WSMH FOX 66 on Facebook WSMH FOX 66 Twitter WSMH FOX 66 RSS Feed WSMH FOX 66 Mailing List
 

FOX 66 News at Ten

WSMH FOX 66 :: News - News at Ten - Check engine light on? There's an app for that
Check engine light on? There's an app for that



OKLAHOMA
CITY -



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
money.



"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
1996.



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



Check engine light on? There's an app for that

Thursday, February 6 2014, 10:34 AM EST

National News Headlines

California officer reunited with newborn he found alive in dumpster in 1989
An officer who found an abandoned newborn in a garbage dumpster was reunited with the now 25-year-old man he helped save.

 


Rights coalition asks court not to release police records in Vanderbilt rape case to media
Four victims' rights groups are asking the Tennessee Supreme Court to rule against a coalition of news media organizations, including The Associated Press, that is fighting to get access to some of the records in a high-profile rape case involving four former Vanderbilt University football players.

Arizona firefighter charged with murder in cold case deaths of wife, mother-in-law and friend
A high-ranking firefighter in southern Arizona has been charged with murder in the cold case slayings of his ex-wife, her mother and a third woman.

Elderly North Dakota woman talks about losing money in 1st trial of Jamaican lottery scam case
An elderly woman from North Dakota who was identified by investigators as the first victim in a Jamaican lottery scam says she lost $300,000 and cashed in her insurance policy.

Real estate heir Durst moving from prison 70 miles from New Orleans to jail 25 miles away
The real estate heir being held in Louisiana while awaiting extradition to California on murder charges is moving to a jail closer to New Orleans.

Abramoff co-conspirator Kevin Ring released to halfway house after 15 months in prison
A former Washington lobbyist convicted in the Jack Abramoff scandal is out of federal prison.

Republican candidate Rand Paul faces tough questions as he courts Orthodox Jewish crowd
Republican presidential contender Rand Paul faced tough questions as he tried to woo New York's Orthodox Jewish community, including how he would fight lingering perceptions about his commitment to Israel.

APNewsBreak: White supremacist says he will plead guilty in Kansas Jewish site shootings
A white supremacist accused of killing three people near two Kansas Jewish centers says he's ready to plead guilty to all charges to avoid a lengthy trial.

Arizona woman convicted of murder in death of 5-year-old daughter who was never found
A jury has convicted an Arizona mother of murder in the death her 5-year-old daughter who disappeared in 2011 and was never found.

Judge orders prison sentences for 2 South Carolina officers who used Taser on woman 8 times
One small-town South Carolina police officer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, and a second to a year and a day for unnecessarily shocking a mentally disabled woman with a Taser at least eight times.

News at Ten Stories

Advertise with us!
IE6 Float Fix