Americans love their smartphones almost as much as their cars. According to the Pew Research Internet Project, 90 percent of adult Americans have a cellphone of some kind as of 2014, and 58 percent of adults own a smartphone. Smartphones are as ubiquitous as cars in America, so it should come as no surprise that there are many great smartphone apps to help drivers maintain and improve their vehicles. Here are some of the best smartphone apps and tools to help you maintain your car and even improve its performance:
Car Maintenance Reminder Lite
The Car Maintenance Reminder Lite app allows users to input their car's make, model and year in addition to their last common car services. This includes fluid replacements, tire rotations, alignments, oil changes, and even windshield wiper replacement. Car Maintenance Reminder Lite is calibrated to estimate your daily driving at 15 or more miles a day, and calculates your estimated maintenance needs based on that estimate. When time thresholds are met for various maintenance needs, the app sends you an alert, letting you know when you need new tires, oil changes, etc. Finally, Car Maintenance Reminder Lite allows you to log important notes about your car, such as part numbers, and can track the needs and notes of multiple cars at once.
Dynolicious Fusion is an app that can help you fine-tune your car and detect when your performance is waning. By using the iPhone's built-in accelerometer, Dynolicious Fusion measures and logs automobile performance—measuring your vehicle's zero to 60 acceleration, measure braking speed, turning force and can even use this data to calculate your vehicle's horsepower. Dynolicious Fusion records and tracks this information almost as accurately as some of of the most sophisticated testing software and by measuring your car's performance before and after any modifications, you can compare the results to quantify improvements. The Dynolicious Fusion app also connects you with other car enthusiasts through its built-in social media tools so you can get instructions from other users for all of your maintenance and improvement projects. Finally, the Dynolicious Fusion app lets you create logs and share photos of your projects over social media so you can show off or get advice from other performance enthusiasts about your projects.
Torque Pro goes one step further than most apps by connecting directly to your on-board diagnostics port, giving you a powerful diagnostic tool. Torque Pro can read your CO2 emissions, provide acceleration information and read transmissions temperatures. Capable of checking your car's performance and alerting you to engine issues, Torque Pro also allows you to create custom dashboards that can provide information and measurements as you drive. Best of all, because Torque Pro gives you direct access to you car's on-board diagnostic software, you can find out exactly what the check engine light is actually referring to and even turn it off when you become aware of the problem. Getting an engine diagnostic from a mechanic can run you $100 or more, and being able to turn off that haunting orange light on your own is well worth Torque Pro's one-time cost of $4.95.