Review CarChip E/X with Alarm by Davis Instruments

I have a Volvo Wagon and a Nissan Quest Mini Van sitting in the driveway. The Volvo has about 125,000 miles on it with a annoying Service Now light that keeps coming on even though Volvo keeps resetting it, and saying nothing is wrong. It’s my work car all I care about is that it gets me to and from work and I have it serviced on a regular basis. Its a work car and I am not worried about keeping up with the Jones. I hate car payments the wife bought it off a used car lot with 2 kids in the showroom driving the salesman nuts which resulted in a great price. Little advice load the kids up with sugar before you go car shopping, drives the salesmen mad. ;)

Well that service engine light has been bothering me for two years, and when I received the CarChip from Davis Instruments the first thing I did after the 5 minute PC setup was install it on the Volvo. One thing I did do was set the clear service engine light in the setup so that I would have a clean configuration on the car.

The car installation took about 5 minutes. I got to thinking that their would not be anymore $75.00 evaluation fee’s at the Volvo dealerships as I was plugging this thing in!

I ran the unit in the car for the past 5 days, probably about 10 hours worth of driving time, the service engine light came on about 3 days into the test, and when I pulled the sensor of the car and brought it into the house I was literally blown away with the data that I was able to look over. I was able to tell how many times I exceeded 70 mph and a assortment of other details including the error code from that service engine light.

I did a couple of searches on Google with that code and figured out what the code meant. Then I did some more searches and determined that I am not the only person to have been bothered by this code on my model vehicle. The forum section I found this in gave some mechanic recommendations. I called my service agent at Volvo had him pull my service record, and had a pretty frank discussion with him. I faxed him the URL to the article as he did not have e-mail in the office, and he said he would call me back a couple hours. He called me and said that he thought we should order the net recommended specific sensor. I gave him the go ahead and hopefully next week no more car service light.

What surprised me is that I had to use the CarChip and some investigating on the Internet to do the job that the service department at Volvo has not been able to figure out in two years. On a side note my dad who has a small fleet of vehicles is going to have fun with this software and chip when he arrives in a couple of weeks. What I like the best, is that you can set 5 separate parameters to monitor.

Little bit of a touchy subject but here is something else you can use this chip for, we all raise our kids to be Angels but when they turn 16 and get a drivers license that can scare any parent half to death, no matter how much you trust your kid. Do you have a rebel in the house, and you just have a feeling that once they are cut loose you may have some issues? Well you can buy one of these and make an agreement with your new driver using the CarChip as a tool. With this unit you can use it to verify together they are living up to their side of the bargain.

Additionally they have an optional GPS system you can integrate with some of their sensors that will actually track where the vehicle has been, kinda gives me the creeps though. This device could come in handy in a traffic accident or if you have been given a ticket unjustly.

In using this device over the past 5 days I can say without any reservation that it has been insightful to my vehicles performance while at the same time has allowed me to possibly resolve a issue that has been bugging me for several years. Car dealers do not want you to have this technology, it makes you a smarter consumer. Another great product. []

Disclaimer: Geek News Central was given this device to review, I utilized my personal vehicle and my standard laptop, the product was evaluated with no expectation from the vendor of a positive review.

About geeknews

Todd Cochrane is the Founder of Geek News Central and host of the Geek News Central Podcast. He is a Podcast Hall of Fame Inductee and was one of the very first podcasters in 2004. He wrote the first book on podcasting, and did many of the early Podcast Advertising deals in the podcasting space. He does two other podcasts in addition to Geek News Central. The New Media Show and Podcast Legends.