If you truly care about your car, then you’ll want to keep an eye on all gauges available. But one gauge that often does not come standard on vehicles is a boost gauge that will help you to monitor your vehicle’s compression levels. This is disappointing to many owners and is one upgrade many car enthusiasts install.
Therefore, we decided to review a selection of the very best boost gauges currently available and also included a useful buying guide with the important aspects of boots gauges detailed.
So, let’s go through them and find the perfect boost gauge for your ride…
- Top 9 Best Boost Gauges To Buy In 2020 Reviews
- 1 Glowshift Tinted 7 Color 30 PSI Turbo Boost / Vacuum Gauge Kit
- 2 Aem (30-4110) Uego Air/Fuel Ratio Gauge
- 3 Aem 30-4406 Boost Gauge Kit -30-35 Psi
- 4 Defi Df06501 Racer Boost Gauge
- 5 Aem 30-4350 Tru-Boost Controller Gauge
- 6 Auto Meter 4301 Ultra-Lite Mechanical Boost/Vacuum Gauge
- 7 Innovate Motorsports 3851 Mtx Digital Series Dual Function Vacuum/Boost
- 8 Bosch Sp0f000050 Style Line 2″ Mechanical Vacuum/Boost Gauge
- 9 Prosport Gauges Boost Gauge-Electrical Amber/White Premium Series
- Best Boost Gauge Buying Guide
- So, What’s The Best Boost Gauge?
Top 9 Best Boost Gauges To Buy In 2020 Reviews
1 Glowshift Tinted 7 Color 30 PSI Turbo Boost / Vacuum Gauge Kit
The first item on our list of quality boost gauges is produced by GlowShift. Their 30 PSI turbo boost and vacuum gauge kit is available in seven different colors. You can match the rest of the electronics in your ride for that truly custom feel.
This is one of the best DIY boost gauge kits around, and you can easily keep an eye on your turbo booster with this snazzy looking gauge. It displays boost levels from 0 to 30 PSI, and vacuum compression levels from -30 to 0 in. HG.
The black dial is easy to read no matter the time of day…
Plus, it looks pretty slick at night. It also has a smoked lens and illuminated red needle. The unit is 2-1/16 inches (52mm) in diameter, making it big enough to read without obstructing your view.
What is included in the kit?
This kit has just about everything you need for the job. There is the mechanical gauge plus 6′ silicone hose, a pair of hose clamps, 2′ of power wire, T-fitting, gauge visor, and mounting hardware. There are, of course, also installation instructions included.
We should note the quality of this gauge. It looks beautiful, but we didn’t find it to be the most durable. While we didn’t experience any issues, however, there are reports of electrical issues acting up in the back lighting.
For the price, this is a pretty good option.
- Displays 0 to 30 PSI.
- Eye-catching design.
- 2-1/16″ diameter.
- Kit includes everything you need.
- Offers seven lighting color options.
- Not the most precise.
- Some users have had issues with fault color changing functions.
2 Aem (30-4110) Uego Air/Fuel Ratio Gauge
A second option for the great boost gauge is this beauty from AEM. The model #30-4110 UEGO gauge is an air and fuel ratio display. Coming from a well known automotive gauge manufacturer, this is one option to consider.
Get better quality with a reputable manufacturer…
This gauge offers both a digital LED readout and a sweeping LED needle. You’ll easily be able to tell exactly where your level is at any point. This is a slick, classic looking gauge. The sweeping needle even changes color as your AFR goes from rich to lean. And the faceplate can be changed between black and white depending on your vehicle.
There is a Bosch 4.9 LSU wide-band sensor. You also get a 0-5V analog output that you can use for data logging or engine management systems. This system also draws less current with a faster light-off time. This helps with speed and accuracy as well as never requiring free-air sensor calibration.
Check the sensor before install…
The 2-1/16 inch diameter gauge housing fits most gauge pods. You can also mount it pretty much anywhere. We should also note that you should check the sensor prior to installation. It saves time if there is a problem out of the box.
- Digital and sweeping needle LEDs.
- Interchangeable black and white face plates.
- Bosch 4.9 LSU wide-band sensor.
- 2-1/16 inch diameter gauge housing.
- Known production errors with the sensor connection.
- There are better options at this price point.
3 Aem 30-4406 Boost Gauge Kit -30-35 Psi
Another option from AEM is the model #30-4406 boost display gauge. This is one of the most popular options on the market today. And there are no additional sensors or programs needed; it’s all ready-to-go once you plug it into your vehicle.
This gauge has interchangeable black and white face plates. There are also silver and black bezels that can be swapped for that custom-made look. It offers a 24 color-coded LED lighting system and can be remotely mounted. It is also the standard 2-1/16 inch for mounting ease.
What’s the pressure range?
This gauge from AEM covers from -30 up to 35 PSI. It’s a stand-alone system with all critical operating systems onboard. It can even alert the driver if operation conditions get too intense for the engine.
There is also a 0-5V analog output. You can route this to your engine for management system or data logging. We think this is a good option for anyone looking to upgrade without spending a lot of money.
- 24 color-coded LED lighting system.
- Covers from -30 up to 35 PSI.
- 0-5V analog output.
- No additional sensors or programs needed.
- Could be better quality at this price point.
4 Defi Df06501 Racer Boost Gauge
One of the most beautiful and expensive options on our list is made by Defi. Model #DF06501 is perhaps the best racing boost gauge we’ve seen. It’s certainly one of the most beautiful in the blue 52mm (2-⅙”) option that we reviewed. And you may even have trouble focusing on the road with this beautiful new gauge on your dash!
It measures everything from -30 in. Hg to +30PSI. This means it covers the wider ranges you might need if you plan to push your engine. There is even a self-diagnostic function keeping an eye out for sensor disconnection or short-circuit issues during startup.
How smooth is the operation?
The Step Master VS-2 is a stepping motor that will supply smooth operation. The self-luminescence gauge is initiated when you turn on the ignition. The LEDs offer a high-brightness blue illumination. This makes it both easy to read and beautiful to look at.
The lightning-like opening and closing mode provides precise gauge readings. With a full 270° sweeping dial, you’ll know exactly when you can push things a bit further. In fact, this might be one of the best drag racing boost gauges we reviewed.
- Bright blue LED illumination.
- Measures from -30in. Hg to +30PSI.
- Sensor disconnect diagnostic onboard.
- Short-circuit diagnostic built-in.
- Mounting hardware included.
- Doesn’t offer the most consistent performance.
- Can short-circuit, which means repair cost.
5 Aem 30-4350 Tru-Boost Controller Gauge
If you’re looking for the best high quality boost gauge, then look no further. Here we have the Tru-Boost Controller Gauge from AEM. The model #30-4350 is the most expensive option on our list.
But, is it worth spending the extra for this boost gauge?
If you are after options, then this might be the best boost gauge for your vehicle. This system includes everything you need to get going. The harness, boost hose, boost solenoid, gauge display, pressure sensor, and all required fittings are included in the kit.
What about those features?
The Tru-Boost Controller Gauge has the highest boost gauge memory of any item we reviewed. It’s an electronic gauge with no need for special programming or software and no concerns of leaks. The onboard 29 PSIg pressure sensor can be upgraded with an optional 75 PSIg external sensor.
It also features two boost settings and offers peak boost memory. You also can select an Overboost alarm with two timed shutdown levels at 10% and 20% over the line. All of this is delivered via the 24 scalable LEDs.
- Onboard 29 PSIg pressure sensor.
- Overboost alarm to protect your vehicle.
- No special software required.
- Adjustable boost.
- Includes all required fittings for installation.
- It’s considerably more expensive than some options we reviewed.
6 Auto Meter 4301 Ultra-Lite Mechanical Boost/Vacuum Gauge
The next item on our list of accurate boost gauges is from Auto Meter. Their Ultra-lite Mechanical Boost/Vacuum Gage (Model #4301) provides a more traditional option. The manufacture is well known for race proven mechanical instruments, which translates to quality you can count on.
You don’t need to spend a fortune for the most accurate boost gauge…
While this is not the cheapest boost gauge on our list, it is considerably less expensive than the AEM 30-4350 that we’ve just reviewed. For this reduction in price, you do experience a few downgrades. The unit is illuminated by traditional incandescent lighting around the perimeter of the dial.
On the other hand, the unit is super simple to install. It measures 2-1/16 inches, so it can mount just about anywhere. There is also no need for an electrical system. This means the gauge will be compatible with any street or racing automobiles.
Built to last…
This is one of the most rugged boost gauges we reviewed. Even in the harshest environments, this gauge’s mechanical movements allow for top-notch accuracy. It’s also extremely durable compared with many other options on our list.
If all of that isn’t enough, even at this price point, the kit includes a lot of parts. There is a ⅛ inch nylon line, T-Fitting, vacuum fitting, compression fitting, socket with bulb, mounting hardware, and green and red bulb covers. What else could you need?
- Very easy to install.
- Traditional look and incandescent lighting.
- Measure from 10 to 30 In. Hg Vacuum.
- Highly accurate even in harsh conditions
- Check the calibration before you install; this style of gauge is sometimes off.
- These can be easily damaged during shipment, so check thoroughly before installing.
7 Innovate Motorsports 3851 Mtx Digital Series Dual Function Vacuum/Boost
If you’re after a boost gauge that does a little extra, take a look at this option. Designed by Innovate Motorsports, the MTX Digital Series model #3851 is a dual function vacuum/boost, and shift light gauge.
This kit comes with everything you need to get going and add something different to your vehicle. It offers a simple, clean look that many drivers will appreciate.
Add a progressive shift light to your boost gauge…
You’ll always know your vehicle’s boost level for top performance. The gauge covers -29 in. HG to 43.5 PSI boost, which can also be displayed in BAR ranging -1 to 3. The shift display runs up to 20460 RPM.
There is also an over-boost warning on the digital display, and the lights can be set as progressive shift or single stage shift. We like that you can also hook up to a PC or tablet for data logging. The 2-1/16″ diameter makes it easy to install just about anywhere.
- Easy to install locking connectors.
- Connect with a PC or tablet for data logging.
- Displays -29 in. HG to 43.5 PSI boost and up to 20460 RPM.
- Over boost warning.
- Not the most durable unit on the market.
8 Bosch Sp0f000050 Style Line 2″ Mechanical Vacuum/Boost Gauge
At the lower end of the price range is an option from Bosch. The SP0F000050 is one of the least expensive boost gauges we reviewed. It’s simple and has that simple classic display.
This might be the best affordable boost gauge we looked at…
This unit is a mechanical gauge with a standard 2-inch dial. It fits in 2-1/16 inch openings and features a black bezel with a removable black matching mounting plate.
What range does it measure?
The gauge will track 0-30 in. Hg. and provides 0-20 PSI boost. The needle features a 270° sweep, which will help with reading the gauge while driving. There is also 72 inches of tubing provided along with the fittings. And the mounting hardware and a 12 volt internal back light are also included.
All of this from a manufacturer known for precision engineering and innovation. We should note that these are part of Bosch’s first-ever line of gauges. The company has a solid reputation and produces some fantastic products, but these gauges aren’t the highest quality, as you’d expect from this price point.
- Offers precise measurements.
- Includes mounting hardware.
- Measures 0-30 in. Hg.
- Easy to install.
- Vacuum leakage is a known issue with this gauge.
- Backlight can fail easily, as you’d expect for this price point.
9 Prosport Gauges Boost Gauge-Electrical Amber/White Premium Series
Finally, we have reached our last entry on the list of the best boost gauge reviews. This option is produced by ProSport Gauges. Their premium series gauge can show both amber or white. And we think you’ll fall in love with this gauge faster than even we did.
Equipped with a fully programmable warning feature, as well as a peak recall ability. The stepper motor drives a 270° LED display. It can be set to beep or change color when you hit pre-set limits. We think this a great feature that really helps keep you in control of the vehicle.
The use of precision electric senders limits any hazardous fluids from the inside of the cab. You’ll be safe if anything goes horribly wrong on the road.
They even offer daisy chain powering; therefore, you can wire up the first gauge and then daisy chain the rest. ProSport Gauges even includes the daisy chain power leads. You also get the wire harness, T-fitting, hose, and everything else the job requires.
Install it anywhere…
It features a very thin design; in fact, there is less than 1.25 inches behind the bezel, making it easy to mount anywhere. We also really like the pointer sweep check that the unit does every time the vehicle is switched on or off.
The unit measures -30 to 30 PSI. And considering the price, this is a great option. We aren’t completely convinced it’s the most durable boost gauge, but we also didn’t experience any failure issues.
- Supplied with a one year warranty.
- Fully programmable warning features.
- Daisy chain power options supplied.
- Electronic senders keep hazardous fluids out of the passenger cab.
- Measures -30 to 30 PSI.
- Thin design is easy to install, with all hardware included.
- Not the most durable unit on the market.
Best Boost Gauge Buying Guide
That’s the products covered, so next, we will break down the key points to consider before purchasing a boost gauge.
Keep Your Vehicle In Top-Shape
They provide you with compression levels and allow you to keep an eye on exhaust pressure at all times. Depending on the model, they can also detect and help you correct any dangerous changes within your engine.
Many drivers install boost gauges to keep their engine running smoothly when racing. Others like the customized look that the gauge adds to your ride. A boost gauge can be mounted in the dash, on the side pillar or air vent, or somewhere more custom.
Analog Metric, Or Digital Displays
To keep an eye on your available vacuum pressure and boost, you’ll need either a traditional analog or a modern digital boost gauge. The electronic option is often easier to install and easier to read.
Digital boost gauges require an electronic setup. This is easier to read but tends to cost a bit more. Mechanical options, on the other hand, tend to be more reliable. The analog system provides a closer OEM look and is preferred by those looking to keep the classic stock details of their vehicle.
Colors And Customization
A number of the boost gauges reviewed above have adjustable LED colors for the backlight and/or needle. This allows you to change and set colors to match the rest of your interior.
Some options even have multiple color face plates that can be swapped out. Or, if it’s more your style, you can build a custom housing to match the rest of your interior. No matter what look you hope to achieve; there is a great looking boost gauge for your car.
A number of the options above come with a ready-to-install kit. They will have everything you need, and the instructions are generally quite simple to follow. However, some units will require more expertise to get them working efficiently.
We recommend having a professional do the work if you have any doubts. It can be time-consuming to replace vacuum lines if you cause any damage to them during installation. If you’re comfortable with DIY, most of these can be installed by a reasonably competent home mechanic.
Mechanical boost gauges are installed by splitting the vacuum line. A T-fitting is then inserted, with the vacuum hose located to the rear of the gauge.
Electronic systems require a constant 12v power source. Electronic boost gauges require the vacuum line to be connected to a sensor. The gauge then connects to the sensor wire on the rear. We like this system as it prevents any damage to the vacuum line. Thus, there will be no loss in pressure.