You are here

Turn Your Carburetor and Cough!!

Turn Your Carburetor and Cough!
by Gary Woods

Didya' ever wonder what your mechanic told you was wrong with the car was really the problem? Okay, let's say you do trust your mechanic but you're the curious type. Well if either of these two questions ever popped into your mind you might want to look at CarMD ($90).

Slightly bigger than a cell phone, CarMD plugs into the On-Board Diagnostics II port of any 1996 or later car or truck model. The device shows a green check mark if your car passes CarMD's diagnostics, a yellow question mark if it finds a pending problem or inconclusive results, and a red X if the vehicle needs service. CarMD says that a yellow or red light means that a car might fail a state emissions test.

To find out what the lights mean you load the CarMD software onto your PC and then plug the device into your computer's USB port. The Web site loads automatically into your browser. After you register your car, the site produces a report describing possible fixes, and the relevant diagnostic codes.

Click one of the Fix tabs to see the items in need of repair or replacement, the unit cost, the quantity, and the total cost of the repair. The site even adjusts prices for four U.S. regions. You can generate three reports each month on up to three vehicles, but you can use CarMD's green, yellow, or red indicators on as many vehicles as you choose.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. You can hear Gary on the Radio at 1290 AM Monday 9-10 AM and he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc