Should you trust your car’s thermometer?

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – You turn on your car in the blazing summer sun and it says 110 degrees, but the forecast called for a high of 95 degrees.

Was the meteorologist wrong? Is the sensor at the airport way off? Actually, it’s the temperature sensor on your car.

Temperatures taken at airports are highly regulated to get the most accurate reading.

Courtesy: National Weather Service

Not only is the temperature recorded in the shade, but away from any outside influences such as the sun or heat radiating from the ground. Therefore, most official readings are taken from a thermometer inside a Stevenson Screen.

A Stevenson Screen is a little house painted white with silts allowing air to flow in freely. It is also lifted by several feet so the thermometer is not influenced by the heated ground.

Your car thermometer is not regulated to that extent, but can trick you at times.

Photo: WKRN

First of all, most car air sensors are in the front of the vehicle and close to the ground.

Hot asphalt will show you a higher number, plus it is close to the heated engine.

Though the initial temperature looks like a record-breaker each time you turn on your car that has been sitting in the hot sunshine, once you drive, air flows through the sensor and a more accurate reading will be the result.