If you’re one of those motorists who don’t know their crank sensor from their coil pack there’s a device that could help remove a fear of simple car fixes – and save you some of your hard-earned cash too.
Developed by Bournville College in partnership with Birmingham-based Smartphone Media, the app introduces the user to European On Board Diagnostics (EOBD), a universal system of reporting faults as trouble codes, which can be easily read with an inexpensive code reader.
EOBD, standard on all cars sold in Europe since 1993, is explained in detail and shows users how codes are made and what are the most likely – and cheapest – solutions.
For £1.99 and the investment of a small amount of time, Engine Fix offers home mechanics or DIY enthusiasts advice on buying equipment, what to wear when working on a car and other safety tips. It also introduces the key components of engine management.
The most common faults are listed, and the mechanics take the user through diagnosis and fault finding, explaining what needs to be done to address problems in videos filmed in a car workshop.
People who download the app, available from the App Store, can even test themselves on what they have learnt.
Mike Hyde, head of product development at Bournville College, said: “When the engine warning sign lights up on a car’s dashboard most people may look under the bonnet, scratch their head and admit defeat.
“They take the car to a garage and could eventually be presented with a big bill. The chances are that the problem is simple and well within the capabilities of the home mechanic or DIY enthusiast.
“With this app people may now be able to fix something for themselves. Alternatively, armed with this knowledge, they can have a much more informed conversation at the garage, and avoid that dreaded large bill. Either way this app can save users money.”
The app, developed by Smart Learning, a partnership between the college and Smartphone Media, will also be available shortly from the Google Play store.
About Smartphone Media
Smartphone Media is based at 23 Highfield Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham. The company specialises in producing apps for the education sector and now has more than 100 smartphone applications in the App Store and Google Play Store.