Davis Instruments' Drive Right® CarChip E/X™

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Davis Instruments Corp.
3465 Diablo Ave.
Hayward, CA 94545, USA
Contact Information:
Telephone: Toll Free 800-678-3669
(510) 732 9229 Main telephone line.
(510) 732 7814 For technical or troubleshooting questions.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Pacific Time
Sales and Info: sales@davisnet.com
Technical Support: support@davisnet.com


Product review by:
Tony
BAT Auto Technical
Sometimes a product comes to your attention when you least expect it.
We came across Davis Instruments' Drive Right® CarChip E/X™ in our search for newer OBD2 scan tools.
It was great when they said they would send us the product to review. The interest in this product was because it is more than a code reader. It is more a data logger, with the scan tool capabilites.

I had intended to address the code reader part of this tool first, but unfortunately at the time of writing this first part, I can't seem to locate a vehicle with the check engine light on. That just figures. So I decided to do this article and address the data logging and what it does. Then I will address the code reading and clearing capabilities.


The CarChip E/X™ just plugs into the OBD2 connector on the vehicle and away the vehicle goes. We ran the vehicle on some fairly bumpy roads in extremely wet weather and it stayed connected without any problems at all. I can't see that anyone would have any problems with it staying put in the connector.


The cable that is supplied in the kit plugs into the serial port of PC. Shown in the upper left is the port open. The lower left shows the connector hooked up with the AC adapter plugged into the connector that goes into the PC.

The other end of the cable plugs into the CarChip E/X™ unit. Shown below.







Install the program with the CD supplied in the kit and you are ready to set up the CarChip E/X™. Plug the CarChip E/X™ into the cable and launch the program. The first time you run it, it will ask you for the new vehicle information.


You can add that at anytime, but if you have it handy, it is a good idea to enter it.


Once the program is launched, you can set the parameters for the CarChip E/X™ to moniter. You can set up 4 different parameters that you can choose from many different ones, including coolant temp, o2 sensors, engine speed, throttle position, fuel pressure, voltage, air intake temperature, intake manifold pressure and several more.

Once you click on OK, it will then save the information to the CarChip E/X™ unit. You then unplug it from the cable and plug it into the diagnostic port of your vehicle and go driving. That's the fun part.


Here is the summary of one vehicle trip. You will notice there is some interesting information that this tells us about the vehicle usage. Things like maximum speed, how long it was operated at certain speeds, how far the vehicle was driven, idle time, hard accelerations and braking.

After the information is downloaded to your PC, it will show each trip that the vehicle makes, plus things like hard acceleration and braking. Teenagers everywhere are cringing about now.

This chart shows the some of the parameters available. We can see where this can be a big benefit when road testing a problem vehicle.

There is a chart option, which also shows some interesting events. Hard braking and hard acceleration are marked on the chart. These charts are dependant on the parameters set for the CarChip to record.
Trouble code reader

This is an added bonus for CarChip E/X™. It will read OBD2 trouble codes and clear them.
As you can see, this vehicle had 2 codes logged. The P0119 was a bad wire at the connector.
The P1504 is an Idle Air Control circuit malfunction. This was caused by the connector getting broken off. We replaced the connector, repaired a bad wire. We then hooked the CarChip back up to the PC, set the CarChip to Clear the trouble codes through the program, we plugged it back in, turned the ignition to On and waited a few seconds for the CarChip to clear the codes and then turned the key to off. We then took the vehicle for a test drive, turned the key off and removed the CarChip. We plugged in and downloaded the information and there were no trouble codes logged this time. This repair job is finished and the customer drives away happy..

My rating for this product;
Comments: After looking at this product, there are alot of benefits. Fleets, parents and several other applications for the tracking come to mind. Add the trouble code reader to the package and it is well worth the price, especially since it is priced well with in the margin of most code readers.


Overall design............................................................EXCELLENT
Comments: Small, light weight.
Instructions included for use......................................EASY
Comments: Simple to use, instructions are pretty clear.
Design and quality......................................................EXCELLENT
Comments: .
Packaging....................................................................GOOD
Comments: Blister pack has everything secure and in great shape.
Includes necessary accessories?................................YES
Comments: Software, CarChip, power supply and PC cable all supplied.
Setup.............................................................................QUICK and EASY
Comments: Load the software, follow the directions and plug it in.
Performance.................................................................EXCELLENT Accuracy.......................................................................GREAT
Contact information for company................................Clearly indicated in the literature.
Level of experienced required for use........................MINIMUM
Price..............................................................................Around $180
Comments: Listed on the manufacturer's site for $179.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.. we really appreciate your valuable feedback.
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