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DT Roundup: Gauges

June 2014 Round Up

If you have recently just bought your very first truck, you may be wondering what options you have and what choices are available when it comes to maintaining your diesel pickup. With a number of different diesel truck manufacturers throughout the country, it is important to realize what is available to you and what is at your disposal. For example, gauges are a very important accessory when it comes to any vehicle, especially diesel trucks. Aftermarket companies offer gauges in a number of different styles and colors. It’s important to know what each gauge does and in this roundup we’ll highlight just a few select manufacturers that provide a solid option for you to consider.

Auto Meter

Auto Meter offers numerous gauge styles and types for all diesel applications. The various gauges include transmission temp, boost, pyrometers, fuel pressure and rail pressure gauges, among others. There are many styles that are offered, including several “factory matched” styles that match the OEM instrumentation as well as vehicle-specific mounting solutions like A-pillar mounts, steering column pods, and dash pods.   

“Auto Meter gauges are designed and built on the same foundation as all of our high-performance instruments, which are the choice for professional racers,” says Matt Martin, an Auto Meter representative. “They are also manufactured in the U.S. at our factory in Illinois.”

In addition to the factory matched options, Auto Meter offers an advanced series called Elite, which gives you the ability to set different colors for the illumination and a programmable warning point that changses the entire dial illumination to a different color. This could be used for a high pyrometer or transmission temperature warning.

According to Martin, when shopping around for gauges, you need to pay particular attention to the experience, service and reliability of this American-made manufacturer that has over 50 years’ experience in performance instrumentation.

Auto Meter gauges can run anywhere from $60 for a single mechanical boost gauge up to $200 for a pyrometer. A common set up for a triple A-pillar and three gauges typically runs $300 to $400.

Auto Meter recommends a boost, pyrometer, and transmission temperature gauges in order to monitor the most critical items, especially when towing and upgrading the performance of the truck. (

Banks Power

Banks Power has a number of different gauges for GM, Ford and Dodge diesel trucks. Among the options at Banks Power are three-gauge dash pods, three-gauge overhead console pods, a number of different gauge panel mounts, and two- or three-gauge A-pillar consoles.

The Banks DynaFact Pyrometer monitors exhaust gas temperatures in diesels. It also protects durability by eliminating safe-EGT-level guesswork. Another benefit of purchasing the pyrometer is that it eliminates erroneous readings with ambient temperature compensation. It’s accurate within 15 degrees Fahrenheit at maximum operating temperatures and is illuminated from 0-1500 degrees Fahrenheit with a full-sweep face. The particular product sells for $218.36 which includes the kit-gauge, probe, and panel.

The Boost Gauge monitors turbocharger performance in diesels. One of its functions is that it indicates boost output and it allows drivers to target ideal boost setting. This gauge retails for $73.

The Trans Oil Temp Gauge measures transmission oil temperature. Banks recommends this gauge for vehicles that see heavy-duty use. It allows proper lubricant to warm-up or cool-down to safeguard transmission life. One of the perks of purchasing this product is that it has a color-coded face and it allows you to read it at a glance. The price for the Trans Oil Temp gauge is set at $110.

The Engine Oil Temp Gauge measures engine oil temperature, and similar to the Trans Oil Temp Gauge, is suggested for vehicles that see heavy-duty use. Allowing for the proper lubricant to warm-up or cool-down, this gauge will also serve to safeguard your transmission life and you can be sure that you will get the maximum use out of it. The price for the Engine Oil Temp Gauge varies between $84 and $105. (


GlowShift offers virtually every vital gauge a diesel truck enthusiast would need, and is constantly engaging customers and performing market research to determine if there is a need to add a gauge to its product lineup that they’re currently not offering. GlowShift gauges are offered in 10 distinct series.

“What makes our gauges stand out from other gauge manufacturers is the precision quality of our products while still keeping a lower price point,” says Jason Schell, who is the Marketing Manager at Glowshift. “We also include all necessary sensors, probes and wiring harnesses with all of our gauges, while most of our competitors require you to purchase these items separately.”

The company prides itself on customer service and values the opinions of its customers and they are always looking for ways to improve their products.

GlowShift sells directly to the customers and not exclusively through any third party vendors. Because of this, if you have any questions regarding the gauges and/or gauge pods, you are speaking directly to the manufacturer.

“The two main features that sets GlowShift apart from the competition is that we include all necessary sensors as well as our LED through dial lighting, which allows for a sharp illumination of your gauges, making all readings easily visible while you are driving at night,” adds Schell.

GlowShift Gauges feature a dimming function that will cause the gauges to dim up to 30 percent when connected to the factory headlight switch. This dimmer function is available in every series the company offers.

The price of a GlowShift gauge is determined by what values you are looking to monitor and what type of features you want your gauges to offer. For example, GlowShift's 7 Color Series Diesel Gauge Set—which includes a 60 PSI Boost Gauge, 1500 Exhaust Gas Temperature Gauge, as well as a Transmission Temperature Gauge—is priced at $199.99. The same three gauges in their MaxTow Series are priced at $267.97. When you are shopping for gauges, the price is going to be determined by what features the gauges include. (


ISSPRO builds speedometers and tachometers, and gauges for measuring fluid temperatures (trans oil, coolant, etc), exhaust gas temperature, pressure (fuel, oil, coolant, turbo boost, air, and high-pressure common-rail pressure) and fluid levels (fuel and water level).

The company offers styles to match the factory gauges of most popular trucks and they look to match every detail such as backlight color and number font. The gauges are meant to look like a factory option. They are also very well lit, with pointers and numbers evenly lit by LEDs, and have a crisp, sharp appearance on the graphics.

ISSPRO’s Performax line offers an integral peak value recall, programmable warning light and optional data logger. It simplifies wiring by having all of the sensor wires running to a central Electronic Signal Processor (ESP), with three common wires running into the cab for up to 17 gauges. The EV2 series offers an integral programmable warning light and convenient wiring, which allows you to daisy-chain the common power, ground and dimmer wires without having to splice. Both Performax and EV2 pyrometers feature temperature compensation, which corrects for variations in interior temperature which could otherwise affect your EGT reading by over 100 degrees.

For any diesel truck owner, ISSPRO recommends a pyrometer. This gauge will tell you a lot about how your truck is running. Once you start adding modifications, it becomes invaluable. The changes, which add horsepower, may also increase your exhaust temperatures to the point of causing damage.

Something to consider very carefully when buying a gauge is the measurement range.  You want to get the range so that the “normal” value is always near the middle of the range. You also want to select a range where the gauge is at its maximum during normal operation.

Typically three gauge sets, including pillar and accessories, can run anywhere from list prices of around $650 for basic EV series to around $730 list for EV2 series. (

Pacific Performance

Pacific Performance offers three different types of gauges: Turbo Boost Gauge, Exhaust Temperature Gauge and Fuel Rail Pressure Gauge.

There are a number of different features that make their gauges stand out from other companies. For example, Pacific Performance gauges have a curved quartz crystal lens, which can give you increased clarity. Some of the gauges also come with OEM style servo motor actuated needle and will provide you with greater precision and accuracy. The gauges also come with OEM style red pointer, which is located over a black face with white numbers. The Bright LED backlighting provides plenty of light for easy nighttime viewing and can be dimmed when wired to the factory dash light harness.

Another thing that makes Pacific Performance stand out is the fact that many of the gauges come with white numbers on a black background.

Eric Sempsen, who is an employee with Pacific Performance, said there are three things customers should be looking for when purchasing certain gauges.

“First, they should be looking for the quality,” says Sempsen. “If you don’t have good quality then it’s not going to last you very long. You need to be sure that you like the fit and finish of the gauge and you should know how to operate it.”

The Turbo Boost Gauge is the least expensive of the three gauges at $79.99. The Fuel Rail Pressure Gauge retails for $139.99. The Exhaust Temperature Gauges, which includes extension harness and probe, are priced at $189.99.
Pacific Performance feels you can’t go wrong with any of the three gauges and they would recommend all three so that you can check and make sure that your truck is operating properly. (

Prosport Gauges

Prosport Gauges currently offers five different types of gauges: Performance Series, Digital Series, Premium Series, Halo Series and EVO series. The Performance Series is the basic analog entry-level gauge. Premium Series gauges add peak recall and warning features, which are all built right into the gauge. They all include upgraded electric senders, direct plug-and-play wiring harnesses, mounting cups and the added benefit of daisy chain wiring system, which allows you to add multiple gauges and it uses the same power source, gaining power from the original gauge.

The Halo Series offers everything the Premium series does, but it also comes with a third lighting option and eight stages of dimming ability. The EVO Series is a four-time award-winning gauge and is the first-ever dual color digital display. Each gauge comes with a number of different color selections.

The Premium and Halo Series gauges have a peak recall feature that allows you to quickly see the highest level it can attain. This is very helpful when setting boost levels so you can concentrate on driving and simply push the button to see the highest level the gauge just read.  In addition, both series have a full programmable warning feature that will "warn" you by beeping, flashing or both if you exceed your pre-set limit.

It is important to monitor the boost level to get the most out of your vehicle while at the same time protecting it against over boost. A good set of gauges is vital to protecting your vehicle before any damage is done.

Depending on the features and benefits, Prosport gauges start at $40 and can run as high as $200 for a full Wideband Air Fuel Ratio kit. (

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