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Openbay Launches an App for Car Diagnosis, That Also Helps Drivers Locate Auto Shops

Posted May 26, 2015 2:23 PM by Jordan Perch

Being able to detect potential breakdowns and defects on time can help car owners save a lot of money and avoid the hassle and stresses involved in dealing with costly and complicated repairs. Now, there is an app that promises to do exactly that - let drivers know that their car is about to experience problems, so that they can have them fixed in a timely manner and avoid more expensive repairs later. On top of that, it helps drivers find auto repair shops near their current location, along with reviews and prices for each shop.


The app was introduced by Openbay, a company that already offers a service that helps connect drivers and repair shops across the United States through an online platform. It's called Openbay Connect, and it is only available for iOS at the moment. With this app, drivers can get timely alerts of potential problems with their car, and make an appointment with an auto repair shop that is most convenient for them, in terms of location and prices.


"Openbay Connect will remotely determine cause, cost and availability to perform the repair by local mechanics, answering virtually every driver's need for efficient, affordable auto repair service", said Openbay CEO Rob Infantino, in a statement.


Openbay Connect communicates with a car's on-board computer, getting diagnostic data from it, and then informing the driver about the problem the car is experiencing. Once Openbay gets the information on the problem, it immediately contacts nearby auto repair shops, in order to get an offer, along with service time, and ratings, which is then sent over to the driver, so that they can choose an offer that they think is the most competitive. The offer includes taxes, labor and spare parts, the company says on its website. Drivers will be able to book an appointment with the shop they opt for through the app.


After the driver receives the service at the repair shop they have selected, the app will take care of the payment, and also add the service to the driver's service history, which is definitely a nice and pretty useful function. Drivers can either pay with a credit card, or via Apple Pay, Apple's payment service.


In addition to this, if the problem at hand is easy to resolve and doesn't require taking the car to a professional mechanic, the app will offer advice that will help drivers fix the defect on their own, saving them time and money. This can be of great help to drivers who don't have extensive vehicle mechanics knowledge.


"We live in an on-demand society, and today's connected consumers expect immediate responses to their needs", said Infantino.


This app takes advantage of advancements being made in the field of car connectivity technologies, which allow vehicles to connect and interact with each other, as well as with infrastructure, exchanging information that can be crucial for road safety. Openbay Connect is free for all drivers, but users who decide to take their car to a repair shop offered by the app, have to pay a certain fee.

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#1

Re: Openbay Launches an App for Car Diagnosis, That Also Helps Drivers Locate Auto Shops

05/26/2015 10:41 PM

P-Codes or powertrain codes flagged by the OBDII systems are notoriously wrong if simply taken at face value.

There are so many things that can go wrong that will cause a false positive. For instance, I had a code pop up on my Suburban that indicated a catalytic converter inefficiency (P0420). You could spend $1,800 on a new catalytic converter only to find out that the downstream O2 sensor was going bad making it look like the catalytic converter itself was bad.

Or in my case, I had a small crack in the exhaust manifold that I found after replacing all four O2 sensors (I did have 150,000 miles on the truck so it didn't seem like a bad idea to replace them). As it turns out, the crack in the exhaust manifold released some exhaust when the valve opened, but more importantly, when the exhaust valve closes, it pulls a vacuum on the manifold and it sucked in fresh air. That extra fresh air confused the O2 sensors into thinking the catalyst was not properly 'storing' oxygen, hence the catalytic converter inefficiency flag. I have over 220,000 miles on the truck with the original OEM catalytic converter and no codes showing.

I cringe to think of how much money I would have poured into a repair shop for them to "replace and test" until they fixed it. OBDII codes are only a start for a proper diagnosis and I fail to see how this app will improve the repair process other than to direct you to a repair shop that pays to get referrals from the App.

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#2

Re: Openbay Launches an App for Car Diagnosis, That Also Helps Drivers Locate Auto Shops

05/30/2015 10:02 AM

make an appointment with an auto repair shop that is most convenient for them, in terms of location and prices.And i would venture a guess that the shop pays a fee to be in that system. Sounds like another scam.

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