||OBD2 Car Connection device with 10 days initial service, instruction manual|
||Connects to OBD2 diagnostic port|
|Compatibility||Car must be equipped with OBD2 port – Most 2003+ Makes and Models.|
|Installation||Simple plug and play|
|Monthly Plan||$10 a month or $100 a year|
||Requires GSM you must have either AT&T or TMobile coverage|
||139.99 – Check Availability|
About the Save Driver Car Connection
The Straight Talk Save Driver Car Connection device allows you to monitor various aspects of a car’s health, MPG, and location by using a cell phone signal to transmit the data to either a smartphone app or online. In addition, it allows you to set up cell phone restrictions using the Zoom Safer app on a target device. This is an excellent device for monitoring your teen driver or spouse any time anywhere. The monthly cost is $10 a month or $100 a year. Initially, I thought the device was kind of gimmicky but I was pleasantly surprised to find the comprehensive data logging very interesting and useful.
How it Works , Compatibility and Installation
The device works by using a GSM cell phone connection to transmit the cars data to either a mobile app or online. The data is provided by your vehicle’s OBD2 diagnostic port which is standard on most 2003 and newer cars. While the device is advertised as being compatible with 2003 and newer vehicles, there are lots of cars with OBD2 ports prior to 2003 which I verified by plugging it into my 2002 Subaru Impreza.
What’s neat about this device is that you can monitor all kinds of data remotely without having to have your smartphone in the car. So you can be at home yet still be able to monitor the car anywhere there is GSM coverage. The only drawback that I found is that you must have the device active with Straight Talk or the device is nothing more than a $139 paper weight. Without the Straight Talk service, you cannot get any data out of it since it cannot be connected to either a computer or phone as it does not have Blue Tooth capabilities or USB connector.
Installing the device is very easy. The hardest part is locating your OBD2 port as it varies from car to car. You will need to Google this if you do not know your car’s OBD2 port location. Other than that, you install it by simply plugging it in. It only installs one way so installation is very easy and takes 1 second.
I found the data provided by this device to be both comprehensive, useful and quite interesting. The device is able to monitor just about all aspects of your vehicle’s health including check engine lights, possible recalls as well as maintenance intervals. One of the coolest thing I found about the device and service was the ability to diagnose a Check Engine light by telling you exactly what triggered it and a description of the fault. Below are some screen shots of the data.
Next is the ability to monitor the location of the car by its ability to log each trip. The device logs everything the car goes on a trip and parked. Whats really cool about this data is the fact that it logs the max speed to each location. In addition, it is able to detect and alert on items such as what aggressive acceleration. What’s impressive about all this is the fact that you can see this data from either a smartphone app or online from the car connection website.
Yet another impressive feature is the ability to create “Safe Zones”. With this feature, you can set up an area where you can be alerted when the car leaves said area. So for example, you can create a zones as large as your city to as small as 600 feet, so if the car leaves your safe zone, then the device will alert you either by email or text.
The data logging capabilities of this device was very impressive and very accurate since it gets it’s data from both GPS and your cars computer. So for example, unlike GPS only devices, this device can determine your car’s speed extremely accurately. I found the location data to be very accurate as well. All in all I was pretty amazed with all this thing logs.
Cell Phone Call and Text Restrictions
I was a bit disappointed with this feature. The reason for that is the way this feature is set up and works. The first thing is that you have to install the Zoom Safer app on the target phone. So if you’re wanting to do this for your teen driver, then you must get their phone and install the app. The app is only available for Android and iPhone so it will not work with a non smartphone or a Windows phone. Anyhow, when the app installed, the service communicates with the app and thus enforces the restrictions you have set up. The problem with this is that your teen can easily uninstall this app without you really knowing it thus defeating the whole purpose of it. The other problem here is that it of course will not apply restrictions to any other phone in the car.
So while this part of the service works, I just don’t think it will be all that effective.
I was very surprised by the device’s capabilities. I can see lots of benefits for concerned parents and spouses. The vehicle health capabilities were also really cool and beneficial. All in all, I would recommend this service to anyone. The only drawback of course is the $10 monthly price, though you could do the 1 year $100 option. The call restrictions were a bit disappointing but I guess it was because I was expecting it to some how jam all phones in the vehicle. I would say this device is a must for any parent with a teen driver.