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
|Police: Man, 60 crushed to death by metal frame at while working at an Ohio machine shop|
|Police say a 60-year-old man has been crushed to death at a machine shop in Ohio.|
|Excommunicated leader of Mormon women's group loses final appeal|
|The co-founder of a Mormon women's group who was excommunicated last summer has lost her final appeal to regain membership in the Utah-based church.|
|Residents worry over border hours between southeast Alaska community, British Columbia town|
|Residents in a small southeast Alaska community are worried that overnight closure of the Canada border will have hurt safety and the local economy.|
|Smaller crowds protest Wisconsin right-to-work plan than against 2011 anti-union measures|
|Thousands of Wisconsin union workers rallied at the Capitol Saturday to protest a "right-to-work" proposal that would outlaw the mandatory payment of union dues, but the crowd was much smaller than those in 2011 against Gov. Scott Walker's law stripping public sector unions of much of their power.|
|McMorris Rogers ignores Homeland Security funding spat, predicts next deadline can't be worse|
|What near-miss on a Department of Homeland Security shutdown? To hear Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers address activists at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, there were no hints of an intraparty fight the night before that led to the brink of a partial shutdown of the agency tasked with border control and anti-terrorism.|
|New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee ice runway draws pilots from around the Northeast|
|Winter on New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee means ice fishing, hockey tournaments and, if the ice is strong enough, airplanes.|
|30 struggling public schools in Colorado have 1 more year to improve or face state sanctions|
|A Pueblo public school system and a Colorado Springs magnet school are among 30 schools that have one more year to improve state accountability scores or face state sanctions.|
|Blind dog rescued in good health after wandering away from home during cold snap 2 weeks ago|
|A blind dog who wandered away from her Ester home during a cold snap has been reunited with her owner.|
|Authorities seize 15 tons of marijuana on US-Mexico border in near-record pot bust|
|Federal authorities have seized more than 15 tons of marijuana in a near-record bust at a border crossing in Southern California.|
|Judge: Defendant competent to stand trial in 2013 shootings at municipal meeting that killed 3|
|A judge has ruled a Pennsylvania man competent to stand trial in the shooting deaths of three people during a municipal meeting.|