No, car temperatures are not exactly accurate

If you're driving and need to check the temperature, you usually check your dashboard, but how accurate is your car thermometer?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With August coming to a close, we could only see a few hot more weeks, and if you're driving and need to check the temperature, you usually check your dashboard, but how accurate is your car thermometer? 

THE QUESTION

Are car thermometers accurate? 

OUR SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, car temperatures are not exactly accurate and can differ a few degrees from the actual air temperature. 

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WHAT WE FOUND

"No, those thermometers are not super accurate," Undercoffler said. 

Undercoffler told WCNC that the reason is that those sensors are usually close to the ground. Earnhardt Lexus states most sensors are near the front bumper, so if the sun is beating down on that part of the car, the reading may be higher than the actual temperature. 

"If your car has been parked on something like asphalt or blacktop for a while, there a lot of heat radiating up off that surface into that sensor," Undercoffler said. 

It will usually cool down when you start to drive, but Undercoffler tells WCNC that the most important reason to take these temps with a grain of salt is not when it's hot but when it's cold outside. 

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"The time you need to remember is that in the winter if you are driving and it's hovering right around freezing just because it doesn't say freezing adjust your driving accordingly," Undercoffler said. 

Temperature readings vary from car to car depending on the make and the model and where the sensor is located. 

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

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