Car mechanics have been using the Onboard diagnostics built into cars to identify problems with your vehicle for years. The interface is quite simple to access and it is normally located slightly hidden away in your car.
Thanks to cheap Chinese manufacturers there has been a growing supply of cheap readers allowing regular users to see the diagnostics themselves, and potentially avoid trips to the mechanic. With the growth of smartphones and Bluetooth, this functionality has expanded to an even more user-friendly interface with several companies offering Bluetooth OBD-II Scanner which will feed the info to your phone.
One company is Engie, and they hope to simplify the process as much as possible, making it easy to get basic understandable diagnostics for everyone.
Set-up and installation are quite simple. The hardest part is finding where your car's OBD-II port is. The Engie app helps you with this though, and I was able to select Opel/Vauxhall then Corsa. There were a few models to choose from, but as it is my girlfriend's car, I just guessed. I think the location is similar for them all though. Once I knew where it was I had to try and fit it, due to its location it was a little fiddly getting it in place, but there was no technical knowledge required. I did not have to dismantle/remove anything, so people of all skills can handle it.
Once fitted and you switch the car on it can carry out some basic tests, this includes the engine, body, network, breaks and steering systems. Thankfully all came back clear.
It can then carry out further tests once you do some basic actions. The battery test requires you to switch the car on and off. Then there are several tests that require you to take a short drive. These include alternator, engine temperature, and abs alerts.
You can use the app for some other car related things, which include tracking when your next service is due, where you have parked, as well as tracking fuel rate and cost for trips.
If you do have an issue with your car, it will help you find a mechanic to fix your car or carry out a service.
The Engie device is priced at £14.99 for Android or £19.99 for iPhone and considering the cost of buying a car and running it, it seems like a wise investment. It is one of them devices where you hope you don’t really need it, but when you do, it could pay for itself several times over. You can buy the Engie direct from the company at engieapp.com now.