The modified augmented Lagrangian preconditioner has attracted much attention in solving nondimensional Navier–Stokes equations discretized by the finite element method. In industrial applications the governing equations are often in dimensional form and discretized using the finite volume method. This paper assesses the capability of this preconditioner for dimensional Navier–Stokes equations in the context of the finite volume method. Two main contributions are made. First, this paper introduces a new dimensionless parameter that is involved in the modified augmented Lagrangian preconditioner. Second, with a number of academic test problems this paper reveals that the convergence of both nonlinear and linear iterations depend on this dimensionless parameter. A way to choose the optimal value of the dimensionless parameter is suggested and it is found that the optimal value is dependent of the Reynolds number, instead of the fluid’s properties, e.g., density and dynamic viscosity. The outcomes of this paper yield a potential rule to choose the optimal dimensionless parameter in practice, namely, correspondingly increasing with enlarging the Reynolds number.