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Auto Q&A with Tom Torbjornsen: Do cars need tachometers?

Dear Tom,
Why do car manufacturers keep putting tachometers in cars (especially those vehicles with automatic transmissions)? Oil pressure and ammeter gauges would be much more useful. I'm sure the average driver has no idea what the tach readings mean.
Rhett from Lockport, N.Y.

Because it’s cool and the public wants it. Do we need tachs? Not on all vehicles. I agree with you … oil pressure, ammeters and temperature gauges are much more important. In most cases, tachs allow people to play zoom-zoom and make like Mario Andretti!

Tom Torbjornsen is an automotive expert of 37 years. An automotive journalist in good standing with the IMPA (International Motor Press Association) and MPG (Motor Press Guild), Torbjornsen is the Repair and Maintenance Editor for AOL Autos, At Home Portals and many other websites. Please send your car questions to his website at


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