Got some spare Christmas cash burning a hole in your pocket? Spend it on an OBD2 dongle. Your car will thank you.
OBD2 is short for On-Board Diagnostics, version two. It’s a system that’s been built into just about every car made in the US since the mid 80’s, and it basically allows you to tap into your car’s on-board computer and get detailed information on what’s going on with it at any given moment.
Diagnostics ports have existed in cars for decades, but it wasn’t until recently that tapping into that information and making sense of it was really easy.
The Link from Automatic solves that problem. It definitely isn’t the first OBD2 dongle that’s ever been made, but it’s arguably the most sophisticated and user-friendly one we’ve ever encountered.
The device plugs into your OBD2 port just like any other dongle, but unlike others, it uses a low-power Bluetooth signal to wirelessly beam information to your smartphone in real time. This way you’ll always know exactly why your car is acting up, and then be able to address the problem before it gets worse.
If your check engine light pops on, Automatic immediately shoots a notification to your phone to explain what caused it. For simple problems, the app offers suggestions on how to resolve the issue yourself. For stuff that’s more complicated, it automatically tracks down well-reviewed mechanics in the surrounding area and offers directions. And to top it all off, the app even monitors your driving habits and suggests ways to boost your gas mileage.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a gearhead or completely clueless when it comes to cars – this thing is useful no matter who you are. You can pick up a Link for $100 bucks online, or just drop by the nearest Apple store to find one.