Why you can't trust your car's 'temperature' gauge

When it's hot, we tend to check that temperature gauge on our car, which could make some think the weather guy is wrong. But here's the thing - that's not true, and we're not just saying that because the weather guys work for us.

Earlier this week, Derek Kevra snapped a pic of his car's dash which said it was 106 degrees out. A couple things: one, that's hot, two - it's wrong!

He took a car to Kenny the Car Guy for an explanation.

"Your car relies on one small sensor in the car to tell you what the ambient temperature is outside," Kenny said. 

That little sensor is called a thermistor and it registers ohms and resistance to get an ambient temperature, not actual temperature. It's typically in the front of the car near bumpers and headlights but also near other things that get extremely hot. 

So, when it sits in the hot summer sun, it tends to overestimate that number.

"The sensor (on the car we used) happens to be located right next to the radiator, right next to the air conditioning censor, On this car, because it's turbocharged, right next to the intercooler," Kenny said.

So yeah, that's an enormous amount of heat, meaning your gauge isn't probably right. It's, in the end, just a gauge.