Saturday, January 16, 2010
My brother has an 10 year old European car which came with an interesting computer which enables him to monitor various aspects of his driving style. In particular, it provides him feedback about his mileage. Armed with this information he can adjust his driving style to save gas on a trip. Naturally I lusted after one of these devices, but none of the cars I've ever owned has such a computer.
That has now changed. I discovered a company called 'Scan-Gauge' which makes exactly the computer I've always wanted. It provides all the info of my brother's car and more, 14 different variables in all! I recently purchased one of their gauges and am beginning to learn from it. Plugging it into the OBDII outlet under the dash took about a minute or less, so even I could handle the hi-tech part of installing the Scan-Gauge.
To begin with, as the gauge provides data in real-time, I can now track my fuel consumption more closely and adjust accordingly as I drive. It can tell me whether keeping the roof-rack on the car is costing me money. I now know how much it's costing me to transport my kayak on the rack. I can tell what pulling my tiny trailer costs. In short, this little gauge is providing me with lots of information which, if I pay attention, will allow me to continue to travel to distant kayak venues and still keep my carbon footprint low enough to live with.