FOX 66 News at Ten
We've all been there. Just driving
along, minding our own business when all of the sudden the ‘check-engine' light
comes on. As many drivers know fixing a check-engine concern can cost a lot of
"A check engine light is
nothing more than just letting you that there is something causing your car to
have higher than normal emissions," said Brad Walker, an automotive
instructor at Oklahoma City Community College.
We asked Walker to help us test a
new device that promises to connect your car to your smartphone. The device is
called "Automatic." It plugs
into your car's data port, and that port has been standard on all cars since
Automatic costs nearly $100, but
promises to help diagnosis a check-engine light and save you hundreds of
dollars by keeping track of your driving habits.
With Walker's help we created a
check-engine problem by unplugging a sensor. After the car sputtered to a
start, the app that is connected via Bluetooth to the device plugged into the
data port showed our failure.
"To me this is a really good
diagnostic tool, but it doesn't definitely tell you what's wrong with your
vehicle," Walker said after seeing the results. The device and app did
offer suggestions on what could be wrong and Walker said about half the time it
could be as easy as replacing a sensor, but mechanics have other diagnostic
tools that can make sure there isn't a problem further down the line.
"You can treat yourself a
little bit, but at a certain point you want to go to a good doctor," said
Automatic's Ljuba Milikovic. Automatic's team says you will need to go to a
trusted mechanic sometimes, which is why the app includes a list of
well-reviewed mechanics near your location.
However, Milikovic and Walker both
told us a majority of check-engine light problems are due to loose gas caps. So
instead of paying a mechanic to diagnosis the problem, Automatic would save you
time and money.
That isn't the only feature of the
device we tested. It also tracks your driving habits and lets you know if you
are stopping to quick, speeding off from stops or driving too fast. "We've
done some research and he average driver could save about a third of that gas
money about 1,000 dollars each year just by driving more efficiently,"
Milikovic told Fox 25.
We took the device for a spin on the
turnpike where the legal limit is 75-miles-per-hour. The app gave us a driving
score of 50 out of 100. It also showed us how much we spent on gas for the trip
and told us how improving our driving could save that money.
Walker says the device is a good
tool for any do-it-yourselfer and could even help empower those less familiar
with what's under the hood. He did offer some tips for people who panic when
their dash lights up.
"If the check engine light
comes on, and it's running normally, then that kind of means you need to have
it looked at; but maybe you can drive it there," Walker said, "If
your check engine light comes on and it's flashing, it's not on steady, but
it's flashing that means you probably need to have it towed in."
Source: KOKH FOX25
Thursday, February 6 2014, 10:34 AM EST
National News Headlines
|Sexual assault case reinstated against former Tigers pitcher Evan Reed|
|A judge has reinstated a sexual assault case against pitcher Evan Reed, overturning a decision by another judge who found inconsistencies in the woman's story.|
|NYPD rookie kills unarmed man in Brooklyn|
|A rookie cop fatally shot an unarmed man inside a Brooklyn housing project late Thursday, authorities said.|
|Judge dismisses man charged in 1975 Ohio killing|
|A judge has dismissed the case against a man imprisoned for nearly 40 years for a 1975 Cleveland slaying after a witness in the trial recanted the testimony he gave as a young boy.|
|Former attorney general in Utah faces another felony|
|Former Attorney General John Swallow is facing an additional felony charge of accepting a gift while serving in public office.|
|California storm triggers mudslides in Los Angeles foothill suburb hit by wildfire this year|
|Rare Southern California rains have triggered mudslides in an area of the Los Angeles-area foothills scorched bare by a wildfire earlier this year.|
|Tennessee woman charged again in New Mexico chase in which officer fired on van full of kids|
|New charges have been filed against a Tennessee woman in a chaotic 2013 traffic stop and chase during which a New Mexico State Police officer fired shots at her minivan full of children.|
|Meow mix-up: Lost New Mexico kitten located in Maine|
|A New Mexico woman's missing kitten has been located in Maine, although exactly how the feline made the 2,300-mile trip remains a mystery.|
|Michael Brown's dad urges peace in online video|
|The father of Michael Brown is making a plea for peace, regardless of whether the grand jury decides to charge the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot his unarmed son.|
|Ex-convict charged in death of teenage girl whose burned body was found in Indianapolis yard|
|An ex-convict has been charged in the killing of a 15-year-old girl whose badly burned body was found in an Indianapolis backyard in August.|
|Service set to honor Indiana aid worker killed by ISIS|
|The Indiana aid worker who was killed by Islamic State militants is to be remembered Friday during the first of three public services being planned.|