My family and I were dead in the middle of a road trip when my check engine light first came on. Almost instantly, panic gripped my overactive imagination. At first, I thought that the engine was experiencing a significant malfunction or on the verge of catastrophic failure.
Given that we were halfway across the state, we had to pause the trip and start looking for a mechanic. We found this little garage in a small town and explained our woes to the mechanic. He went to the back of his garage, came back with this small device, and plugged it in the car. Slightly less than a minute later, he said, “It seems you fuel lid is broken.”
The encounter set me back about $100, which was much more expensive than purchasing my car health monitor.
What is an OBD-II port?
The On-Board Diagnostic II (OBD-II) port is a gateway to your vehicle’s computer to perform a couple of tasks, including diagnostics and emission tests.
FIXD is an Automotive specialist company that helps car owners and drivers better understand keeping their vehicles in tip-top conditions. Over the ages, the company has taken pride in lending a helping hand to drivers when they can’t help but worry about why the check engine light is on their own.
The FIXD device features a hardware-software combo, giving you essential information about your car. The hardware part of the device sends information from your vehicle to an application on your smart device, the software part of the FIXD device.
How does the FIXD device work?
The hardware-software combo is designed to work with all vehicles with an On-Board Diagnostic (OBD-II) port.
The package comes with a scanner that you should plug into your vehicle’s OBD-II port. The sensor automatically draws its power from the car, which means you will never have to recharge it.
Once the device is powered, you should download the FIXD app from the App Store or Google Play Store, depending on the operating system that powers your device. Next, you will need to connect the FIXD sensor to the app on your phone via Bluetooth. Once that is successfully done, the system will automatically share information about your vehicle throughout the connection.
How do you use FIXD?
Download the FIXD app from Google Play Store for Android devices or App Store for iOS devices, power ON Bluetooth on your smart device, and pair to the FIXD sensor.
Open the FIXD app and create an account by filling in the required information. Set up your maintenance reminders and repair preferences.
Identify the FIXD sensor on the app and input the sensor code (found on the back of the sensor). Plug the FIXD sensor into your vehicles OBD-II port (located on the driver’s side of the dashboard). Once the device is properly plugged-in, a blue light should flash. Finally, add the sensor on the app and allow it to scan for all nearby devices. Once this is done, you can begin running diagnostic tests on your vehicle.
Like the FIXD car health monitor, ELM 327 has become a vital piece of technology for drivers and car owners worldwide. With car issues becoming more frequent, a trip to the mechanic can set you back quite a significant amount. ELM 327 comes in handy in saving you money by keeping your vehicle in tip-top condition.
The ELM 327 is one of the most advanced OBD-II scanners available in the market today. It features a wide variety of functionalities and supports most third-party apps that come with several innovative, useful features.
The ELM 327 can be controlled from any Android and Windows device by using a third-party app (not compatible with iOS).
How do you use ELM 327?
Plug the ELM 327 adapter into your vehicles OBD-II port. It should indicate that its receiving power even when the car is turned off. Download a third-party app to connect your phone to the ELM 327 device. You can opt for the Torque Pro app. Power ON Bluetooth on your smartphone and pair it to the Bluetooth adapter.
Once paired, open the Torque Pro app and give it a few seconds to load and properly pair up to the ECU. Once this step is complete, you are connected to the adapter and can start your vehicle to receive real-time information from your vehicle’s computer.
FIXD vs. ELM 327
Check Engine Light
Mobile Push Notifications
Where to buy FIXD
ELM 327 Features
Check Engine Light
Freeze Frame Data
The Freeze-Frame Data is designed to help keep the emission system of your vehicle in a working condition. It contains essential Parameters ID (PID) information for the displayed Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC). The codes are then saved in the memory when any problem is experienced in the emission system, allowing you to view a detailed side-by-side report on the various codes and share the information with professionals.
Live Data allows you to determine your vehicle’s performance as you go. It provides a live feed of your car using built-in sensors.
Mass Air Flow
Last but not least, the ELM 327 allows you to customize your app’s dashboard to organize the most used features for easier access.
ELM 327 is compatible with a wide array of protocols, including KWP, CAN, VPN and PWM. These translate to OBD-II protocols, such as:
- ISO 15765-4 CAN(11 bit, 500 kbit/s)
- ISO 15765-4 CAN (29 bit, 500 kbit/s)
- ISO 15765-4 CAN (11 bit, 250 kbit/s)
- ISO 15765-4 CAN (29 bit, 250 kbit/s)
- ISO 14230-4 KWP (5 baud init, 10.4 kbit/s)
- ISO 14230-4 KWP (fast init, 10.4 kbit/s)
- SAE J1850PWM (41.6kbit/s)
- SAE J1850VPW (10.4 kbit/s)
- ISO 9141-2 (5 baud init, 10.4 kbit/s)
- SAE J1939 (250kbit/s)
- SAE J1939 (500kbit/s)
Where to buy ELM 327
FIXD vs. ELM 327 (Pros and Cons)
FIXD - Pros
- The device is user-friendly and easy to install, allowing even beginner users to use the device without requiring a manual.
- It saves you money on any unexpected diagnostic tests and repairs. Diagnostic tests can be quite expensive, so why pay for them when you can do them from the comfort of your home?
- The device helps clear the check engine warning light. You don’t have to visit the dealership or mechanic every time the check engine light illuminates.
- It helps you create and maintain a regular maintenance schedule, keeping your vehicle in tip-top condition at all times.
- It is suitable for small businesses or individuals with more than one car.
FIXD - Cons
- It is not compatible with ABS and SRS systems
- A few customers have cited poor customer support
- Other customers have experienced difficulties while removing the device since it comes with a soft tip.
ELM 327 – Pros
- It is quite affordable
- It is easy to use and install
- It comes with a wide array of features
- It saves you both money and time in diagnostic tests.
- It gives you a better understanding of your vehicle without having to understand the technical language.
- It is compact, practical, and versatile
- It is compatible with a wide range of third party diagnostic apps
ELM 327 – Cons
- Not compatible with iOS
All in all, owning any car health monitor is a worthwhile investment. It will save you both money and time on frequent trips to the dealership every time the check engine light illuminates. The technology allows you to keep tabs on your vehicle’s status at all times.
The FIXD and ELM 327 are practical and versatile devices designed to be used by an average driver. They boast a wide array of features that give you a better understanding of your vehicle’s status and health. Choosing the right device for yourself boils down to personal preference and what you intend to get out of it.
If you want to save yourself from constant stress every time the check engine light comes on, you should consider getting an OBD-II scanner.