When dabbling in aftermarket parts and performance, do yourself a favor and get a boost gauge for your turbocharged Audi. Whether you’ve gone with the basics like an aftermarket exhaust and headers or you’ve gone all out with exhaust, headers, upgraded fuel system, computer tune/upgrade and more, a boost gauge is absolutely necessary.
What Does a Boost Gauge Actually Do?
This gauge monitors the pressure in your turbo or supercharger. As your engine is pushed harder, the turbo or supercharger pushes more boost. More isn’t always better and more boost is only good up to a certain point.
Your car has a safe range in pressure where it performs best. There are also dangerous ranges above that safe range that can cause engine failure. The boost gauge lets you know exactly where you are so when you are approaching that dangerous range or pressure, you can let off the gas and go back to the garage or your tuner to make adjustments.
Why is a Boost Gauge so Important?
Simple. The engine may blow up without one. No, really. When feeding the engine with boost from a turbo or supercharger, it boosts the pressure in the engine. If everything is stock, the engine is probably made to handle it just fine. Start throwing in aftermarket parts that alter the stock horsepower and you can increase that pressure. The internals of the engine can only handle so much pressure at higher boost levels. If you don’t have a boost gauge to monitor all of this, you could blow the engine.
A boost gauge is also a good preventative measure. If someone accidently loosens or cuts a vacuum hose or one blows under the hood going down the road, it’ll show on the boost gauge and you can kill it immediately, possibly saving your engine.
What to Do with Your Boost Gauge?
Gauges are very easy to install and aren’t very expensive, especially considering they could save you the cost of a new engine. They come in all kinds of different styles with black or white faces, different colored numbers and bezel styles. Or get one to match your factory gauges and keep everything looking stock.
You can mount your gauge just about anywhere on the dash or you’re a-pillar to keep everything in your line of sight while driving. If you drive aggressively, keeping an eye on your boost gauge is important so you’ll want to be able to see it easily. Many drivers have boost gauges in addition to others like a boost controller, fuel and oil pressure gauges. If you’ve added significant horsepower to your car over the stock power, keeping tabs on your engine and components is extremely important.
If you’ve got a turbocharger or supercharger on your Audi, you’ve got to get a boost gauge to keep things safe and save your engine. Better to be safe than sorry. Or out a few thousand dollars.