The FIXD Active Car Health Monitor puts a virtual mechanic in your smartphone for only $38.95

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43% gave it 1 star on Amazon.


Seems to be a poorly designed product. Won’t work unless your phone has an internet connection. Requires entry of the vehicle’s VIN, and it must be done manually, despite the fact the most cars have a VIN barcode that can be scanned. According to Amazon reviews, it can only be used on US made cars. Seems to be a very high number faulty product returns.

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IXD can even turn off your check engine light, a procedure that previously could only be handled by an auto repair professional.

Or anyone with a non-bluetooth enabled scanner going for $15 on Amazon…

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Can’t comment on this device but my experience with others like it has been they’re all crap.

Getting a list of trouble codes is just the first step in diagnosing problems. Most of the time you get a series of codes that are inter-related but simply show various symptoms that can point to multiple root causes. Each one needs to be carefully researched and tested and I’ve never found an app that accurately displays a simple “Check this specific sensor!” message and have it turn out to be true.

What you get instead is a bunch of “cylinder 2 misfire”, “system too lean off idle” and “O2 sensor bank 1 low voltage” messages and it’s up to you to figure out what it all means. That’s where going to an experienced mechanic that specializes in your car’s model makes all the difference.

Having said that, this is the one I bought from Amazon for $15 bucks and it’s fantastic.

Along with this $5 iPhone app is really all you need.

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I’ve been clicking through on the bb store posts for a while now, and I really can’t help but feel that bb is screwing the pooch with how this is being handled. I’m not talking about the not-all-that-obvious separation between paid marketing content and editorial content on the blog – that’s a separate issue and should be discussed as such.

Rather, I’m referring to the fact that bb seems to have purchased into a canned solution – StackSocial at the very least, and possibly others – and is doing no curation or quality control, the very things that’ve made the zine attract such a following. All too frequently, a few seconds’ research shows that the promoted products are… how do I put it politely? Well, they’re shit.

I guess if you have a good product, you don’t need to pay thousands to someone like bb to promote it. I’m also guessing that Amazon affiliate links weren’t generating enough revenue, hence the much more aggressive marketing push. Still, I’ve always felt that I could generally trust boingboing to do at least some modicum of due diligence and display a certain degree of intellectual honesty in its content. Neither seems to be present in the marketing posts.


Came here to basically say the same (although my Android based head unit came with its own software for this).

I think I have the same bluetooth ODB II adapter, which has been really reliable so far. Just for fun, I have a bunch of graphs I display in Torque showing various engine data while I drive.