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Most of us don’t know all that much about cars. We know how to fill the car with gas and check the oil, but that’s about as far as common knowledge will take you.
If your car starts making an odd noise or behaves differently than you’re used to—stalling out, suffering poor fuel economy, or just giving the feeling like something’s not quite right under the hood—we’re off to the mechanic or the dealership to find out what’s wrong (and pay for needed repairs).
That’s where car health monitors like the Fixd Review Active Car Health Monitor come in.
A car health monitor is very similar to the tool that mechanics use to diagnose engine or performance problems, and can put that information in your hands, allowing you to “know before you go” so you can avoid any nasty surprises and maybe even shop around a bit for the best price on whatever repair your ride might need.
It’s a lot better than relying on the “check engine” light—there’s a reason mechanics call them “idiot lights,” as they just don’t tell you much other than “something’s wrong!”
What Is the Fixd Active Car Health Monitor?
The Fixd Active Car Health Monitor (and that’s spelled correctly, there’s no e) started life as a Kickstarter project. Unlike many new technology projects on Kickstarter, the Fixd device was a wild success because of its potential to help so many people understand more about their car and potentially save thousands of dollars in repair bills.
Like other car health monitors, the Fixd Active Car Health Monitor plugs into the OBD-II port of your vehicle. That stands for On-Board Diagnostics II, an improvement over the earlier ODB-I ports, and it’s a type of computer port or plug that exists in vehicles manufactured after 1996, including gasoline powered, hybrid, or electric vehicles.
You’ll find it under your dash, usually on the right side of the steering wheel.
Once plugged into the ODB-II port, the Fixd Active Car Health Monitor interfaces with data that the OBD-II port provides, and then communicates with an app on your Android or iPhone to tell you exactly what’s up with your car and to make sense of the dreaded “check engine” light.
These codes are the same ones mechanics use expensive computers to diagnose, and knowing what they know will allow you to find the best price and avoid fraudulent, unneeded repairs that some unscrupulous mechanics or dealerships sometimes recommend.
Fixd will attach to the OBD-II plug, and as Fixd is a plug-and-play device, there’s almost nothing to set up. Fixd will read and decipher the signal’s output using the OBD-II device. These outputs are usually just numerical codes that mechanics then have to cross-reference against the make and model of your car to determine what’s wrong.
The Fixd Active Car Health Monitor deciphers these codes for you in simple, easy-to-understand language, tells you the severity of the problem, and even provides an estimate of how much the repair should cost.
Once installed, it will even remind you about regularly needed maintenance, and has a feature that allows you to track the health of multiple vehicles—there’s no need to buy one for every car you or your household might use. You do need an Android or iPhone smartphone as the wireless app that Fixd reports to is only available on those platforms.
For what it does and the service it provides, the Fixd Active Car Health Monitor is incredibly affordable. At around $, this device more than pays for itself in short order. It’s available via Amazon, at the company’s own website, and may be found at some auto parts dealers—but call first to be sure.
This device sold out and was unavailable for a period of time in 2017, and only went back on the market in 2018, so retailers may not be able to stock it as reliably as the online sources mentioned above.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare to the Fixd Active Car Health Monitor, and will go into those devices below, starting with the Fixd.
Fixd Active Car Health Monitor
You can find this product on Amazon and other stores for a reasonable price.
Ease Of Use:
A truly plug-and-play device, you’ll be up and running in minutes—if not seconds—and don’t need to read or understand any technical manuals on the subject. Just connect it to the ODB-II port in your vehicle, download the app, onto your phone and you’re off.
The Fixd will read codes from any vehicle you use it on, and as installation is temporary, you can easily swap it out and use it in a different vehicle make and model with no other changes or reconfiguration necessary. You can, if you wish, purchase multiple units and have them all “report back” to the same smartphone, so you can track every vehicle in your driveway in real-time.
The Fixd device was designed by professional engineers and ASE Certified mechanics, and is solidly constructed. At just over two ounces and measuring 1.8 x 0.8 x 1.6 inches, its simple and straightforward design make it both easy to install and swap out.
The Fixd comes with a 30-day Money-Back Guarantee, and a One Year Limited Warranty in the event that something should go wrong with the device.
- Monitor multiple vehicles
- Oil change and regular maintenance reminders
- Log all error codes and store them to provide a comprehensive repair history for each vehicle monitored
- Provides users the ability to clear “Check Engine” lights without visiting a mechanic
- Limited availability, though this problem should now be solved
- Only works on Android or iPhone devices
- Can’t diagnose or reset TPMS or ABS systems
Like the Fixd, the VYNCS Pro attaches to your vehicle’s ODB-II port and can output much of the same information, but some users have reported false alarms when using the device.
An interesting feature of this unit is the built-in GPS—you can use it to track a vehicle and even receive an alert if it strays out of a known area (like an older child’s route to school). It isn’t as intuitive or powerful as some other devices, and it requires an annual service agreement to function (much like a cell phone—in fact, this unit comes complete with a SIM card).
You can find this product on Amazon as well but it is almost double the price of the Fixd option (mentioned above). To see the current pricing of the Vyncs Pro just click here.
Ease Of Use:
It requires slightly more setup than other car health monitors, and the extra GPS features mean there’s more to learn. While not entirely daunting, this unit isn’t as plug-and-play as some of the other devices reviewed here.
This device will pull many of the diagnostic codes your vehicle’s ODB-II sensor outputs, as well as providing GPS tracking ability, which is a standout feature. However, some users complain of false alarms that can be confusing and tricky to clear.
The physical construction of the device is comparatively solid, but some units are shipping with software that requires immediate updates in order to function, and numerous drivers have reported problems communicating with tech support to resolve the issue.
The product comes with a 30-day return policy, but after that, the warranty gets much more restrictive and a little confusing. If you experience problems with the device, you’ll have to return it for evaluation and repair, and if it can’t be repaired, you will only receive a pro-rated refund (not a new unit).
- Reads most ODB-II data
- Provides robust GPS tracking capabilities
- Can be tracked from smart phone apps or a web browser
- Cost—this unit is more expensive than many others on the market
- Requires an annual subscription to operate, at an average cost of $ per vehicle per year
- Data provided is not as clear as that given by other models, and it does not allow you to clear trouble lights
ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX
The ScanTool is known for coming with the most robust free software, allowing you to interface with the device from either an Android smartphone or a Windows PC, but it is not compatible with iOS devices, including iPhones, Mac laptops, or iPads, so if you’re an Apple person, you’re out of luck.
You can find this product on Amazon as well. It falls right in between the above two options in regards to pricing. To see the current price just click here.
Ease Of Use:
While many people find this unit adequate to their needs, others complain of slow data transfer rates, which makes using the device to diagnose intermittent problems a little trickier. Users are also reported that it is very difficult if not impossible to receive technical support for this device, which means if you have a problem with it, you may be on your own in finding a fix.
The manufacturer claims this unit interfaces with more vehicles than any other commercially available unit currently being manufactured, but other devices (notably the Fixd) make the same claim without highlighting it.
While the unit is constructed well physically, some of the interior components or software may not quite be up to snuff. Many people have reported problems getting the Bluetooth device to pair with other devices, and in the absence of easy-to-reach technical support, this becomes a major liability.
With a full 90-day money-back guarantee window and a whopping three-year repair or replace warranty, this may be the best-in-show in that regard.
- Robust, free software for Android and PC
- Best warranty in its class
- Works with third-party applications
- Not available to iPhone, iPad or other iOS users
- Slow data rates reported by some users
- Technical support is difficult or impossible to reach
Foseal Scanner Diagnostic Tool
This unit is the cheapest in our round-up by far, coming in at almost a third of the price of the other moderately priced units. Of course, there is some truth to “you get what you pay for,” as this device doesn’t come with dedicated software.
Instead, the manufacturer suggests various apps for Android and iPhone. It may not retrieve all the data the more expensive devices can, but at this price point, it’s hard to complain.
You can find this product on Amazon for around half the price of the Fixd and 1/4 of the price of the Vyncs Pro. To see the exact price for this scanner just click here.
Ease Of Use:
The unit attaches to the ODB-II port of your vehicle like every other unit we’ve reviewed, but the absence of dedicated software means there will be a learning curve (and possibly more cash outlay) for third-party applications.
An absolute bargain, this device will pull much of the data the average user might need from their vehicle’s diagnostic system, and even though there’s no dedicated software and some question as to how much data it can access, this is a great entry-level model for the budget-minded.
The unit is well constructed, but possibly incomplete diagnostic data and a reliance on third-party applications really brings the score down in this department.
The unit comes with a one-year warranty, though the terms of what it covers are a little vague. The manufacturer assures us that customer satisfaction is their top priority, and they say they promise to work with anyone who experiences problems to make it right.
- By far the cheapest unit on the market
- Rapid access to ODB-II data
- Excellent entry-level model
- Reliant on third-party software
- May not retrieve all data available
- Some users report spotty support and a warranty that consists of a 50% discount on a new unit
Fixd Review: Conclusion
All things considered, the Fixd Active Car Health Monitor is the best of the bunch, with a price point that’s right in the middle of what’s currently available, the most robust feature set for car diagnoses, and dedicated software that makes using the unit as simple as plugging it in and downloading an app.
That, combined with the ability to track multiple cars with one device, puts this one in the winner’s circle. If you’re looking for a top-notch car diagnostic tool that reports in clear, easy-to-understand language, you can’t go wrong with the Fixd Active Car Health Monitor.