Engine Load/Ultragauge - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-30-2012, 09:14 PM   #1
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Engine Load/Ultragauge

We installed an Ultragauge in Our 2004 Honda CRV to help us monitor engine conditions. It plugs directly into the OBD II connector available on most gas powered vehicles. Actually many newer vehicles have the ability to display at least some of the information available on the Ultragauge.

Our Ultragauge can display information on 18 different/selectable vehicle/engine parameters.

My observation is the following: the most valuable function is helping to maximize vehicle miles per gallon. Though it reports instantaneous and trip/tank mpg; the most important factor that seems to define mpg is % of Engine Load. Minimizing this number (% of Engine Load) seems to maximize mpg.

As a result I shift to keep the Engine Load minimal. Typically this seems to mean driving in 4th gear and keeping the engine speed between 3000 and 3500 RPM.

I do not have a lot of engine experience, just that of a user. I hope this makes sense to more experienced users. The result on this trip is that we have averaged between 22 and 23 mpg.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
We installed an Ultragauge in Our 2004 Honda CRV to help us monitor engine conditions. It plugs directly into the OBD II connector available on most gas powered vehicles. Actually many newer vehicles have the ability to display at least some of the information available on the Ultragauge.

Our Ultragauge can display information on 18 different/selectable vehicle/engine parameters.

My observation is the following: the most valuable function is helping to maximize vehicle miles per gallon. Though it reports instantaneous and trip/tank mpg; the most important factor that seems to define mpg is % of Engine Load. Minimizing this number (% of Engine Load) seems to maximize mpg.

As a result I shift to keep the Engine Load minimal. Typically this seems to mean driving in 4th gear and keeping the engine speed between 3000 and 3500 RPM.

I do not have a lot of engine experience, just that of a user. I hope this makes sense to more experienced users. The result on this trip is that we have averaged between 22 and 23 mpg.
It's a cool little tool isn't it Norm !? I've got "the other brand" ( scangauge 2 ). I like having the "horsepower" gauge showing, because it too can 'remind' me to feather back on the throttle a little, for improved fuel mileage.

I mostly got it because I wanted to see accurate/realtime what the water temperature is. My Nissan has "gauges", but the temp gauge is effectively and 'idiot gauge', meaning that the needle remains in the middle of the sweep anytime the engine is between 155-215 degrees (F). The scangauge shows the actual temp as being reported by the computer.

I also got it because....well... I like gadgets.....
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:59 PM   #3
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George,

I like the temperature function as well. My Honda temperature gauge never moves however the Ultragauge does show temperature changes letting you see that the temperature does increase on long uphill runs.

The other thing it does is report engine issues before the Honda's computer does.

We once had a spark plug not fire and it instantly reported it while the Honda seems to need more than 1 misfire before reporting it. It turns out we were at 150,000 miles on the spark plugs and should have replaced them at 100,000 miles
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:13 AM   #4
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I think I'm going to get one of those.
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:54 AM   #5
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Are they vehicle specific or kind of generic? What do they cost? Can a 6 thumbs guy install it?
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:16 AM   #6
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They plug right into the OBD2 ( on board diagnostic, version 2 ) port. That 'port' is where your mechanic plugs in for diagnostics. It's generally easily accessible along the bottom edge of the dash. On my Frontier, it's right there where the steering column goes under the dash. What the car's computer reports out thru that port can vary by manufacturer though. For instance, a few cars report oil pressure. My Nissan does not. A few cars may report transmission oil temp if they are an automatic. My Nissan is a manual trans, so that would not apply in my case. Etc, etc.

The primary purpose of these devices is to help the technician isolate problems, for instance when your check engine light comes on, the computer reports a fault code, and the scangauge would display what the fault was/is. As Norm said, his helped him find a problem when the Ultragage reported a spark misfire.
The Ultragage is a little less expensive than Scangauge 2, so consider that also. If you go to their websites, you can compare them.
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:44 AM   #7
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very cool,,, in our truck the only extra info we need,,, how far to the nearest hamburger for me,,,and how far to a restroom for momma,,,,lol
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:15 AM   #8
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Ultragauge Link, Cost $69

UltraGauge Automotive Information Center and OBDII Scan Tool
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:42 AM   #9
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Here is a free idea for a patent. Have a connection to the little back seat video monitor/tv screens (that kids watch) which repeatedly plays the message "no we are not there yet".
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:34 AM   #10
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Quite often when we are on a trip I will bring my Laptop and mdi ( multiple diagnostic interface ) which alows me to scan and view all data in my truck . It can be very interesting to be able to view whats really going on when driving/towing. Don't worry i have my wife navigating the screens and telling me whats going on so i am not doing this while driving.
it really does alow you to " learn " how to drive when towing . fyi, one missfire the odd time while driving is not that unushual. but at 150000 miles you defintaly need spark plugs
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:49 AM   #11
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Bruce H: Just print it out on a paper and tape it across their mouth and tell them you will remove it ""When You Get There."
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:52 AM   #12
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Go to the bank and get a role of quarters and take one coin away every time one of the asks "R We There Yet". They can share what is left of the quarters when U arrive.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by john warren View Post
very cool,,, in our truck the only extra info we need,,, how far to the nearest hamburger for me,,,and how far to a restroom for momma,,,,lol
LOL get a TomTom it will tell you that!
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:35 PM   #14
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The Ultragauge is very easy to plug in, but a few (mostly older) vehicles are not supported. Check their website for a list.

I had one, but someone stole it... either at the tire store or, more likely, the detail shop. No way to prove anything.
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