Archive for December, 2014

Products That Work – Cozy Products Toasty Toes

December 22, 2014

Have you ever wanted a footrest? Or warmer feet in the winter? How about both? Cozy Products has an answer. Cozy Products TT Toasty Toes Ergonomic Heated Foot Warmer

In the winter our building tends to run on the cooler side; which is fine, but I prefer a small boost temp, with a more ergonomic leg position to boot. This item does the trick.

Products That Work – OBDLink LX Bluetooth

December 10, 2014

Sometimes you just need an effective tool to complete a task and save some money. And have a little fun.

The OBDLink products from ScanTool.net will do just that. Although I haven’t personally tested all of their products, I recently purchased a ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX Bluetooth: OBD Adapter/Diagnostic Scanner for Android & Windows diagnostic tool via Amazon.com. A few weeks after our first vehicle threw a code and lit up the trouble indicator on the dash, our 2nd vehicle also threw a code. After getting hit with a high fee by a local auto service shop to check and reset the 1st vehicle, I purchased the 427201 for less $$, including shipping.

It was a breeze to use; although it does take quite a few steps to configure, it is straightforward. I located the OBD port, which is usually near the driver’s knees, and plugged in the ScanTool. Next, I loaded the ScanTool app on my phone, paired my phone via Bluetooth, launched the app and set up a profile. I read out the codes, recognized the issue, and reset the codes. And saved money over using a shop. Of course, don’t take any code lightly, be sure to understand and promptly address the cause of the code, or you may be paying more later. But, for this example, sometimes a vehicle will throw codes that are caused by an issue such as low voltage from the 12V accessory battery, and is a nuisance. The shop fee would cover a new battery! Or perhaps you want to see if an issue was a transient, or will subsequently reproduce. After all, even cars glitch now and then despite the manufacturers best efforts; they’re a complex network of mini processors, sensors, and wiring. Any item in the network can cause the dash to light up.

And sometimes a tool can become a toy – I have since put the 427201 to use monitoring the health of a 2002 Toyota Prius, which has a high voltage traction battery pack. The dashboard exposes very little useful information so a CAN scan tool such as this combined with apps like TouchScan (OBD Diagnostics) or Torque Pro provides a window into the inner workings of today’s advanced vehicles. ScanTool’s free application is also useful, and Torque Lite is available for basic testing purposes prior to purchasing the Pro. I was happy to see the pack was still ‘balanced’ after 12 years.