Do you often get confused and start panicking when the check engine light alert which suddenly goes on in your car? Are you afraid you will forget to take your car for its regular oil change or other maintenance?
With the inexpensive FIXD OBD II active car health monitor and the Fixd app, you can rest assured that you will take actions on time in case your car needs repair maintenance or a check-up.
This alert system will save you the trouble of running to the car repair service every time an alert light comes on and will save you loads of money for repairs in case you forget to perform the maintenance required to keep the engine running and the car going.
So, what is Fixd, and can it actually help you keep your car running and out of the repair shop?
Here is a comprehensive review of this car code reading tool and health monitor, which will hopefully help you decide whether you need such a device, just how reliable it is, and whether it is worth the investment.
What exactly is Fixd?
Fixd is a combined hardware and software car health monitoring system which is sold by Fixd Automotive, an automotive company established in 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Fixd package includes a Fixd sensor and a Fixd app. The sensor needs to be plugged into your car’s OBD II port from where it relays any problems from the diagnostic port to the Fixd mobile app on your phone. The information is transmitted via Bluetooth and will include an evaluation of the severity of the current issue, and also will inform you what might happen if you go on driving without the problem being resolved. In simple words, it will inform you what is wrong with your car and how serious the problem is. The Fixd app also allows for scheduling maintenance services at your repair shop as well as helps you find the parts which you will need to repair the car.
In other words, this system will tell you what you would be told if you rush over to the dealer or the repair shop as soon as the check-engine alert light goes on on your dashboard.
The hardware part – the sensor will use power from your vehicle, so you just need to plug it in the port and leave it there without worrying about recharging it.
The Fixd app is compatible with Android and iOS, and all you need to do once you plug in the sensor is to download and install the app and then proceed to pair it with the sensor.
What is an OBD-II port?
Most cars made in 1996 or later have OBD-II ports. The port of the On-Board-Diagnostics (OBD) computerized self-diagnostics system will grant access to the diagnostics data.
The port is usually located under the dashboard on the driver’s side.
The attached sensor will scan and receive feeds from your car’s diagnostics and send you notifications on your phone. You can use the information to show your mechanic or to proceed to take care of the problem by yourself.
You will also receive handy reminders about upcoming maintenance requirements and at the moments when your vehicle needs service of some kind.
So, instead of dealing with complicated and incomprehensible error codes, Fixd will actually “translate” these so that you know what exactly the problem seems to be.
This is pretty useful if you feel like you are being held in the dark or ripped off by car repair services for unnecessary repairs and non-existing problems.
It is also helpful if you happen to be handy enough and willing to deal with the problem yourself, instead of paying a professional.
The pros and cons of Fixd
Overall, we have found that this car health monitoring system has both pros and cons. Here are the main ones.
- It provides affordable diagnostics and saves time for having to go to the repair shop or dealer for diagnostics
- It is intuitive and easy to use
- The app will alert when it is time for vehicle maintenance, which you must admit is often something we all tend to forget
- It is a much cheaper solution than going to a professional for one-time diagnostics when you notice an indicator light going on
- The app is user-friendly
- The sensor can detect up to 6,800 different potential problems resulting from the check engine light switching on
- The hardware sensor is straightforward to install without any tools or skills
- It will keep your vehicle data safe and secure
- The sensor uses the car’s power, so you don’t need to worry about recharging it
- The system will translate the complicated error codes into simple and understandable language, so you know what is wrong and what to expect when you go to the repair shop
- The app will also let you know how severe the issue is and what the consequences could be if you ignore the alert
- You can also clear the alert light via the mobile app
- The mobile app is compatible with both iOS and with Android smartphones and devices
- It works with all gas-powered cars from 1996 or newer, as well as on hybrid cars
- The app can work with multiple cars, as long as you have paired it to their Fixd sensors as well, this will allow you to keep an eye on all family cars even when you are away
- It is designed and made by ASE certified mechanics and experienced engineers in the USA
- The system doesn’t work with diesel or all-electric cars
- The system doesn’t work with cars made before 1996
- It works only for the check engine indicator and won’t diagnose other light indicators such as ABS, TPMS, stability control, transmission cooling or airbag
- The device responds to a problem only after the check-engine sensor in the car has been activated
- Some users complain of occasional network connection problems and errors
How does it work?
Fixd is an affordable way to turn your regular car into a smart car. It is also a much cheaper way to read out all error messages and to diagnose issues than having to go to a professional to do it for you.
The use of the Fixd OBD-II Active Car Health Monitor is very simple and straightforward. The sensor needs to be plugged in the OBD-II port of the car and then paired with the Fixd mobile app which you need to install on your Android or iOS phone. You can download the app from either Google Play or the Apple App Store depending on the type of phone you have.
The sensor is powered by the car, so you can leave it plugged in permanently without having to recharge it. It connects and communicates with the app on your phone via Bluetooth.
You can use the app to see what is happening with your car, but in case there is a problem that requires attention, you will receive a real-time notification on your phone.
The notification will inform you exactly what the problem is, how risky it is to continue driving, as well as give you an idea about what to expect once you get to the repair shop.
Fixd is capable of identifying thousands of problems or potential issues for just about any gas-powered car made in the last two decades.
The system will translate the problem from a confusing error code into plain English and will narrow down your problem. You may even be able to resolve the issue by yourself if it is something simple enough for you to handle. In some cases, the issue can be resolved via simple small adjustments.
Needless to say, this will save you a lot of time, frustration and money for leaving your car at the repair service, and into the hands of mechanics whom you cannot trust completely to give you a direct and truthful answer to what the issue with the vehicle actually is.
You can also use the app to clear any indicator lights which have already been resolved.
Another nifty feature is that the Fixd mobile app can be used as a useful reminder about upcoming maintenance services that have been scheduled, or should be scheduled in accordance with particular milestones for your car, like oil changes, filter changes and others. Such timely preventive actions can save you a fortune for repairs in the future.
Fixd design and key features
The Fixd sensor is 1.8 x 0.8 x 1.6 inches in size and weighs just 0.96 ounces. It is designed to easily and securely plug into the car’s On-Board-Diagnostics (OBD) port from where it will gain access to the self-diagnostic computerized system of the car.
The sensor is powered by the car itself, so you can leave it inserted in the port without having to take it out for recharging.
The Fixd mobile app is very user-friendly and communicates with the sensor via Bluetooth. It works by connecting to the Fixd servers via Wi-Fi or cellular in order to retrieve the diagnostics data needed to decipher your error code. It will save your car’s data and results from the scans on the server as well.
The app has a large Tap To Scan button in the middle, which you can use to perform an instant scan of the condition of the car. On the bottom of the screen, you will find a Timeline, Wear Items, and a Logbook button.
When you tap the Tap To Scan button, the sensor will begin scanning for problems. If no problems are found, a green icon will show up. In case there are moderate issues, the icon will become yellow, and in case of severe problems, it will turn red.
If you want to learn more about the issues detected, all you need to do is tap on the details icon, and you will be able to read the diagnosis along with the possible consequences from the problem if not taken care of.
You can also open the other dash light screens to find out which one stands for what. Unfortunately, Fixd doesn’t offer actual scanning for these other components.
The Timeline screen will provide you with nifty reminders about oil changes, air filter replacement, tire rotation, lubrication, steering linkage inspections, transmission fluid changes and other ongoing maintenance services which your car needs to undergo routinely.
The Wear Items button will open a screen that allows you to enter info about your tires, battery wipers including when they were replaced, and the voltage of the battery, the amount of tread and others. The app actually offers voltage testing too. The App will use the inputted information to remind you when it comes time to replace either of these components. It also has a Purchase button which allows you to search through a list of compatible components and to actually order and purchase them online.
The Logbook keeps records of all recent scans performed as well as of all the codes which have been cleared.
You can enter the Menu of the app by tapping the three-bar icon on the upper right so that you can edit your account information, add sensors, buy parts, find nearby repair shops and view any recalls for your car.
By tapping the car icon located on the upper left corner, you will be able to see the active sensors as well as the vehicles which you have paired with your account.
The app also has a Freeze Frame function which will take and store a snapshot of the vehicle as soon as the error code is stored.
The Live Data option can display multiple PIDs as a chart, gauge, or graph. It also can display a 0 to 60 mode, a trip, and fighter jet modes. The live data uses a large number of data sources including fuel pressure, mass air flow, RPM and others.
Installing Fixd and overall performance
As mentioned earlier in our review, installing the system is pretty straightforward, and requires no tools or special skills. Find the OBD-II port, plug the sensor in, download the Fixd app and pair it to the sensor. Remember to write down the number of your sensor prior to plugging it in in order to be able to easily pair it with the mobile app. You will also need to have the VIN of your car in order to pair the hardware and software correctly.
As far as performance, there can be some issues with connectivity, but otherwise, as far as diagnostics and discovering issues as well as sending on-time notifications for engine issues, the system works perfectly.
Will your car work with Fixd
If you own a car which was made in 1996 or later, and it runs on gas, there is a pretty good chance that the car health monitoring system will work. The reason is that before 1996 cars, in general, didn’t have such an onboard diagnostics system and port (the OBD-II port). If you have a hybrid car, Fixd will most probably work too.
Unfortunately, if you drive a diesel or an all-electric vehicle, the system will not be able to function properly, although the news is that Fixd Automotive is already beta-testing its product with diesel automobiles, and the results show that the outcomes are good for diesel-powered cars made after 2008.
To check whether the Fixd sensor and system will work for your car, you can check the compatibility chart at https://www.fixdapp.com/compatibility-2
The kinds of car problems which Fixd can identify
According to the manufacturer, the car health monitoring system is capable of identifying up to 6,800 engine problems and other problems which can cause the check engine indicator light to switch on.
Obviously, Fixd won’t list all of these potential problems but will provide you with essential information such as the engine oil temperature running high or failure of the O2 sensor, for example. So, you will be informed if your car has a serious issue that requires immediate or delayed professional care by a mechanic.
You can also use the Fixd app to clear the check engine light, in case the problem turns out to be insignificant. You can also clear the other dashboard lights via the app as well.
Also, the app will remind you of the milestones of your car and when you should head for periodic maintenance.
What is the difference between Fixd and other similar devices?
As you can imagine, Fixd isn’t the only car health monitoring device being offered on the market. In fact, there is a wide variety of other similar products being offered right now like Verizon’s hum+, CarMD or Zubie Key, to mention a few.
The fact is that Fixd has been readily available for purchase at all of the leading national and international retailers which fact has given the product a serious advantage amongst others.
Also, the Fixd mobile app is considered one of the most comprehensive, easy to use, and useful apps in this sphere.
One of the main advantages of the Fixd system is that it can break down the problems into simple terms which are easily comprehensible even by people who are not tech-savvy, instead of presenting you with an incomprehensible code. Fixd will notify you of the seriousness of the issue, as well as the consequences if you continue driving with this issue so that you know when you need to get off the road immediately and when you can still go on to reach your destination and take actions after that.
It also has a useful timeline maintenance notification service, which is very useful for those of you who always forget when it is time for periodic maintenance such as oil change, filter change, tire rotation, and others.
What about the cost of Fixd?
You can expect to pay about $60 for a Fixd sensor, but you can opt for a double pack for just under $100 which is a pretty good deal if you own more than one car, or want to monitor more than one car via the Fixd app.
What are people saying about Fixd?
After some thorough reading through various reviews on various websites, it looks like the reviews for Fixd seem pretty solid. On Amazon, Fixd OBD-II second generation has a rating of 4.3 stars and over 2,020 customer reviews.
70% of the reviewers on Amazon have given the product 5 points and overall glowing reviews. The ones who have given Fixd just 1 star are 14% of all reviewers, with their basic complaints being the problems with the connectivity, as well as the lack of detailed instructions for the setup and installation of the sensor and the app.
What about the Fixd maintenance club?
The Fixd Automotive Company is now also offering an additional service named the Fixd Maintenance Club.
The idea behind the club is pretty simple. You use the Fixd sensor and mobile app to find out what is wrong with your car, and instead of heading on to the repair service to get the problem resolved, you can send the diagnostics information to Fixd, and its maintenance club will proceed to send you all of the parts which you need to fix the problem by yourself.
The Fixd maintenance club promises to send you all of the specific maintenance parts and items based on the upcoming periodic maintenance interval, which is also based on the model of the car, the year and its make.
You can choose which services you are willing to do yourself, and when you should receive the maintenance kit. You can also choose what will be included in the maintenance box too.
Becoming a member of the Fixd Maintenance Club is completely free, but naturally, you will need to pay for the parts and maintenance kits you receive for repairing and maintaining your car.
This is an excellent option for those of you who want to save money for maintenance done by professional mechanics or those who want to take care of your beloved car by yourself.
How about the Fixd Vehicle Protection Plans?
The Fixd Automotive Company also offers Vehicle Protection Plans, which will allow you to receive emergency roadside and towing assistance 24/7, as well as 24-hour key replacement service assistance in case you happen to lose your car keys.
If you choose the Titanium Plus Protection plan offered by Fixd Automotive, you will receive 24-hour roadside assistance and towing, delivery of gasoline, oil, water or other supplies, key or remote replacement, battery jump-starting, windshield protection, wheel, and tire protection and repair, as well as paintless ding repair services. You can also get discounts for car rentals in the US and abroad.
You will also get access to a concierge center 24/7 which can send relay messages, provide you with information regarding the hotel and car rental availability, find nearby medical facilities, restaurant locations, ATM locations, and others.
As you can see from this review, the Fixd sensor and app is an inexpensive and easy to use tool to get timely and precise diagnostics of any engine problems with your car.
Even though it won’t actually fix your car for you, and you probably still will have to seek professional assistance to resolve serious problems, it can help you understand what the exact problem is, so that you know what to expect when it comes to money and time when you take the vehicle to repair service.
You can use the information from the Fixd car health monitoring system to pick a garage that offers the most adequate offer for the problem.
Also, the timeline option and maintenance reminders are very useful and will prompt you to complete them in a timely manner, in order to avoid further serious problems with your vehicle.
The setup is simple, but you still need to write down the number of the sensor and your car’s VIN number in order to perform the pairing correctly.
Overall, Fixd is a much more affordable option than going to a professional for diagnostics, and it will provide you with a simplified and clear explanation of what exactly is wrong with your car, as well as how safe it is to continue driving it before going to the repair shop.
The only main problem which you may encounter is difficulties with the connectivity like some users have reported, but if you overcome this difficulty, you will become the owner of a very useful automotive tool.
So, our final verdict is, that if you have a gas-powered car made in 1996 or after that, or if you drive a hybrid vehicle, the Fixd OBD-II Active Car Health Monitor is most definitely worth investing in and using.
Good luck with your purchase and enjoy the peace of mind of having the exact information about any problems with your car or cars in a timely and easy to understand manner at all times!