Car maintenance was something I actually enjoyed when I was young. I had my truck, a 1996 Nissan pickup that was super easy to work on, in my youth, was something I took pride in maintaining myself. I was on top of it. Oil changes, tracking tire wear, keeping it clean, and everything else you can imagine.
But now that I have a career, a family, new hobbies, and other obligations, car maintenance is honestly a huge chore. So much so that I’ve basically relegated it all the the professionals. However, I’m still curious about my car’s health, and I still want to know what exactly is going on. Particularly, I want to stay on top of when my next maintenance/ oil change appointment needs to be scheduled, and what’s going on when my check engine light comes on.
There’s a new gadget in town called FIXD that came out with a little device that you plug into your car that will both keep track of your maintenance, and tell you why your check engine light is on.
Disclaimer: The team at FIXD sent me one of their car health monitors to evaluate. I used it in both a 2015 BMW i3 and a 2017 Subaru WRX. It’s pretty cool.
Here’s my experience with the FIXD smart car health monitor.
Installation & Setup
Inside the box is the FIXD sensor and an instruction booklet. The sensor itself is fairly small and plugs in easily into your car’s OBDII port which is generally under your steering column. There’s a little diagram in the instruction booklet that shows the most common locations. It’s important to note that only cars made after 1996 will have an OBDII sensor, so you can’t install this on your classic car.
The app is easy to install and is quite intuitive to set up. It took me only a couple minutes to connect to my car and get started. After installing the sensor and installing that app, turn on your Bluetooth on your phone and connect.
It will sense the type of car automatically, but there are things like the current mileage and tire tread measurements that you will need to enter manually. After you enter them manually, FIXD will keep track of the progression for you automatically.
To enter the tire tread wear, you take a penny and measure it upside down in the tire’s tread. You can mark the depth in the app on a corresponding penny diagram for each tire.
What does it do?
A lot, actually. I admit that my cars do not have a check engine light on at the moment, so I haven’t needed to use that feature. However, mileage has been kept accurately, and it did give me a notification on my upcoming service (which I need to schedule!).
What’s also interesting is that you can find a nearby mechanics as well as shop for parts and maintenance items like fluids and wipers. Checkout is through Amazon, so you know you’re getting a good price for your items. For someone who has decreasing amounts of free time, this is a welcome thing in my life.
The app will also notify me of any recalls, keep track of multiple cars and sensors, keep my maintenance history, and actively tell me the condition of my car. I think that the maintenance history could prove valuable when selling me car as I can show prospective buyers everything they want to know.
FIXD is available from Amazon for $60. With most mechanics asking $80 just to let you know what’s wrong with your car when the check engine light comes on, the device clearly can pay for itself in one instance. We even gave it the title of “Best of the Best” in our smart car health monitor article.
However, there are so many more features and things that it tracks that it makes sense for anyone who is curious about their car’s health to buy. If you’re the type that wants to keep your car in good health but are a bit too busy or not used to keeping track of everything, this is must have item. When my boys turn 16 (which is, about 14 years from now), I will get them one of these.
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