Americans Are Being Overcharged For Auto Repairs By $790 Million Annually. This New Gadget Prevents You From Being Ripped-Off.
Tuesday August 14, 2018 at 10:48 am EDT | Sponsored by FIXD
You are running late, traffic is terrible and stress levels are high. Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, it happens. The dreaded check engine light in your car comes on. Now what?
Millions of us know how frustrating this feeling of helplessness can be. What's wrong with the car? More importantly how much is it going to cost and how long is it going to take to get it fixed?
Can I make it to this important appointment or will this risk doing significant damage to my car? It's a terrible feeling.
Engineering students at Georgia Tech have created a new app and device called FIXD which monitors the health of your car. This breakthrough technology is surprisingly affordable and sales of the device are outpacing supply.
Best of all, it tells you in plain english what the problem could be when a check engine light does occur. This way you always have vital information to help you determine whether it's time to call a tow truck or continue on your way.
"People often ignore these lights because sometimes they're meaningless, but other times they can be serious."
What is it?
It's called FIXD. It is the first easy-to-use car health maintenance monitor. Two engineers based out of Atlanta, GA were tired of seeing their friends and family get taken advantage of at auto shops, so they decided to do something about it.
They created this new affordable device that plugs into your car's OBD (on-board diagnostics) port. Never heard of an OBD port? We hadn't either, but it's the very same port that mechanics use to figure out what's wrong with your car when you take it in for one of those expensive "diagnostic" tests.
Sound complicated? It's not, and EVERY car that is a 1996 model year or newer is equipped with this port. If you can plug in your phone charger you can plug in FIXD.
FIXD consists of a small sensor which you leave plugged into your car at all times and a smart phone app for both IOS and Android.
How Does it Work?
Using FIXD is really straight forward:
Plug the sensor into your cars OBD port located under the dashboard, then pair it with the free IOS or Android app. The sensor does not require charging as the OBD port is powered when the car is on.
After doing this you'll start getting vehicle health updates immediately.
More Than Just Check Engine Light Information
FIXD does a lot more than simply alert you to details of a check engine light, should one occur. It also includes a maintenance timeline of your particular vehicle, a vehicle history report so you have a log of all issues detected and offers multi-vehicle control.
You can monitor multiple vehicles each equipped with their own FIXD sensor within the FIXD app which is very handy.
"People who appear to understand what's wrong with their car pay, on average, 71% less for car repairs"
Overcharging Car Owners Is Big Business For Mechanics
A 2016 study found that Americans are being overcharged for car repairs by nearly $800 Million annually.
The real surprise however, is that undercover cameras revealed that the difference paid by customers with the same car problem varied wildly depending on whether they appeared to be knowledgable about their vehicle.
Women on average were charged the most, while men usually saved 32% on the same repair. Consumers who were able to 'talk the talk' about the issue when they first entered the shop paid the least - substantially less.
We spoke to Mark Middlesohn, a mechanic with a shop outside of Atlanta who's been in business for 18 years about FIXD to get his thoughts.
"FIXD would likely pay for itself in the first visit to a mechanic in savings alone." Mark continued to explain that dishonest shops often change parts not required to fix the original issue.
He suggested that consumers armed with the information of what's wrong with their car could also easily comparison shop different mechanics to ensure they got the best value. "A lot of dishonest guys in the business are going to be really really upset over this device."
Where can I buy one?
FIXD costs less money than an oil change and there are no monthly fees (the company offers discounts for muliple device purchases). It is not sold in stores but directly from the manufacturer online and ships from Atlanta, Georgia. Buy it directly from the company's website by clicking here.