How do dash gauges work?Car gauge repair Hamilton NZ

Almost every car has a set of dash / instrument gauges located in clear sight of the driver. This set of gauges is commonly referred to as the gauge cluster. Most dash gauge clusters show the car’s speed, the engines RPM, the amount of remaining fuel and the temperature of the engine as well as other important information. Engine warning lights will also display around the gauges, warning the driver of any running problems.

Sometimes the back lights in the dash can fail as well. This is normally caused by the small bulbs located around the dash blowing over time. Sometimes the dash can have LED lights, which can fail due to burn out or circuit board tracks.

In most modern cars, gauges use sensors to determine information such as revolutions per minute, speed, fuel levels and more. These sensors send information to a small computer, which translates the information to values/readings on gauges such as the speedometer or tachometer.

In older cars, the gauges are usually analog rather than digital. This means that rather than using sensors to monitor speed, RPMs, etc, the gauge is directly connected to its corresponding component. For example, the speedometer will usually have a cable connects with the transmission, which changes levels according to how quickly the transmission spins.

Gauges such as the speedometer are vital to your safety. This is because they allow you to see how fast you are going. In New Zealand, a faulty speedometer can lead to your car failing its Warrant of Fitness.
Learn more about speedometer WOF requirements >


Causes of gauges not working:

  • Faulty instrument voltage regulator – In electronic gauge systems, the instrument voltage regulator ensures the right voltage is supplied to your car’s gauge cluster. If it fails or malfunctions, none of the gauges will work.
  • Faulty sensors – If one or more sensors is not working properly, the effects may be noticeable on your car’s gauges. The gauges may read too high, too low or not display any sort of reading due to the sensor(s) providing no information.
  • Damaged wiring – The wiring that connects your car’s gauges to their corresponding sensors/measuring devices can fail, causing a loss in signal to the gauges.
  • Blown fuse – The fuse that controls your car’s gauges can blow, resulting in none of the gauges displaying any information.


Car Gauge and Instrument Voltage Regulator Replacement in Hamilton

Are you having problems with your car’s speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge or temperature gauge? If so, we can help! At Grimmer Motors our team of experienced mechanics can quickly determine why your car’s gauges are not working correctly. We can call in a specialist who can repair and replace sensors, plus organise for electrical issues in your dash gauges to be repaired and get your gauges working again. We can also replace blown bulbs in your dash / instrument cluster so that your gauges are visible at night. This will allow you to drive with improved safety and let you see important information about your car at a glance.

For car gauge diagnostics and replacement in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!

Please Note  we don’t generally stock or supply just “parts only” for this service. We are a general automotive repair workshop. If you are able to bring your vehicle to us, we can diagnose the problem, find and fit the necessary parts, or organise the appropriate service for you.


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