CarMD Vs OBDCOM Vs ScanGauge II Review

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CarMD

What is CarMD?
If you own a car, it becomes your pet possession and you want to ensure it is kept in the best condition possible to give you optimum performance. If you own vehicles like minivans, light trucks for commercial reasons you know your business depends on them, which is why their health is of great importance to you. Knowing the condition your vehicle is in helps you diagnose any problems with it and also maintain it well. With the help of CarMD the control is back in your hands rather than mechanics who charge you a fortune for these services. CarMD tester can work on any van, mini truck or car that’s from 1996 or newer. CarMD Vehicle Health Monitors have red, yellow and green lights that will instantly help you determine the condition your car is in.

With the help of CarMD you can check the health of your family’s cars or do it as a favor to your friends or neighbors too. It will help you figure out if there are any engine problems before you embark on a long trip. If there’s a Check Engine indication, you will be able to know if the problem can be dealt at the next service interval or you need to fix it immediately. You will also get all the information you need about repairs and costs before you take your drive to the repair shop. You will be able to find out if your car passes the emissions tests according to your State regulations. What’s more, you can also check the condition of a used car before buying it. There are many other features of CarMD that offer you peace of mind when it comes to your pet drives.

Why CarMD?
CarMD helps you save costs you might incur for car repairs and needless to mention precious time as well. CarMD works for you and your family because:

  • It’s extremely easy to use: You can plug your CarMD into a specific port in your car. CarMD works on the same technology that’s used in the expensive tools used by car mechanics and is capable of checking the body – brake system, Check Engine – vehicle sensors, and chassis – safety system codes too. You can also read results easily by connecting your CarMD to a PC or a Mac as you will be linked to the award winning CarMD databse.
  • You get accurate results: That’s because solutions are basically derived from ASE Certified Technicians across the States. Also the CarMD database is a fully functional system that’s been in use for about 14 years. You will get precise solutions, repairs and costs for your model and make of the car instead of vague, broad results.
  • The technical support is impeccable: A qualified team of ASE Certified Technicians with years of experience that keeps itself abreast with latest technological advances is at your disposal through a toll free number and will answer all your queries.

CarMD Features:
You have the option of choosing between the CarMD Vehicle Health System and one of the Vehicle Health Plans that the company provides, based on specific needs of your drive. The features you get will depend on the plan you choose. For example, features like discounts from CarMD partners, vehicle safety recalls, access to CarMD’s blog, CarMD videos, and a special newsletter are available to all customers. While scheduled maintenance intervals and warranty information is available per three cars for those who have enrolled to CarMD Vehicle Health System and CarMD Premium Access Health Plan.
In addition to that there are many other features that are only available to those who pick the CarMD Vehicle Health System. They get access to repair database through email or toll free phone, costs for parts and labor depending on their location, CarMD Vehicle Health Monitor, which makes it easier to check the health of any car anywhere, support while buying a used car and diagnostic reports every month. CarMD Vehicle Health System covers three vehicles per tool and the program lasts for a lifetime.

What does CarMD test?
CarMD can be used to check all systems that are connected to on board diagnostics, which is about 80 % of all your vehicle’s systems. It can help you get the basic idea about issues related to electronic, emission and engine systems in your vehicle. CarMD should be used in tandem with the regular maintenance program for your automobiles. From catalytic converter failure to Oxygen sensor failure to Tire conditions, there are many systems that can be checked with the help of CarMD.

How does CarMD work?
You can use your CarMD to find out more about the health status of your car by simply plugging it into the port. The indicator lights will give you a quick update on the status of your car. You also have the option of getting detailed diagnostic report if yellow or red indicator lights come on. The handheld tester can be connected to your PC to get access to the huge online database that will not only help you diagnose the problem but will also give you an idea of the repair costs involved.

For starters you need to find your CarMD connection; a 16 pin Data Link Connector, which is usually under the dashboard on the driver’s side. Insert the tester into its place and turn the ignition on within 10 seconds otherwise you will get an error message. Once connected the tester will link to your car’s computer and beep 4 times to let you know that the data has been retrieved. Indicator lights will come on and if it’s green, your car is in good condition but if it’s yellow or red, it’s an indication that some repairs might be needed. In that case you need to link your tester to a PC and with the help of the vast database gain more information about the problem and also a fair idea of repair costs in your particular area.

What do I get?
CarMD Vehicle Health System is a comprehensive package that includes:

  • The Handheld CarMD device.
  • Accessory package that has a user’s guide, storage pouch, demo video, CD software and a USB cable to link your device to a computer.
  • Access to database that provides accurate, tried and tested solutions.
  • Professional and excellent technical support.
  • The option to register up to 3 vehicles for every device and get up to 6 monthly diagnostic reports.

CarMD Cons:
In case of oxygen sensors even if the wire is severed you can get a voltage reading, which might mean nothing to you unless you are trained. It’s the same case for some other checks as well and thus you can still be taken for a ride by a dishonest mechanic. The Check Engine light cannot be reset and although you can add up to three cars per device you cannot delete one of them and replace it with another. What happens when you sell your car and get another one? Only six monthly scans is also a letdown.

The unit is not set up to find problems with brakes and even if you notice problems with the engine the device doesn’t always show them. The software that gives you access to the database can be quirky and getting an error page after getting a reading is extremely frustrating. Often the code you see is not recognized by the website, which makes matters worse. And the customer support is not really helpful either.

The features offered are quite limited for the price and one needs to get an upgraded subscription for many services. If you own an android phone you can get apps for as little as $4.81, which do the job as well. You can also monitor your car in real time with the help of a Bluetooth converter that can be bought for less than $20 on eBay. You can get information about code checks and recalls online or with the help of trusted local mechanics for free. CarMD is overpriced and aimed at people who trust a product easily without verifying its credentials.

OBDCOM

What does OBDCOM do?
OBDCOM is a highly efficient product that helps you read and clear error codes in your vehicle. It helps you clear your car’s Check Engine light and monitor engine sensors and readings using a laptop. It’s that easy to start diagnosing problems with your car and you also get real time information that will help you solve rather complex problems with your car. OBDCOM will also let you know if your vehicle is ready for emissions testing.

OBDCOM can read all powertrain trouble codes including ones that are manufacturer specific. Codes will be translated into English so that it’s easily comprehensible and you can take smart decisions on whether you need to do the repairs yourself or should seek help of a mechanic. Thus you will find that you have control in your hands and it will ensure that you don’t get ripped off by mechanics. The information you get can be used to solve problems with your car and clear the Check Engine light. OBDCOM clears the errors and the Check Engine light will restore your vehicle to normal settings once repairs are done.

Today because of different state regulations you need to pay due importance to your vehicle’s emissions. OBDCOM can tell you if your vehicle is ready for emission inspection, which is a huge bonus. The sensors that are used by your car’s engine computers to ensure that it runs smoothly can be monitored in real time in the form of graphs, numbers or gauges. These readings will tell you if the performance modifications you have installed in your vehicle are having the desired effect. You can set up gauges or graphs to gain appropriate readings, which are now at your fingertips. You can also pinpoint the exact problem with your car based on these readings and take right measures to solve them. You can get readings in different conditions to understand the reasons behind your car stalling, poor performance or fuel economy, overheating or any other problems you might be facing. Thus OBDCOM is an efficient diagnostic system for your cars and trucks.

What do I get?
Once you get your OBDCOM package you can start diagnosing and fixing your car’s problems instantly. Moreover you also get excellent support from the technical team seven days a week.

The OBDCOM package includes:

  • A completely tested OBDCOM Interface that has a 6 foot cable, which can be used to connect your laptop and your car. It doesn’t require any special adaptors and you can find the port under driver’s side dashboard in most cases. You can also get help from the technical support team if you are not able to locate the port for connection.

ScanGauge II

What is ScanGauge II?
Now you can monitor the vital systems of your vehicle without having to go to a mechanic with the help of ScanGauge II. It gives you the real time information that you otherwise don’t have access to and thus can take necessary efforts to maintain your car in the best condition possible. ScanGauge II includes 15 digital gauges powered by the X-gauge system that helps you monitor transmission temperatures, fuel economy etc. You also have the option of adding different gauges for specific readings. The Performance Monitor helps you get accurate readings over short amount of time, acceleration and distance. This compact device that’s easy to install also contains 4 trip computers for your benefit.

With the help of ScanGauge II you can enhance your vehicle’s fuel economy based on the results you get and you will also be informed about problems with your car through trouble codes so that you can act on time and get these problems fixed. It will save you huge costs for repairs in the future. You can install ScanGauge II anywhere on the dash or console without any tools and it doesn’t require any batteries or power source either. ScanGauge II is very easy to use and simple instructions make it possible for beginners to get a hang of this device, which will also give you vital information about your car’s readiness for emissions tests. ScanGauge II works on 1996 or newer OBDII cars that include those that run on gas, diesel, propane and hybrid drives.

What does ScanGauge II test?
ScanGauge II has 12 original gauges that monitor several functions of your vehicle and you have the option of adding around 25 other gauges to this compact device to get readings on different systems of your vehicles. ScanGauge II can display 4 gauges at one time and you can get a fair idea of fuel consumption rates, which will help you use fuel efficiently. You can also keep an eye on the coolant temperature and engine speed in real time. Some of the gauges in ScanGauge II are Horsepower, Fuel economy, fuel consumption rate, vehicle speed, ignition timing, battery voltage, coolant temperature, engine load, throttle position, O2 sensor data, Intake air temperature etc. ScanGauge II can read Diagnostic Trouble Codes and if you find any in your vehicle, you can refer to online means or the repair manual to find out more about the failed parts.

Trip Computer Features:
ScanGauge II has five built in Trip computers that can keep tabs on fuel costs, distance travelled and other helpful information for you. The Current Trip will be activated if the engine has been off for 3 minutes or more while the Today Trip gets restarted after the vehicle has been stationery for 9 hours. Once restarted the data from Today can be moved to Previous day, which is helpful when you start a new trip. The Tank Trip can be reset when the tank is filled up and the To Empty data you get is available any time during the trip. The Current trip can also be reset for measurements regarding fuel economy at a steady speed. The Gauge mode offers you fuel economy readings instantly but they can vary depending on several factors, which can be evened out with the help of reset option on Current trip. All in all you get an instant feedback on how to use your fuel effectively.

Performance Monitor:
For real time performance readings you have the Performance Monitor in ScanGauge II and it will give you a fair idea about your vehicle’s performance over short durations, acceleration and distance. There’s also the option of using a specific gauge that can track and save data of up to 8 performance runs ant it can be recalled later for review and comparison. The Performance Monitor also lets you measure quarter mile times and speed, your vehicle’s 0-60 time, braking performance of your drive and monitor specific gauges as well.

Cons/Disadvantages of ScanGauge II
If you try to squeeze out everything of a full tank, as many of us do, ScanGauge II is hardly of any use. MPG can be calculated yourself anyways and you can also get code readings from auto parts stores for free. ScanGauge II has also been known to drain your car’s battery, which is annoying. The results that you get keep fluctuating quite often and aren’t always accurate, which makes it a pointless exercise. Most of the information you get on these gauges only duplicates the data you get from your vehicle.

ScanGauge II doesn’t directly communicate with your car’s computer and you have to feed in all the information manually, from the size of your tank to gallons of fuel filled. And the novelty of getting your MPG readings, RPMs and other readouts wears out after a very short time. It doesn’t detect all the trouble codes either, which makes you wonder about its usefulness. HP tuner on the other hand is a safer bet and a smarter option.

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