What are those holes in my dashboard, anyway?

They’re in just about every car, usually right by the ignition.

Some look like slots, others pinpricks grouped in a circle.

You’ve seen them before.

But what are they?

Coin holders? A very small speaker?


According to engineers at Acura, maker of the ILX sedan pictured in the photo above, they are intakes for the cabin temperature sensor used with the climate control system.

Some automakers put them in the center stack, or hide them inside air vents, but you’ll typically find them behind the steering wheel close to the driver, the seat most often occupied. Multi-zone climate control systems add more throughout the cabin.

So the next time you think about slipping a quarter in there, or covering them up with tape, try to resist the urge, unless you want to feel the heat.

Or cold.  It depends on the season.