Car Tachometer Problems And Fixes

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Having issues with your vehicles Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) reading? This could mean you have a problem with your tachometer. A tachometer is a device that reads the RPMs and therefore indicates engine health. This article will walk you through what could be happening with the tachometer and how to troubleshoot the issue. For more tips from Hansma Automotive, you can click here.

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What Is A Car Tachometer?

A tachometer is a device that provides a live measurement of an engine's RPM value. If a car’s engine was a heart, the RPM would be the heart beat. Likewise a high RPM rate is not good for the car’s engine. High RPM can lead to engine failure, over heating, and more. 

It is therefore important that the driver changes gears according to the RPM values. Older cars have analogue dials whereas newer vehicles are equipped with digital tachometers. A healthy tachometer, like a heart, indicates whether the engine is working, healthy, and fully functioning. If your vehicle needs servicing, check out the Hansma full service overview. 

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How To Diagnose The Problem? 

Be sure to turn off the engine before you seek out the problem or attempt any repair. Work in a well-ventilated area and be sure to wear protective equipment to stay safe. 

  1. Check the Manual: Checking the owners manual will give you the information on your car's tachometer before you begin. It should instruct you on how to check and repair your tachometer.
  2. Look for Display Failure: If it is a newer model, a tachometer can stop working because of a damaged LED display unit. Older models can stop working simply from usage.
  3. Check the Fuses: If you look for the fuse box in your car, find the fuse for the tachometer. If it has blown this could be the source of your problem. A blown fuse may be discoloured and could have a break in the metal strip. 
  4. Recalibrate: If the calibration is out of sync the display will either show low or high RPM levels in comparison to what the engine is actually doing. 
  5. Check Wire Connections: If you look at the parts inside the tachometer, you will be able to see whether the parts are damaged, melted, or burnt. If this is the case it is likely that the wiring is blown. This will result in display problems and eventually tachometer failure. 

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Source: Pinterest: cognitomoto.com

Source: Pinterest: cognitomoto.com

How To Fix The Problem?

  1. Check the Fuses: If the fuse is blown, remove it and replace it with a new one.  
  2. Recalibrate: If the calibration is out of sync, reset the tachometer. The owner’s manual will have instructions on this. 
  3. Check the Wire Connections: If the wiring is the problem, check the manual for the wiring diagram. Compare your tachometer and reconnect and repair any loose/ damaged wires. 
  4. Try a Replacement Unit: If you are still unable to find the problem, install a replacement unit. If the replacement doesn’t work then there must be a problem with the wiring leading to the unit and not the unit itself. 

Still No Luck? 

When in doubt, seek professional help.  If you've checked your tachometer and can’t seem to find the problem, or if you have been trouble shooting but to no avail, it might be time to bring your vehicle to a local mechanic. If you live in the Kitchener-Waterloo area and would like to have us take a look at your vehicle, you can just head on over to our Book an Appointment page. Hansma is a full automotive service.  Trust the professionals at Hansma to find and fix the problem.  

Posted on January 27, 2018 .