Digital Tachometer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATachometers or rev counters on cars, aircraft, and other vehicles show the rate of rotation of the engine’s crankshaft, and typically have markings indicating a safe range of rotation speeds. This can assist the driver in selecting appropriate throttle and gear settings for the driving conditions. Prolonged use at high speeds may cause inadequate lubrication, overheating (exceeding capability of the cooling system), exceeding speed capability of sub-parts of the engine (for example spring retracted valves) thus causing excessive wear or permanent damage or failure of engines. This is more applicable to manual transmissions than to automatics. On analogue tachometers, speeds above maximum safe operating speed are typically indicated by an area of the gauge marked in red, giving rise to the expression of “redlining” an engine — revving the engine up to the maximum safe limit. The red zone is superfluous on most modern cars, since their engines typically have a rev limiter which electronically limits engine speed to prevent damage. Diesel engines with traditional mechanical injector systems have an integral governor which prevents over-speeding the engine, so the tachometers in vehicles and machinery fitted with such engines sometimes lack a redline.