Thermistor Probes in Automotive Innovation

Without thermistor probes many automobiles, appliances, industrial equipment, and anything that requires electricity essentially would not function properly, or at all. Engineers depend on these devices as a design consideration for any product that generates energy, hot or cold, and requires temperature measurement, control, and accuracy.


In 1966, automotive vehicles used around two thermistors per unit to report to various gauges and electronic control modules. In the 1970s that number grew to 15, in the 1980s to 40 thermistors, and in the 90s there were 60 thermistors in vehicles. Today, automotive vehicles use between 80 to 100 thermistors.


This exponential increase in thermistors has mainly been fueled over time by the complexity and refinement of technology in automotive vehicles. As automotive technology has increased and improved, so has the demand for thermistors. The need to detect, regulate, and control temperature in vehicles can be seen in car seat heaters and air conditioners, oil temperature gauges, defrosters for windows and mirrors, li-ion batteries in electric vehicles, and even just the heating and cooling systems that regulate and control cabin temperature of vehicles.


Additionally, more features and processes require sensing to improve vehicle performance, driver convenience, automotive safety, and reduce or control emissions. Vehicles today exhibit more artificial intelligence, part of which is the need to sense and regulate temperature.


As an example, thermostats that in the past were used to measure coolant temperature and control cabin climate temperature now have been replaced with a thermistor, which has a faster response time as well as being more accurate. Another indispensable application of thermistors in automobiles is the ability to detect oil levels and viscosity and then alert the driver or operator when to change it.