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XercesBlue June 11th, 2014 11:10pm

Are factory installed car thermometers accurate?

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EnderWiggin So disillusioned...
06/11/14 9:39 pm

Ours is consistently 3deg higher.

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fredd TrumpLand
06/11/14 9:27 pm

Can't say I've ever tried to find out.

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Zod Above Pugetropolis
06/11/14 8:31 pm

Ours seem to be. They are usually within a degree or two of what our home weather station and heat pump sensor read (and those two almost always match).

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presrvd Phoenix
06/11/14 8:24 pm

The one in my truck is usually within 1-2 degrees of what is reported on the news, so I said yes.

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XercesBlue ...
06/12/14 5:31 am

Properly representing the outside temperature? My grandma keeps telling me it's been 113 here, which is not true as it hasn't been over 110 this week. Kind of along those lines.

geoag02 Dallas, TX
06/11/14 4:34 pm

Digital thermometers are generally pretty good and hold their calibration well.

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geoag02 Dallas, TX
06/11/14 4:36 pm

In the case of a factory installed outdoor thermometer in a car, the reading will typically be high for about 3 minutes after starting the car if it had been parked for less than an hour. This is because the sensor is usually in front of the radiator

geoag02 Dallas, TX
06/11/14 4:37 pm

And it takes a few minutes of driving to get enough air blowing past it to cool it back off to outside temperature.

cpaswr just say the letters
06/11/14 6:04 pm

I would go with this explanation.

sdbrev210 The Pursuit of Happiness
06/11/14 6:14 pm

I assume the airflow will cool the thermistor. Is it a uniform rate to which it can be be calibrated? Never been able to figure out where it's located in my car. Always reads 4F high.

geoag02 Dallas, TX
06/11/14 7:20 pm

Usually it is in the front grill as far forward as they can put it. Heat from the radiator *should* only be an issue when the vehicle is not moving and the radiator fan is off. Some manufacturers do a better job of pulling this off than others.

XercesBlue ...
06/12/14 5:28 am

Wow, thank you for the explanation! I appreciate it :)

2katz I live in Nebraska
06/11/14 6:41 pm

Oh THAT'S that little thingie in the tailpipe! I always wondered.

EnderWiggin So disillusioned...
06/11/14 9:40 pm

What factory did you go to?

Kay41 the Midwest
06/11/14 4:14 pm

Answered yes but not sure as we don't have one in our car.

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XercesBlue ...
06/11/14 4:19 pm

I'm not sure either. I'm curious about the consensus :)