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Old 02-07-2021, 11:43 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,282

1997 SL2
Default Climate/Cabin Temperature Gauge

I had this idea recently to add a some kind of gauge or display that would show what the temperature the vents are putting out. I sometimes use a cooking thermometer to check, but that’s hard to see while driving, and impossible at night. This is kind of one of those “but why” projects, and the why this time is because I’m kind of a nerd and I really enjoy these electronic projects I do with the car. Plus what car enthusiasts doesn’t need more pointless things to monitor while driving, lol.

I found this digital display on Amazon with 2 temperature sensors. There really isn’t much free dash/console space or adding gauges with the 2nd gen interior, so most people sacrifice one or both of the vents to make gauge pods. I wanted to so something similar, but also be able to direct the air coming out of the vent. The display fit perfectly in the bottom half. It also doesn’t stick in to deep meaning I won’t have to loose the fins that move air left/right. I do end up loosing a little bit of downward movement, but I’m not concerned with that.

One of the fins was shaved to allow the wires to pass through when the vent is “closed”

Next comes wiring it into the car. I thought I was going to have to drill a hole for the wires, but the ducting separates into another piece right at the end, making for the perfect spot to slip wires through. Everything got taped to the back of what ever this area is called to prevent getting in the way of anything.

The temperature sensor for the cabin is currently sticking out by the shifter. This was mostly for testing to see if it actually got a good reading there. I was surprised it did so next I’ll try taping it either under the shifter on to the back side of the center console.

This is probably pretty pointless to most people, but for me it ended up working great. Reads quickly, accurately, and the cabin temp sensor even works well. It did randomly reset on the first test drive with it, but it hasn’t happened since so I’ll assume it was a fluke for now.

97 SL2, auto, 123K miles
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