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

Calif. cop-killer suspect with AR-15-type assault weapon captured after tense manhunt, cops say
A suspect described as a "one-man crime spree" is accused of shooting three Northern California sheriff's deputies, killing two of them and wounding a civilian, then eluding hundreds of searchers before being hunted down and forced to surrender, authorities said.

9-year-old among 4 charged in robbery and attack on man in Rhode Island
Law enforcement officials say four Rhode Island boys ranging from 9 to 14 years old robbed and beat a man in Providence.

Family of Hannah Graham ‘devastated’ after body ID’d
Remains found nearly a week ago in a rural area of Virginia are those of a missing 18-year-old university student, authorities said Friday, as they turned their attention to filing possible additional charges against the suspect accused of abducting her.

Poll: 65 percent of Americans think Islamic State militants pose important threat
Sixty-five percent of Americans now say the threat from the Islamic State group is very or even extremely important, and nearly half think the U.S. military response in Iraq and Syria has not gone far enough, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.

Washington state high school gunman was Homecoming prince, students say
A student recently crowned freshman class Homecoming prince walked into his Seattle-area high school cafeteria Friday and opened fire, killing one person and shooting several others in the head before turning the gun on himself, officials and witnesses said.

Pentagon reports 1st death of US soldier involved in Islamic State campaign
The Pentagon has announced the first death of a U.S. military member involved in the campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Prosecutors: No new evidence, witness on Boston Marathon bombing suspect, brother, 2011 deaths
Prosecutors said in a court filing Friday they don't have any new evidence that the brother of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was involved in a 2011 triple slaying and have no witness who will testify to what Tsarnaev knew about his brother and the killings.

Remains believed to be of missing Oklahoma teen
Remains found by a hunter this month in the rugged outback of southeast Oregon appear to be those of an Oklahoma teenager who went missing last year after telling his parents he wanted to test himself against the wilderness, like in the movie "Into the Wild."

Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of 2 California deputies, shooting of 2 others
A suspect was arrested Friday afternoon after two Northern California sheriff's deputies were killed during a series of shootings that spanned about six hours and 30 miles across two Northern California counties.

Referee for Major League Soccer suspended after New York arrest on fraud charge
A Major League Soccer referee has been accused of collecting New York unemployment benefits while working and has been suspended.

News at Ten Stories

Advertise with us!
IE6 Float Fix