Gas prices are out of control! An earlier post on Got2begreen.com offered 7 gas saving tips. If you haven’t already checked them out click here. Always on the lookout for more gas saving tips, I recently came across the ScanGaugeII. It is a device that allows a driver to monitor his/her car’s performance in real-time. Selling for under US$200 (at current prices that’s less than 4 tanks of gas), it is fairly inexpensive. By monitoring your cars performance you are able to change your driving habits and watch how your driving practices impact your mileage. The ScanGuardII is a small electronic device that is plugged in to “OBD II” port of the car. This is the plug that is normally used for computer diagnostics. Installation is simple, just plug the device in and start the car. It works in any car that was manufactured in 1996 or later. It works by reading the “car’s speed, load, throttle position and other factors, and computes your current miles per gallon.” By monitoring the display while driving you can see how your acceleration, climbing and descending of hills, and cruising impacts the mileage you are getting at any given time. In addition to monitoring the mileage, it can report trip mileage, average speed, miles driven and fuel consumption.
On his site www.andybrain.com, Andy Kaiser offers the following review after he installed the device on his 2002 Saturn:
After using the ScanGaugeII in my 2002 Saturn SL, here’s what I learned:
During acceleration, letting up on the pedal just one inch increases mileage by 15 MPG. Turning on air conditioning drops mileage by 4 MPG. I always thought coasting in neutral improved mileage (versus leaving the car in gear), but the ScanGauge tells me it makes no difference. Cruise control is usually good, but wastes too much gas on hills.
The ScanGauge II comes with geek-friendly features: It’s upgradeable, so future improvements (like PC communications) can be installed. Car hackers can send OBD-II commands to their car’s computers, tweaking to improve performance. Customize many options (including the screen backlight, with 63 different color choices).
At $170, it’s not cheap. But learn from it, and it does pay for itself: I recorded mileage before and after buying my ScanGauge. In city driving, using it to adjust my driving habits, I averaged 24 MPG before the ScanGauge and 27 MPG after … I’ll be very specific: “In times like these, with horrible gas prices, the ScanGaugeII can help you save gas money by adjusting your driving habits.