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Can you survive without a tachometer?

Discussion in 'Car Talk' started by mrcervantes11, May 6, 2015.

  1. Not really sure of this is the correct place to post this question. If it isn't then please feel free to move it :)

    As far as I know (I'm a complete racing noob so please bear with me), instruments are vital in providing info about your car. I'm talking about speed, oil/water temps, revs, fuel levels.

    Question is, if ever the tachometer fails for some reason, can you still drive (in a conpetitive setting) by feel alone?
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Ryan Ogurek

    Ryan Ogurek

    I like to have shift lights or a tach in clear view, but sound is always my primary indicator. Much more difficult to drive without sound than without a tachometer.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. Bram

    Ezekiel 25:17 Staff Premium

    My Volvo has a nice tachometer but I must admit I hardly use it. Maybe during the first few days when I got the car but once you are used to sound that's my prime indicator.
  4. Sky


    tachometer means rev counter, right?

    i didn't have one on my first bike, and i generally go on engine sound once i'm familiar with something.
  5. Mine was not even born with one:

    So needless to say, I cope fine without it. :laugh:
  6. My Dodge W150 had no tach from the factory, but I did add one since the engine revs slow and you only use gears 2, 3, and 4 on the street. Wanted to nail the rev-matching and see what it cruises the highway at.
    1st is not synchronized, is straight cut, and low enough ratio that you really only use it for heavy towing and off-roading. :D

    Pic taken when I got the truck, yes, I have since cleaned it and fixed the climate controls... but then it got dirty again because, you know, dirt. :p
  7. From the motor swap in my car, my tach is off about 2k, and has been going on a year now. I havent felt the need to fix it. I do high performance driving without issue, on feel/sound alone. So I do believe it is possible, though not for all.
  8. I almost never look at the tach...and certainly never guage my shifting by it.
    I do listen to what's going on under the hood.
  9. I just wait until my revs bounce off the limiter and then change up. :) Unless my other half is with me.;)
    • Haha Haha x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  10. Howard

    Staff Emeritus | Motorsport Engineer Premium

    Yeah. Peugeot 106s (the older ones) don't even have tachs, they have clocks instead. I just shift by ear rather than using a tach.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. I go by sound. Way to much I blown many engines in simracing because I like how car sounds at really high revs ;). I guess that means I can´t survive without rpm metre.
  12. Ryan Ogurek

    Ryan Ogurek

    Wait a second.... are you actually admitting to being a Peugeot driver?
  13. Howard

    Staff Emeritus | Motorsport Engineer Premium

    Nah, a friend of mine has a Peugeot 106, and it's terrible. I drive a Ford, it's also terrible.
  14. Ryan Ogurek

    Ryan Ogurek

    Nice cover.;)
  15. MoerasGrizzly


    Apperently F1 drivers don't use their tachometers but get little *beeps* in their ear that tells them when to shift up.
    I often race by sound anyway, due to me using a ridiciously low FOV - The Tacho is primarely usefull for learning when to shift up when new to the car, after that I usually stick it to feel anyway, gotta keep those eyes on the road with all the titanium tyre stacks around.

    I do actually mis having them in a road car as I try to keep the RPMs as low as possible (<2000 RPM).
  16. Howard

    Staff Emeritus | Motorsport Engineer Premium

    They have shift lights like you see on the TV/games, but they usually all use the blips in their ear to know when to shift. In GT cars, they'll go by the shift lights. GTs often have digital tachs too.
  17. Cristian Haba

    Cristian Haba
    #555 | Roaring Pipes Maniacs Premium

    I'm assuming we're talking about simracing? If so then yes, I memorize the power band of the car and switch gears accordingly based on max power, and gears are set up with max torque and top speed as factors.

    Real cars, I have driven anything super fast in order to really need it. Most of my driving has been manual Jetta TDIs from 2003, so those are pretty easy to shift up down in. My bros M3 however that tach is only useful when you give it the full potatoes.

    I would argue sound is as important in both scenarios.
  18. Brendan Little

    Brendan Little

    In my track car I don't look at the dials unless I feel something strange (normally slight hesitation from low on fuel). You tend to judge the speed and listen to the revs rather then the requirement to look at the dial. I have two settings in my track car, 'the Zone' where I dont hear anything and forget everything bar the lap and what my friends refer to as 'the red mist' which comes out when either someone doesn't show track etiquette like not moving over for the faster car or cuts me up in a breaking Zone. Porsche drivers tend to be the main heroes. But really you tend to do it all by feel and sound rather then looking, save that for watching the breaking zone and turn in.
  19. Hiroshi Awazu

    Hiroshi Awazu
    Off Topic Moderator

    Yes because my suv is automatic :D