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Behind the Wheel

7 Best Car Maintenance Reminder Apps for Android & iPhone

November 13, 2019
Car-maintenance-apps
Here’s the deal: As someone who lives and breathes automotive, I should be caught up on all my car’s maintenance tasks. After all, I realize that getting my vehicle serviced regularly is the best way to keep it on the road. But life, as it turns out, always moves too quickly around the time my next service is due, resulting in a missed service appointment or two. Shame on me, I know.

But that was before I really embraced that phone I keep in my back pocket. With an auto maintenance app, I’ve learned that I can get by with a little help from my AI friends. (Thank the techie gods for smartphones!)

If you’ve been neglecting your vehicle, it’s time to overload it with some TLC. These 7 car maintenance apps for iPhone and Android should help with the “C” part—the “T” and “L” are all on you.

Carfax-maintenance-app

Free myCARFAX app

1. Free myCARFAX

CARFAX’s free car maintenance app alerts users when it’s time for any scheduled maintenance, including oil changes, tire rotations, and routine service. Users can add and track service for up to 8 vehicles by searching their VIN, making it a very simple auto maintenance reminder apps to use. And when it’s time to visit a mechanic or service center, the application can point you toward your car dealer or the closest auto repair shop near you.

Best for: Personal

Price: Free

Download: Android | iPhone
AUTOsist

AUTOsist Car & Fleet Maintenance

2. AUTOsist Car & Fleet Maintenance

An amazing app for commercial vehicle fleets, AUTOsist micromanages everything so fleet managers don’t have to worry about downtime, costs, or inefficiencies. Users can manage multiple vehicles—this includes cars, trailers, boats, and any other asset—and receive reminders when service is due. Records are synced to the cloud, too, so service history is always backed up, shareable, and exportable. Its monthly subscription fee is nominal, making it a great choice for businesses. (The free version is a great choice, as well.)

Best for: Business & Fleet Owners

Price: Free-$49.99

Download: Android | iPhone
Digital-Glovebox

Digital Glovebox

3. Digital Glovebox

Like most applications, Digital Glovebox provides a paperless service history of multiple vehicles (up to 3). What sets Digital Glovebox apart from other car maintenance apps is its user-first approach. Some apps require users to utilize an in-network auto repair facility in order to track service and maintenance records. Digital Glovebox enables users to create records no matter how or where maintenance was performed. With the program, you can even schedule an appointment at a service center or shop of your choosing, and track service for anything, including machinery and motorcycles.

Best for: Personal

Price: Free

Download: Android | iPhone
Mobifolio

Simply Auto by Mobifolio

4. Simply Auto by Mobifolio

Simply Auto: Car Maintenance & Mileage Tracker is a quality app that acts as your vehicle’s know-it-all buddy. The application allows you to manage nearly every aspect of vehicle maintenance. You can set recurring service reminders based date or mileage, attach fuel receipts for business expense reports, and analyze your vehicle’s gas consumption over time. The app, with its cloud-sync feature, also allows users to track multiple vehicles. And when it’s time for resale, these reports can be transferred to new owners.

Best for: Commercial or Fleet

Price: Free – $10

Download: Android | iPhone
Motolog

motolog Mileage Tracker, Vehicle Log & Fuel Economy

5. motolog Mileage Tracker, Vehicle Log & Fuel Economy

Easily track your fuel and service expenses with motolog’s Mileage Tracker, Vehicle Log & Fuel Economy App. Solely available for Android devices, this vehicle maintenance app not only keeps records of service and fill-ups, but it also features GPS tracking software that can be paired straight through your car’s Bluetooth. Best of all, the GPS software automatically starts and stops when your vehicle does, so you’re always recording accurate data. When service is needed, the Android app notifies you.

Best for: Personal & Business

Price: Free-$0.99

Download: Android
Autocare1

Auto Care 1

6. Auto Care 1

For just $5 a month, you can track and manage as many vehicles as necessary via your iPhone or iPad tablet. Everything’s backed up on Apple’s iCloud, including refueling reports, service history, costs, and fuel economy statistics. Service reminders are provided at customized intervals. It also supports multiple languages and Family Sharing, the latter of which allows up to 6 family members to use the app in its entirety.

Best for: Business & Personal

Price: $4.99

Download: iPhone
Aurum

Aurum Car Management

7. Aurum Car Management

If you don’t mind a few grammatic errors — we all make missteaks, right? – this free car maintenance reminder app for Android may be your cup o’ tea. The app tracks service and replacement parts, of course, and adds visual cues (car meter indicators) when service is needed. It even informs you of upcoming insurance renewals, registration renewals, and emissions inspections. Its unique software utilizes an algorithm to detect service dates based on your input and the vehicle’s make and model. Or, if you’d prefer a more hands-on approach, you can even add service reminders manually.

Best for: Personal

Price: Free

Download: Android

Other Car Service Reminder Apps

Newer vehicles have advanced systems in place that make vehicle maintenance simpler—and those systems are all accessible via a smartphone app (typically). Take a look at these few examples:
  • NissanConnect® – Available in select Nissan models starting in 2016, NissanConnect provides Scheduled Maintenance Notifications, Maintenance Alerts, and Vehicle Health Reports.
  • Hyundai Blue Link® – Hyundai’s On-Demand Diagnostics and Alerts feature allows you to run a full vehicle diagnostic check-up and schedule service with the tap of a button. Maintenance notifications are delivered by email, as well.
  • myChevrolet – GM’s car maintenance app has a Vehicle Status feature that monitors and tracks everything from oil life to tire pressure. When service is due, easily schedule an appointment through the app.
  • Toyota Owners – Access model-specific info, locate dealer service offers, and keep track of maintenance or parts through the Toyota Owners app.
  • MySubaru – Subscribed users can utilize SUBARU STARLINK® to receive vehicle service notifications in real-time, among other perks.
  Whether you’re too busy to remember oil changes or you feel like keeping a vehicle maintenance log is adult-sized homework, I promise there’s an app that’ll keep you on the straight and narrow. You’ve just got to pop into the app store for a test drive (or ten).

Did I miss your favorite? Hit me up with any other awesome apps that you’ve used to ensure your spare tires stay spare tires. I’m all ears.

 

Sources & Photos:

apps.apple.com/us/app/simply-auto-car-maintenance/id893278325

play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mrigapps.andriod.fuelcons

play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.carfax.mycarfax

apps.apple.com/us/app/mycarfax-car-maintenance/id552472249

play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jomanautoservices.carapp

apps.apple.com/us/app/the-digital-glovebox/id1358297242

play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=pl.gswierczynski.motolog

play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.AutoSist.Screens

apps.apple.com/us/app/autosist-car-fleet-maintenance/id897916520#?platform=iphone

play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=aurumapp.carmanagement

nissanusa.com/connect

hyundaiusa.com/bluelink/

my.chevrolet.com/home

toyota.com/owners/

mysubaru.com/
Behind the Wheel

11 Things to Do Immediately After a Car Accident

October 25, 2019
what-to-do-after-a-car-crash
You’ve just been in your first automobile accident. Take a deep breath. Don’t panic. Collect yourself. Over 6 million people get through car crashes every year, and you can too. Here are the 11 most important things to do immediately following a car accident or collision:

1. Don’t Leave!

Even if the accident seems minor, don’t flee the scene of the accident. This is illegal, and you could be cited for a misdemeanor hit-and-run even if you weren’t the cause of the crash. This misdemeanor will come with a large fine and potentially even jail time, and if someone has been injured in that accident, you may be charged with a felony.

If you see a car speed away from the scene, go full Sherlock Holmes and mentally jot down the vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number. With any luck, police will investigate and substantiate your claim of a hit-and-run. Continue Reading…
Behind the Wheel

Locked Out? Here’s How to Unlock Your Car with a Smartphone

October 10, 2019
Open-locked-car-smartphone
In your rush to make that hot yoga session in time, you grabbed your smartphone but accidentally locked your keys in the car. Now you can see them on the driver’s seat, mocking you. Yep—you’re in quite the pickle.

Hey, don’t beat yourself up, mon ami. Millions of drivers lock themselves out of their cars every year. Heck, I’ve even made that mistake before. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Still, there’s the task of unlocking the car to see to, and it’s certainly not an easy one. Here are some options to unlock the doors so that you can give your car keys a stern talking-to.

Unlock with a Smartphone App

There’s an urban legend going around that you can magically unlock newer cars by calling someone who has your spare key fob. Sorry to burst your bubble, but this doesn’t work. Like, not at all. Remote keyless entry systems operate at a certain frequency, much lower than that of mobile phones, which makes it impossible for a phone to transmit the key fob’s signal to your car. The talented Mythbusters even proved this, and who would dare argue with them?

However, if you’ve got a new-ish vehicle with a remote keyless entry system, you may be able to use a smartphone app to unlock your car. (Thank you, technology!) Here are the most popular car apps to help you on your way. Continue Reading…
Behind the Wheel

Are Car Dashboard Cameras Legal in Kansas City? Here’s The Lowdown

August 22, 2019
Dash Cams Legal Kansas City

Unlike cassette adapters, fuzzy dice, and automatic seat belts, the car dashboard camera – or “dash cam” if you’re one of the cool kids – is no fad. As a matter of fad-ct, these little gizmos are some of the most useful car accessories I’ve come across in all my years behind the wheel. They can be installed in any vehicle. They are surprisingly affordable. They are incredibly simple to use. And the footage they film can help drivers win their insurance claims — or sometimes even put the kibosh on an insurance scam altogether.

Yeah, my love of dash cams is (now) well-documented. But are they illegal to use here in Kansas City? Here’s everything you should know before you go and buy a dashboard camera for your vehicle.

Continue Reading…
Behind the Wheel

Kansas & Missouri Child Car Seat Laws by Age, Height & Weight

May 23, 2019
child-car-seat-laws-mo-ks
Every state has crafted its own set of child car seat laws. For instance, Florida’s laws are quite lax, allowing kids older than age 5 to be fastened with a seat belt, whereas New York’s laws strictly state children through age 8 must be secured in a child safety restraint system. (To each their own, eh?)

But what about child car seat laws in Missouri and Kansas? Are you buckling up your child properly? To ensure your kids are safe in their infant, convertible, or booster seats, review the states’ most recent child passenger safety and restraint laws by age, weight, and height.

Continue Reading…
Behind the Wheel, Car Culture

Headlights FAQ: “What’s Wrong with My Car’s Lights?”

February 28, 2019
Headlights-FAQ
Having problems with your car’s headlights? Millions of car owners around the world are right there with you, shoddy headlamps and all. But if you’ve got questions related to your vehicle headlights, I’ve got answers—and solutions—that should put those problems in your rearview.

Why are my headlights so dim?

You’re in some automotive Twilight Zone episode, sitting between “headlights quit working” and “headlights are too bright” dimensions. Fortunately, getting out of this paranormal predicament is fairly simple. Although bad headlight switches and alternators can cause issues with hazy headlamps, dim headlights are usually caused by either old-bulb filaments or corroded ground wires.

  • To diagnose your headlight ailment, open your headlamp assembly and inspect the bulb. Notice any gray, brown, or black residue inside? If so, purchase new lights from your dealer or at a headlight store, and replace those suckers.
  • If your headlight bulbs look clear, check under the hood. Follow your headlight’s wires back to where they connect to the vehicle. With a wrench, unscrew the ground cable from its point of connection. Use a wire brush to scrub away any corrosion or dirt. Reconnect the cables and inspect your light’s brightness.
  • If neither solution solves your problem, consider taking a trip to your auto service center. They’ll help.

Why are headlights so bright?

If you feel like car headlights are getting brighter each year, you’re not crazy. With LED, halogen, HID, and xenon technology becoming a new norm, high-intensity headlights on the road today can cause temporary blindness, or “road dazzle,” putting other drivers at risk. Continue Reading…
Behind the Wheel

4 Vehicle Maintenance Skills Every Car Owner Should Learn

January 30, 2019
DIY-auto-maintenance
Tinkering with the car is a favorite pastime for some individuals. But most of us just want the car to start when we turn on the engine, stop when we hit the brakes, and get us to where we are going with no hassle. Owning a car requires a little more from us if we want to avoid frustrating delays, total dependence on road service, and being stuck in sticky situations. Here are the most important car maintenance skills anyone can and should learn.

  1. Check Tire Pressure

Checking your tire pressure is a critical skill to have. Regular pressure checks are the best way to ensure your tires are running at the optimal PSI and are not leaking air, which would obviously mean a flat tire is in your future. Continue Reading…
Behind the Wheel

Where to Report Curb Damage Near Kansas City

January 16, 2019
Curb-damage-Kansas-City
Potholes cause approximately $3 billion in vehicle damage per year, but let’s not forget about what curbs can do to tires, rims, and suspensions. One round with a busted curb has the potential to cause some serious damage to your vehicle. We’re talking about misaligned wheels, perforated mufflers, broken tie rods, pierced transmission cases, punctured tires. Do you really want to deal with those problems? I think not!

If you’re concerned about a specific pesky curb damaging your car in Kansas City or a neighboring city, it’s in your best interest to report it pronto. Here’s a HUGE list of official contacts and websites to submit street repair requests in Blue Springs, Sugar Creek, and everywhere in between. Continue Reading…
Behind the Wheel

Printable DIY Roadside Emergency Kit Checklist

November 15, 2018
emergency-kit
You’ve got your phone and tunes, a travel mug full of coffee, and (probably) a spare tire in the trunk—but we’re here to talk about your roadside emergency kit. Oh, you don’t have one? Like thousands of other Americans and Kansas Citians, your lack of a car emergency or safety kit is fairly typical. Most drivers don’t even have jumper cables stored in their car, let alone a full emergency kit. You can imagine how problematic that can be, especially in the winter.

Let’s turn your unpreparedness into super-preparedness. Build your roadside kit for winter now using this checklist as a guide. (Printable PDF can be downloaded here.)

Jumper Cables A long pair of jumper cables is essential for any emergency car kit. Try to have at least 15-feet of cable to work with—just in case.

First-Aid Kit You don’t need a fancy medic bag, but your first-aid kit should be well equipped. Include Band-Aids, antiseptic, tweezers, bandages, gauze, super glue, and aspirin. If you have severe allergies, your first-aid kit should also include epinephrine to treat allergic reactions. If you suffer from other common illnesses like diabetes, be sure you have an adequate amount of medications available.
Continue Reading…
Behind the Wheel

Do Windshield Chip Repair Kits Actually Work?

September 27, 2018
windshield-repair-kits
There you are, driving westbound on I-70, passing the familiar sign for WinterStone Golf on your way to Kansas City. Pink Floyd fills the cabin as you delicately sip that scalding mug o’ joe. Then — wham! — the truck in front of you kicks a pebble into your windshield, leaving a gnarly chip right in your line of sight. In most instances, those kinds of windshield chips only affect the surface, rarely causing damage to the internal layer of tempered glass. This type of damage is frequently correctable by your standard DIY windshield repair kit. Hooray!

But we don’t all get to live in a “most instances” world—sometimes we must survive in a “why me?” world, which means your windshield damage could be unfixable by amateur hands. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of common windshield chip repair kits, shall we?

Continue Reading…