LAST UPDATED: November 27, 2019
Best Boost Gauges: Monitor Your Engine’s Pressure Accurately
An excellent boost gauge keeps your pressure in check while also improving your interior
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON November 27, 2019
If you use a turbo or supercharger to increase your engine’s efficiency, then a boost gauge is a must-have accessory. It monitors the pressure flowing into the combustion chamber. Low pressure is inefficient, while high pressure can blow the engine.
Therefore, the gadget ensures optimum pressure for enhanced engine performance. Here are the best aftermarket boost gauges to assist you in keeping an eye on your engine.
This gadget reads your vehicle’s boost levels from 0 to 30PSI and compression levels from -30 to 0 inHG, ensuring there’s no over boost to damage your engine. It features an illuminated red needle for easy viewing.
It features a seven-color dial LED lighting system for enhanced visibility, even during night driving. Also, it comes with free lifetime technical support, which suggests it is durable.
One disadvantage of this gauge is that calibrations are not visible during the day. Professional installation is required to be able to use the indicator properly.
The gauge features a 0-20 PSI boost and a 0-30 inHg vacuum scale with a 270-degree sweep for fast pressure monitoring. It has a standard black dial with white calibration, a red needle, and internal backlights for enhanced visibility.
This gauge is durable and easy to install and read. Also, its combination of colors enhances the look of your dashboard. Additionally, it is accurate and affordable.
The gauge makes a buzzing noise when the boost is big. Also, its included tubing is stiff, and it does not come with the tee fitting needed for a complete installation.
For an executive and technological gauge, consider the AEM Boost gauge. It features a digital LED display and sweeping LED pointer that changes colors for better viewing. Its 52mm housing ensures that it will fit in most gauge pods.
The gauge comes with black and silver bezels and black and white faceplates for multiple color combinations, thus making it possible to customize your dashboard. It shuts down before any damage occurs. The gauge has quick alerts if air/fuel ratio changes.
This gauge is very expensive. Also, professional installation is required to ensure proper operation and a perfect fit.
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Benefits of Boost Gauges
- Safety. Too much exhaust pressure can severely damage the car's engine. A boost gauge is a device that allows for easily measuring turbo intake pressure. You can see the measurement while driving your vehicle and make sure your engine takes just the right amount of boost.
- Enhanced performance. A boost gauge protects your engine from damage and enhances its performance at the same time. By keeping track of the compression levels and pressure, you can customize and enhance the engine's overall performance.
- Improved appearance. A lot of drivers like the customized look that the boost gauge adds to their vehicles. The device mounts in the dash, on the air vents, or other convenient places. It looks elegant and makes the vehicle's interior more stylish.
Types of Boost Gauges
Mechanical boost gauges are straightforward devices that are incredibly easy to install. They operate in almost all vehicle types and are very reliable. Mechanical boost gauges measure the pressure directly, which is why they tend to be more accurate than digital ones. Because of the retro design, they are also suitable for old-fashioned vehicles. Most buyers find them budget-friendly.
Unlike mechanical boost gauges, these devices electronically monitor the applied boost and estimate the pressure, sending the estimated information to the display. For that reason, digital boost gauges are considered less accurate than their mechanical counterparts. However, they are more comfortable to operate and have a modern design to complement newer vehicle models.
One thing to keep in mind with digital boost gauges is the price and the installation. These devices are often quite expensive and require an electronic setup.
GlowShift was founded in 2004 and is located in West Berlin, N.J. The company produces all kinds of gauges, gauge accessories, and replacement parts. For over 15 years, GlowShift has offered many gauge series to meet the needs of all buyers on the market. The GlowShift Boost Gauge is our best overall pick.
Bosch is a German multinational company founded back in 1886 in Stuttgart, Germany. The little "Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering" quickly evolved into a widely popular engineering and technology company. In 1906, Bosch established its presence in North America, and it is one of the first choices in the USA when it comes to auto parts, equipment, tools, and more. We find the Bosch Mechanical Boost Gauge the best budget-friendly option out there.
Boost Gauge Pricing
- Under $50: At this price point, you can get reliable mechanical boost gauges with an elegant design to compliment your vehicle. They only might lack some extra features for more user convenience.
- $60 and up: Digital boost gauges can turn out to be rather expensive because they work with electronic setups and offer features such as colorful LED displays. However, they make a good investment for those who want a modern and more comfortable design.
Boost Gauge Type
First and foremost, you'll want to decide on a particular boost gauge type. As mentioned above, there are two main types available on the market. The mechanical one measures the pressure directly and features an analog display. Digital ones have digital displays and monitor and estimate the pressure electronically.
We recommend choosing the type depending on your vehicle model and your personal preference. You want to make sure a device will work properly and efficiently and to pick the one that looks good in your vehicle. A boost gauge is an efficient device with a great capability to improve the vehicle’s interior and make it stand out from others.
To make sure a boost gauge will work in your vehicle, it's crucial to check its compatibility with a particular vehicle model. For example, a digital unit demands an electronic setup and won't work without it. A mechanical boost gauge works with almost all vehicle types, but we still recommend caution. The best would be to contact the seller and check each device's compatibility with your particular vehicle. That way, you can avoid mistakes and buy the best boost gauge for your needs.
- Design. You can also pick the overall design of the boost gauge so it complements your vehicle. These devices come in many colors and shapes. Some of them have elegant single-color displays, while others have an LED multiple-color system. You can pick the perfect one for your needs and also make sure you'll be able to read it easily during rides.
- Budget. Another thing to consider before the purchase is your budget. That will help you narrow down your choices and make a pick without overspending.
Best Boost Gauges Reviews & Recommendations 2020
The GlowShift gauge reads the boost levels from 0 to 30 PSI and compression levels from -30 to 0 inHg. The gadget is useful in keeping the engine at proper levels and preventing possible damages, and it looks good in the vehicle. You can choose one of the seven available colors to make your dashboard and your interior pop out. This boost gauge has an LED lighting system and an illuminated red needle for more visibility. You'll be able to easily read the display, even during the night. Another great thing about this boost gauge is the free lifetime technical support. You can contact the service in case you run into an issue, although that's not likely to happen. The GlowShift boost gauge is very reliable and durable.
However, keep in mind that this device is not easy to install. You'll probably need professional help for properly mounting it in your vehicle. Also, the display is a little difficult to see during the day, especially in sunny conditions.
Bosch is known to produce high-quality devices for automotive purposes. This particular device features a 0-20 PSI boost and a 0-30 inHg vacuum scale with a 270-degree sweep for fast pressure monitoring. The mechanical boost gauge ensures reliable measurements and is suitable for almost all vehicle models. The Bosch boost gauge has a standard black dial with white calibration, a red needle, and internal backlights for better visibility. The simple and elegant design makes this device ideal for all vehicle types and a great stylish addition to the interior. Furthermore, the gauge is easy to install and proves to be quite durable. It also comes at an attractive price, so all drivers out there can afford to mount it in their vehicles.
One of the things you might not like about the device is the noise. When it measures a big boost, the gauge makes a distracting buzzing noise. Another drawback regards the missing parts for the installation. The device doesn't come with the tee fitting needed for a complete installation. Also, the included tubing is quite stiff.
The AEM boost gauge features a digital LED display and sweeping LED pointer that changes colors for better viewing. The device is incredibly useful and comfortable to operate. It comes with a large housing and all the necessary parts for a hassle-free installation. On top of that, the boost gauge is very durable and suitable for different vehicle models. The AEM boost gauge comes with black and silver bezels and black and white faceplates. You can combine the colors and customize your dashboard for an improved overall appearance. The gauge is quite reliable and has quick alerts for changes in air/fuel ratio. It will prevent possible damages to the engine and keep you on track with changes in compression levels and pressure.
The device is not without drawbacks, though. The main one regards the price. You'll have to pay quite some cash to get the AEM boost gauge and probably hire a professional for the installation. The device is tricky to mount on the dashboard and might require adjustments for a proper fit.
This is a turbo boost gauge kit that measures levels from 0 to 30 PSI and compression levels from -30 to 0 inHg. It's a reliable mechanical gauge with a black dial, illuminated red needle, and low-profile tinted lens. All these things ensure easy readings and high visibility during the night. You'll be able to monitor the applied pressure without much effort and keep your vehicle's engine safe. You can choose one of seven colorful boost gauges to complement your vehicle. All of them are incredibly stylish and come with the necessary installation parts and accessories. There's a silicone hose, T-fitting, power harness, gauge visor, gauge swivel dashboard pod, and mounting hardware. You will also get instructions for easier installation.
The major drawback of this product regards the installation. The included hose is not long enough, and you might need to buy a new one. Some buyers also had to buy a fuse for the power source. When it comes to the design of the boost gauge, there's only one drawback. The display is not that visible under daylight.
Here we have another AEM boost gauge worthy of your attention. The device measures pressure range from -30 to 35 PSI, and it offers precise measurements for optimal engine performance. The LED display will alert drivers of potentially harmful conditions and allow them to take action on time. This AEM boost gauge requires no additional sensors or programs to work properly, and it is suitable for a wide range of vehicles. It comes with installation hardware, bezels, and faceplates you can use to personalize the look of your gauge. Furthermore, each gauge includes 24 color-coded LED lights that change according to the measurements for better visibility. All of them are easy to install and fit different vehicle types.
There are only two drawbacks to keep in mind with this device. Firstly, this AEM model is quite pricey and not a perfect option for those who are on a limited budget. Secondly, the only thing that indicates the difference between vacuum or boost readings is the position of the LED needle. Therefore, it might be challenging to differentiate the readings during the rides.
This is an inexpensive option that gives highly accurate readings and allows you to boost your vehicle's performance without harming the engine. The measurement range of this device is 0 to 30 PSI and 0 to 30 inHg. Thanks to this super-sensitive little device, you will get precise readings at any given moment and safely boost your ride. The device installs in a breeze and is easy to operate. It comes with a PVC hose and T-fitting for simple mounting, so you can install it in your vehicle without professional help. The boost gauge also features a simple yet convenient LED display for more visibility in the dark.
Still, keep in mind that this is an inexpensive alternative. The device provides highly accurate boost readings, but it might be slightly off when it comes to vacuum. Another thing that could bother you is the ultra-bright LED light. You might need to mount a tinted lens to make the gauge less distracting during the night.
This is a mechanical boost gauge with a simple design and great efficiency. The device features traditional incandescent lighting and a highly visible red needle for providing easy-to-read measurements. It also proves to be highly accurate and useful for preventing overpressure and other damages to the engine. You don't need an electrical system to install this particular device. It's a mechanical instrument that can work with every street or race vehicle and is, therefore, super easy to mount. The kit also includes everything you need for the installation, and you don't need to purchase anything else separately.
However, some buyers don't like the simple design of this device. Although visible enough in both day and night conditions, the boost gauge doesn't offer a colorful housing to make the vehicle's interior pop out. Another thing that might bother you is the poorly written user manual. You'll have to figure out the installation on your own because the included instructions are not very helpful.
The Innovate Motorsports boost gauge measures from -29 inHg to 43.5 PSI and the shift of up to 20460 RPM. It has a digital display for user convenience and shows bright readings in all light situations. The device also alerts drivers about over boosting, keeping the engine at optimal levels. Drivers like this device because of the convenient design and easy operation. The Innovate Motorsports boost gauge features a sturdy and water-resistant casing for more durability. It also comes with interchangeable faceplates and bezels so you can customize its appearance.
The product is a little pricey, though. If you're looking for an inexpensive alternative, you might want to take a look at some other options on our list. Also, this is a digital device that requires electrical setup. The installation might be tricky, and you'll probably need professional help.
- There are two types of boost gauges: mechanical and digital. A digital gauge is more comfortable to operate, since it employs a digital setup, eliminating manual labor.
- Consider compatibility with your vehicle, your budget, signal type (digital or analog), and personalization capabilities.
- Selecting an analog or digital display type of gauge depends on your preference. However, the digital display is easier to read.
Q: What are the functions of a boost gauge?
A good gauge keeps your engine functioning optimally, enhances the look of your dashboard, and saves you a trip to the mechanic.
Q: Is it hard to install a boost gauge?
The complexity of gauge installation depends on the type of gauge. Most electronic gauges are easy to install, while mechanical gauges often require professional installation.
Q: Do I need a boost gauge?
If you use a turbo or a supercharger to increase the speed of your vehicle, a boost gauge is one gadget you should have. It enhances your engine performance while keeping it safe from any damage caused by high pressure.
Our overall best pick is the GlowShift Boost Gauge. It is efficient, durable, and fits a variety of models. However, if you are on a tighter budget, we recommend the Bosch Mechanical Boost Gauge. It also works perfectly, and it is easy to mount.