Understanding Heavy-Duty Truck Dashboards

by | Dec 27, 2017 | Automotive

If you are buying heavy trucks for sale in Texas, you definitely want to understand what all the dashboard lights and gauges are there for. Sure, you probably know what it means when the fuel light goes on, but if it comes on at the same time as the temperature gauge, do you know which is more important?

Knowing what every control on the panel means will lead to better driving and less chance of problems that spiral into more trouble.

One of the items on the panel is the odometer. You likely understand that this shows total mileage or can display mileage for a certain route. Knowing this helps you be aware of when the truck needs an oil change or other types of maintenance.

The voltmeter shows the charge of your batter using colors of numbers. When numbered, a normal charged battery will read somewhere near 14 volts while the truck is running. If you find it goes higher or lower, you need to have the truck checked out. With a colored gauge, red means overcharge or undercharge and also means you need service.
The next item is the tachometer, which measures the engine’s speed in revolutions per minute.

The engine oil pressure gauge shows the pressure of your oil, normal pressure is between about 30 and 70 pounds per square inch. Improper pressure can lead to engine damage.

You likely know that the fuel gauge shows the amount of fuel, so you can be sure you reach your next stop.

The air pressure gauge determines the PSI in each truck reservoir. You should watch both the secondary and primary gauges. Anything below 90 can indicate a leak or other problems. You should pull over before a breakdown happens.

Most heavy trucks for sale in Texas have a few temperature gauges. Each is a bit different in terms of what to watch for.
Coolant temperature should be around 165 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

Engine oil temperature that is high can lead to engine damage.

Pyrometer monitors engine exhaust temperature which warns of engine damage.

The transmission gauge shows the temperature, which ranges by manufacturer.

Rear and forward axles temperatures track the oil heat in the axles. These numbers vary based on type.

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