Tachometers are used to let the driver know when to shift gears in a manual transmission as well as giving additional information about traction or slippage; as well as giving a quick overview of overall engine output as a way to increase gas mileage.

Some tachometers have a built in shift light, letting you change gears at the proper engine speed to ensure optimal system function. You can vastly improve your acceleration as well as your performance by checking this signal – something you can do without taking your eyes off the road for a long period of time.

Things to consider when choosing the perfect tachometer for your vehicle:

  • Matching style: Choose a tachometer that matches the style and design of other gauges in the instrument panel of the vehicle

  • Installation location: Ensure that the location you choose for the tachometer doesn’t interfere with viewing other gauges if you have to add a space for it.

  • Protect your wires: In the case of vehicles where you have to add a tachometer, try to find a way to use an existing grommeted opening for the wires. Otherwise, use a grommet to protect and insulate the wires as they travel through.

  • High-performance tachometers: High-performance tachometers are available with multiple shift lights, or you can just purchase a simple tachometer that shows your engine speed.

A tachometer with a shift light can have a dramatic effect on timed laps when you’re in a competitive environment.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Tachometer and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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