'19 OB Temp. Gauge - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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'19 OB Temp. Gauge

Why is my outside temp. gauge always 5 degrees higher than what is outside (comparing this to an iPhone which always seems to be 99.9% accurate).

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 06:30 PM
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I guess it is one of the great mysteries of the universe. But they most likely both are true... The OB is correctly given the at point temperature and the iPhone given you the official reading from the weather bureau.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonia Arey View Post
Why is my outside temp. gauge always 5 degrees higher than what is outside (comparing this to an iPhone which always seems to be 99.9% accurate).
Most cars, and I expect our OB to be the same, has the temp sensor under or below the front bumper. Therefore, it picks up heat from the ground, as well as the car when not moving. That said, mine is usually accurate once I'm moving and have traveled a couple of miles.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 10:14 PM
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Your car uses sensors to get an accurate or close idea of temperature.
Your phone uses a weather app.
You can read about it in the manual.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 02:41 AM
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Ambient temp sensors will typically read higher when parked outside with sun beaming down on it.. usually takes vehicle to be driving a few miles for accurate temp to show.

On hot summer days, temp may read 20+ higher than what it actually is when first starting car.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 07:33 AM
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... somebody made a thread about this.. wow
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 07:59 AM
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LOL, Mine is pretty accurate. Usually runs a few degrees higher on the interstates due to the heat created from all the traffic. Obviously reads high after sitting in a parking lot in the sun.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 08:06 AM
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... somebody made a thread about this.. wow
This is most likely an error of how the OP is making the comparison. But we can't ignore that temperature sensors (thermocouples) are not immune to error. Many sensor circuits have an adjustable bias somewhere to make a correction (fudge factor).

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 09:39 AM
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Low tech ambient temp check

Tonia... I have a defective (10 deg low) readout on my 2018 OB. I tried a couple of low tech (not perfect but close) methods to verify that it was not accurate. 1] Tape a house type thermometer (or cooking thermometer) to the outside of a window where you can easily read it while driving. 2] I had a $10 digital thermometers with a 10 foot wired sensor. I ran wire out door and under hood and temporarily attach to lower left of grill. Your car sensor is on lower right grill. This position gives the ambient air/ road temp close to what the car sensor detects. A wireless house thermometer would probably be easier.

Your phone may be telling you the temperature 50+ miles away in the shade. I would not trust it.

If your temperature readout error is consistent the dealer can make a correction with the Subaru Select Service Monitor (within +/- 9 deg F).

For the record... my household thermometers were checked against a lab thermometer and well within 1 +/- deg F.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 10:34 AM
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Heh, not nearly the first thread on this topic in the Gen 5 forum.

Good point on the highway heat - very common source of error. On hot, sunny days, I have also seen repeatable temperature drops of 3-5 degrees when driving from one town that has very few trees, and tons of houses with tiny yards, into another where the roads and yards are loaded with big old trees. But, there have been a few reports here of poorly calibrated Outbacks, and a visit to the dealer can get that corrected. To be sure, a good test is to check the temperature reading on a cold vehicle, one that's been sitting for several hours, at night or just before sunrise. It should be very close to any local weather station reading. If it is, then there's nothing to be done, the posts above pretty much cover your problem.

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