If there's one thing I wish I knew more about, it would have to be car maintenance. As a female, I feel like a lamb being led to slaughter when I walk into an automotive repair shop of any kind, for my lack of car knowledge is evident almost immediately.
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to instantly receive real-time stats, diagnostic reports and other valuable information about your car from a completely impartial and reliable source? Well, leave it to ThinkGeek.com to have the solution! I had the chance to review the PLX Devices KIWI Bluetooth Android Phone Car Diagnostic Kit. Keep reading to learn more!
The KIWI Bluetooth is a plug-and-play wireless device measuring only 2.75 x 1.25 x 0.6 inches. It comes with an attached 6 foot OBDII cable for easy installation, and a built-in power switch to prevent from having to constantly disconnect the unit to save the vehicle’s battery. The KIWI Bluetooth is compatible with 1996 and later vehicles and installs in seconds. It is also extremely simple to connect your Android OS-based mobile device with a new Bluetooth connection.
Works with popular Android interface apps such as Torque, OBDroid, Voyager Dash, and alOBD Scanner (sold separately and must be purchased from the Android Market).
How It Works
The KIWI Bluetooth is an easy-to-use hardware device which allows you to wirelessly connect your vehicle’s onboard computer (ECU) to your Android OS-based smartphone. The connection is made through the OnBoard Diagnostic port (OBDII) and is therefore only compatible with vehicles that use OBDII. After downloading and installing one of the many applications found on the Android Market (Torque/Torque Free, aIOBD ScanGenPro, OBDroid-Pro, OBDroid-Free, VoyagerDash), you will be monitoring your vehicle’s performance in no time.
I absolutely loved the KIWI Bluetooth Android Phone Car Diagnostic Kit from ThinkGeek.com from the moment I took it out of the box, for emblazoned on the front of the instruction manual were the words, "This Won't Take Long". YES! They were right, for within minutes, my husband had the device plugged into our car's OBDII port and I was ready to download the diagnostic app of my choice from the Android Market.
I decided to choose the Torque app paid version, for it received so many positive reviews from car mechanics and measured absolutely everything under the sun (and then some)! I wasn't disappointed, for once I found out how to work the app, I was astonished at all of the real-time information that was available to me right in the palm of my hand. I currently have my app set up to automatically start and log my trip whenever my phone is present and the KIWI Bluetooth device is turned on. Here's just a few of the many stats that are being delivered to me instantly:
- 0-60 MPH Time
- Air Fuel Ratio (Measured)
- Engine Load
- Engine Coolant Temperature
- Fuel Level
- Miles per Gallon (Average)
- Fuel Pressure
- Miles per Gallon (Instant)
- Trip Average MPG
- Trip Distance
There is also much, much more that can be achieved, including decoding those weird error codes your car will display and even setting alarms for any statistic you're tracking. For instance, if you'd like to know when your fuel level gets to 1/4 of a tank, instead of when it's about to run out, just set the alarm feature in your app accordingly and magically, your phone will alert you. Pretty cool, huh?
Leave it to ThinkGeek.com to find a perfect way to educate me about the mystery that is car maintenance. Next time, when I stroll into the mechanic's shop, I will be armed with the knowledge provided to me by the KIWI Bluetooth Android Phone Car Diagnostic Kit and won't feel like such a naive target. I can't wait to see the looks on the automotive technicians' faces when I walk in saying, "Yes, I am here because the intake manifold pressure in my vehicle is increasing beyond 100 kPa." They won't even know what hit 'em!
Disclosure: I received the PLX Devices Kiwi Bluetooth Android Phone Car Diagnostic Kit from ThinkGeek.com in order to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. This product review is based on my own personal experiences with this item and is completely honest and objective.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!