FOX 66 News at Ten
We've all been there. Just driving
along, minding our own business when all of the sudden the ‘check-engine' light
comes on. As many drivers know fixing a check-engine concern can cost a lot of
"A check engine light is
nothing more than just letting you that there is something causing your car to
have higher than normal emissions," said Brad Walker, an automotive
instructor at Oklahoma City Community College.
We asked Walker to help us test a
new device that promises to connect your car to your smartphone. The device is
called "Automatic." It plugs
into your car's data port, and that port has been standard on all cars since
Automatic costs nearly $100, but
promises to help diagnosis a check-engine light and save you hundreds of
dollars by keeping track of your driving habits.
With Walker's help we created a
check-engine problem by unplugging a sensor. After the car sputtered to a
start, the app that is connected via Bluetooth to the device plugged into the
data port showed our failure.
"To me this is a really good
diagnostic tool, but it doesn't definitely tell you what's wrong with your
vehicle," Walker said after seeing the results. The device and app did
offer suggestions on what could be wrong and Walker said about half the time it
could be as easy as replacing a sensor, but mechanics have other diagnostic
tools that can make sure there isn't a problem further down the line.
"You can treat yourself a
little bit, but at a certain point you want to go to a good doctor," said
Automatic's Ljuba Milikovic. Automatic's team says you will need to go to a
trusted mechanic sometimes, which is why the app includes a list of
well-reviewed mechanics near your location.
However, Milikovic and Walker both
told us a majority of check-engine light problems are due to loose gas caps. So
instead of paying a mechanic to diagnosis the problem, Automatic would save you
time and money.
That isn't the only feature of the
device we tested. It also tracks your driving habits and lets you know if you
are stopping to quick, speeding off from stops or driving too fast. "We've
done some research and he average driver could save about a third of that gas
money about 1,000 dollars each year just by driving more efficiently,"
Milikovic told Fox 25.
We took the device for a spin on the
turnpike where the legal limit is 75-miles-per-hour. The app gave us a driving
score of 50 out of 100. It also showed us how much we spent on gas for the trip
and told us how improving our driving could save that money.
Walker says the device is a good
tool for any do-it-yourselfer and could even help empower those less familiar
with what's under the hood. He did offer some tips for people who panic when
their dash lights up.
"If the check engine light
comes on, and it's running normally, then that kind of means you need to have
it looked at; but maybe you can drive it there," Walker said, "If
your check engine light comes on and it's flashing, it's not on steady, but
it's flashing that means you probably need to have it towed in."
Source: KOKH FOX25
Thursday, February 6 2014, 10:34 AM EST
National News Headlines
|Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case agaisnt 'American Sniper' estate|
|A jury has awarded former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura $1.8 million in his lawsuit against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle.|
|Alabama man pleads not guilty to charges he stomped, strangled kittens found on Craigslist|
|An Alabama man accused of killing kittens he found on Craigslist says he's innocent of animal cruelty.|
|2 NYC jail guards charged with smuggling cocaine, oxycodone|
|Prosecutors have charged two New York City correction officers with smuggling cocaine and oxycodone into Rikers Island.|
|South Florida scammers target online daters prone to sexting|
|Scammers in South Florida are targeting anew market niche -- online daters who are prone to sexting.|
|Couple wants to add 'Seamonster' to names; Massachusetts court to hear petition|
|Sea monsters may exist only in the imagination, but a Massachusetts couple wants to make them part of their names.|
|University of Alaska president offered $320,000 bonus despite layoffs, cuts|
|The president of the University of Alaska has been offered a $320,000 bonus if he stays on the job until 2016.|
|Oak Ridge National Lab cancels planned class to help employees reduce Southern accents|
|Some employees at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee complained about a class aimed at teaching them how to reduce their Southern accents.|
|At ex-Virginia governor's corruption trial, lawyer says former first lady had 'crush' on CEO|
|An attorney for the wife of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says during the couple's corruption trial that their marriage was broken and the former first lady developed a crush on a businessman who gave the McDonnells gifts and cash.|
|George Zimmerman ID'd in police report as providing security at Florida motorcycle shop|
|George Zimmerman has found work as a security guard at a Florida motorcycle dealership, according to a police report, although a manager at the location denied he’s an employee or being paid.|
|At least 2,197 US military deaths in Afghanistan since 2001|
|As of Tuesday, July 29, 2014, at least 2,197 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.|