Do I need a Turbo Boost Gauge?

What to do to keep your car looking and running like new, inside and out.
User avatar
zenfiz6
Senior Standardshifter
Posts: 200
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:40 pm
Cars: 2011 Audi A4 6MT
Location: Newport News, VA

Do I need a Turbo Boost Gauge?

Postby zenfiz6 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:52 pm

Subject says it all, but some background:

My Audi A4 is the very first car I've had with a turbocharger. I've known about boost gauges for a while, but have started thinking about what said gauges actually do. Most of the websites I've read say something along the lines that:
  1. A Boost Gauge is a necessary tool for keeping tabs on how well your engine is functioning
  2. A Boost Gauge will give you a better feel for fuel consumption
  3. Boost should never exceed 101.3 kPa/1 Bar/15 PSI/760 Torr/any.other.nonstandard.pressure.unit.equalling.atmospheric.pressure

Should I get one? If so, is there a good (i.e. useful and not exorbitantly expensive) gauge to get?

Just kinda curious.
2013 -- Present: 2011 Audi A4 6MT (45k---???)
2001 -- 2013 .... 1999 Honda Accord AT (RIP 239k)
1999 -- 2005 .... 1987 Acura Legend 5MT (RIP 174k)

User avatar
ClutchDisc
Senior Standardshifter
Posts: 704
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:50 pm
Cars: 2001 Chevy S-10 2.2L 5MT
Location: Detroit area

Re: Do I need a Turbo Boost Gauge?

Postby ClutchDisc » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:22 pm

I've got one, the previous owner put it in before I owned the truck... and I don't even have boost. :lol:

Image
01 Chevy S-10 2.2L 5-speed manual
dakta1420 wrote:The slush box is a great example of the american culture, lazy and not involved. I personally despise that.

User avatar
zenfiz6
Senior Standardshifter
Posts: 200
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:40 pm
Cars: 2011 Audi A4 6MT
Location: Newport News, VA

Re: Do I need a Turbo Boost Gauge?

Postby zenfiz6 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:39 pm

ClutchDisc wrote:I've got one, the previous owner put it in before I owned the truck... and I don't even have boost. :lol:

Do you use it for anything other than impressing your passengers?

"Oh, look! We're at -10 PSI boost! I bet you can't get that in your car!"
2013 -- Present: 2011 Audi A4 6MT (45k---???)
2001 -- 2013 .... 1999 Honda Accord AT (RIP 239k)
1999 -- 2005 .... 1987 Acura Legend 5MT (RIP 174k)

User avatar
theholycow
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 15938
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:36 pm
Cars: '80 Buick LeSabre 4.1 5MT
Location: Glocester, RI
Contact:

Re: Do I need a Turbo Boost Gauge?

Postby theholycow » Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:57 pm

ClutchDisc, that's a vacuum/boost gauge. Previous owner used it for vacuum gauge duty only, obviously. It can be useful, but nowhere near as useful as some people think in a modern fuel-injected engine like yours. Its position appears just right for dekneecapitating you in a crash.

I have a vacuum gauge for my car, but mine has a mechanical carburetor for which vacuum is one of the most important control signals.

zenfiz6, I suspect that a boost gauge can be mildly useful in an unmodified car with OEM turbo and is quite necessary in a car that has an aftermarket turbo, or an OEM turbo with its boost cranked up, or heavy modifications.
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

Put your car in your sig!

Learn to launch/FAQs/lugging/misused terms: meta-sig
watkins wrote:Humans have rear-biased AWD. Cows have 4WD

User avatar
Shadow
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 3321
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:51 am
Location: New York

Re: Do I need a Turbo Boost Gauge?

Postby Shadow » Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:58 pm

All turbo cars should have a boost gauge, in my opinion. Why? Well, it's an extremely useful gauge to have. It will alert you early on if you have a boost leak that develops. And don't underestimate the usefulness of the vacuum gauge that's part of the boost gauge. A good vacuum gauge is an incredibly important tool for any mechanic. If you have any doubts, just look up how many conditions that can be diagnosed with just a vacuum gauge.

But to answer you question---no, you don't need a boost gauge. If you did, Audi certainly would have provided one in the first place. Is it a useful gauge to have? Absolutely. For many reasons. That said, ECS just recently came out with a relatively inexpensive boost gauge for the B8 Audis. It's a vent-mounted gauge, very similar to the AWE unit, but it uses a different vent and it's less expensive.

http://www.ecstuning.com/News/Audi_B8_A ... gn=newpost
Image

User avatar
AHTOXA
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 14554
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:31 pm
Cars: '16 Ecoboost F150
Location: Coppell, TX

Re: Do I need a Turbo Boost Gauge?

Postby AHTOXA » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:50 am

I use ScangaugeII in my car - I've been using it for a couple years now. It provides a large number of very useful gauges, including boost.

I'm usually displaying the following gauges on it when I drive:

- Boost
- Intake air temp
- water temp
- voltage or gallons per hour readout

Ultragauge is a good alternative, too. It also provides a lot of the same gauges that Scangauge does, but looks a bit more modern and costs less.
'16 Ecoboost F150
'12 Suzuki V-Strom 650
'17 Trek Fuel EX8 27.5+
'08 Giant Trance 1 (old school 26'er)

User avatar
ClutchDisc
Senior Standardshifter
Posts: 704
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:50 pm
Cars: 2001 Chevy S-10 2.2L 5MT
Location: Detroit area

Re: Do I need a Turbo Boost Gauge?

Postby ClutchDisc » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:07 pm

zenfiz6 wrote:
ClutchDisc wrote:I've got one, the previous owner put it in before I owned the truck... and I don't even have boost. :lol:

Do you use it for anything other than impressing your passengers?

"Oh, look! We're at -10 PSI boost! I bet you can't get that in your car!"

:lol: No, but almost anyone who rides in there asks what it is.. :mrgreen:
01 Chevy S-10 2.2L 5-speed manual
dakta1420 wrote:The slush box is a great example of the american culture, lazy and not involved. I personally despise that.

User avatar
ClutchDisc
Senior Standardshifter
Posts: 704
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:50 pm
Cars: 2001 Chevy S-10 2.2L 5MT
Location: Detroit area

Re: Do I need a Turbo Boost Gauge?

Postby ClutchDisc » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:10 pm

theholycow wrote:ClutchDisc, that's a vacuum/boost gauge. Previous owner used it for vacuum gauge duty only, obviously. It can be useful, but nowhere near as useful as some people think in a modern fuel-injected engine like yours. Its position appears just right for dekneecapitating you in a crash.

Yea, I know. :) It is in a very odd location. But it's over enough that I think it would be pretty hard to hit it in a crash.. the picture makes it look like it's closer to the knee area than it really is.
01 Chevy S-10 2.2L 5-speed manual
dakta1420 wrote:The slush box is a great example of the american culture, lazy and not involved. I personally despise that.

User avatar
zenfiz6
Senior Standardshifter
Posts: 200
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:40 pm
Cars: 2011 Audi A4 6MT
Location: Newport News, VA

Re: Do I need a Turbo Boost Gauge?

Postby zenfiz6 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:13 pm

Shadow wrote:All turbo cars should have a boost gauge....
But to answer you question---no, you don't need a boost gauge....
Is it a useful gauge to have? Absolutely....

Head.
Spinning.
Must ask Magic 8-ball....
2013 -- Present: 2011 Audi A4 6MT (45k---???)
2001 -- 2013 .... 1999 Honda Accord AT (RIP 239k)
1999 -- 2005 .... 1987 Acura Legend 5MT (RIP 174k)

User avatar
theholycow
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 15938
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:36 pm
Cars: '80 Buick LeSabre 4.1 5MT
Location: Glocester, RI
Contact:

Re: Do I need a Turbo Boost Gauge?

Postby theholycow » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:19 pm

I'll second the OBDII recommendation. ScanGauge II, ScanGaugeE, UltraGauge, or even better (but more trouble; also far less cost) a smartphone with Torque and an OBDII bluetooth dongle.

I have this one: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005NLQAHS but this one is half the price and may be the same http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004B7YXOM -- but both are a fraction of the price of a ScanGauge II, which I also have and which is nowhere near as capable or useful. The UltraGauge may be less expensive than the SGII, and the SGE is definitely less expensive but is kinda lame by comparison.
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

Put your car in your sig!

Learn to launch/FAQs/lugging/misused terms: meta-sig
watkins wrote:Humans have rear-biased AWD. Cows have 4WD

User avatar
zenfiz6
Senior Standardshifter
Posts: 200
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:40 pm
Cars: 2011 Audi A4 6MT
Location: Newport News, VA

Re: Do I need a Turbo Boost Gauge?

Postby zenfiz6 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:25 pm

theholycow wrote:I'll second the OBDII recommendation. ScanGauge II, ScanGaugeE, UltraGauge, or even better (but more trouble; also far less cost) a smartphone with Torque and an OBDII bluetooth dongle.


I've always been a little leery of the BlueTooth solutions. I thought I read somewhere that update rates were on the order of 1 Hz....
2013 -- Present: 2011 Audi A4 6MT (45k---???)
2001 -- 2013 .... 1999 Honda Accord AT (RIP 239k)
1999 -- 2005 .... 1987 Acura Legend 5MT (RIP 174k)

User avatar
theholycow
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 15938
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:36 pm
Cars: '80 Buick LeSabre 4.1 5MT
Location: Glocester, RI
Contact:

Re: Do I need a Turbo Boost Gauge?

Postby theholycow » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:53 pm

zenfiz6 wrote:I've always been a little leery of the BlueTooth solutions. I thought I read somewhere that update rates were on the order of 1 Hz....

That's OBDII in general, not Bluetooth. My ScanGaugeII's refresh rate is actually worse than the bluetooth device, but that's not because of Bluetooth, that's just because of better OBDII hardware in that device than in the SGII.
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

Put your car in your sig!

Learn to launch/FAQs/lugging/misused terms: meta-sig
watkins wrote:Humans have rear-biased AWD. Cows have 4WD

User avatar
Squint
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 3390
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:44 pm
Location: KY

Re: Do I need a Turbo Boost Gauge?

Postby Squint » Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:17 pm

theholycow wrote:
zenfiz6 wrote:I've always been a little leery of the BlueTooth solutions. I thought I read somewhere that update rates were on the order of 1 Hz....

That's OBDII in general, not Bluetooth. My ScanGaugeII's refresh rate is actually worse than the bluetooth device, but that's not because of Bluetooth, that's just because of better OBDII hardware in that device than in the SGII.

My dad has a bluetooth OBDII reader that works with an app on his phone. His (and I don't know the app name) works were you can buy all of the codes for 1 car for relatively cheap, or unlimited cars for like $30-40. And the reader itself is dirt cheap compared to other readers. I don't know about monitoring functions like is applicable here, but his is useful from the maintenance side of things (and can reset codes, too).
'15 Mazda 3 iSport Hatch 6MT
'11 Ford Fiesta Hatchback SE 5MT
'14 Giant Escape City 24MT
'97 Honda Civic EX 4AT - Retired @ 184,001 mi

For Pony!

User avatar
AHTOXA
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 14554
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:31 pm
Cars: '16 Ecoboost F150
Location: Coppell, TX

Re: Do I need a Turbo Boost Gauge?

Postby AHTOXA » Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:21 pm

theholycow wrote:
zenfiz6 wrote:I've always been a little leery of the BlueTooth solutions. I thought I read somewhere that update rates were on the order of 1 Hz....

That's OBDII in general, not Bluetooth. My ScanGaugeII's refresh rate is actually worse than the bluetooth device, but that's not because of Bluetooth, that's just because of better OBDII hardware in that device than in the SGII.


SG lags a bit, but for fear of stating the obvious - have you increased the refresh rate? You can do that on the SG. It's set to 'normal' from the factory and you can increase to 'high'.
'16 Ecoboost F150
'12 Suzuki V-Strom 650
'17 Trek Fuel EX8 27.5+
'08 Giant Trance 1 (old school 26'er)

User avatar
theholycow
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 15938
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:36 pm
Cars: '80 Buick LeSabre 4.1 5MT
Location: Glocester, RI
Contact:

Re: Do I need a Turbo Boost Gauge?

Postby theholycow » Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:50 pm

Squint wrote:My dad has a bluetooth OBDII reader that works with an app on his phone. His (and I don't know the app name) works were you can buy all of the codes for 1 car for relatively cheap, or unlimited cars for like $30-40. And the reader itself is dirt cheap compared to other readers. I don't know about monitoring functions like is applicable here, but his is useful from the maintenance side of things (and can reset codes, too).

That sounds awfully expensive. A $10-20 OBDII Bluetooth dongle and the $5 Torque Pro app can do all of that, as well as a bunch of data logging. The free Torque Light can probably do most of it too.
AHTOXA wrote:SG lags a bit, but for fear of stating the obvious - have you increased the refresh rate? You can do that on the SG. It's set to 'normal' from the factory and you can increase to 'high'.

Been there done that. I don't remember if it wasn't a very big help or if it wasn't compatible. Anyway my point was that Bluetooth doesn't introduce lag.
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

Put your car in your sig!

Learn to launch/FAQs/lugging/misused terms: meta-sig
watkins wrote:Humans have rear-biased AWD. Cows have 4WD


Return to “Car Care and Detailing”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest