Ever wondered what was really going on with your car's engine? With the advent of on-board computers in cars, it seems as if we should know a lot more about our car's performance, fuel efficiency and any mechanical problems we are having, but that's not always the case. This is where Griffin's new CarTrip device comes into its own.
Launched last week at CES in Las Vegas, CarTrip is a Bluetooth wireless monitor which plugs into your car and connects with the cars on-board computer and feeds back data to your smartphone. CarTrip plugs into the OBD-II port of your car (which all cars since 1996 have) and records and analyses the data it receives. The on-board memory stores data, and CarTrip's expansion SD card slot allows for additional data storage.
To view the data simply download a free app called CleanDrive to your iOS or Android device and it will sync with CarTrip to give you all the relevant data. CleanDrive monitors the car's performance, collecting realtime data like fuel consumption, acceleration, top speed and engine diagnostic codes. The app even displays a "Carbon Score" to let you know how green or otherwise you and your car are being.
One of the more practical uses for this device, is that when the Check Engine light is displayed on your dashboard. Rather than staring vacantly into the engine without a clue what the problem is, CarTrip will decode the problem and tell you whether you need to change the oil, replace a sensor or whatever the issue is. This could save you the expense of going to a garage every time there is a minor problem.
CarTrip will be available in the first quarter of 2011 and cost £64.99. CleanDrive, a free download, will be available for iOS in Q1 of this year and Q2 for Android.