Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What does the tachometer gauge tell you on the dash?

asked by on

What does the tachometer gauge tell you on the dash?

A: One of the most important gauges to keep yo...

One of the most important gauges to keep your eye on when you’re driving, the tachometer shows you how fast the engine is turning. Engine speed is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). The gauge runs from 0 to 7 (x 1000). If the engine is off, then the gauge sits at the 0 mark. During idling, it should move up slightly.

As you press the gas pedal, the tachometer needle will move up the gauge, although it will drop with each transmission shift. However, if the needle edges into the red section of the gauge, that’s your signal to slow down (or that something’s wrong, such as your transmission not shifting correctly). Driving for any length of time with the needle in the red is not recommended, as it could seriously damage the engine.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Why does my tachometer not stay at zero?

Hi there. The tachometer on your 2007 BMW 328i is designed to measure the revolutions per minute (RPM) of the engine while it is in operation. Anytime the engine is running, the engine will idle (without the use of the...

Q: Car idles low. What's going on?

Hey there. The engine will need to be checked for vacuum leaks in the PCV system or if the Check Engine Light is on and the idle control valve stopped working. Have a mechanic scan the computer and test the...

Q: Where is the seat belt extender?

If the seat belts on your vehicle are too short to safely fasten around you, you will need to use a seat belt extender. The seat belt extender will be provided to you by your dealer, for free.

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.