Review: DriveRight CarChiphttp://www.techtv.com/freshgear/print/0,23102,3410327,00.htmlPeek under your car's hood without peeking under the hood.
By Brett Larson, Tech Live
Here's a statement that should make most people jump for joy: You no longer need a mechanic to explain what's going on with your car.
The CarChip from Davis Instruments won't fix your car, but it will tell you virtually everything going on under the Hood
. Best of all, you don't need to get your hands dirty to make it work. Go under the CarChip's Hood
tonight on "Tech Live."
The CarChip works with most foreign and domestic cars made since 1996. It installs quickly by simply plugging into your car's onboard diagnostic (OBD) system II connector, which in most cases is under your steering wheel. (It's OK. We didn't realize it had been there all along either.) Once installed, it will blink to let you know it's working.
While you drive, it logs data including your speed, how hard you hit your brakes, throttle position, fuel pressure, and a whole lot more. When you've finished your drive, simply unplug the CarChip from your car and connect it to your computer. The software imports the data and -- here's the best part -- presents it in a very readable format.
You can save each report, and you can even use the CarChip for multiple cars since you can name each car uniquely or by VIN number (or both). You can also customize exactly what information to monitor on your car so you won't get a laundry list of useless information.
We found the CarChip to be fun and easy to use. The data is simple to understand once you get it on your computer, and the software is easy to use. However, we would like to see the data connection to the computer use USB and not require an additional power supply to make it work.Summary:
Small, inexpensive device easily installs in most new cars and captures driving and engine data. Plug it into your PC to get information from your car on everything from engine timing to the top speed of your last trip.Pros:
Easy to install; data easy to understand; simple software.Cons:
No USB support; additional power needed for computer connection.Company: