Handheld devices are making their way into every part of our lives – including our cars! While texting and driving laws discourage using handheld devices while operating your vehicle, there are many new apps emerging that help us take better care of our cars (and by extension, ourselves).
Students in mechanic college have all seen the newest car-monitoring touch dashboards, fitted onto first class vehicles like the Tesla Model S. But for those of us with older vehicles, which probably lack a fancy dashboard, there are dozens of well-designed car apps that can help us manage our cars. From apps that log car repairs to others that find us a mechanic, a new era of smartphone-driven car care has arrived!
Mechanic Advisor is a yet-to-be-released but highly anticipated app. The app works by connecting your smartphone to your vehicle’s OBD-II (on-board diagnostic) port to interpret mechanical problems. Automotive service technicians use similar diagnostic technology, but up until now it wasn’t available outside the mechanic garage. This app lets car owners receive a vehicle diagnosis in easily understood language. What’s better, the app also has a directory of over 500,000 mechanics, which they will refer you to based on your vehicle’s needs. An app with this intelligence can be quite useful to new grads pursuing automotive careers. Just think about it – drivers will actually understand what’s wrong with their car and be prompted to seek professional help – making it less likely they’ll delay bringing the car in for servicing!
Repair Pal (iOS and Android)
Repair Pal is one of the few car apps given an approval rating by Edmunds.com. The New York Times even selected it as their app of the week! The app helps car owners find out the reasonable price to pay for their car’s repair. It also helps them find a mechanic who can fix the problem for the right price. Repair Pal tracks your repairs, so you’ll never be left wondering when it’s time to get an oil change.
Car Minder Plus (iOS)
It’s about time that personal service maintenance logs were put into app form! Car Minder Plus allows car owners to track where and when repairs were performed on their vehicle. Along with the repair log is a fuel economy log, so you can track the odometer reading for each refill of the gas tank, and track exactly how much mileage you’re getting per gallon. What’s also great is that the app can manage more than one car at once – perfect for families with multiple vehicles.
Waze (iOS and Android)
Waze is more a navigational tool than a car repair tool, but is so useful we had to mention it. The app teams up with the GPS on your phone to map out your designated route. However…Waze also crowd sources traffic data, so that it can plot out routes with the least congestion. What’s so cool about Waze is that everyone using the app is sending in their traffic data. While you cruise along traffic-free, Waze will inform other users that the road you’re on is a good route.
Have you used one of these automotive apps? Tell us how it worked for you in the comments.