How to Install an Oil Temperature Gauge


Enthusiastic owners of performance vehicles want to get peak performance from their vehicles. The best way to do this is to know what is going on in the engine. While most cars have so-called "idiot" lights that are programmed to alert a driver only once the engine is out of acceptable tolerances, they do not gauge peak performance. One aftermarket gauge you can install that will allow you to better know what's going on inside your engine at all times is an oil temperature gauge.

  • Unhook the battery ground cable from the negative post of the battery. Secure the ground cable so that it cannot accidentally come back into contact with the post.

  • Attach the red wire on the oil temperature gauge to a wire connected to a constant power source such as the positive post on the battery or the fuse box. If the battery post is used, splice in a 3-amp inline fuse.

  • Attach the white wire on the oil temperature gauge to a wire connected to any 12 volt power source, such as a fuse or accessory wire, that loses power when the vehicle is turned off.

  • Attach the black wire from the gauge to any grounded wire that goes to to any exposed and unpainted metal surface, or to the negative side of the battery.

  • Remove the port plug by unscrewing the plug. The port plug on every different engine is located in varying locations, so to find it refer to the owner's manual, a repair manual or an experienced automotive technician.

  • Insert the oil temperature sensor into the threaded hole that the port plug was removed from. Tighten the sensor by hand until it is hand-tight, then tighten it with a wrench.

  • Connect the sensor wire harness to the sensor and run the wire to the oil temperature gauge. It may be necessary to drill a hole in the firewall through to the passenger compartment. Always use a grommet to protect the wires that are passed through the firewall.

  • Drill the holes for attaching the mounting plate, and mount the plate. Secure the oil temperature gauge to the plate.

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