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6216 Highway 90 Milton, FL 32570

850-983-3230
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850-983-3230 | 6216 Highway 90

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AUTONET TV, Milton, FL

Tacky or Techie? The Tachometer.

Posted March 1, 2020 12:34 PM

There's a gauge that many vehicles have that says RPM on it.  And there are a lot of people who either don't pay any attention to it or don't even know what it is. Here's why it's a good gauge to know about.

It's called a tachometer, and that "RPM" label means it is measuring how many revolutions per minute (RPM) the engine is turning.  Automotive experts know that a vehicle's engine can be damaged if it turns too fast (revving too high) or too slowly ("lugging" the engine).

A tachometer (sometimes called a tach) is almost a "must-have" gauge for vehicles with a manual transmission; the driver has to manually change gears; the tach helps the driver know when revolutions are in the optimal range.

Some say you don't need a tachometer if you drive a vehicle with an automatic transmission. It's true that most drivers of automatics don't even look at it.  But there are times when paying attention to the tach can help you prevent an expensive repair.

Here's a good example.  Manufacturers now build many of their automatic transmission vehicles with shift paddles.  They let you shift gears without a clutch. That's manual shifting, and drivers need to know they're not revving the engine too high. That's where the tachometer comes in, since it shows you visually when you are in the red zone (RPM too high).

Here's another way the tach can help you: fuel economy. Generally speaking, the lower the RPM, the better the fuel economy. It's not good to go too low, of course, and the tachometer will help you find that spot of maximum efficiency.

You can also spot problems by paying attention to the tach.  When your vehicle stays in first gear longer than usual (higher reading on the tach), then the RPM dip lower than usual after shifting, it may be that your vehicle's transmission is skipping a gear.  Plus, if your vehicle's RPM go up but your speed doesn't, it could mean your transmission is slipping.  Either situation should be checked by a trained technician.

If your commute takes you down some long grades, you might like to put your vehicle in a lower gear to help slow down the car (and not burn up the brakes). Having a tachometer keeps tabs on when your engine is revving too high.

So, consider the tachometer a "bonus" gauge.  It's one more helpful assistant that can help you spot and prevent problems in your vehicle.

All Pro Tune Up
6216 Hwy 90 West
Milton, Florida 32570
(850) 983-3230



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As a retired collision repair specialist I am very hard person to impress when it comes mechanical service on my 2004 Toyota Truck. Four months ago i took my truck to this shop with hot AC. Two good mechanical shops had tried and failed to diagnose problem correctly despite repeat visits. Gerald and his crew persevered and diagnosed the problem correctly the first time, repaired it with high quality parts and returned to me ice cold and good as when bought truck. I waited four months to give review. Still perfect. I have had several occasions since to have other repairs. They are the most meticulous techs in area.They check everything. They keep you informed of status of repairs and have excellent management and technicians to do the work. They do not recommend services/repairs that are not needed. I travel about 1/2 hour to get to them. Well worth it.
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