De­vice checks car’s health

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

ME­CHANIC Ad­vi­sors has a new di­ag­nos­tic key that will make that shing­ing check-en­gine light a lit­tle bit less dis­heart­en­ing by giv­ing car own­ers a por­tal into the health of their ve­hi­cle.

The de­vice plugs into the ve­hi­cle’s stan­dard On-Board Di­ag­nos­tics port, link­ing to iOS and An­droid smart­phones to pro­vide re­al­time ve­hi­cle data and de­ci­pher more than 20 000 er­ror codes — the same di­ag­nos­tic tools avail­able to me­chan­ics. It’ll also pro­vide alerts when it’s time to change oil or re­place tires, and ac­cord­ing to the company, will work with almost any ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tured since 1996.

The company also plans to im­prove the ser­vice by us­ing anony­mous data to pro­vide use­ful in­for­ma­tion such as known is­sues for spe­cific mod­els of car, break­ing down stats based on lo­ca­tion and driv­ing habits. The company be­lieves that giv­ing driv­ers real-time stats will not only help ed­u­cate them about their ve­hi­cles, but should also elim­i­nate the dis­trust sur­round­ing auto re­pairs. When your check en­gine light flicks on, you sim­ply fire up the app to see what’s wrong and con­tact a me­chanic suit­able for fix­ing the spe­cific is­sue, as se­lected by the company’s on­line re­fer­ral en­gine.

The Con­nec­tion Key is also built with safety in mind, with all data be­ing en­crypted when trans­ferred be­tween the de­vice and the user’s smart­phone.

The Con­nec­tion Key is avail­able for pre-or­der for R575 ($50), in­clud­ing shipping.

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