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 Automatic: Connected Car Adapter

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NoCoPilot

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PostSubject: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:03 am

Couple days ago I ordered an Automatic. This dongle plugs into your car's computer diagnostics port and provides:
  1. ability to read "check engine" codes on your smartphone
  2. ability to clear codes
  3. "fitness for your car": driving tips and notifications when you're not maximizing gas mileage
  4. gas purchase & usage logging
  5. automatic 911 notification if you're in a crash (utilizing a built-in accelerometer)
  6. trip logging, showing where your car has gone (utilizing a built-in GPS)
  7. calculates costs of each trip
  8. location service, if you lose your car in a parking lot
  9. car ownership expense logging
  10. set it to turn on your thermostat automatically as you approach home
I'll report more when I receive it. We all have computers in our cars -- it's about time somebody made an interface so we could use them!
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kilo

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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:46 am

Any privacy concerns?
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_Howard
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:54 am

Can you plug your laptop into it and modify the injector settings?
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:38 pm

kilo wrote:
Any privacy concerns?
Yes, it allows parents to track their kids' driving. You've probably seen the ads, and had the same thought.

But for just me, i don't plan to give out the password and if the FBI wants to track my movements, they have my phone to latch onto already anyway.
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NoCoPilot

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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:39 pm

_Howard wrote:
Can you plug your laptop into it and modify the injector settings?
Hmmm, interesting question. Seems indeed a possibility?
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NoCoPilot

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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:24 pm

The thing arrived in Friday's mail. I installed it and began downloading the software and firmware upgrade, but their servers kept crashing so I quit for the night.

Finished installation Saturday morning without incident.

Didn't take any car trips Saturday though. Went out today (to a movie, "Loving") and here's what the program told me:
  • drove 7.4 miles
  • took 20 minutes
  • got 20.6 mpg
  • used up $1.04 worth of fuel
  • there's a map showing where I went, including my wrong turn
  • there were no incidents of hard acceleration or speeds over 70 mph, but there was one hard brake (not my fault, I hasten to add)
  • the car has one "check engine" alert, a P0304 "Cylinder 4 Misfire Detected" where there was incomplete combustion.
  • I tried to clear the warning -- I've had fruity spark plug wires for a while -- but it would not let me clear it because the problem persists (apparently)
So I guess this week I'll be stopping in at my local shop to have the wires checked (again).

Okay, I know none of this shit is worth dog's breath. It's just a nerd toy.
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:56 pm

#10 above turned out to be a little more complicated; it's actually accomplished through a NEST app and not the Automatic website. I have now set my thermostat to automatically go into "away" mode (drop to setback temperature) anytime the car's ignition is turned on at my home address. Conversely, any time the ignition is turned off at my address, it sets the thermostat to "home."

Nifty. Rings my nerd bell. Ding ding!
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:20 pm

If I had the right garage door opener, it could open the door automatically as I approach home and close it behind me when I turn off the ignition.

That might be a bridge too far.
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_Howard
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:08 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
I have now set my thermostat to automatically go into "away" mode (drop to setback temperature) anytime the car's ignition is turned on at my home address.  Conversely, any time the ignition is turned off at my address, it sets the thermostat to "home."

Nifty.  Rings my nerd bell.  Ding ding!

And a wonderful way to really irritate your wife.
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:49 pm

She can put on a sweater.
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richard09

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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:19 pm

Kind of related. More than one lol moment in this story.

Tesla driver stranded in the desert after smartphone app failure
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:43 am

"Send the wife running two miles."  That Tesla feature is optional I think.
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:52 am

What a maroon!

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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:45 am

This numbskull Tesla driver hilariously illustrates my big complaint about the ridiculous stretch of computer applications. Creating a completely unnecessary additional level of complexity - and chance of failure - with no benefit (other than saying, "Look how cool I am") is a waste of time, money, and intellectual resources.

Requiring an internet connection to unlock or start your car is one of the stupidest uses yet. How much inconvenience can it be to put a key in your pocket? That's all my wife's car requires; have the key in your purse or pocket and the car will unlock itself. You have to push a button to start the car, but that's not a hassle for anyone except Stephen Hawking and, let's be honest about it, he shouldn't be driving anyway. The car even recognizes which key is being used and adjusts the seat and steering wheel position appropriately. All without a cell phone or the internet.

Bah. Humbug.
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:48 am

Keypad doorlocks don't even require a key.

The iPhone interface is strictly a "because you can" option. It's Obama's fault we don't have cell towers in national parks.
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:56 am

NoCoPilot wrote:
Keypad doorlocks don't even require a key.
According to the article, the guy was locked out of his car. Maybe he didn't have a keypad door lock, which have value only if you lock your keys in the car.

The iPhone interface is strictly a "because SOMETIMES you can" option.
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:30 pm

My new connected car dongle has at least one concrete advantage; it monitors how you drive rather closely.  The first trip I took with it I drove pretty much normally, and got 20.6 mpg according to the software.  Yesterday I intentionally drove as smooth and "old person" as I could, and got 27.2 mpg (with my left blinker on).

Today, just for grins, I stomped the throttle and brake a little, generating five warning beeps, and I averaged 18 mpg.

By putting such concrete evidence in front of me it might actually encourage me to drive my age,
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:34 pm

It would encourage me to through away the dongle.
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:38 pm

You can select a mileage indicator to display on the speedometer of my wife's car. It shows long-term and instantaneous gas consumption. Fun to crowd it and watch the numbers plummet.
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:52 pm

The software warns that it will not work with electric vehicles. Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:18 pm

Well then, this should go in the shitty software thread.
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:45 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
  • the car has one "check engine" alert, a P0304 "Cylinder 4 Misfire Detected" where there was incomplete combustion.
  • I tried to clear the warning -- I've had fruity spark plug wires for a while -- but it would not let me clear it because the problem persists (apparently)

So I guess this week I'll be stopping in at my local shop to have the wires checked (again).
As expected, the shop couldn't find anything wrong with my car.

However -- and this is interesting -- they said the snapshot of what happened when the warning was generated showed something they'd never, ever seen in thirty years of servicing cars: the coolant temperature sensor showed a coolant temperature of -40° below. This is what caused extra fuel to be dumped into the cylinder, leading to incomplete combustion.

Odd.

My car is developing Alzheimer's.
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:52 pm

You've just learned why the check engine light does not come on every time there is a small fart in the computer.

I quit working as a mechanic before the computers took over the engines, but I can tell you that if a customer came in and said, "This gadget I put on my car says there is a problem" I would suggest that he go somewhere else.

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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:57 pm

Actually my CEL was on. The new adapter's supposed to allow me to reset the alarms myself, for cases just like this where they don't mean shit.
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PostSubject: Re: Automatic: Connected Car Adapter   Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:00 pm

Ah, you didn't mention that the check engine light was on. My bad. Are you a good enough mechanic to know when an error code is meaningless and you can just ignore it and clear the error?
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