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Checking the instruments

A car usually has up to six main instruments — speedometer and tachometer (rev counter); fuel, oil-pressure and water-temperature gauges; and voltmeter or ammeter (depending on whether the car has an alternator or a dynamo). There may also be a battery-condition indicator, which is a form of voltmeter. Read more

Fitting a new speedometer cable

Speedometer failure is likely to be caused by a fault in the cable that runs from the gearbox to the back of the speedometer gauge. Read more

How an oil pressure gauge works

The oil pressure gauge is one of the most important instruments in a car. It acts as an indicator of the engine's overall well-being and as an early-warning system, giving advance notice of any problems so you can investigate the cause before an expensive breakdown occurs. Read more

How to fix an indicator stalk

The majority of indicator stalks are mounted on the side of the steering column so you can easily operate them without having to release your grip on the steering wheel. Most modern stalks also have a self-cancelling device that is operated by the moving part of the steering column. This automatically switches the indicators off after you have turned into a bend. Read more

How a speedometer works

Of all the instruments you can find on a modern car dashboard, only one is a legal requirement - the speedometer and its built-in milometer (also called an odometer). Read more

How to fix a car heater

The car's heating system consists essentially of a motor-driven fan to blow warm air from the engine bay to the car's interior. Read more

Troubleshooting the ignition warning light

The ignition warning light, sometimes known as the no-charge light, is one of the most important lights on your dashboard. It warns you when the car's generator is not charging the battery. Read more

Dashboard technology

This article is from the mid-1980s. It is out-of-date but still interesting. Read more

Installing a cigarette lighter socket

Although you may not smoke, fitting a cigarette lighter inside your car could be more useful than you think. Car accessory shops are now selling a variety of helpful, practical electrical accessories that are designed especially to work from a cigarette lighter socket. Read more

Installing a car graphic equalizer

No car is acoustically perfect. This can mean that your stereo system does not sound as good in your car as it did when you heard and bought it in the shop. Read more

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