FIDX Review – The Active Car Health Monitor
I was never very car-savvy which put me in a lot of sticky situations whenever there was a problem with my car. Most of the time, I either didn’t know what was wrong or didn’t know how to proceed to fix the issue. Because of this, I wondered if there was some way that I could understand my vehicle’s needs, which brought me to an app called FIXD. I wish I would’ve had this app a long time ago during all my late starts before going to work because this app tells you the health and status of your car so that you don’t have to find out what’s wrong the hard way.
Things to Consider Before Getting FIXD
FXID could be an ideal tool to use for those who don’t have much knowledge about cars and their internal parts. Not everyone is a car mechanic, so the app detects problems for you and tells you about them outright such as sensor failures, upcoming maintenance checks, or dangerous engine oil temperatures. I can’t remember how many times I’ve had to guess what was wrong with my vehicle only to be wrong 90% of the time and get stuck on the side of the road.
If you’re like me and know little to nothing about how cars work and what problems can arise, FXID can most likely save you a lot of time, money, and frustration. Obviously, if you already have a good grip on how to fix car problems, FIXD is probably not necessary. I’d say it’s more geared towards people like youths that just got their first car, less knowledgeable car owners, or even elderly car owners. Be mindful that the sensor doesn’t diagnose all issues, just ones that can cause a check engine light to turn on.
Before considering to download the app and purchase the FIXD sensor, it’s a good idea to make sure your car has an OBD-II port (most vehicles made after 1996 have one). It’s usually located in an inconspicuous spot underneath the steering wheel or under your glove box, and if you have trouble finding it, you can refer to the helpful image in the FIXD app to see typical locations for the port. Unfortunately, you’re out of luck if you have a diesel-based vehicle, no matter what year it was manufactured.
Also, make sure that your phone is capable of Bluetooth and that Bluetooth is enabled or else the sensor won’t be connected to the app. Conveniently, you can connect to the sensor without interrupting any other Bluetooth connections to other devices you have.
What is FIXD?
Available to download on over 200 devices, FIXD is known as the car app for everyone, or in this case, for everyone who needs help interpreting the warning signs in their car. It has recently caught the attention of different tech outlets like Gizmag, Mashable, and The Car Connection, and it first began as a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. The main reason behind the development of FIXD was to seek out your car’s problems for you since the check engine light is often very vague and can represent over thousands of possible issues.
With this nifty app, you’re able to understand the status of your vehicle such as required maintenance or internal issues all through information being fed to your phone through a small and discreet sensor which can give you a peace of mind when dealing with mechanics. The FIXD sensor plugs into any OBD-II port of any car that’s of a 1996 model and newer and connects to the app via Bluetooth Low Energy.
It’s one of the easiest ways to “speak car” so you can avoid puzzling light symbols and confusing technical terms by letting FIXD translate these issues into something more simple and understandable. It also helps you track scheduled services like rotating wheels and tires, changing the engine oil, or inspecting brake pads and linings. The developers of FIXD claim that the sensor can identify up to 6,800 problems affecting your vehicle that can cause the check engine light to light up.
Fairly easy installation and automatic Bluetooth connection
User friendly interface
Works as you drive as long as it’s plugged in
Can save money and time so you don’t have to do guesswork
Doesn’t check things like wiper fluid, airbags, or tires.
Could add more features to make it a more complete diagnostic tool
Vehicle checklist doesn’t interact with mileage information, have to update manually
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Features and Benefits
App and Sensor
The FIXD app itself communicates with the included sensor to help you understand your car’s needs. You can download the app from your smartphone’s app store or the Google Play store and then link it to your FIXD sensor. There’s currently no compatible app version for Windows phones unfortunately, but it can sync automatically and wirelessly within 10 feet to over 200 leading IOS and Android devices that use Bluetooth 4.0 technology.
The sensor is usually sold for around $50 and is small and compact but powerful, measuring at only 1.65 inches wide, .78 inches thick and 1.96 inches tall while weighing 53 grams. It plugs into your car’s OBD-II port (if your car’s model is 1996 or newer and non-diesel or hybrid) and sends information to the app as it’s plugged in. The sensor is made out of a durable ABS plastic shell so that it can handle being left inside your car, and it doesn’t need to be charged since it uses your vehicle’s energy to stay powered and is constantly on a low-energy mode so that it doesn’t drain your battery.
Its multiple features revolve around detecting problems that are related to your check engine light, and its operating power is 9-16 VDC and 40-45 mA. If the vehicle is operating properly, users are shown a green “good to go” sign, but if there are issues yet to be fixed, the app will show either a caution or warning sign that won’t go away until the problem is resolved.
Check Engine Light Error Codes
The app notifies you when the check engine light turns on and shows you how many problems were identified. From here, FIXD lets you know how severe the problem is, what the consequences are if you continue to drive with the existing issue, and a brief yet easy-to-understand definition of how the problem can affect the rest of the vehicle so that you can choose the best course of action. The error codes from these problems will continue to be seen on the app until the problem has been fixed.
For example, if you get a warning about your engine oil temperature, FIXD will show an error code followed by consequences such as the engine possibly overheating which can result in permanent damage to your car that’s way beyond repair. It can also show an issue such as O2 sensor failure which can reduce MPG and cause your car to not pass an emissions test. In the long run, a lot of money and time can be saved since FIXD notifies you of what’s wrong with your car and the severity and consequences of the problem so that you can take the necessary steps to fix it.
Depending on the make, model, year, and engine of your car, FIXD gives you the recommended maintenance schedule. You’re able to see what services need to be fulfilled at each maintenance interval so that you’re fully aware of what needs to be taken care of to maintain your vehicle and prevent problems down the road.
The app additionally gives you mileage-based push notifications to let you know when you’re close to a certain maintenance interval. Tapping on these notifications on your smartphone will open up the FIXD app and give more insight. For instance, if your car were to reach 10,000 miles, FIXD would show you a list of services such as rotating tires and checking the tread, changing the oil and filter, inspecting the air filter, checking the coolant level, and estimating the cost to finish such services altogether.
The FIXD app also allows you to see a history of problems that have been identified in your car so that you can keep a running log. If a problem comes up and you’re sure you’ve dealt with it before, you can use the vehicle history as a reference for how to fix the problem once again.
This feature is ideal for families that have multiple cars since it lets you see the status of multiple vehicles at the same time from the app, allowing you to schedule services for others when they’re close to meeting maintenance intervals or are in need of repair. To do this, you’ll need to install a FIXD sensor in each car so that you can remotely monitor the heath and status of each family member’s vehicle no matter where you are.
I personally favor the multi-vehicle feature since it can serve as a nifty safety precaution for parents who have teenagers that drive so if any problem arises, the parent will be notified and can be there for their family member when they need help.
What Users Say
After combing the internet for reviews on FIXD, it seems there’s a mixed opinion about the app overall, but most have a rather positive backing behind the app. Most showed a lot of favor towards how effortless it was to install the app and connect it wirelessly to the sensor. Because a lot of people don’t understand difficult and confusing car terms, the fact that FIXD translates such car jargon into something more understandable tends to put a lot of car owners at ease since it makes it easier to come up with the next step in fixing the problem.
Many have also shared that they saved a lot of money and time since the app notifies them of problems that are critical for their car’s performance before it’s too late.
Dash serves as sort of like a Fitbit for your car that’s similar to FIXD where it includes a hardware device along with a smartphone application that gives the user real-time feedback on the status of your vehicle. Although, it seems to have more features since FIXD pretty much only gives you diagnostics related to your check engine light. Its features include feedback on your driving, trip logs, engine light warnings, a map that shows where the nearest gas station is, locating a reliable mechanic who can fix the problem, and even social features.
You can buy the OBD device from within the Dash app or the Dash homepage and it will work with any Bluetooth-capable device. The generic devices sell for around $10 on Amazon, or if you want to step it up, you can get premium devices that sell for $60+. The only real difference between Dash and FIXD is that Dash has more advanced features and responds in more detail based on your driving. It’s currently available for you to download in the Google Play store and in the Apple app store.
More detailed features
Compatible with any Bluetooth OBD device
OBD device price range depends on manufacturer/brand, $10-$60
Torque has a slightly more complex user interface, but with it you can see how your car is doing realtime, receive OBD error codes, keep track of your car’s performance, sensor data, and a lot more. Just like FIXD, the app uses an OBD-II Bluetooth adapter and can help to keep repair costs down. Some of its features include a CO2 emissions readout, alarms and warnings with voice overlay, a customizable dashboard to see what’s most important to you, a GPS-based compass that won’t suffer from magnetic interference, and transmission temperatures readings.
You can find a list of OBD-II adapters on the Torque website or from eBay and Amazon. The app additionally works on tablet devices such as the Motorola Xoom, Dell Streak, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and the Nook. Compared to FIXD’s free app, the Dash app itself is $5 on the Google Play Store for you to install and it unfortunately only runs on Android operating systems for now.
User interface is more complex and customizable
App alone is $5 on Google Play Store
Not yet available for IOS devices
Able to share screenshots to social media
CarMD is a fairly basic car diagnostic tool that you can use wherever you are and view your car’s health, maintenance, and history logs from either your iPhone or Android device. Like FIXD, it identifies problems that can cause your check engine light to turn on and that need to be fixed, including parts and labor. It eases important vehicle decisions in order to take the worry out of expensive vehicle repair and explains your vehicle’s current status, proper maintenance, recalls, vehicle history, and possible future repairs to be made.
CarMD is a bit more on the expensive side compared to some similar applications for it’s available for around $140 on the CarMD website. A bonus that’s particularly handy about CarMD is that whether or not your check engine light is on, you can access a garage report for an easy and quick way to make sure your vehicle is emissions-ready. These reports have technical car information that’s made to be easy to read and understand. You can install CarMD either on the Apple Store or Google Play store.
More expensive than FIXD, available for $140
Shows causes and repairs including costs all customized to your vehicle
Predicts what repairs are likely in the future and what it may cost
OBD device is larger and more noticeable
Conclusion on FIXD
Cars aren’t perfect, and that pesky little check engine light can put a lot of car owners through frustration and worry since there’s literally thousands of things that could be wrong with little to no way to diagnose the issue. To keep yourself and your family safe and prevent high repair costs, FIXD could be quite a handy car diagnostic tool since it identifies the problem in realtime, notifies you of the severity, presents solutions and costs, and gives you history logs to track your car’s performance. You can also use FIXD on several cars with the multi-vehicle feature to keep an eye on your other family member’s cars.
If you want to take charge and keep on top of your car’s health without being blindsided by vague check engine lights, FIXD is available to purchase on the company website and download on the Google Play Store or Apple Store.