I recently bought a 2000 Ford F-250 Diesel. It’s predecessor, an '06 F-150, had an Edge Evolution programmer and it happily sat on the dash providing oil temp, tranny temp and instantaneous mpg. In the F-250 I missed being able to monitor that info, but didn’t miss it enough to spend $500 on a new Edge Evolution.
The above is a generic pic with some metrosexual’s hand, not my [strike]arthritic hand[/strike] calloused fist of death.
This is a droid app that will allow you to set up a helova lot of gauges, more than you could possibly find useful, by displaying OBD2 info on your phone. It’s about $8 for the app and a necessary widget, and then $15 for a Bluetooth OBD2 xceiver on ebay.
I’ve only been playing with it a couple days but right now on one Droid screen I have gauges for
Fuel Remaining %
Compass (Always good when you have to do a bit of orienteering in an unfamiliar place)
Throttle input %
Distance until gas tank empty (No OEM computer on this truck to provide such info)
Turbo boost (how cool is that?)
Next Droid screen
Clock (Probably won’t need this once I install the stereo/backup camera upgrade)
Torque / Long term these will go away, but I was curious
Third Droid screen has a map. It looks like a basic Google map, but I’ve not played with it yet.
You can configure pretty much everything you could imagine about the gauges. Size, shape, min/max and lots of digital and analog variations on how the data is presented.
I’m no OBD guru but I did learn some setting this up. OBD info is organized into “PIDS”. There’s some generic ones and then some proprietary ones. That means that the device will happily monitor “some” data streams on all cars, but will need to know the proprietary PIDS associated with your car in order to monitor “other” data streams. If you have a Ford truck you are in because it loads with their proprietary PIDS. If you have GM or Chrysler product I’d do some research. In my case I had to modify the Oil Temp PID in order to get that feature to work. I found a number of forum threads in various places that gave me good guidance.
Why care. Well, I’m a geek so I naturally like data. Also ~3yrs ago I saved the transmission on the used F-150 I’d bought. I was monitoring transmission temp on the dash and was surprised how hot it was running. I replaced the “lifetime fill” tranny fluid and it’s temp dropped 40-45deg. And finally, with no OEM computer in the truck there’s no instantaneous mpg feedback. As a BMW owner, I like mpg feedback, it keeps me easy on the gas pedal.