By Bob Difley
Using CarMD is like having a crystal ball for your car or light truck. We’ve all had that dreaded “check engine” light suddenly cast its ominous red glow from our dashboard. “When your car’s ‘Check Engine’ light comes on,” says online automotive resource Edmunds.com, “it’s usually accompanied by a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. The light could mean a costly problem, like a bad catalytic converter, or it could be something minor, like a loose gas cap.”
So what do you do? Immediately pull over and call a tow truck, which invariably will leave you without transportation, incur towing costs and expensive repair bills, and leave you stranded? Or do you ignore the light on the assumption that everything is working OK and you’ll mention it to your mechanic the next time you take the car in for service?
Thanks to CarMD you no longer need to worry about those red warning lights. CarMD’s Mobile handheld device (#2150) and its accompanying app can instantly check your vehicle’s health wherever you are, and determine what your next actions should be – saving you both time and money. But that’s not all. You can also run and view your vehicle’s current health, maintenance, and history reports straight from your iPhone or Android device at any time. The device will analyze your car and explain the likelihood of future repairs based on the percentage of cars like yours with the same approximate mileage that needed those repairs, along with the average cost of the repair. Think of that – knowing when you go into the mechanic what your fix should cost, and whether the charge is in line.
Becoming a savvy consumer can indicate when you need to get a second opinion. With CarMD, you can leverage the expertise of thousands of qualified technicians to know what’s wrong with your vehicle before making an appointment to get it repaired. That’s a good thing to know when you are on the road and have to deal with a mechanic you know nothing about. Plus, you can catch problems early to reduce the cost of ownership and avoid more costly repairs down the road.
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Considering buying a new or used car? Run a complete diagnostic before you buy to detect problems, view repair history, maintenance items due, and predict future repairs along with the estimated repair costs. CarMD can be run anytime, anywhere.
I ran CarMD on my wife’s Subaru Impreza and, with relief, found that the “Vehicle is OK” with a big green check mark. I also found that there were 11 maintenance items and 7 upcoming repairs to look at. Good to know the future. I also ran my sister-in-law’s Ford Escape and also got a big green check mark (not surprising – both maintain their vehicles on schedule). But my son’s car – let’s not get into the absence of the big green check mark. But he did make an appointment to visit his mechanic with the CarMD report in hand.
Visit the CarMD website for instructions to set up initially, then download their software to your computer to download and record your reports from your CarMD device. Each time you run a test it will be added to your car’s history. Use on any car with a diagnostic port (required by the federal government for cars and light trucks model years 1996 and beyond. You can find the port beneath the dash on the driver’s side.
It comes with a carrying case so you can keep the device in your glove box for ready use. Learn more, and see what the CarMD reports look like and what they can tell you on their website, where you can also purchase the CarMD Mobile.
And for people who simply want guidance on their vehicle’s health (maintenance, recalls, TSBs, likely check engine light problems) without purchasing a tool, CarMD offers garage reports.
[Editor: If you’re interested, the CarMD 2100 (not reviewed here) is available on Amazon.]