ANALOG GAUGES - How accurate are they really?

14,195

Asked by Nov 30, 2015 at 07:41 PM about the 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

Question type: General

In talking with some people I'm getting the impression from them that the
analog gauge is really an optical illusion and not any more accurate than the
warning lights on your dashboard?    They say that the inaccurate needle is just
fooling you into thinking that everything is normal.    Do you agree?

13 Answers

38,005

No, because whether or not it is accurate or not, you know where the needle lies at its normal parameter on that vehicle. Once something is going wrong, the gauge, needle, will reflect this.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
14,195

Rowefast- I understand your point, but, what I'm saying is, how can you be certain that the needle is any more accurate than the warning light. In other words, just because the needle is not in the red zone doesn't mean that you're not already overheating. And, those needles can shoot up like a rocket with almost no warning.

38,005

I guess back in the day I don't know how many people ignored the warning light because they didn't know what it was for. Also it was said when those lights cam on, it was already too late. Those gauges indicate what they are for, people like to watch them. You know where the needle sits when everything is ok, so when it starts to move it catches your eye, and have time to stop. A catastrophic failure is fast, no matter gauge or light, you better know how to react fast to save the motor.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
35,225

Digital gauges are not any more accurate unless carefully calibrated which I doubt they are.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
56,865

Speaking of the temperature warning gauge/light neither will warn you if you lose all or nearly all of your coolant. The sending unit is like a stick that is designed to read liquid temperature. When the cooling jacket is dry it's reading air temperature so it won't react to the overheating. Unless you have a "blind" sending unit that senses metal temperature. That's why, in 1968 Cadillac introduced a dual feature gauge and light system which was used for many years. The gauge was replaced by a secondary warning light but it still worked the same. HTH. -Jim

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
14,195

Js08016- I like the idea of a warning buzzer or alarm with the idiot warning light on the dashboard. The problem is, I talked with some mechanics and it's too complicated to hook up with the ECU on my car.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
2,860

This question is a non-starter, as accuracy has nothing to do with either analog vs digital sensors NOR their readout devices. You're also confusing sensitivity and calibration into this crude question.

38,005

Witch goes back to my opinion that a gauge is there to show that something is going wrong no matter how accurate or what type it is. The accuracy of the gauge is irrelevant as long as it is doing its job.

14,195

So, you're saying "accuracy " is unimportant?

38,005

To the degree that it works within its parameters it was designed for. Everything has tolerances, and everything man made will break.

14,195

Well, you'd better hope that aircraft has more accurate instruments than cars, what do you think? Wouldn't it be nice to have at least 50 percent of this technology in automobiles.

38,005

You know, you really know how to push buttons, (chuckle) I could go off on 50 directions on what you say or ask, Again, the accuracy of a gauge would be set by it parameters that it is designed for. Don't know how accurate those gauges are in a aircraft but as long as they do what they are designed for which I'm sure they are more accurate than a cars gauges, but who would care except an engineer, and the manufacture of the air craft. All I would care if they work. Same on a car, All I care is if they do what there designed to do. They work for me. :)

2,860

My first career involved designing calibration systems for analog laboratory measurement equipment, so i find this utterly naive question really painful. Stop the torture, Mark!

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • Fuel gauge 5 answers

    Filled up my car with gas and the gauge does not register all the way to the "full line" like it did the last time. I did fill the tank from 3/4 full to top it off, so, I'm not sure if that's a...

    2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

    -

    General

  • Are Six Cylinder Engines Passé? 16 answers

    With all of the advancement of naturally aspirated Fours and greater efficiency of performance, reliability and fuel economy, do you really need a gas guzzling six cylinder engine with more repairs ...

    2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

    -

    General

  • Can I swap 225/55 R 17's for the current stock 225/65 R 17's on my new Outback? 4 answers

    Hi! I just bought a new 2015 Outback that comes with 225/65 R 17 All Season Bridgestones. I'm on a very steep hill so I would like to mount a wheel/tire package that I used last winter on my Foreste...

    2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium

    -

    General

  • Can you add an audible alarm to a warning light? 46 answers

    The Subaru Outback models from 2010-2014 have a warning light to alert you if the car starts to overheat, flashing light is warning you and solid light means you're starting to actually overheat....

    2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

    -

    General

  • once in a while temp gauge goes all the way up 6 answers

    Changed waterpump thermostat can drive for a while approx 90 or so miles then thegauge goes all the way up and get no heat seems full of fluid am totally puzzled any answers

    2000 Subaru Outback Sport Wagon

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

Outback

Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 30,666 nationwide Outback listings starting at $1,200.

ZIP:

Search Subaru Outback Questions

Subaru Outback Experts

#1 Markw1952
Markw1952
Reputation 4,720
#2 FordNut
FordNut
Reputation 1,490
#3 TheSubaruGuruBoston
TheSubaruGuruBoston
Reputation 1,370
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester
404 Great Deals out of 21,389 listings starting at $1,290
Used Subaru Legacy
246 Great Deals out of 16,993 listings starting at $1,300
Used Subaru Impreza
198 Great Deals out of 8,109 listings starting at $1,795
Used Honda CR-V
1,326 Great Deals out of 73,489 listings starting at $1,068
Used Toyota RAV4
1,147 Great Deals out of 56,634 listings starting at $1,999
Used Toyota 4Runner
426 Great Deals out of 20,864 listings starting at $2,499
Used Toyota Highlander
710 Great Deals out of 28,053 listings starting at $2,988
Used Toyota Tacoma
805 Great Deals out of 34,294 listings starting at $2,988
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
1,173 Great Deals out of 71,084 listings starting at $495
Used Honda Accord
1,263 Great Deals out of 78,832 listings starting at $969
Used Toyota Camry
1,519 Great Deals out of 101,601 listings starting at $700
Used Subaru Impreza WRX
54 Great Deals out of 1,276 listings starting at $1,999
Used Ford Escape
1,693 Great Deals out of 87,221 listings starting at $995

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
8,949 listings starting at $29,837
2016 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
8 Great Deals out of 325 listings starting at $25,900
2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
13 Great Deals out of 465 listings starting at $19,562
2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
36 Great Deals out of 589 listings starting at $14,800
2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
8 Great Deals out of 412 listings starting at $10,995