What Is a Pyrometer Gauge?

by Amy Rodriguez

Dashboard gauges on a vehicle give the driver feedback about what the engine is doing. Adding a pyrometer is another measurement device that can help a driver ascertain any issues that the engine may be having.


A pyrometer measures the temperature of the engine through its exhaust fumes. A probe is placed within the flow of exhaust air to receive the best gauge of how hot the engine fumes are becoming. Normal operating ranges are from 300 degrees to 1200 degrees. Any fluctuations from this range can damage the engine.


Monitoring the fumes can tell if there is a problem within the engine, such as air intake blockage or engine overloading. Being aware of the engine's activities can help stop an expensive repair by catching it early, necessitating only minor repairs, before the damage becomes too great.


In particular, pyrometers can be extremely useful for turbo-charged diesel engines. To have a long life for a turbo, allow the pyrometer to read 300 degrees before shutting the turbo off. This cooling period cannot be determined without a temperature gauge such as the pyrometer.

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