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Autogage Mechanical Oil Pressure Gauge
Part No. ATM-2312
Retail Price
- $27.88
If you didn't already know, Autogage is an Auto Meter product. Autogage fills Auto Meter's need for a low cost "street" gauge to compete with low-buck import gauges like Summit's private brand. Creating a low cost sub-brand is a smart business strategy employed by other U.S. manufacturer's in the industry as well. The strategy is used to lessen the impact of imports on a U.S. manufacturer's premium lines.

Take note that Auto Meter's decision to dedicate a distinct and seperate brand name for Autogage, rather than giving the line a "model" name (Pro-Comp, Sport-Comp, Phantom, Cobra etc.), indicates that Auto Meter probably does not want the high quality identity of the Auto Meter brand so obviously associated with Autogage. This is evidenced by the unique Autogage packaging shown here. Given that, let's take a look at the gauge.


For an imported gauge, Auto Meter still makes the effort to package
their Autogage products smartly.
 
The face of this Autogage is very non-descript. The condensed type used for the digits gives the face very little character. This picture is shown without the included chrome bezel.
     


This is interesting, the Autogage 2312 was the only gauge in our entire review that had a calibration sticker applied to the casing. Should one conclude that any gauge without a calibration sticker is not calibrated? We don't know.

 
The hardware kit was satisfactory for the price although the Autogage
does not include the knurled fingertip nuts or the more integrated black
plastic retaining bracket found in the Auto Meter 3421.
     

The installation sheet was complete and specific to the Autogage product.
 
Once again, at operating temperature and at 1000 RPM the gauge being tested read exactly 40 psi.


VDO Mechanical Oil Pressure Gauge
Part No. VDO-150624
Retail Price
- $27.95
VDO gauges are a product of SiemensVDO, a division of the massive Siemens company. Siemens is one of the world's largest electrical engineering companies, they are headquartered in Berlin and Munich. To provide some perspective, Siemens is an OEM supplier of modern automotive electronics and mechatronics which includes complete digital instrument clusters for Mercedes Benz. VDO Performance Instruments for end-users like you and me is just one very small part of the entire Siemens company. From packaging to hardware, we were curious to see how "in-touch" this major corporation could be with niche enthusiasts like us.


The clamshell packaging and simplistic VDO mark was corporate in nature. There seemed to be little more than a gauge included.
 
Consistent with VDO's German origins, the face of this particular gauge was very matter-of-fact and well-suited for aircraft, cars too!
     


VDO sells many of their gauges without sending kits. At $27.95 for a gauge manufactured by a major automotive supplier, buying a kit seperately seems reasonable. The mounting hardware uses an aluminum bracket and easy-to-manage retaining nuts.

 
Here's a view from the back. The case was certainly OEM automotive in nature.
     

This VDO gauge was made in India.
 
At operating temperature and at 1000 RPM this VDO gauge read 38 psi. The VDO was the only gauge who's needle had a significant bounce during operation, fluctuating a three degree sweep.

 

(Equus and Conclusion)

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