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The Answer to the Mystery Engine Light is Here!

Are you tired of seeing that annoying engine light brighten up on your dashboard and have no idea what’s actually wrong with your car?  The new service Carvoyant could be the answer.

Carvoyant is like the cloud for your car.  It can maintain your car’s “health records,” keep track of when you need repairs and where you should go to get them done, and even tell you what the pesky “check engine” light means.  The company uses data gathered from a transmitter that you plug directly into your car in addition to the records and receipts that you send in for digitization.

How it works is when you first sign up for the service, the company will ship you the transmitter and some envelopes.  You can choose to either send in all of your tickets from your past service visits from your repair shop or dealership, or you can scan and email them in.  The next step is to plug the transmitter into your car’s onboard diagnostic port (OBD), and it will immediately begin to capture your car’s data stream and tell you when something is wrong with it.

CEO of Carvoyant, Bret Tobey, explains that, “It’s not about replacing your mechanic, it’s about keeping you informed.”

The service is also proactive as well as reactive.  It can track your battery voltage and can warn you when you might be in danger of having your battery die on you; something no one wants, especially in the cold winters here in Iowa.  After it collects more and more data, the service will be able to warn you preemptively about these types of alerts.

Another part of Carvoyant is recommendations, however this piece is still under development in beta testing.  The eventual goal is to allow users to reach out via email, SMS, Facebook, etc.

Further along down the road, the service could potentially offer deals for users to certain repair shops; i.e. if Carvoyant would partner with Jiffy Lube, they could possibly give away the hardware devices for free in exchange for the device to recommend going to their store.  To me this kind of defeats the purpose of it telling you where you can get your car fixed.  I would think they should have it set up to tell you either the closest location (if emergency), or where would best fit the need of your repair issue, but it could help you with finding bargains if that’s what you’re going for.

As a product I see this as having the capacity to do well as long as it doesn’t become too expensive with hidden fees and it actually works, but since beta testing is still underway, we will just have to wait and see if it has merit out in the market.

 

See the full article on Carvoyant here:

http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/28/carvoyant-tells-you-what-the-check-engine-light-means-and-where-to-get-it-fixed/

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