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Bargain gadget could save you a pricey car upgrade

Digital Thermometer and Clock by Type S

Available at: Canadian Tire

Price: $16.99

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It's how cold?

Remember when you used to stick your arm out the car window to see how cold it is? We still do that. When I bought a truck in 2011, the only desired option from the upgrade menu was the exterior temperature display, but that was not worth an extra $2,100.

But I want to know if I need mitts or a light jacket when I arrive at my destination. I know – it's Canada – pack both.

Problem solved. The Digital Thermometer and Clock, by Type S is simple to install and program. Within seconds of telling it to display the exterior temperature from the probe mounted in the door jam, I knew it was exactly 8.6 C. The first test drive proved it's surprisingly accurate.

The gauge reads the temperature fast but drawbacks include questions about the battery life in -30 C, the tape life and what to do with the two extra feet of cable.

For the price, I can live with those potential problems.

If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at globedrive@globeandmail.com.

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