The Micro Mechanic is a de vice that looks a little bit like the average external cruise control unit that you might install on your car; some might even think that the Micro Mechanic looks a little more like a Bluetooth music player.
Actually, it’s neither of these. The Micro Mechanic is a small unit that promises to help you diagnose the source of the issue behind your car’s engine light – and it links up with your smartphone to let you know what’s wrong.
Here’s a closer look at the Micro Mechanic, how it works and what you should know about it when you buy one.
What is it?
The Micro Mechanic is a small device that plugs into your car like you would a music player: From there, you connect it to your smartphone via Bluetooth and download the relevant app that goes with the unit.
Once the Micro Mechanic is connected to your smartphone, it can tell you the source of the problem when the “check engine” light goes on. This is something you’d normally have to pull over for – and this can expose you to a lot of risks by the side of the road; with the Micro Mechanic, you can just pull over to a safe spot and check your smartphone instead of having to get out of your car.
It’s quicker and a lot safer – plus it can tell you more about what’s wrong with your car so that you know what information to relay to the guy you have to call to fix your car.
It’s useful if you know a lot about cars and it’s especially useful if you don’t.
How does it work?
When the “check engine” light of your car goes on and you aren’t sure why, the Micro Mechanic is meant to link up to the diagnostics software of your car: It’s similar to the diagnostics tools that vehicle mechanics and technicians will use for figuring out what’s wrong with a car before they fix it – and it’s a lot cheaper than what their advanced diagnostics tools will cost.
If you happen to see your engine light go on while you’re driving, all you have to do is check your smartphone at a safe spot to see just what the problem could be.
How well does it work?
The Micro Mechanic actually works, and better than you would think.
It shows you a complete diagnostics breakdown of what could be wrong with your car – and this is the most useful feature if you don’t know anything about cars and want to make sure you’re not getting scammed by your mechanic. It’s even useful if you know the mechanics of your car better than anyone and just want to save yourself some time.
What does it come with?
The Micro Mechanic comes with the associated unit, and a set of instructions as well as a carry case to keep it in good condition when you’re not using it.
I’d suggest that you carry a small soft cloth with you so that you can wipe off the unit every once in a while, too, especially when you’re driving around on dusty roads.
Troubleshooting the unit
The only issues I really had with setting up the Micro Mechanic was getting it to connect – but after that, it seemed to work fine. If you’re having trouble with this yourself, check your phone’s Bluetooth settings first and make sure that you’re connecting to the right device.
If this doesn’t work, try turning it off and back on – the phone, that is. This usually makes it hook up with the phone if you didn’t manage the first time around.
Sometimes you’ll also have to clean up your car’s connection unit – use a small brush, it usually does the trick. This is especially true for off-road driving where you’ll take dust out of everything.
- It’s a great diagnostics tool.
It’s great for figuring out just what the heck is wrong with your car when you don’t have the time to open up and look. All you have to do is open up your smartphone – and you don’t even have to get out of your car to do it.
- It’s an inexpensive unit.
It’s cheap to buy, and you can even buy several at once if your family has several different cars or if you’re a business owner with a fleet. I bought two units the first time around and gave the second one to my son for his car – and it’s saved him a lot of time driving from one point to another when driving through several states for a visit more than once.
- It saves you time:
The single greatest feature about the Micro Mechanic is the fact that it’ll save you a lot of time on the road. Instead of having to pull over at a sketchy intersection to open up the hood where you could expose yourself to all sorts of dangers, you can just ask the passenger to check your phone. It saves you time, and it’s safer: Both these reasons are why I went back to install another of these in my second car that’s used mostly for work during the week.
- I wish it had more detail.
While the Micro Mechanic is one of the greatest diagnostics tools at its price point, I’d have liked to see a little more detail from the Micro Mechanic – and something that incorporated more than just the check engine light. I know a thing or two about how cars work, and more detail about more parts of the car could have been a very useful feature.
- Why can’t I forward information?
Another feature I would have liked to see is a forwarding information feature that would allow me to forward the information straight to my auto mechanic – or send it out to my e-mail as a forwardable file. It would have just been easier like this!