That Temperature You’re Reading From Your Car Is Wrong
It's that time of year again. As temperatures rise, so will the pictures of car dashboard temperatures on your social media feed. Everyone likes to post the picture of their car thermometer on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter or Instagram and you should probably stop it. Not only because it's annoying, I can tell it's hot as balls outside by going outside, but also because it's wrong.
Your car doesn't use a typical thermometer, it uses a thermistor. Thermistor's measure the change in electrical current as a result of heat added or taken away. But that's not what's giving you an incorrect temperature reading, thermistor's are actually very accurate. No, what's actually giving crazy temperature readings is the fact that thermistor's are usually placed in front of the car behind the grill, and usually between the headlights. This gives you a reading that's a lot less accurate ESPECIALLY on hot, sunny days, it's picking up the re-radiated heat from the road surface. It's kind of like when you walk barefoot on sand or concrete that has had direct sunlight hit it, you're experiencing that re-radiated heat directly. Temperature readings are a lot more accurate when the sun isn't hitting the road directly like at night or during cloudy weather. And while it could be accurate during cold weather, remember the thermistor could be giving you a reading much higher than it really is. So stop posting those pictures of the temperature on your car dashboard (because I am silently judging you) because it's wrong, next time just stick to really good weather app.