Refer to the Truck Owners Manual for information on the layout of your gauge package. Gauges provide a “look” inside the engine. Be sure they are in good working order. Determine what is the “normal” operating range by observing your gauges over a period of time.
Noticeable changes in gauge readings are an indicator of potential gauge or engine problems. This also applies to gauge readings that have changed significantly but are still within specifications. The cause of any sudden or significant change in the gauge readings should be determined and corrected. Consult your Caterpillar dealer for assistance as needed.
Caterpillar Electronic engines require one lamp in addition to the gauge package that is normally provided.
The CHECK ENGINE/DIAGNOSTIC lamp is yellow/amber. The purpose of the CHECK ENGINE/DIAGNOSTIC (YELLOW) lamp is to communicate the status of the engine’s electronic system.
An optional red WARNING lamp is available. The purpose of the WARNING (RED) lamp is to warn the operator of engine problems such as low oil pressure, high coolant temperature, low coolant level or high inlet air temperature.
Oil Pressure – Typical oil pressure range is 240 to 480 kPa (35 to 70 psi) when the engine is operating at rated engine speed, with SAE 15W40 oil, at operating temperature. Higher oil pressure is normal on start-up with cold oil. A lower pressure is normal at low idle speed. Oil pressure will increase and stabilize as the engine speed increases.
Water (Coolant) Temperature – Typical water temperature range is 88 to 102°C (190 to 215°F). Maximum allowable water temperature is 105°C (220°F) with the cooling system pressurized. Higher temperatures may occur under certain conditions.
Ammeter – Indicates the amount of charge or discharge in the battery charging circuit. When the engine is operating, the ammeter indicates the charging system voltage. The indicator should normally be slightly to the positive (right) side of “0” (zero). If the indicator is constantly to the negative (left or red band) side of “0” (zero) or if the indicator shows an excessive (positive) charge during normal operation, have the charging system checked for malfunction and corrected.
Tachometer (If Equipped) – Indicates engine speed [revolutions per minute (rpm)]. The engine can be operated at high idle without damage, but the engine should not be allowed to overspeed. Overspeeding when downshifting, going downhill, etc, can result in serious damage to the engine.
Engine Oil Temperature – Measures oil temperature in the oil pan. Higher than normal oil temperature indicates a heat problem in the lubrication system and/or the cooling system. This can damage the cylinder heads, the cylinder liners, the pistons, and the crankshaft bearings.
Fuel Level – This electrically operated gauge indicates the level of fuel in the fuel tank. The fuel level gauge registers only when the ignition key switch is ON.
Fuel Pressure – Indicates fuel pressure to the unit injectors from the fuel filter. The indicator should register in the NORMAL (green) range. A drop in fuel pressure usually indicates dirty or plugged fuel filters.
Service Hour Meter – Indicates the total number of clock hours that the engine has operated.