Ever since they added computer diagnostic systems into cars, thinks have got really complicated. Most of the time it’s impossible to tell what the heck is wrong with your car if an engine light flashes on the dash, and as for the little icons that come and go, it’s anyone’s guess if your vehicle is all right or just about to spontaneously explode.
We’ve talked about free software to detect this sort of thing before, but now there’s a new easier option. Carista is a car computer reader, which works with any standard OBD2 adapter to read your car’s computer messages and give you a clear indication if anything is wrong.
The key thing about this free Android app is the fact that it has just two buttons – Check and Reset. No complicated menus and options here. Hit the Check button and the program will go off and query the computer and deliver not just a cryptic response, but also a brief summary of what the problem is. Very useful when talking to a mechanic.
One of the most useful parts of the app is the emissions function which can give you pre-warning if your vehicle is likely to fail the emissions test, before you take it in for testing. Could save some money. The app works with most Android devices, and you can pick up cheap OBD2 adapters from eBay or Amazon which connect to your phone via Bluetooth for next to nothing. Just make sure its got some decent reviews, because some of the ultra cheap adapters are apparently not so reliable.