Why your car temperature is often wrong

Don't Always Trust The Temp On Your Dashboard

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- On a hot day like Thursday, you may notice that the temperature on your car's dashboard is higher than you'd expect; 2 On Your Side set out to find out why.

It turns out, your car likely uses a thermistor, instead of a typical mercury-in-glass thermometer. Thermistors are cheap to make and usually accurate.

The problem with thermistors in cars is where they're placed. Most manufacturers put them in the front of the car behind the grill.

If you've ever walked on asphalt on a hot day, you know it's hot, and that heat can radiate upward. Your thermistor also picks up that heat coming off the road or parking lot, and that incorrectly inflates the temperature reading.

Experts say car temperatures are typically more accurate at night or on cloudy days when the road or parking lot isn't quite as hot.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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