Every vehicle that relies on a combustion engine to produce the energy required for movement must be equipped with a fuel gauge in order to allow for advance notice before fuel reserves are exhausted.
Cars, trucks, planes, watercraft and other vehicles of all shapes, sizes and uses all feature some kind of fuel pressure indication equipment. Depending on the age of the vehicle, the fuel gauge may be completely mechanical, a combination of mechanical and electric or computer operated. More modern vehicles tend to have more advanced fuel pressure gauges, though hobbyists sometimes still install mechanical pressure gauges for aesthetic or performance purposes.
Fuel pressure gauges can also be an important part of small equipment like lawn mowers, ATVs, snow blowers and other gas-powered appliances and recreation equipment. Fuel pressure gauges help reduce the risk of fuel supply depletion, which can, in industrial contexts, derail productivity and even damage fuel pump equipment.
The simplest mechanical fuel pressure gauges can be found on small gas powered equipment. Such gauges involve a floating indicator, often a small rubber or plastic ball, which floats with the fuel level in a tube that is connected to the fuel tank. Such gauges are not particularly helpful or accurate unless the fuel tank is perfectly level. In cars and small trucks, fuel pressure gauges can involve an electrical sensor placed in a fuel tank; depending on the level of the fuel, the sensor transmits a signal of variable strength.
This signal is interpreted by an indicator, usually mounted on the vehicle’s dashboard with other indicators and gauges, such as an oil pressure gauge. Most analogue fuel gauge indicators feature a hemispherical arc on which are marked several points that correspond to a certain level of tank fullness.
Digital, computerized fuel pressure gauges are the most advanced and are mostly limited to more recently manufactured luxury vehicles. These involve an advanced sensor that communicates fuel level to a central computer. That computer transmits signals to a central display in the dashboard that indicates the fuel level as well as other critical information about engine performance.