Looking to find out exactly what that worrisome ‘check engine’ light is warning you about? Fearful of a local or chain mechanic who will charge for unnecessary repairs? Or are you a DIY mechanic looking to improve vehicle performance? If so, there are a variety of auto repair diagnosis apps available for both Android and iPhone. |
Many are basic apps, like MobileMechanic, that educate users and allow consumers to evaluate their cars before visiting a mechanic, cutting down on repair shop diagnostic fees. The app reads and defines auto repair diagnostic codes, makes repair and maintenance recommendations based on the car’s make and model and will recommend mechanics in the area based on GPS. This app doesn’t have many uses for a mechanic, but it may be worth recommending to a hands-on customer. For a true mechanic or DIY repairs a diagnostic reader will be needed.
All cars built after 1996 have an On-Board Diagnostic computer that electronically monitors everything happening under the hood. More advanced apps would require investing in a connection cable or wireless adapter ($20-$100) to connect to the car’s OBD-II port to check vehicle status. CarTrip On-Board Diagnostic Computer Reader is the easy, fun tool that helps you drive more fuel efficiently, save money, and do your part to save the planet. CarTrip's wireless monitor plugs into your car's OBD-II port to record and analyze data from your car's on-board computer, then it displays it on your compatible smartphone using a friendly (and free) little app called CleanDrive. It even has the ability to connect wirelessly to the OBD via bluetooth, and transfer all the data to your phone. You can even re-set "Service Soon" messages.
For the dedicated mechanic, we recommend OBDLink. This app converts your phone or tablet into a full-fledged diagnostic scan tool with a fully customizable dashboard. The application offers the ability to read diagnostic trouble codes, clear the "Check Engine" light, check emissions readiness for each US state, estimate fuel economy with on-board monitoring tests and sensor reports, and log OBD data to a CSV format for review in Excel. Each of these apps offers unlimited upgrades, so you are never without the tools you need. So no matter your skill level with automotive repair, there is an app available to help get the best performance.
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