What is Your Favorite Gauge on Your Dashboard?

Lights, dings, gauges, and meters line the front of your car’s dashboard. They’re gizmos and gadgets that let you know your vehicle’s condition from the pilot’s seat of your car. Without them, you won’t know your car’s health, how much gas you have left, and how fast you’re going on the road. Each one has their purpose and importance.

But, just like every parent, you have a favorite. Your dashboard gauges look different and act different depending on what you’re doing with your car. Each gauge is marvelous in their own unique way, so it’s understandable why you would have a gauge you like more than the others.

If you have a favorite dashboard gauge on your car, the others won’t take it personally. They’re gauges – they don’t have feelings. Right?


The speedometer could be everyone’s favorite gauge. It’s the golden child in most people’s eyes who have taken traffic school online. The speedometer is front and center on your dashboard and is usually the largest gauge. Not only is it physically impressive compared to others, but its existence saves you thousands of dollars every year. Driving the speed limit prevents you from unwanted tickets, ticket payments having to find out how much is a speeding ticket in California. To drive the speed limit, you must know how fast you’re going. As the best child – err, gauge – this device pays for itself.

Fuel Tank Gauge

The fuel tank gauge is the middle child of the dashboard gauges. Its existence is overlooked by its older sibling, the speedometer, despite it being one of the most important gauges (if not the most important). The fuel tank gauge shows your car’s current fuel level. Without it, you’ll be stranded alongside of the road having ran out of gas. This part of the car is incredibly important for any type of drive, especially a road trip with your family – your family being all your dashboard gauges.


The odometer is the most attractive gauge you have. It doesn’t offer any great value to you, besides letting you know how far you’ve traveled in your car. It can also help (or hamper) the sale of your car by letting prospective buyers know how far you’ve driven it. The odometer isn’t like those other gauges. The odometer is a rotating clock of numbers or digital value that shows the vehicle’s accumulated miles.

The Shift Gauge

The gauge that shows you what driving gear you’re in is kind of like that awkward cousin who isn’t your child, but still hangs around because they live down the street. You don’t notice it too much, and, some drivers can “feel” the gear they’re in through muscle memory. But the gauge does provide value, because you never know when you might need to throw the car in neutral and need a reference.


The Horsepower/RPMs gauge is constantly competing for your attention – especially since it sits right next to the speedometer. The RPMs show you how much juice you’re giving your car. The horsepower/rpms gauge doesn’t appeal to every driver, but to others it helps them know how hard the engine is working. You won’t really notice it unless you’re driving up a steep incline or your engine starts to “kick.” When you do, it’s usually a bad thing or you’re driving your car too intensely.

Engine Temperature

Engine Temperature has always been the runt of the gauge family. Just because it’s lodged in the corner of your vehicle’s dashboard, doesn’t make it any less valuable. It’s still unique and beautiful in its own way. The engine temperature gauge informs you on the heat and cooling conditions of your car. Without it, you go unaware of your car’s temperature and run the risk of overheating and breaking down.

Exterior Temperature

Arguably one of the least important gauges on your car, but one of the most looked at. Everyone loves knowing the temperature outside – sometimes they check it multiple times during a trip. Usually, it’s the first thing people notice when looking at the dashboard. In fact, people check the temperature outside more often than they check the temperature under the hood – despite the latter being more important.

This family of gauges is always developing as cars become advanced. We might see some of our favorites become obsolete while others continue to take up more of our dashboard (we’re looking at you, speedometer.) Despite this ever changing dashboard, which gauge is your favorite?

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