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Who hasn’t paid the bill at the mechanic’s after having a mysterious ‘check engine’ light investigated, and wondered why your car can’t just tell you exactly what’s wrong? Now, you can get your car to tell you exactly what’s wrong, using a small dongle called FIXD.
FIXD translates what your car is trying to tell you into simple, understandable terms and send the diagnostics direct to your smartphone. No mystery lights. And no mechanical gobbledygook from your mechanic. Just the information that you need .
Getting FIXD Set up
Theres virtually no set up required with FIXD. You’ll need the free app and to locate something called an OBD-II port under your car’s dash. OBD stands for On Board Diagnostics, by the way. This is a port not unlike one you’d find on your computer, just larger. You’ll plug the FIXD sensor into the port, and connect to your app to get a readout of what’s going on.
How does FIXD work?
FIXD reads your car’s diagnostics and reports back to you. it’s not unlike the diagnostic computer your mechanic hooks up to your car for similar troubleshooting. The FIXD OBD-II Sensor connects to any vehicle model year 1996 and newer that runs on gasoline, and it acts as a gateway between you and your car.
How do I find my car’s OBD-II port?
I used the device on two different cars. FIXD says you should be able to locate your OBD-II port easily under the dash, and to one side of the steering column. By law, OBD-II ports have to be accessible to consumers in cars made after 1996.
In both cases, I couldn’t, so I went on Google and YouTube and looked for an answer. I found photos and videos that showed the location, and sure enough, that’s where it was.
If you need help, you can use FIXD’s port locator tool, here. https://www.fixdapp.com/find-my-port
I got readings on two vehicles; my 2010 VW Passat and a 2003 Nissan pathfinder. While the diagnostics on the Passat were disappointing, what I learned about the Pathfinder was both surprising and enlightening.
The Passat showed “No Problems Detected,” even though I did have a tire warning light on. Perhaps the lights you’re supposed to understand aren’t recorded?
When I ran the test on the Pathfinder, which did have the “Check Engine” light on, it provided a detailed list of issues:
EGR Valve Position Sensor Performance issue and A Knock Sensor warning. But most shocking of all was that the FIXD found the vehicle has had a “Major Driving Impact”.
FIXD will read multiple vehicles, so you can use it on all your cars. You also have the option of clearing the warning lights; an excellent option if these really annoy you. You can also have the app send you maintenance reminders to your phone if you wish.
Overall review of FIXD
I can see this sensor being invaluable for folks shopping for a used car. No longer to you need to take the word of a salesman, or wonder if the previous owner disclosed previous issues. With FIXD, you can know what the car’s current condition is and about its past.
I also like the fact that FIXD gives me the opportunity to Google my car issues and learn more about them to help me understand.. so I can know if they’re truly immediate and urgent or if they can wait.. all without needing to pay the shop rate.
FIXD is available for $59US from the company’s website or from Amazon.