 2009, 08:33   #43
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Originally Posted by shuvc View Post
Yes revving from cold starts should be ok with modern engines, but I like to believe that it's a relatively better practice to high-revv a warm engine.
High revving an engine on a cold start is not recommended. Damage is done, be it small. Gradual rise to steady state temperature is the best way to go.
Rapid temperature rise can cause damage that is not immediately apparent but can lead to unpredictable catastrophic failure!

A 'modern' engine is still subject to the basic laws of Physics!
In certain applications (ocean going ships) control is taken out of the operator's hands; a 'load-up' program slowly brings the engine to normal operating condition. Of course there is always the 'emergency bypass' switch also provided.
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Old 18th June 2009, 09:09   #44
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Voted for YES.

1) We know how much we can drive or can we drive the car to nearest mechanic/service center after the car has just started to overheat. We cannot do this if we just one light to show us that the engine is overheating.

2) It also gives mental peace to know that temperature is under control. A simple LED on the instrument panel is not sufficient.

3) I prefer analog gauges for speedo, tacho and temp gauge. Why ? Because in case of analog, we just have to glance at the panel to know what is the speed of car and/or engine or what is the temp.

In case of digital gauge, one has to read exactly what is the unit reading. Its as simple as this, you are driving a car. Imagine that you are wearing an analog watch and you want to know the time. Just a glance at the watch is sufficient for you to know what time it is. Now imagine you are wearing a digital watch. If you want to know time, you will have to read the display. This is IMHO ( for me atleast ) more time consuming. And when I am doing 140 on highway, a second does count.

4) Indian operating conditions : Its extreme to say the least. It wont take more than a minute to toast the engine. If we have tempearture gauge, then as soon as the overheating has started, we come to know about it. But in case of LED light indicating overheating, we do not know the threshold point at which the light will come ON.

At the end of the day I will say that we must have analog temperature gauge.
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Old 18th June 2009, 09:56   #45
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One more supporter here for providing a coolant temperature guage in all cars - I vote a BIG YES to having the gauge, even if the manufacturer asks me for extra money to provide the gauge as an optional fitment. No car of mine ever had, or ever will, have a missing coolant temperature gauge. And someone give me an oil pressure gauge too, please.
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