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What’s hidden in the little grille on the dashboard? It’s not a microphone, but it’s better not to cover it

Why do we need a small grille on the dashboard of a car? 

The interior of the car hides many elements, the purpose of which is not clear to everyone. One of them is the grille, which can be found in various places on the dashboard or center console. There is a good chance your child will ask what it is. Better to know the answer.

Looking around the interior of the car, we can find many unusual elements, such as protruding plastic on the top of the dashboard or grille, located in different places in the cabin. Those that are installed from above under the ceiling above the dashboard, next to the reading lamp, most often hide the microphone behind them, but, for example, a small grille in the steering column or in the center panel has another use.

In the vast majority of cases, behind the grill is an internal temperature sensor in the cabin that works with climate control. Information about the temperature in the cabin is transmitted by the sensor to the controller, which, if the automatic mode of air circulation in the cabin is selected, regulates the intensity of the climate system accordingly.

The grille can be placed in various places on the dashboard

Also, this temperature sensor works in tandem with a sun intensity sensor (solar interior heating sensor), which can be found on the dashboard or on the windshield. For example, if the passenger compartment heating sensor transmits data on the increase in the intensity of light penetrating the windshield, then the controller that regulates the temperature in the passenger compartment, taking into account the data received from the temperature sensor inside the car, will increase the intensity of air circulation in the passenger compartment, which, when the air conditioner is running, will allow more effectively maintain the set temperature inside the car. This is what this solar sensor looks like:

But how to check if this mysterious grille is a temperature sensor? Everything is easy and simple. There is a small fan behind the grate, so if you put a small and light piece of paper on the grate, it should hold. However, in the end, it is better not to close this grille and not to stick anything on it. Otherwise, the air conditioner may not work properly.

Sometimes it may happen that a similar grille can also be found in a car that does not have climate control. But this does not mean that there is a cabin temperature sensor behind it. The fact is that this means that it was cheaper for the automaker to equip all of its models with one console with a small grille, whereas a climate-controlled car should have a temperature sensor in the cabin. 

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