EGT Sensors vs EGT Gauges: What’s the Difference?


Your vehicle comes with an exhaust gas temperature (EGT) sensor fitted into the exhaust cylinders to serve a purpose. That purpose is to measure and monitor the exhaust gas temperature for your combustion engine. An EGT sensor works to ensure that the temperature in your vehicle is running at the temperature that it should and it will alert you if something is amiss. But what is an EGT gauge and do you need one installed in your vehicle?

What Is An EGT Gauge?

You know that your vehicle needs an EGT sensor, but what about an EGT gauge? Is that just as important? Well, an EGT gauge is there to display the exhaust gas temperature. If installed in your vehicle, you will notice the gauge going up and down at a very considerable rate. This rate would depend on how fast you are driving and based on how far down you are pushing the pedal. The load of the vehicle is also another factor that is going to contribute to the reading on your EGT gauge.

While your EGT sensor is there to help you get a good idea of your air-fuel ratio in your vehicle, the EGT gauge has a different function. You will find that EGT gauges are often installed in engines that are turbo charged more so than any other vehicle. That is because for most other vehicles, it takes more effort for a regular engine to drastically fluctuate from the engine’s “normal operating” position.

EGT Sensors vs EGT Gauges

In the case of normal vehicles, the engine might go up to 30 degrees before any kind of reading is detected on the gauge. That is why EGT gauges have a much better use for engines that are turbo charged more so than any other vehicle.

How the EGT Gauge Works

While EGT sensors are part of the exhaust gas recirculation, turbo boost, diesel particulate filter (DPF) regenerations, and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) processes of the vehicle, the EGT gauge works differently. Your EGT gauge is designed to move up and down very quickly, although this part does depend on how hard your engine works while you are driving. This means that at any given time while you are on the road, you are getting an accurate reading on what your exhaust gas temperature readings are and how hot your engine is running.

With an EGT gauge, you will know if your engine is in danger of running at a temperature that is too high. This is because an EGT gauge is fitted with very audible and very visible alarms too. When the temperature in your vehicle is getting to an alarmingly dangerous point, there is no way to miss it. The alert is there to let you know that you need to scale it back a little because you could be at risk of damaging your engine if you keep pushing forward at that rate.

Why An EGT Gauge Is A Useful Thing to Have

Just like your EGT sensor, an EGT gauge is there to tell you that something is wrong. Without an EGT gauge, you might not know when your EGT readings are too high. Dangerously high temperatures could lead to a whole host of other problems. One example would be damaging the head, pistons, or valves in your engine. If you happen to have an engine where the temperature probe is in the cooling system, you are at risk of losing all your coolant and frying out the engine.

Without an EGT gauge, you might not even know this is happening because the regular temperature gauge isn’t moving. This is why an EGT gauge is a useful device to have installed in your vehicle. When something is wrong, there is no way you can miss it.

An EGT sensor and an EGT gauge are both very useful things to have installed in your vehicle. The latter is especially useful if you have had work done to your engine. A quality EGT gauge is a necessity if you’re fitting a larger turbo, playing with the vehicle’s air and fuel ratio, or running at higher boosts. Without the EGT gauge installed, you would have no idea if your engine is running too hot and causing damage to your engine.

How An EGT Gauge Works

The one similarity that an EGT sensor and an EGT gauge shares is that they both have a K-type thermocouple. This K-type thermocouple is lodged inside the exhaust pipe of your vehicle. The K-type thermocouple is the one that is responsible for sending the temperature signal to the gauge, which will then be displayed on the screen for you to see.

What Type of EGT Gauge Should I Install?

An EGT gauge comes in two variants. The first is the analog version and the second is the digital version. Drivers would usually install the gauge based on their preference. Some prefer digital while others might prefer the option of having an analogue. In terms of ease of reading, the digital one is ideal for exact measurements. With the digital EGT gauge, you will be able to read your temperature at a glance with a quick look.

A digital gauge also measures the temperature readings a lot more accurately than the analogue one does. The digital one moves all the time, even though it might be detecting only a slight change of a few degrees or so. However, since you need to read your temperature at a quick glance while you are driving on the road, the digital one that displays the numbers directly is the way to go.

Prioritize Quality

Whether you’re looking to install a new EGT sensor or have an EGT gauge fitted in your vehicle, the one constant that needs to be consistent with your buying decision is quality. Quality products will save you from big repair bills in the future and it ensures that minimal damage is done to your engine (if there even is any damage done at all). When it comes to your vehicle’s parts and maintenance, emphasizing quality is going to be one of the best decisions you ever make.

If you’re in the market for an EGT sensor, check out DPF Parts Direct for a range of products you can trust on the road.