Is your Check Engine light staring you in the face? That bright orange warning serves as a beacon that something is wrong. Problem is, it doesn't convey anything more than that. For years, the prime culprit of an illuminated CEL has been a loose gas cap. In fact, according to CarMD.com, the gas cap has ranked as number one on the CEL hit list for the last 12 years. Recently, however, it seems people are either giving their gas caps an extra twist or the Check Engine Light has had enough because
Since 1996 all vehicles sold in the United States have been equipped with an OBD-II system, also known as On Board Diagnostics. The reasoning behind requiring the system has a lot to do with the EPA and emissions, but it just so happens to also be a great tool for tuning. You may have noticed the required connector hiding around the dash in the vicinity of the driver's seat. Over time, various companies have developed OBD scanners and data loggers, but there were two of particular interest to us
CarChip E/X by Davis is a device that logs how you are driving. The CarChip E/X can even be set to beep if you break too fast, speed or accelerate too fast. Changing these behaviors are the top three things a driver can do to increase fuel efficiency without changing the car. The CarChip EX attaches to the OBD (On Board Data) port which is present on most cars made since 1996. From the video review below the fold
In conjunction with Honda's efforts towards bringing a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle to the States in 2008, plans are well underway to do the same thing for diesels that the automaker did for cleaner gasoline engines in the 70s.