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Faqs

Faqs
Auto Meter FAQs cover the most common problems with easy resolutions to get everything working like it should.
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Gauges

  • How can I extend the termocouple on my pyrometer/EGT?

    The extension wire is an integral part of the pyrometer calibration. By standard means, it may not be shortened or lengthened without effecting the gauge calibration. However, Auto Meter has developed a thermocouple probe extension module for applications that require a longer thermocouple wire due to an increased distance between the thermocouple and the gauge. More

  • Why doesn't my pyrometer doesn't go to zero?

    Whether the gauge is new, still sealed in the package, or even if it is already installed, and power is off, the pointer on your pyrometer can point anywhere. This gauge is manufactured with an “air-core” internal meter that uses no physical contact with the pointer. Therefore there is no “spring” to pull the pointer down, or auto zero function when power is turned off. More

  • Why doesn't the pyrometer read accurate ambient temperature?

    The Auto Meter pyrometers are calibrated to within + or – 2% accuracy at full scale reading. What this means, is that we purposely make sure that the hotter the probe is, the more accurate the gauge is. Therefore it is not uncommon for the outside temperature to be 70 degrees, and the gauge is showing you something different, such as 32 degrees, or even something a little over 100 degrees. This is not a cause for concern. After all, when it comes to this gauge, we want to make sure that it is giving you proper readings at hotter temperatures, where it matters the most. Generally, the gauge has come into full calibration by 600 degrees. More

  • Voltmeter immediately reads 18v or higher when powered on

    The most common cause for this condition is when too many things connected to the volt-meter. On the back of many Auto Meter volt-meters, there are three terminals. These are identified with the letters “S”, “I”, and “GND”. Of these three terminals, only two are used. Connect the “GND” terminal to a common chassis ground, and connect the “I” terminal to a key-on power supply. Leave the “S” terminal empty. If you were to connect power to the “S” terminal, the gauge will immediately read at or above 18v. Simply remove your wire from the “S” terminal and the problem is solved. More

  • Short sweep electric pressure/temperature gauge reads high or pegs.

    This FAQ pertains to short sweep, electric gauges, that use a single-terminal sender. The symptom is that the gauge will either immediately peg at full reading, or may gradually read higher and higher until maxed out, and appears to get there rather quickly. An example would be starting your engine cold, and having a reading or 180 degrees in under a minute, then having it continue to rise. More

  • Remote Mounting Oil Pressure Senders. Why and How?

    Let’s start with “why” you would ever want to remote mount an oil pressure sender. More

  • Oil temperature gauge is not reading

    This is actually not too uncommon of an inquiry. Most times, just getting the vehicle out and driving it will solve the issue. Here is why. The oil temperature actually does not climb at the same rate as, say the coolant temperature. Depending on the engine, and the build (tolerances) of the engine, along with many other variables, it is possible to not see an oil temp reading at all if you simply run the car in a shop, or idle the car for a long period. More

  • What do I need to be aware of when installing my Dodge Diesel fuel pressure gauge?

    You can use any Auto Meter Full Sweep Electric Fuel Pressure gauge to monitor lift pump (not injector) pressure, though we recommend the 30psi units as a best fit for this application. However, you must also install a #3279 pressure snubber fitting and #3227 stainless hose kit to protect the sending unit as '98 to '02 (and some '03) Dodge Diesels produce a very sharp, very high pressure spike in excess of over 300psi between the lift pump and injector pump. More

  • Full sweep gauges will not full sweep on power up! Why?

    This is a question/concern that we hear more often these days as many OEM, and some after market gauges perform a full sweep on power up. Auto Meter full sweep (digital stepper motor) gauges will not perform a full sweep. Instead what they are intended to do is a “calibration sweep” which is a little different. Instead of sweeping to full scale and back, the Auto Meter gauge(s) will simply sweep backwards from its last reading to just below the minimum reading, touch the stop pin, then go back up to whatever current reading is. More

  • Will Auto Meter gauges fit in my stock dash in place of the OEM instruments?

    Auto Meter instruments are not designed to be exact replacements for original gauges, they are intended to improve a stock dash. The custom car or truck builder may be able to mount some instruments directly into the dash, however they will most likely need to modify or build a completely new dashboard. More

  • Water Temp Gauge Reads High

    Sometimes there comes a time when you want to check the accuracy of your temp gauge, or maybe you simply do not believe the temperature that is being displayed. We are going to start off with one of today’s biggest misunderstandings when it comes to checking water temperature…. More

  • Fuel Level: My 73-10ohm gauge isn't working properly with my replacement sender?

    The short sweep electric fuel gauge manufactured by Auto Meter for the Ford 73-10ohm range is calibrated for the original Ford factory supplied, non-linear, fuel level sender design. If you view the gauge dial itself, you will notice that the halfway point in the gauge is in fact not centered in the field in order for the calibration to match this special sender. More

  • Wideband Air/Fuel Ratio Gauge vs. Narrowband Air/Fuel Ratio Gauge

    To fully understand why a high performance vehicle tuner would be better off using a wide-band O2 sensor/gauge versus a narrow band setup, we must first understand what each sensor was originally developed to do. More

  • Why does my fuel level gauge bounce around when I am driving?

    If your fuel level gauge stays still when the car is still, the problem is due to sloshing fuel in the tank. When the vehicle is in motion, fuel is allowed to move back and forth and move, or “slosh” around. Many late model tanks have internal baffling and some fuel cells use a foam insert that help keep fuel from moving around too much. More

  • Why don't the pressure and temp gauges fit my specific vehicle?

    For the electric water temp gauges, the temp sender should be located either in the intake manifold or the cylinder head; this is not an instance where a tee fitting can be used, as coolant will not circulate past the sender. Please see our radiator and heater hose adapters under the Accessories section as another available option for mounting your gauge's coolant temperature sender. More

  • Do I need a sender for my electrical gauge?

    Electrical temperature and pressure gauges require the use of a sender matched for the type of gauge in use; the stock sender will only work with the stock gauges. Auto Meter gauges are designed to work with the Auto Meter sender that is included with the gauge. Extra senders are available; check out our Accessories section for more information. More

  • How do I install my mechanical temperature gauges and capillary tubing?

    When installing one of our mech. temp gauges, you should first be aware of the fact that you will need to drill or cut a 7/8" hole in your firewall to route the capillary tubing. This is must be done because the capillary tubing can not be removed from the back of the gauge or the sealing nut without damaging the line itself. We include a grommet to fill the hole you drill, so there is not a gaping hole in your firewall. More

  • Which is better for monitoring a vehicle's electrical system - a Voltmeter or an Ammeter?

    Short answer: A voltmeter, by far. More

  • My fuel level gauge has a problem. Start here to learn how it works.

    All Auto Meter fuel level gauges and most OEM fuel level gauges operate on the same principle. They operate the same way as an ohm meter and measure resistance to ground, but only within a calibrated range and direction. Power & ground is supplied to the gauge to power the meter. More

  • Why does my fuel level gauge always read past full?

    First we need to determine the model number of the gauge to know what the calibrated resistance range is of the gauge in question. You may either check our catalog or use the Ask A Question feature to find out what the range of operation of the gauge is. More

  • What if Auto Meter does not offer a fuel level gauge to work with my stock sender?

    Auto Meter offers a universal sender under model number 3262. It operates from 240 ohms at empty and 33 ohms at full. It is adjustable from 5” to 24” tank depths. It uses a 5 bolt mounting flange. In most cases, it may be necessary to cut a new hole in the top of the tank to use this sender. It does not replace spin lock or ring type factory sending units. More

  • Some helpful hints to successfully install your fuel level gauge

    Run a new, 18g automotive wire from the “S” terminal of the gauge to the sender terminal of the sending unit. More

  • Can I install a fuel pressure gauge inside my car in the dash?

    For safety reasons, all MECHANICAL fuel pressure gauges must be mounted outside of the vehicle, unless you use a fuel pressure isolator. In low pressure applications (0-15 PSI) we offer fuel pressure gauges that include the isolator and 4 ft. of braided line between the gauge and the isolator. The isolator keeps any fuel inside the engine compartment behind the firewall and not in the passenger compartment. More

  • Will an Auto Meter fuel level gauge work with my existing stock sender?

    So, you have decided to replace or install one of our fuel level gauges, or your current system is simply broken. No problem. However, this can be a tricky job, and it will require some thought and research. Fuel level gauges are designed to work with specific sending units that vary with different automobile manufacturers. Auto Meter offers gauge models for use with the existing senders on most cars. More

General

  • What Size Inline Fuse Should I Use?

    The short answer is probably between 1 and 3 amps for a set of six gauges (not including the lighting circuits). More

  • Incandescent vs. Through the Dial LED Lighting

    Auto Meter instruments with Perimeter Incandescent Lighting utilize white light bulbs to spill soft light around the edges of the instrument dial and reflected off of a three dimensional pointer design for night time illumination that’s easy on the eyes. Red and Green bulb covers are included to allow you to customize the illumination color. If you’re looking for brighter light and more color with these instruments, check out our Replacement LED bulbs in the Accessories section. More

  • What type of battery do I need?

    Wet cell or gel type battery is required for proper operation. We recommend using a standard 12V automotive battery. More

Speedometers

  • Terminal Arrangements on Speedometers & Tachometers

    On occasion, there is a difference in the terminal arrangement on the tachometers and speedometers. You can always tell what terminal belongs to what, by looking at the “key”, or “chart” cast into the back of the unit. These markings represent the terminals. There may not be a terminal present in every port. This is normal. More

  • Changing the bulb in an in dash, tachometer or speedometer

    Over the years with the introduction of new model numbers, and changes in production, we have had various designs in lighting our in dash tachometers and speedometers. Please see below for some pictures on how to access your bulb for replacement. More

  • Adding cruise control while using an Auto Meter electric speedometer.

    There is no need to use two separate speed senders. You may share one speed sender (sensor) between the cruise and the speedometer. More

  • My electric speedometer registers speed when sitting still or with engine revs

    If the speedometer registers speed with the engine running while the car is sitting still, you will first need to make sure that you have successfully completed the calibration procedure. If not, do so and that may solve the problem. More

  • What's the deal with Automotive Electronic/Programmable Speedometers?

    One of the greatest features of the electric speedos is that they are fully programmable, which means you can recalibrate it rather easily if you happen to change your rear-end gear or tire sizes. If you have ever had to change the gear in the transmission to adapt for either of these changes, you will appreciate the ease of the calibration with this speedo. More

  • My Electric Speedometer Is All Hooked Up But Won't Register Anything

    Check the output from the speed sensor to see if the speedometer is getting a signal. More

  • I finished the calibration process and the pointer went to full scale instead of zero

    This is most commonly caused by the speedometer not receiving a speed sensor signal during calibration. Check to make sure you have a wire going from the “SIG” terminal of the speedometer to the signal output of the vehicle speed sensor. Good soldered connections for this also help. More

  • Electronic Speedometer calibration made easy!

    With the power off, push and hold the calibration button (trip/reset button when equipped). While holding the button, start the vehicle and continue to hold the button until the pointer sweeps to full scale and stays at full scale. You may now release the button. More

  • What speed sensor do I need to use an Auto Meter electric speedometer?

    This answer depends largely on what transmission and vehicle you have. For some the answer is easy, for others it is not impossible, but just not as easy. Please read on. More

  • Where can I purchase speedometer cables and how can I calibrate my speedometer?

    We first suggest contacting Speedometer Service out of Milwaukee, WI. They can assist you with adapters, cable gears, and new cables for virtually every application. The phone number to reach them at is: (414) 463-6660. More

Tachometers

  • Terminal Arrangements on Speedometers & Tachometers

    On occasion, there is a difference in the terminal arrangement on the tachometers and speedometers. You can always tell what terminal belongs to what, by looking at the “key”, or “chart” cast into the back of the unit. These markings represent the terminals. There may not be a terminal present in every port. This is normal. More

  • Changing the bulb in an in dash, tachometer or speedometer

    Over the years with the introduction of new model numbers, and changes in production, we have had various designs in lighting our in dash tachometers and speedometers. Please see below for some pictures on how to access your bulb for replacement. More

  • This tachometer came with wires that are not connected. Where do they go?

    Due to changes in manufacturing techniques, there are a few models of Auto Meter 3-3/4”, pedestal mount tachometers that do certainly come with the wires and terminals, but are not plugged into anything yet on the rear of the tachometer. More

  • Shift Lights. Which one works with what?

    If you are using a factory tachometer, or an aftermarket tachometer that does not have shift light controls, you may still use any of the above mentioned shift lights, but you will now need an RPM Switch, an RPM Activated Module, or Playback Box. Examples of these items are 5312, 5313, and 5314, as well as the recently discontinued 5310. Even if you are running no tachometer, you may still use the RPM activated devises, and any of the above shift lights. More

  • Chrysler / Mopar Orange and Chrome Box Ignitions

    If you have a Mopar Orange or Chrome Box ignition system on your vehicle, rather than connecting the Green signal wire of your tachometer to the negative side of your ignition coil, instead locate the Gray wire running between the Ignition Box and the Distributor. Connect your tach's Green signal wire to this Gray wire for a proper engine RPM signal. More

  • Dual Range Tachometers

    Dual-Range Tachometers from Auto Meter feature a compressed lower RPM scale and an expanded upper scale for enhanced clarity and extreme resolution where it counts! These tachometers are ideal for high-revving motors that spend most of their life in the upper rev band. Such high performance application include drag & road racing, circle track, and drift vehicles. More

  • How can I install a tachometer in my late model ignition systems?

    We are getting more and more requests for tach signal wires and connection points on all kinds of new vehicles, and virtually every new vehicle has at least a DIS (distributorless ignition systems, or coil pack as it is more commonly referred to). The days of the "old distributor and coil" are gone, friends. More

  • My Tach Won't Light Up?

    Check the power to the White (illumination) wire. This is your power input to the light and the amount of power will vary depending on how and where you have it hooked up. The lower the power, the dimmer the light and the higher the power, the brighter the light. A common range is from 6 to 14 volts. More

  • My Tach Doesn’t Go To Zero On Power Up?

    Your Auto Meter tachometer should go to Zero when powered on with the engine off. More

  • My Tach Registers/Shows the Wrong RPM?

    The causes of this type of problem can vary. We recommend that you check the following before contacting our Tech Department: More

  • My Tach Shift-Lite Doesn’t Turn Off?

    This situation can be caused by a short in the external shift light wiring. Check your wiring for exposed wires or connections, and repair as necessary. More

  • Why doesn't my tach pointer rest at zero when the ignition is off?

    We get a lot of questions about this. Here is the reason, along with some specifics for each product. Most of the electric instruments that we offer use what is called an air core meter. In layman's terms, this means there is no physical part to hold the pointer where it sits, or to force it back to zero when power is removed. More

  • Can my tachometer be converted to work with magneto ignitions?

    In most cases, yes, your tachometer can be converted to magneto or Super Magneto or vice-versa. Our magneto signal converter however, (model 9118) will allow you to use most standard/electronic ignition tachometers on most external coil magnetos. More

  • My Tach Pointer is Erratic/Jumpy?

    Is your tach pointer jumpy only at idle? This may be due to a 4 cylinder 1 or 2 pulse calibration setting. A little jumpiness at idle is considered normal in this case due to the low frequency signal generated by this ignition signal type at idle. A fluctuation of this type at low engine speeds is a trade off for an extremely quick and smooth reaction at higher engine RPM (where it really counts!) on these types of ignitions. More

  • My Tach Jumps to Shift Light RPM and Does Not Move With Engine Running?

    Autogage series tachometers exhibit this behavior when the signal wire (Green) is connected to an improper source, or when it does not recognize the tachometer signal it has been connected to. Be sure to check out our Installation Information section to verify that you are connected to the proper location. More

  • My Engine is Running, But My Tachometer Sits at Zero and Doesn't Register Any RPM?

    Check connections related to the signal wire (Green wire in most cases). Is the Green wire connected to the proper location (i.e. the negative side of the coil, or tachometer output from an after market ignition)? More

  • My Tach Shift-Lite Doesn't Turn On?

    If your tachometer is equipped with a externally mounted shift light, make sure that the shift light cord is fully plugged in. Thet are usually shipped unplugged when new. More

  • What are the Differences Between Your Playback Tachs?

    We offer a large variety of playback tachs to cover all performance data acquisition needs from enthusiast to the professional. Check out the break down below to determine which model is right for you. See bottom for feature definitions. More

  • Do any cars require special tach calibration?

    In some cases with newer vehicles such as Dodge and Ford V-10's, tachometers will have to be specially calibrated at an additional charge. Contact our tech support department for more details. More

  • What do radio interference, inductive crossfire, and government regulation have to do with my Auto Meter tachometer?

    Radio frequency interference (RF Interference) produces a false triggering effect on crank trigger and electronic distributor ignitions. Because your Auto Meter electronic tachometer counts the number of times you ignition fires in a crankshaft revolution, additional random, false triggering causes erratic and inaccurate tach movement. More

  • Do any Auto Meter tachometers work on an ATV, snowmobile, or lawn mower application?

    The short answer is no. The power, signal, and sealing requirements are not met for these applications. Click to find out why.

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Wiring

  • What Are These Colored Wires On My Full Sweep Electric Pressure Gauge For?

    Red = key on power supply More

  • What Are These Colored Wires On My New Design Pyrometer For?

    Red = key on power supply More

  • What Are These Colored Wires On My Old Design (w/ black box) Full Sweep Electric Gauges For?

    Brown, Green, & Red = used for communication between the gauge and its matching black interface box. More

  • What Are These Colored Wires On My #9117 DIS Tach Adapter for?

    Red & Red w/ Green stripe = wired in-line on ignition coil power supply that powers all coils. Installation varies widely from vehicle to vehicle. See Installation Information or Ask A Question sections for further information. More

  • What Are These Colored Wires On My Tach For?

    Red = key on power supply More

  • What Are These Colored Wires On My Full Sweep Electric Boost/Vac Gauge For?

    Red = key on power supply More

  • What Are These Colored Wires On My Full Sweep Electric Temperature Gauge For?

    Red = key on power supply More

  • What Are These Colored Wires On My Nexus Sensor Module For?

    Yellow = key on power supply. More

Data Acquisition

  • Do engine & driveshaft RPM count as 2 of the 9 user definable channels?

    Yes the do count as 2 of the 9 channels. If you are using both of these sensors you will have 7 user definable channels if using the MFDL.

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  • Can you have more than 9 user definable channels?

    Yes we offer a 10 & 20 channel expansion module. More

  • Can the pulse count for the engine and driveshaft be changed?

    Yes the pulse count is user definable and set through the advance tab in Designer.

    More

  • Can sensors from old Data Logger be used?

    As long as the sensors are 0-5 volt they can be used with the new system.

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  • How much record time will I have?

    The recording time depends of how many channels you are monitoring and the sample rate set for each channel. The more channels and higher sample rate the less record time. Recording 9 channels at a 100 samples per second will leave you with 14 minutes of record time.

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  • Can multiple runs be recorded?

    The unit will continue to record as long as the is memory left. There is no set number of runs that can be recorded, if you have 14 minutes worth of record time and each recording last 30 seconds you can record 28 runs. The unit will stop recording when the memory is full and will not record data until the memory is cleared.

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  • What operating system can be used with the software?

    Windows XP service pack 3, Vista, 7 & 8.

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  • How does the MFDL download?

    The unit downloads through a USB port on the PC.

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