The check engine light. The bane of motorists, mechanics and DIY’ers all over. While the technology is great in theory, in practice it sometimes becomes more of a pain in the hoop. The folks at Smart Auto Management have created SAM to help you out. SAM is a consumer friendly on board diagnostics kiosk that helps drivers get a handle on what ails their ride.
The concept is: Drive up, insert credit card for a whopping $15 charge, hook a cable up under the dash and then take the printout which tells you what is wrong with the car based on the fault codes that have been stored.
When used sensibly, this machine will be a great tool for backyard mechanics and consumers who want to go into a shop with their eyes open. Where I can see it being a bit troublesome is that no diagnostic equipment is 100% accurate, all the time. Often 1 fault code can be masking another and the secondary code won’t show up until after the initial problem is corrected.
It would be a shame for consumers to take the printout to their local shop and just ask for components to be replaced. Inevitably, that part doesn’t fix the problem and the consumer blames the shop. Bear in mind folks that this is a consumer friendly diagnostic tool. It should be used as part of a diagnostic procedure, not as absolute.
If people bear this in mind, SAM will be a great tool for consumers and home diagnostic adventures. The price can’t be beat, that’s for sure.
The SAM network launches tomorrow in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Raleigh NC and Northern California. For all the details, including locations visit iamsam.com