As someone whose only car is a 23 year-old V12 BMW, I have a deep understanding of the need for a quick and easy way to pull codes from your car when that pesky 'check engine' or 'service engine soon' light comes on. For this reason, I have a Bluetooth OBDII scanner that I can quickly plug into my OBDII port to check what's wrong with my car this time. BAFX's 34t5 Bluetooth OBDII scan tool is just $13.99 on Amazon right now, representing a price drop of over 50% from the MSRP. Read More
"Connected cars" are all well and good, but you need a pricey new model or a mobile hotspot to see the benefit. Samsung thinks it has a solution for everyone with an older car: a gadget that plugs into a standard On-Board Diagnostic port (OBD) and rebroadcasts mobile Internet on local Wi-Fi. It's a simple idea, but one that's easy and unobtrusive. The company calls it the Samsung Connect Auto.
The Connect Auto was announced in Samsung's home country of South Korea, though the timing coincides with Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There's no date or price for the gadget, but Samsung has already announced its first network partner: AT&T. Read More
Are all the newer cars on the street making your ride jealous? Okay, your car doesn't have to be old to lack the OnStar functionality that some vehicles offer, allowing owners to track stolen vehicles or determine why their Check Engine light is on. Regardless, there are ways to give your car these features, and one of them now comes from Verizon.
Today the carrier has announced Hum. For $15 a month (and $13 for any additional vehicles), Verizon will send you a two-piece kit with built-in GPS that can help law enforcement find your stolen vehicle or point you towards your last parking spot. Read More
There's a great deal of convenience that comes with using Automatic, just so long as you're fine with beaming every trip you take up to the company's servers. The app can tell you what routes you've taken, where you're parked, how you dive, and what you need to work on in order to save gas. It's a nifty tool, and while there are some significantly more affordable alternatives such as Dash out there, Automatic is the best option for someone who doesn't want to deal with picking out their own OBD-II device or wrestling with a less polished interface. But to use it, you need an Automatic Link. Read More
Dash is one in a slowly growing number of Android options that lets you track where your car is, where you've traveled, and how much gas you've burned up. To make things simple, it combines everything into a basic scoring mechanism - though this is only part of the app's appeal. Those of you with older cars can see why your check engine light came on without having to go to a mechanic, and the enthusiasts among you can turn to the app as an extension of your dashboard that provides more information than your vehicle manufacturer deemed necessary.
Not too long ago I took a look at Automatic, a $99 onboard diagnostics tool that plugs into your car and, working with a similar app, can help you save gas and better keep up with maintenance. Unsurprisingly, this drew immediate comparisons to Dash, considering it beat Automatic to the punch with more features and a drastically lower price tag (free, assuming you have Bluetooth-enabled OBD2 dongle lying around) earlier this year. Read More
I love to drive. No, seriously. I'm someone who actually enjoyed commuting to work, back before I landed my first gig putting words on the web. I'll gladly run to the grocery store to knock a few items off our shopping list, then sometimes head back on the same day to pick up something we forgot. If a friend lives less than two hours away, then they're local. Let's hang out this weekend.
The thing is, all this driving burns through gas, which in turn burns through funds. As fun as it is to gun it when the traffic light turns green, coast in the left lane on the interstate, or brake as briefly and as rarely as possible, these actions all impact how much drivers have to spend down the line, both in fuel and maintenance. Read More