OBDLink MX+ lets you know how your car’s engine is performing

Tech review: The powerful $99.99 device made by Scantool.net not only can read “check engine” error codes but also provide information on such things as fuel mileage, engine performance, and speed and acceleration rates.

My dad used to work on his cars. I like to think I helped, but I just held the light where he was working.

As cars get more and more complex, doing your own work is getting harder.

We are all familiar with the dreaded “check engine” light. Most people take their cars to their dealers or a local mechanic to get them to read the engine codes and tell them what has gone wrong.

Almost every car made after 1996 has a port under the dashboard to connect diagnostic systems. This port is called the OBD-II port (onboard diagnostics).

Most Read Business Stories

It used to be that only dealers and mechanics had access to the computers and cables that could connect to the port, but technology advances have brought products that let people read their own engine codes.

I’ve been testing the OBDLink MX+ ($99.99) from Scantool.net, which uses a wireless dongle to connect your car to your smartphone, tablet or Windows PC via Bluetooth.

There are all kinds of engine statistics you can access if you have a device like the OBDLink MX+. Not all manufacturers make the same information available, but you’ll be surprised at what you can find out about your car when you connect the OBDLink MX+.

The device has apps for iOS, Android and Windows (sorry, Mac users) that can display all the information that can be extracted from your car. The app lets the user completely customize information screens called dashboards that consist of digital or analog gauges that can be set up in different sizes and shapes. You can have multiple dashboards for different situations.

You can set up one for fuel mileage information, one for engine performance, one for speed and acceleration rates and so on.

One very cool feature of the OBDLink app is that you can put the dashboards into “heads up display” mode, which flips the screen so you can place your phone on your dashboard to see the display reflected on your windshield as you drive. It’s a slick feature.

If you have your own favorite car app that uses OBD-II data, chances are the OBDLink MX+ will work with it. The app stores for iOS and Android are filled with different apps to access the data.

The OBDLink MX+ can read engine error codes to let you know exactly why your check engine light is on.

The included app has information on thousands of codes so you are presented with a clear explanation of what’s happening. Cheaper OBD-II dongles just give a code number and make you look up the error.

The MX+ can also clear the dash lights if you like. Of course, those lights are on for a reason, and unless you know the severity of the problem, you should not just turn off the lights without checking with a mechanic.

Source link

Leave a Reply