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I'll answer some of your questions for you:
can they break off and go into the engine? No, however if it's mounted before the turbo (between the engine and the turbo) then it's possible for a broken probe to damage the turbo.
do the gauges need to have a probe matched to them? I think all of them have matched probes and wiring - ie don't shorten or lengthen the wire between the probe and the gauge or it will be inaccurate.
do gauges have calibrations adjustments to say ambient temp when car is cold? Mine doesn't (Autometer) but other brands may do.

Hope this helps.
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