Any - Boring instrument clusters - Wayne Dibbley

Is it my imagination or are instrument clusters really boring these days?

I can't find anything like my old leon TDI130 with it's white dials and crimson illumination.

Some vehicles now don't have a temperatute guage! What's that all about?

How is the driver alerted to an over heat situation?

Any - Boring instrument clusters - nick62
Some vehicles now don't have a temperatute guage! What's that all about?

How is the driver alerted to an over heat situation?

Some drivers wouldn't notice if all four wheels fell off at the same time, so I guess the chances of them seeing the temperature gauge indicating high are minimal?

Cost cutting by the bean counters is the answer I'd give?

Any - Boring instrument clusters - RT

Temperature gauges have been useless when fitted for decades - they're electronically smoothed and simply don't react to small changes in temperature - it's a bit like the oil pressure light which comes on just as your engine goes bang, by the time the temperature gauge is in the red the head gasket has already gone.

There is of course a warning light that'll come on.

Many modern cars aren't even getting engine oil dipsticks, just an electronic sensor - fine until the electronics fails!

Any - Boring instrument clusters - gordonbennet

For clear vision at a glance i like nice clear white (easily dimmable) back lighting, preferably on black or dark grey instruments with white calibration which the back light illuminates from behind.

A nice touch on my Toyota screen is very end of the speedo and rev counter needles the tips glow red which shows or reflects on the actual calibration behind too, this somehow makes it stand out better in certain light.

The switches in my lorry are all red back lit and it's utterley useless, unless you are in the first flush of youth...average age of lorry drivers late 50's...you can't see the silly little things in the dark, plus the two rows of switches are down by your left knee equals hopeless, you have to fumble for your reading glasses to make head or tail of them which is brilliant bit of design, ok for me cos its my regular vehicle and i know them off by heart, NBG for occasional user, fortunately the main dash is white back lit and reasonably clear apart from some minor info...no dipstick but still have access to an electronic version and an oil pressure gauge, as well as fault diagnoistics on dash, so able to note any intermittent falut codes which subsequently vanish which might help the workshops at inspection/service time.

I would not want a car wthout a temp gauge and very disappointed that oil pressure gauges have all but vanished.

Any - Boring instrument clusters - SteVee

I haven't seen a decent temp. guage on a car for years - I think the early Elise's had a digital temp readout. My Yamaha motorcycle used about half its display for the 'normal' temperature range; in winter it would sit down at the cold end, with the thermostat just about opening, getting stuck in traffic after 'making progress' would push the guage much higher until the fan cut in, and you could then watch the gauge fall back until the fan cut out.

I would have thought commecial vehicles would have good instrumentation.

What happens with some of these OBD readouts that you can add to your smartphone - do these show accurate temperatures ?

Any - Boring instrument clusters - RT

What happens with some of these OBD readouts that you can add to your smartphone - do these show accurate temperatures ?

Yes - I use a ScanGauge II plugged in to the EOBD port and it's temperature can vary rapidly, over a small range 88-90 when warmed up but 88-93 when towing - I guess the fluctuation is due to the operation of the thermostats (more than one in my case)

Any - Boring instrument clusters - nick62
The switches in my lorry are all red back lit and it's utterley useless, unless you are in the first flush of youth...average age of lorry drivers late 50's...you can't see the silly little things in the dark,

I agree 100%. As I have reached my mid fifties, I have noticed that anything red is much harder to see clearly than something blue (my long-sightedness is much worse with red images / text than blue ones). I guess it must be something to do with the wavelength of the light?

So blue backlit gauges / switches would certainly be much better for me, unfortunately mine (like GB's) are red!

Edited by nick62 on 27/10/2017 at 15:17

Any - Boring instrument clusters - kerbed enthusiasm

Totally agree. Both of our cars have central displays. It would never convince me as a selling point but even with varifocals I find it's much easier to shift my gaze to a centrally mounted binnacle to one just in front of my nose.

Any - Boring instrument clusters - RT
The switches in my lorry are all red back lit and it's utterley useless, unless you are in the first flush of youth...average age of lorry drivers late 50's...you can't see the silly little things in the dark,

I agree 100%. As I have reached my mid fifties, I have noticed that anything red is much harder to see clearly than something blue (my long-sightedness is much worse with red images / text than blue ones). I guess it must be something to do with the wavelength of the light?

So blue backlit gauges / switches would certainly be much better for me, unfortunately mine (like GB's) are red!

AFAIK, colour differentiation isn't affected by short- or long-sightedness - colour blindness is variable so there may be a slight deficiency. Cataracts can also affect the apparent colours seen.

Any - Boring instrument clusters - Wayne Dibbley

'Temperature gauges have been useless when fitted for decades'

Don't agree

The fans went on my GTi6 and I only noticed because of the out of the ordinary creeping up of the guage, smoothed or not it still registers the trend.

Enabling me to put my heater on full blast to cool the engine.

Got me to my garage no problem

Edited by Wayne Dibbley on 27/10/2017 at 14:02

Any - Boring instrument clusters - Ethan Edwards

I undertook a stationary pale blue Pug308 in Chelmsford a few weeks ago. Two lines of traffic, no layby or run off lane as it was on an elevated road..rush hour very busy.

There was a large gap in front of him and the young man was pounding the steering wheel ...oh and lots of steam was issuing from under his bonnet.

I would be lying if I didnt admit to feeling just a little "shadenfreude" shameful joy. A wry chuckle at least.

Bet he wants a temp guage.... and the people behind him would want him to have one too.

Any - Boring instrument clusters - Wayne Dibbley

Ha brilliant!

I rest my case, thanks Ethan

Had to google 'shadenfreude' though.....................spot on!

Any - Boring instrument clusters - drd63

I like to know what's going in under the bonnet. Traditional analogue speedo and rev counter, with fuel and temperature gauges. I can scroll through and chose an additional central gauge to show oil temperature, cylinder head temperature or air inlet temperature ( amongst others).

Any - Boring instrument clusters - Terry W

The only instrument I would rate as close to essential is a speedo. Boy racers could include a tacho.

The rest are just internal bling. Improved functionally could be provided warning light + audio message + screen images.

In truth far better information could be provided - full fault and probable fix displayed in car rather than having to use main dealer software which adds to owner costs and dealer profits.

Any - Boring instrument clusters - badbusdriver

Instument clusters should be boring, they are for giving us information not to entertain us. The less time you need to take in the information, the less time you spend not looking at the road.

The only problem i have with the instruments/dashboard on our 6 month old jazz is that you can't turn the illumination down far enough. My eyes are very sensitive to light and i find it extremely tiring driving in the dark with very bright instruments, switches etc. Fortunately i don't often have to drive in the dark, but that is the one area where our previous car, a hyundai i30, scored over the jazz. In it, not only could i turn the interior illumination right down, but there was also a seperate button which darkened the radio. Not quite as good as the saab 'black panel', but close!.

Any - Boring instrument clusters - argybargy

The B Max is the first car I've bought which has a digital temperature readout rather than an analogue with gauge and needle.

At first it seemed a bit odd, because after start up from cold I'd be inclined to periodically check my Focus gauge till it reached normal temperature; whereas this one builds up in illuminated blocks on a line; a set up which I find far less engaging than a needle that actually points to stuff.

As for the small Ford cluster in general, no feelings either way apart from the above. TBH I've never bought a car on the strength of its stimulating internal illumination, nor am I ever likely to.

Any - Boring instrument clusters - focussed

Many small marine engines are fitted with an overheat alarm, which sounds a bleeper and indicates an overheat with a light on the instrument panel. Usually combined with a similar low oil pressure alarm.

Is it possible to buy aftermarket kits for cars?

 

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