Have you ever had the warning light come on in your car? You know – that ambiguous little LED. The one whose meaning could range from “I just feel like having a moan” to “CAR ABOUT TO BECOME A JIHAD JEEP, GET OUT!”. I’ve had it come on before and I’ve been too afraid to drive the half mile to the garage. Then there’s the charge for the garage connecting the diagnostics machine to the car. Irritating eh? Luckily there’s a solution now, and it’s more reasonable than you’d think…
Engie – first impressions?
There’s not much to say here – the packaging is minimalistic, which I like. It doesn’t make a fuss and it speaks for the simplicity of the device itself. Clever.
Inside the packaging is the device itself in a border of sponge for protection. There’s also a small information leaflet indicating the common areas of the port the Engie connects to.
The physical setup couldn’t be easier here. TIP: if you’re on Google trying to find the port to plug in to, it’s called the ODB II port. It’s very easy to find, and this is the most technical thing about the whole affair.
On my car (2010 Renault Megane Privilege) I had to take off a small faceplate under the radio. I hurt my finger, but I suspect that’s just me needing to man up.
The Engie fit nicely into the port and acknowledged this with a red glow.
Next up was downloading the Engie app from the Apple App Store and connecting it to the device.
I won’t show all the steps here, but this was a painless process and being the owner/driver of the car it should be self explanatory for you. After creating your car profile the app connects automatically to the Engie.
After the initial sync, the basic information is uploaded from the device to your phone. This was interesting for me, as it showed a fault with my car right away (which is booked in to be seen in a few days!). It’s already proved its worth!
Tapping the fault will reveal more details on the error:
There are three main sections once the Engie has uploaded the stats to your phone:
- Car Systems Alert – this is shown above, and identifies any issues with the car. If your warning light is on then this will show you why. Oddly, my warning light isn’t on. I’m considering the ironic situation where my warning light is faulty…
- Car Power – this shows you the voltage of the battery and alternator. The ignition must be off for this section. If you want to check the alternator voltage then you’ll need to take the car for a quick drive.
- Car Performance – this shows the current temperature of the engine. I checked this after the engine had been running for a minute or so and it read 36 celsius. My car was running at body temperature!
This is one of my favourite sections of the app. It shows you journey information and how much the journey has cost. To retrieve my alternator charging voltage I took the car for a quick drive – the details on the Dashboard page let me know how much that journey cost me.
The actual cost was slightly more, I’d neglected to change the price of fuel in the settings of the app.
Another fantastic feature here is the automatic parking map – we’ve all been there! Ignore the distance in the screenshot, I had the app open on the way home once I’d parked so it thinks my car is elsewhere.
This is an interesting addition to the app. It shows car mechanics in the local area and I understand it will soon give quotations for work needed on any faults that are shown on the app. I’m not exactly sure how this would work – but I imagine there’s a margin of error here.
Engie – Verdict
I honestly think this is a great product. Engie have released us from the mercy of mechanics charging silly amounts to hook their own version of the device up and diagnose errors. What’s more – we are now able to check the error and have a list of local mechanics and quotations available to us so we can even make an informed choice.
Engie – Price
This is the odd part. Engie is really, really cheap. The iOS version of the device costs only £19.99 and the Android version costs £14.99. I know what you’re thinking – “Great – reasonableness in the automobile industry at last”, but I can’t help thinking they should have priced it a bit higher.
I mean, it’s clearly a result of a lot of market research, and fair play to them for not ripping us off. However, I truly believe they’d gain more credibility by charging more for the device. I have to admit that if I saw this device at the price it’s currently at then I’d dismiss it pretty fast as a cheaper alternative to more reliable methods. This would be unfair, though, given that it reads the exact same codes as the more expensive methods.
Where do I get one?
Visit https://engieapp.com if you want one of these. I can honestly recommend it, given that it made me aware of a fault on the first use! Something else I’ve recently found out about is Gumtree’s dedicated “Sell My Car” service, take a look over at https://www.gumtree.com/sell-my-car.
Disclaimer – this is a paid review, but Engie understand that it was to be an honest review. I’d receive payment even if the review were a bad one, so no bias here!