Gauges 101


What do the gauge clusters on your Toyota mean?


The speedometer is the most recognizable gauge in your vehicle, and it measures how fast your vehicle is going in both miles per hour (mph) and kilometers per hour (km/h). In more recent automobiles, speed is measured by a sensor that tracks the vehicle's wheel rotation rate and uses those findings to calculate the speed the vehicle is traveling in both mph and km/h.

Fuel Gauge

The fuel gauge measures how much fuel is left in your gas tank. When running low on fuel, an indicator light that looks like a gas pump will light up to alert the driver that they must put fuel in their vehicle immediately. To that end, the fuel gauge is not meant to be a measurement of actual fuel that is left in the vehicle, and the driver is advised to not let fuel get do dangerously low levels. The reason is that the fuel pump is covered in fuel and the gasoline serves a coolant for the pump. Low fuel could mean that air could get to the pump, causing it to overheat and possibly leading to fuel pump failure.


The tachometer measures the revolutions per minute (RPM) that the engine is spinning. It is important to monitor the tachometer to ensure that it does not reach dangerous levels (in red) - this means that the engine is rotation at a high velocity, leading to potential vehicle issues. The tachometer related to both power output and fuel economy - the higher the RPM, the more fuel the vehicle is consuming and the more power being emanated from the engine.

Temperature Gauge/Lamp

This might look different on different vehicles. On some vehicles, this appears as a temperature gauge, while others simply have an indicator light to indicate that the vehicle's coolant has reached a very high temperature. Continued driving of the vehicle and ignoring this light may lead to damage of the engine, so it's best to stop the car and let the engine cool off. If the engine still experiences overheating issues, your best bet is to bring it in to Toyota of Greenville for service by our expert maintenance staff.

Oil Pressure Gauge/Lamp

The oil pressure gauge and lamp is typically found in older vehicles; not all vehicles have oil pressure gauges and newer vehicles simply have an indicator light warning the driver that it is low on oil. If oil levels are low, not enough will travel through and properly lubricate the engine components, leading to a failed engine. If you see an oil pressure light, your best option is to bring it into Toyota of Greenville to be examined by our service staff.